A cesspool of stress

A cesspool of stress

During this trying time of finals, papers, and questioning every life decision you’ve ever made, Bwogger Betsy Ladyzhets offers a single piece of advice: if you value your emotional well-being, don’t go to Butler.

It’s that time of year again. You have an important choice to make: do you put your emotional health and well-being first, or do you willingly subject yourself to a barrage of stress from which you might never recover?

That second choice can refer to either asking your older relatives their opinions on the Black Lives Matter movement at the holiday family reunion, or studying in Butler during finals.

Butler during finals is a cesspool of frantic typing, frenzied reading, and existential crises. The stink of sweat, coffee, and defeat radiates outward and contaminates the food at both John Jay and Ferris. Sometimes, alumni will pass the building from across the street and feel the slightest cold shiver run down their spines. Venturing inside is akin to willingly joining the front lines of a war zone.

Upon entering Butler, even if you’ve already finished all of your finals, papers, and miscellaneous final-related assignments, a wave of stress washes over you. Have you finished all of your work yet? it whispers, slipping through your skin and up your spinal chord. Why haven’t you finished it yet? Aren’t you smart enough? Aren’t you capable enough? Aren’t you hardworking enough? Or are you just a useless lump of flesh who doesn’t deserve to go to this school? The stress taunts you, threatens you, terrifies you.

And when you dare to study in Butler, you give yourself over to the stress. It permeates the water you drink, the snacks you eat, and the very air you breathe. Scan any room, and you’ll clearly see the senior who started writing her thesis yesterday, the freshman with a final tomorrow he doesn’t know how to study for, and the graduate student who doesn’t even go here anymore but needed a quiet space to finish the ten internship applications they have due at midnight tonight. Stress can be calculated from observing any number of factors, from the quantity of empty five-hour energy drink cans stacked up on a desk to the rate at which hands shake as they type. Stress can be found in the study rooms, and the stacks, and even the bathroom stalls, where people curl up into small balls and roll slowly back and forth. (You can go to the bathroom at Butler, but don’t stay for too long. You might not know who you are when you come out.)

It’s kill or be killed down there in 209 and up in the reference rooms. Finding a seat can take hours, even days. Coveted reading room balcony seats are guarded with grades and lives. If you leave for five minutes, you’d better spread your stuff around your seat as obviously as you can. If you leave for thirty, leaving a cup of urine sitting out to ward off competitors might save your spot. And if you leave for over an hour, well, all you can really do is pray. Butler turns kind people into savages, seizing space at the slightest hint of weakness. If you start to get up or slack off – even if you take too long blowing your nose – your status is in danger.

And if you want to take a break with a few minutes (or hours) of Netflix, the wifi definitely won’t support it.

Now, some people say that studying in Butler gets them into the finals spirit. That being surrounded by those more stressed than they are helps them forgo distractions and really get down to business. This is reasonable, if you have particular trouble focusing, or if, for whatever reason, you relish the taste of defeat. However, there are numerous other study spaces on campus where the tables have plenty of surface area to go around, the rooms are lit by sunlight (at least, for the few hours of sunlight that we can get), and your fellow studyiers don’t eye you as though you’re a piece of meat ready to be devoured. Finals are stressful enough already – why make them even worse for yourself by going to Butler?

So, if you need an environment that drives anyone not at either peak performance or maximum hopeless levels to extinction, then fine, go to Butler. But don’t expect me to join you – I already have to read about competition for my bio exam, and I’d rather not have to live it, too.

Our worst nightmare via CU Admissions website