Balance; one student’s secret to success


It’s a new semester at Missouri Western State University packed full of potential. This will be my ninth semester as a griffon and I feel that I finally understand what school is all about.

College is about learning. That may seem very self-explanatory, but most college students don’t seem to realize this. When students start college they are aware they are supposed to be learning whatever they are lectured on in their classes, but what most don’t seem to understand is they are also there to learn a lot more than just what the professor is telling them.

Students are supposed to learn about the other students in the classes and how different people interact. They are supposed to learn how to treat different individuals and how to handle themselves in a group setting. They should learn the importance of money and how to spend it wisely. They are supposed to learn about love and loss and how both will make them cry. It is unrealistic to think that when you go to college you are only there to gain knowledge of specific course materials. College is about social interaction and learning to balance that with work and study.

The key word there is balance. It took me eight semesters to realize I can’t do everything at one time. I feel going into this semester I have a greater understanding of what I can and cannot do and how much I should do of what I can do. So this is just a warning to students about to begin their college careers; don’t try to do everything at once.

The only reason I am here for my fifth year is because there were a few semesters where I tried to do everything and unfortunately it was my studies that were hurt by it. Now I feel I finally can handle a little bit of everything important, but I know that when things get too busy at school, I will put the social life on hold, or I will have to work less hours and make them up on holidays or weekends.

My advice for all students is to enjoy the full realm of the college experience. Date, get involved, do community service, go out, play, work a job or two. Do everything you can when you can so you don’t miss out on anything, just make sure you balance when and how you do these things. If you spend five minutes planning out a schedule to work by to do all the things you want to, most of the time you will realize there is more time than you think. The most important thing though, is to stick to the schedule you make.

This semester I am starting off with every day of ever week planned out ahead of time. I have class times, work times, study times and even fun and date times mapped out. I know there will be unexpected events and that this schedule isn’t concrete, but it’s a great start. So welcome freshmen to your new lives at college. Learn everything you can about everything and do everything you want when you can find time. If you balance all your activities and schedule them ahead of time I’m sure you’ll leave in four, (or five) years with a diploma, a lot of great memories and enough knowledge to get you through the rest of your life.

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