Tired

1. exhausted, as by exertion; fatigued or sleepy
2. weary or bored

When did this become our default setting?

It seems that nearly every time someone follows the polite convention of asking another someone how they are, the answer ends up being, “Tired.” Or some less blunt variation: “Oh, I’m okay. Tired.” “Pretty good. Tired.” “Great! But also tired.”
Is there something in the water here that makes it impossible to get enough sleep? Is coffee not actually all we need to function? (Just kidding. #CoffeeIsLife) Are we all just lagging in our efforts to maintain the breakneck speed of college life?
Heyyy…wait a minute…

Someone told me last week to take a moment and see how my body felt when I tried to push away a negative thought – not my mental discomfort, just my body. Weirdly enough, it takes physical energy to put up a roadblock for distracting/insecure/negative/angry/inappropriate thoughts, so I can only imagine how physically draining my homework load must be. Not only carrying around the textbooks (I pulled something in my elbow this week picking up my backpack!), but carrying around the mental load of an ever-shifting To Do List takes its toll.
Add this to the fact that we are going going going 12+ hours a day, then have to go home and do homework, and yeah, we’re going to be tired.

Bird read somewhere that the average high-school student these days has the anxiety level of an average mental patient from the 1950s.  She told me this in the same phone conversation where she informed me that she had done homework for more hours than she slept the previous night.  I remember being tired all the time in high school too, and how I thought being able to focus on the things I’m passionate about in college would make me at least a little less exhausted.  But now we’re expected to be adults while still adhering to school standards, making huge life decisions (Shall I become one of Those People with an Advanced Degree?  What if I Graduate Early?  What if there’s a Major Upheaval in my life in the next few years?) in between classes and completing job and internship applications in the little time we have left over from homework.

I love school.  School is what I am good at.  I value my education highly.  But I also think it says something, not necessarily a good something, that the default State of Being for my friends and I is “tired.”  I can’t help looking forward to a time in my life when someone can ask how I am and I can say, “Good, thanks” and leave it at that.

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