Stress is the status quo

According to Butler students, being busy is a status symbol.

Students are taking on multiple leadership positions and extracurricular activities.

Junior Katie Palmer is involved with conferences and special events, has an internship with Butler athletics, has a virtual internship with the state department, is the president of the class of 2014, serves as academic affairs committee coordinator for Council on Presidential Affairs and is in a sorority.

“I’m always either doing something or getting ready for something or, you know, planning out what is going to happen next,” Palmer said.

Palmer said she thinks being busy as a status symbol is something everyone is okay with. Those on campus know Butler students are busy.

“I definitely think as you get more and more involved, people kind of make judgments about you based on how many activities you’re involved in or what you do on campus,” Palmer said.

Sarah Diaz, health education and outreach programs coordinator, started thinking about the idea of busyness as a status symbol when she read the Washington Post article “Exhaustion is not a status symbol.”

In this article, Brené Brown, a University of Houston professor, said, “The expectations of what we can get done and how well we can do it, are beyond human scale.”

Diaz said she sees many students overwhelmed by academic stress and campus involvement. Pressure to be doing more, along with the culture of immediacy, are causes of stress.

Diaz said student involvement is necessary, but students must also be able to pause and to reflect on their college experiences.

Student Government Association President Mike Keller said he has a demanding job in that role. He has also been serving on his fraternity executive board for two years.

“Freshman year, you can just get away with being labeled as a freshman, ” Keller said.

Keller said as students get older, though, class rank is not enough. Students form identities through the activities in which they are involved.

“You hear people bragging about how busy they are,” Keller said.

“Without pausing and unplugging and just being still from time to time,” Diaz said, “some students may feel like they are not able to recharge their batteries.”


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