When the going gets rough
Published: Tuesday, January 23, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 22, 2007 at 12:14 a.m.
ÖPick up the slack, because it is still going. As a freshman here at UF I cannot help but feel overwhelmed. Classes, socials, scraping for food, and trying to shed high school habits, you come to the realization that no one is going to structure your day for you. The classes you take are up to you; the materials you choose to study are also up to you. Even if someone makes the effort to hear your groaning and moaning, well, they still cannot resolve the problem.
Already I have failed tests, barely passed some, and fortunately, scored an A or two, but the point is that I earned those grades. It didnít matter what the teacher taught or even how, it mattered that I sat down and learned the material myself. So, what to do as you try to study for your next exams? Well there are several activities to relax oneís mind and body.
First of all, learn to say no! You know you have a test coming up on Tuesday. If you wait to cram on Monday night, you just wonít be ready. But your roommates, floor mates, and old or new friends alike all want to go out clubbing Friday night, Saturday after the game, and then hang out on Sunday. I agree that you need to have some free time, but most often, you just get caught up in the moment. Ever been at a party, club, or event and just said to yourself, "dang, Iím not even having fun, why did I agree to come?" Or if youíre enjoying yourself, stopped amidst all your fun and had to shush the little voice inside that keeps calling you to study? This is the time we have to learn to say no. We get twenty-four hours in a day; six to eight of them are spent sleeping, two eating, one traveling to places, and about one to four hours of class per day. This means that we have just enough time to balance socializing and schoolwork. When a test is coming up, it's okay to use that time for schoolwork and earn that grade that will make you feel even more confident the next time you go out. You wonít be thinking, "man, I really should be studying or reviewing more." Anti-drug commercials use it, abstinence supporters say it too: itís just easier to say no now, than to regret things later. When the going gets rough, stop for a second, and say no to the choices that will not yield the best outcome.
Second of all, amidst getting enough sleep, eating enough food, and doing well on your studies, manage your downtime. When you are not in class, grocery shopping, or doing something that you are required by collegeís natural law of living to do, try to maintain productivity. Get ahead on something, read a book, play a video game or two. But remember: the key word here is balance. Limit the television shows you watch, the amount of time you spend socializing in the dorms or with friends, the number of times you eat out every week, and even the time spent at work. In college we have a big, ugly monster always breathing down our shoulders hinting at what we should be doing, and no it is not always your mother; it is simply your conscience. You know that when you have something to turn in, write, or study for, you go through every means to avoid it. Now avoid that feeling by balancing your off-duty time and keeping productive. You might think ďoh, Iím so tired and I went to all my classes this week and paid attention, I really deserve to go out and just have fun tonight.Ē Well, suck it up. This is only four years of a very long life ahead of you. Do the work now, slip some fun times in, but remember, you are here to graduate and prepare yourself for the future, where you will be spending the big bucks kicking it back and relaxing. When you are being pushed through the mud, and pulled at by all angles, push through, you can wash off later.
College is rough, it is supposed to be; otherwise everyone would get a college education. It is not only about the money but the determination that it takes to maintain enough concentration for four years. If you feel like everything is going wrong, and your swimming against the current, remember this; you would not be here if someone did not think you could make it, and most often, that someone is you. Remember how in high school you worried about tests and studying and all those other anxieties that you now look back upon as do-able? They got you into one of the best universities in the country. Now just think of how good you will feel when you graduate; you are going to earn a top education and make top dollar. Youíll be in awe of your hard earned accomplishments. When the going gets rough, remember, everything worth having is worth fighting for, no matter what the problem.
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