Ceaseless stress

Students struggle to make time to rest as they return to hectic schedules.

Angelene Wong, Writer

Illustration by Jenna Schmidt/THE CHIMES

After the break, but before the stress of midterms, papers and finals, the first week of class re-acclimates students to school after a month away from campus. Typically, college students use their free time during this week for relaxing, unpacking and reconnecting with friends.

However, upon their return to campus for the spring semester, an abundance of Biola students do not feel like they received a break from classes at all. Instead of feeling refreshed and motivated at the start of a new semester, students already feel the stress of their busy schedules. Many Biolans struggle to balance their social, academic and spiritual lives even after the interterm break.


Senior sociology major Julia Cichowitz attempts to find time for all of her responsibilities, including ResLife, organizing Missions Conference and handling more difficult classes.

“It is always an exciting time, but can also be a daunting time of, ‘oh my gosh, I have all of these really great things ahead of me, and how do I be a good steward of them all?’” Cichowitz said. “I just have to figure out discernment of what to sacrifice, and when to sacrifice so I can do things well this semester.”

Junior human biology major Leah Elizabeth Ellison feels as if school never stopped.

“I’m already studying a ton. I’m a science major, so it’s already in full swing for me,” Ellison said. “I don’t have a lot of free time because I study so much.”

Like Ellison, freshman Cinema and Media Arts major Julie Linstra already feels overwhelmed with her workload. Linstra spent her interterm producing a film project on campus and did not take a five-week break like other Biola students who did not take interterm classes.

“I’m in Torrey, so there wasn’t really a break. I usually get about six [hours of sleep per night],” Linstra said.

Junior Lukas Rooney, also a Cinema and Media Arts major, empathizes with Linstra over a lack of sleep.

“Whenever I get free time, I use it to sleep,” Rooney said, adding that his free time is already minimal due to the pressure of his classes and his extracurricular responsibilities.


Junior music education major Mikaela McFarland does not feel the pressure of classes for her major yet, but is bracing herself for when things get busier.

“The fact that I’m not stressed yet makes me nervous, but I’m trying really hard to be assertive right now and get ahead on my schoolwork, so later, when things are more pressed, I’ll be ahead of the game,” McFarland said. “There will be time for rest later.”

Freshman communication studies major On Ni Zacharia struggles with balancing school work, social life and her relationship with God, and chooses to focus on growing through her challenges. Zacharia notes that her friends keep her accountable in the midst of school pressure.

“It’s one thing to have friends to have fun with, but it’s another to have friends who keep you responsible, and who keep you growing, and people who you admire and who inspire you,” Zacharia said.

Sophomore Christian ministries major Ashley Donahue just returned from serving in Malawi with Biola’s Student Missionary Union and views returning to school in a different light than other students.

“It’s just been a really interesting transition trying to process with friends that weren’t on the trip, as well as people I was on the trip with,” Donahue said. “It’s interesting comparing what it’s like being back and getting back into the groove of life in America and understanding that this is our normal, and part of that’s okay and part of that’s not okay.”

Sophomore business administration major James Ortlip believes students should not let their stress take over their lives. In the midst of hectic agendas, Ortlip said that he is enjoying life and taking it one day at a time.

Despite the stress of transitioning back into school, whether from a restful break or a busy interterm, rest remains a necessity for success. Full schedules provide seemingly endless amounts of tasks, tests and projects, but students must make time to de-stress.

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