The typical VCU student takes around at least 12 credits a semester if they’re a full time student, and if they “did the math,” as so many incoming freshman were encouraged to do as they were corralled around during orientation last fall, they take at least 15 credits a semester to assure they graduate in the standard four years. Grace Jackson, a sophomore at VCU, has strayed away from this practice. Jackson plans on graduating early. Way way early.
In a blur of caffeine fueled impulsiveness and a rush of adrenaline, Jackson has registered for 100 credits this upcoming semester. With several empty coffee cups strewn about her room amid this semester’s term papers, she is confident that this is the right decision. Having become disillusioned with college life her first year at VCU, Jackson vowed to begin taking steps towards her future at a quicker pace than originally anticipated.
Despite volunteering at local animal shelters, and maintaining a business internship, she believes she’s doing the bare minimum, and could not only handle more on her plate, but is excited for more responsibilities.
“I haven’t slept more than 8 hours in the past few weeks, and I haven’t eaten more than a few almonds… but that’s college, right?”
She’s been told she may be biting off more than she can chew, but she assures everyone that this could not be farther from the reality of the situation.
“I’m certainly not the exception to the standard, and everyone could do what I’m doing if they really put their mind to it. I’m not over exerting myself in the slightest.”
Jackson blacks out for a solid five minutes before returning to consciousness and quickly going to her mini-fridge to grab an energy drink. She doesn’t acknowledge the issue as she cracks the can open with calloused fingertips.
“People are always complaining about being y’know stressed about papers, or like, not having enough time between work to have a social life but, I don’t really get it. I mean, I’m living up to MY full potential and I’m clearly fine.”
Things like a regular sleep schedule and general well being are seemingly trivial topics to Jackson. Before she can get into discussing her career path further, she bursts into tears for just a few seconds as she sees a dog outside her window walk down the sidewalk. She reassembles herself, and throws away her now empty can.
“I’m not stressed. I don’t know why people keep saying I’m stressed. I don’t understand why other people are stressed when I do so much. Not that I’m doing too much, because I’m not. And I’m not stressed because I have no reason to be stressed because I’m not doing too much. Who said I was stressed?”
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