School should not trump other priorities

by Haley Williamson

When you walk around campus and ask people where they are headed, what they have been up to or what their plans for the day are, a large majority of the answers will revolve around homework and studying.

Too often, we get caught up with the demands of school and the tedious aspects of homework and readings that we completely push other aspects of our lives to the bottom of our priorities.

It is as if school has become an unidentified idol in students’ lives.

I know I am guilty of this, of placing school in front of so many other important aspects of life.

I cancel grabbing coffee with good friends, sacrifice time in the morning that I would normally spend in the word and I lock myself inside library rooms without windows and fresh air.  School is important but does not always need be priority number one.

Being caught up in school and the need for straight A’s can cause relationships to suffer.  How will friends begin to feel when they need you, but homework comes first to answering the phone?  Or how will they feel the fifth time you cancelled going on a walk when that friendship does have great value, but not quite as much as an extra hour of studying?

Not only do people put school before worthwhile time with others, but they often also before their own health. Students feel the need to spend hours staring at the same computer screen cramming definitions, formulas and biographies into their brains when they know they have reached their breaking point.  Instead of taking that needed break, getting fresh air and doing something simply for themselves, they continue to push through.  They push through into stress, anxiety and the idea that every waking minute needs to be dedicated to studying.

School and work soon begin to fill the areas of our lives between others and personal needs.  School becomes church and worship and can lead to putting off time with God. That is not how school should be.

We should not have to sacrifice the things that bring us joy because school has to come first.  Students should not feel burdened to surrender things such as playing Frisbee, baking cookies, laying in the loop or reading a book simply for fun.  The things that bring joy into an individual’s life should not be forced to sit behind tests and deadlines, but rather go hand in hand to make all the work worthwhile.

School should not be the focal point of one’s life, but rather another aspect that makes life enjoyable.

When school gets in the way of relationships, individual health and the pleasurable things, priorities need to be reconsidered.  However, the privilege to attend a university such as ours and receive such an education should not be overlooked.  It is all about finding a balance of priorities that doesn’t lead to worshiping school.

Contact Haley Williamson at

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