School Is Hell (But It Beats Working)


Valentina Stackl

Valentina Stackl

Last week I attended a lecture by HBHE professor Vic Strecher that was organized by the Public Health Student Assembly (PHSA). The title of the lecture was School is Hell (But it Beats Working), and I was prepared to learn about the negative association between stress and health. Having had Vic as a professor last semester, I should have known I wasn’t going to get a straight forward lecture on the topic. Instead of giving us the cut and dry facts about stress, he took it upon himself to give us advice like a father. Here is what he said about why students are stressed and what we can do about it:

1) Our lives are too fragmented.

2) The future is uncertain.


3) You may no longer be the smartest person because everyone in this program is smart. That’s ok.

4) Don’t feel pressure to kiss ass. If you disagree with a professor – call them on it.

5) Part of you stress is having a lack of direction. Imagine an island in your head that has your ultimate goals on it (wisdom, money, fame), and build a bridge backwards. Or, you could imagine your headstone (though that’s a bit morbid). What would it say, and what would you want people to say about you during your memorial service?

6) If you feel powerless, relate to other people. There is power in a group and it’s a good way to deal with the stressors in your environment. Embrace those that are different.img_1547

At least we’re still in school though, Vic Strecher said. In school you can complain if you are dissatisfied by the way things are run. In school you can experiment with new things. In school you can fail (which is good because that means you are experimenting). In school you can decide who you actually are. I highly suggest that everyone take a class with Vic Strecher at some point. Not only does he create awesome power point presentations and make the most uninteresting topics riveting – he truly cares about the students.

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