When Stressed and in Doubt, There's Always the Internet

If you’re feeling incredibly overwhelmed by the draining pressure of schoolwork so far, sorry, but it was only a matter of time. Even though we’re only one-third of the way in, complaining about the irritating overload of assignments and exams is inevitable for this time in the semester.

It almost seems mandatory that every course demands every last amount of mental and physical capability we have to give. And as each semester goes by, I find myself asking, is it ever going to get any easier? Judging by the noticeable change in teaching policy many professors are putting into place, and the inconsiderate crackdown on attendance affecting our final grades, I doubt it.

Sure, it is our responsibility as students to make it to every class. We should put in all the effort we can to show up, just as teachers put in their effort. However, we are college students, with either jobs, families, or other non-school related obligations to fulfill. That’s the very reason why we are able to create our own schedule; we desperately need that type of leniency.

Yet, it is less than likely that our professors consider what we’re trying to balance in our outside lives when they assign their estimate of necessary work. It also doesn’t seem that they take into consideration the many other demanding professors we are expected to please.

For those of us that do tirelessly make it to each one of our classes, the question is whether or not we truly walk away with the right information we need for that course. It’s safe to say a pile of homework never does guarantee truly being able to grasp a subject.

Especially if the subject has very little relation to what you’re majoring in. It continues to feel an injustice that a student majoring in English should have to take five months of any math class, or that a math or science student has to write five- to seven-page essays for an English class. Being forced to take and pass classes you’re not interested in or are just not good at is probably something all students have had to face or are now facing.

It’s no wonder that when midterms and finals come around, many of us fall victim to stress, sleep depravity, anxiety, bad eating habits, or even physical illness. Is this really the unavoidable price college students have to pay in order to pass their courses and become successful in the long run?

If we took a moment to evaluate why these negative factors hold us captive, we would realize the panic comes from doubting our own ability to understand and retain specific knowledge. Perhaps this is because we know our professors are expecting that we swiftly understand the subjects with which they themselves are avidly familiar.

With due respect, I know the blame does not fall on our educators when they are simply fulfilling their job of relaying the information as best they can. Nor do I think it possible for them to dedicate individual attention to every one of their students.

That’s why I recommend—no, I implore every student to take it upon themselves to rely on the quickest accessible source to make any subject that much clearer: the Internet. At the end of four or five very different courses, why not use easy to understand websites like Sparknotes.com, a site used mostly for popular literary stories, and Wikipedi.org, a popular site used for just about everything else.

I know I risk the disappointment from every one of my teachers who’ve specifically condemned these kinds of websites for not being “scholarly sources.” But with an incredible amount of available language translations, abundant reliable cited sources, professional contributing writers, and easy to navigate links to relatable subjects on each site page, Wikipedia proves to be the most convenient and updated source of encyclopedia information to come out in the past 10 years.

If it seems like such a simple way to assure further understanding on what we are being taught, that’s because it is. Even though there is little we can control in our daily surroundings, as long as we remember to use the Internet as an academic second source, and not just for entertainment, we move that much further from anxiety and stress to become confident and at ease with the education part of life.