Looking back on my life and all that I have accomplished, I must admit, the single achievement I am most proud of is graduating college. Why? Well because it was in college that I learned the most in my life.
I started college at the age of 18 and for the first year, I floated through it not really lending much attention to my studies. A year later, I began my first official job and immediately my entire perspective on education shifted. I quickly learned that in order to handle both work and school well, I had to change the way operated in some areas. It was great because the skills I had developed not only helped me with my academics but completely changed the way I did everything else.
I learned to prioritize and multitask effectively which have helped me greatly in my professional career. If I could, I would go back in time and implement what I learned sooner. I wish I had known how to plan ahead and take charge of what was important when I first began college but, instead of dwelling on the past, I will instead pass on what i’ve learned in the hopes that it might help others.
Here are a few things I learned that helped me excel during my time in college.
Make time, Plan Ahead and Prioritize
There were times where I had a major paper or assignment due by the end of the week but, with work after class from the afternoons through the evenings, I was left with very little time to actually sit down and focus on my work. I had to do some schedule rearranging and eliminate anything unnecessary and time-consuming. While in college, my younger brother called me “boring Angie,” because he knew that once school started I was in full-on focus mode. I rain-checked on a lot of fun stuff in order to make sure my work got done and would squeeze time in, both, before and after work for my studies. It was a sacrifice, but a temporary one that saw me through each semester.
Think on the end result. As Troy Bolton from High School Musical would say “You gotta get your head in the game and don’t forget it.” I don’t think I can count the number of times I had to remind myself of why I was doing this. It was most definitely not easy, but oh so worth it. I kept thinking about my graduation day and how satisfying it would feel to know that I earned that degree, not to mention all of the opportunities and privileges that would inevitably come with it. That was all the motivation I needed, but I needed to remind myself of it frequently.
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Always Make Sure to Spend Some Time Doing What You Love
Every time a new semester was about to begin my younger brother would start with the whole “here comes boring Angie” jazz. When I asked him why he’d always say that, he would tell me that it was because, when I was in school I was grumpy, serious and never down to do anything fun. And he was right. When school came around, I was full steam ahead on my studies. So upon realizing this, I would occasionally try and make time for something fun. This was not only because I didn’t want to be regarding as boring Angie by my family and friends, but also because I needed to keep my own sanity. I’m sure you have heard the saying “all work and no play….” Well, it’s true.
So whatever you do, make sure you take some time out for recreation, relaxation and most importantly family and friends. It’s all about balance. Mostly work and some play, and once the semester is over, just play (with work, of course).
SDG – “Soli Deo Gloria”