DR. WALLACE: This year has been a very busy year for me at home and at my high school. I'm applying to several colleges and universities for admittance in the fall of 2019. I'm vice president of my junior class, and I'm running for either valedictorian or salutatorian. Also, my boyfriend broke up with me because he said that I wasn't spending enough time with him. Thank goodness, my faithful and cute dog, Daisy, still loves me!
Some days, I feel like I could sleep for 12 straight hours because I'm so tired. I might just like to do that, but in reality, I've got way too many things to do to ever sleep in! Oh, yes, I forgot to tell you that I'm also the pitcher on our girls softball team. This is the first time in my 17 years that I have ever been so stressed out. It's not a good feeling. Any suggestions to help resolve my problem will be appreciated. — Stretched Thin, via email
STRETCHED: Most people become stressed that when they feel they have too much to accomplish in the time they have to do it. Your breakup with your boyfriend indicates a problem with time management.
To make your life last stressful, plan to get organized. Start by making a to-do list every morning. Write down the tasks that you need to do that day and give each task a number in order of importance. Stress hits hard when an important task is forgotten or time doesn't permit its successful completion. To find the time to be able do what's most important, decide which things you can give up to gain that time. Keep track of every 15-minute segment of your day and see where your time actually goes. Then cut out a few lower-priority things to build back time for what's most important. Try this plan for a couple of weeks, and, perhaps, you can develop new habits and find more balance in your life.
THE TREND IS DOWNWARD
DR. WALLACE: I will be attending college this fall, and I'm concerned about the drinking that takes place among college students. All the things I read in magazines and newspapers about college students consuming alcohol are dreadful. Is the trend for student drinking on the rise or (I hope) on the way downward? — Anonymous, via email
ANONYMOUS: Fortunately, the trend is downward, yet binge drinking remains a major headache for college administrators. Being away from the watchful eyes of parents for the first time is simply too much temptation for some students — a circumstance that may never completely change.
But the availability of temptation can be reduced. For instance, one of the most positive and responsible steps taken to curb this problem in recent years was the banning of alcohol by some national fraternities and sororities at their campus residences.
According to the Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, which looked at data from more than 3,000 four-year colleges, when it comes to drinking, there seems to be no middle ground. The college community is split into two groups: those who drink never or rarely, and those who drink often and to excess.
In a study conducted by The CORE Institute at Southern Illinois University, it was discovered that students with low grade-point averages consumed more than 11 drinks in a week, while students with the highest grade-point averages had four drinks or fewer per week.
Things are getting better nationally, but any student who wants to risk ruining his or her college experience by overdrinking can easily do so. Don't be one of them!
Dr. Robert Wallace welcomes questions from readers. Although he is unable to reply to all of them individually, he will answer as many as possible in this column. Email him at [email protected] To find out more about Dr. Robert Wallace and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.