LAFAYETTE, La. - School has been in session a good month now and the stress level for many students is already on the rise.
It's safe to say pretty much everything has been harder during this pandemic. Right now several college students are using marjuana at a record high pace to help them cope with the stress of school.
I caught up with University of Louisiana at Lafayette (UL) students Eliyiah Oscar, Dadrian Day and Rosie Edwards.
When I asked them what stresses them out the most, they all had the same answer.
"All the stuff is on virtual, it's kind of hard for me to understand," said Oscar.
"For the classes that are online when you have to teach yourself, that's probably the hardest part," said Day.
"When they're doing the zoom meetings I can't really catch up, then they talk too fast," said Edwards.
You heard it right. Above all other things like the cost of tuition, lack of sleep and the stress of making good grades. Virtual learning seems to top the list.
"I am more of a hands on student so it's really hard to wake up and just look at a screen all day and just not go anywhere. I feel like it's hard to focus that way," said Oscar.
I said "one way students are learning to focus is by turning to an excessive use of marijuana. The National Institute of Drug Abuse says 44% of college students admitted to smoking marijuana last year."
Dadrian Day is an engineer major. He says he's hasn't turned to marjuana to ease his mind but he can see why his classmates might.
"Drinking is calming, smoking is calming, so i guess it's just extra calming," said Day.
I said "now you sound like you are speaking from experience?"
"Yeah," said Day.
"We are going through the struggle and we just don't know how to deal with it," said Oscar.
There's also been a 4% increase in students abusing psychedelic drugs, with hallucinogen consumption rising to 9 % in 2020 from 5% in 2019.
Nursing majors like Rosie say virtual learning is hard when you have labs.
"If you demonstrate it from a camera like us watching you do it is not, like you can't catch on to the material," said Edwards.
I said "what are some of those things you do in labs?"
"Dissecting stuff," said Edwards.
At this time there's no scientific data to explain why students are having these tendencies. Scientist speculate it's because of the pandemics toll on daily life and mental health.
Students also say that virtual learning is tough because you can't just ask questions like you would in a classroom. Instead you have to email your professor and by the time you get a response you've forgotten majority of the lesson.