The following article is written with comic contents and jocose intents with fringes of local parlance. Please, treat accordingly.
This publication exposes the underlying side of academic life
Author: Michael Jules
Today, any village person wey see you dey go school no go allow you rest again. To them, you dom see the light. They will always think that God has blessed you. They never know of this underlying/hidden part of academic life – stress.
The truth is that stress is a basic part of students’ life across all universities and it affect students negatively. From morning till evening classes to running to an unexpected test, all academic issues places a level of stress on students.
In the general sense, stress is the differentials between an anticipated amount of energy to satisfy a task and the excess of actual energy/time spent. This is to say that trekking to the school gate majestically/gently may not be seen as stressful but running to meet up a task especially in haste can involve stress levels.
However, stress within the academic environment especially amongst students can be crazy at times. Students often go to classes with empty stomachs and will have classes from 8:00am till 4 or 6:00pm. Sometimes, all they have to eat is mere roadside junk foods (junk foods mean already-made foods that have low nutritional value: this includes fries, soft drinks, pies, etc). And all these tell on them at the end of the semester.
To add to the above, they are also given workloads of assignments and other related tasks that often wear them out, at least, make them take get sense small. You must not graduate without common sense. Some of them that are very serious with their studies are drained due to lack of sleep. Talking of lack of sleep, here in the Niger Delta University, students often read Till Day Break (TDB). Sometimes, they read from 8:00pm till 12:00am, sleep till 4:00am, wake up and continue again till 6 or 7:00am. Most times, this reading takes place in the classrooms.
At the end of the day, most students like me then, whose body cannot absorb stress slim down drastically and look like a shadow of themselves. This is where you will see a student looking like a rejected sacrifice offered to an idol. Lols. Accordingly, the following are some effects of stressors on the students.
Effects of Stress on Students
- Physical drain: When you send your son/daughter to school, he/she comes back half size of the overall leaving size. 60% of students will drastically respond to stress negatively especially in their first year. At the end of the day, their face go dey look like wiliwili for night. The looks is not palatable at all. If you see me during my undergraduate, na so my neck long like ostrich, my eyes dey bring water like who want cry, no blood for the body. Chaie. School stress no be joke shall.
- Size: As if the above is not enough, your size will be diminishing. Like play like play, jeans when you buy just yesterday here, e go oversize you today just again. The thing go dey look like coverall. All your laps dom shrink overnight. You go dey think say “abi the trouser n aim dey grow”? lols. The feeling is weird o. Then, I was slimming down while my clothes are growing. Wait wait wait!!! Is this the Law of Diminishing Returns? Hahahahahaa….
- Medical Concerns: You see? Stress is a major consumer of red blood cells. Study by Kodícek, Suttnar, Mircevová, and Marík (1990) indicates that energy consumption by mechanically stressed erythrocytes increased from 20 to 50% (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2394373). This means that the authors exposed their sample to stress induced by mechanical structures. And they found that the rate of energy consumption increased by 30%. And sure you know that shortage of red blood cells causes a lot of health issues to the body. Small small sickness will start coming up.
Jane (2017) outlined ten effects resulting from stress. They are: unusual tiredness, paleness, shortness of breath, headaches and dizziness, heart palpitations, dry and damaged hair and skin, swelling and soreness of the tongue and mouth, restless legs, brittle or spoon-shaped fingernails, and other potential signs like strange cravings, feeling anxious, cold hands and feet and more frequent infections (Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/iron-deficiency-signs-symptoms).
For me, I think I suffered almost all the signs above except very few. The suffering was just too much. Couple with doing lot of academic business, carrying the academic workload of my friends on my head, with only two hour sleep a day for four months straight, you can’t even look at my face twice. Looking very awkward. I will be looking very pale like who go baff (bathe) for borrowed pit. I saw my face in the mirror one day, I wasn’t happy with myself o. In fact, if I show you my picture when I was in school, you will unfriend me immediately. Na so o. Na everyday I dey do HIV test to be very sure of the milistry. In fact, after several negative results, I have to tag myself an HIV patient because I don’t just understand myself anymore. Me that used to grab up, now looking like ropes, like bones in sack bags. It wasn’t easy o. My school was surely different from all around me. That is why today, I am also different from all my colleagues because I did more, learnt more, stressed more and even suffered more. So, if it is happening to you now, just know that you are alright. Just read to the Suggestions area and get some tips. For we have been there before.
If you feel school is stressing you out, please, do the following before you kill yourself:
- Reduce the workload: Sometimes, the classwork, course rep demands, etc may overpower you. Ignore some classes. Take some extra sleep. Classes are prime to your wellbeing, but whenever health concerns comes in, please, reduce workload.
- Rest, relax, sleep well and even snore on top am, forget the world around you for once, avoid chores and live lazy this period until you regain yourself.
- Relegate task: If your social and religious duties are also burdening you, please, reduce them and have more time to rest.
- Take blood tonic: Visit your doctor to recommend good blood tonic for you. Then, I used astyfer and astymin, cost within N800-N1,000. I preferred atymin because astyfer makes me want to throw up. Later, I started using monomin. Very sweet. I could buy it over and over again. Blood tonic is the fastest way to put some iron into the body. I prefer tonic, not those 10 naira tablets that have no bearing. (Note however, that I am not making any recommendation here. Your doctor must do that for you. The general public shout take note).
- Eat fruits: In the school environment, there are fruits around. At the main campus school gate or at the secondary school roundabout, get some water melon slices and other fruit every day. It will help you.
- Stop activities that stress you out. Activities like birthdays and other students’ party activities will kill you someday. And so, you have even become party mama. If you are not there, the party is not sweet. Don’t worry, your first semester result is coming.
- Stop alcohol
- Conduct test to ensure that you are safe first. Because, if there is an actual sickness, these suggestions will do nothing.
- Is there need for exercise again? I never really considered exercise. Person dey slim and you dey talk of exercise? Forget that bros. I need to fat up.
- Always have Vitamin C (white & yellow) because sores in the mouth, tongue amongst other places will ensue as a result of shortage of blood. It is wiser to see your doctor as the writer is not a medical personnel.
So, how did you see this post? Is it by anyway helpful? Remember that stress is central to all students. Only that some persons because of the nature of their body, they may have lesser effects than others. For those students who have fats, they may not feel the effects like slim students because they have a base of fact to beckon on. Although, within them, the sign of slimming down will still be there. You know now? Trousers wey dey oversize. If you are already slim before you enter school, you will just turn to rope. Your neck will just be like ostrich, I swear.
About the Author
Michael Oghenenyoreme Jules was admitted to the Niger Delta University to study Business Education in the Department of Vocational and Technology Education in 2009 where he graduated as a Business Educator in 2013/14. Currently, he is a Master’s student in the Department of Vocational and Technology Education, Niger Delta University and aimed to go straight ahead with his doctoral programme once done with Masters.
Throughout his academic involvement within the last decade, Michael has assisted countless undergraduate assignments, seminars, projects, postgraduate/masters’ dissertation and doctoral thesis within and outside Nigeria. Today, Michael has become a prolific writer and writes especially in accordance with his own dictates. He currently envisions what he terms “a perfect academic system”. To achieve this, he nurtures the ambition to become a vice chancellor. This is to enable him develop and implement his own programmes since various administrators may have different dispositions towards implementation of his programmes.
Julius Michael Oghenenyoreme, socially known as Michael Oghenenyoreme Jules is the lead admin, vocational guidance counselor and business educator, Admissions and UTME Nigeria, Lead Researcher; MJE Resources; Lead admin, Faculty of Education (www.foendu.org) and assistive administrator to various sub social pages aimed at giving timely information about the Niger Delta University.