BY Annie Zhai

When we were little the concept of time seemed irrelevant. 

All that we would care about was running home to watch Dance Academy and eat red clouds. You would be at primary school from 9-3 and probably see your friends after school. However now as university students, we could be at uni from 8-6 and all we care about is having eight hours of sleep, food and having enough money to pay bills and rent on time. You would probably see your high school friends every six months if you were lucky.

Often I describe myself as an 80-year-old grandma trapped in the body of a 19-year-old. Not just because my knees crack every time I climb stairs but because starting university heralded the abrupt arrival of adulthood. Teachers in university don’t coddle you like they do in high school, your parents stop booking your dentist appointments and you are responsible for being aware of future assignments. You feel that once you turn 18 a great weight of responsibility is placed in a backpack on your shoulders and you are thrust into the world of adulthood with no guidance.

As a 19-year-old who has to support herself, my life certainly sped up when I turned 18 and started living on my own. In my senior year of high school, my life was pretty much school, study, sleep, repeat. The consistent routine established in high school enabled me to feel a sense of control and the thought of getting an actual job was far far away. All that mattered was doing well at school and trying to stress less.

But fast forward to university and you will find that many students like me are stumbling on the tightrope trying to balance study and work together. Friends will tell you if you start working less then you will feel less stressed. However, not everyone is afforded that luxury.

For many students, we are thrust into a position where working x amount of hours is necessary if we want to pay the rent and bills for that week. Often our schedule is uni, work, sleep, repeat. Students feel like there are too many things to do but not enough time. Sometimes we can barely make time for a social life or capture those precious eight hours of sleep because procrastination and assignments are our worst enemies.

Even when we are hanging out with our friends and having a good time, an odd thought about the assignment will fly through our head. We can no longer focus on one event because we are worried about whether we have enough time to get everything done. However, when we were little, we could spend a whole afternoon lying down on damp grass and stare at fluffy elephant clouds as they rode across the blistering hot day.

Ageing is a natural biological process that is inevitable and irreversible. As we grow older we assume more responsibilities that consume a large portion of our day and fastens our perception of time. Although we may not agree with these changes, it is necessary for us to adapt to the situation; even if it crushes our dream of being an astronaut or pirate.

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