Watching Netflix

Columnist and Editor-and-Chief Annie Wells urges readers to prioritize their own happiness by focusing on doing what they love, instead of what they think is expected of them. Wells believes that if you stick to what you enjoy doing, expectations won't ruin your reality.

As the first weekend of the school year approaches, it can be easy to get wrapped up in what you think you "should" be doing on a Friday night. Television shows and movies often portray weekends as one long non-stop party as soon as classes are out for the weekend.

As students, sometimes we put so much pressure on ourselves to be doing what everyone else is doing. Especially for incoming students, you may feel like you need to be doing something stereotypically "college" with your weekend or else you are wasting your time.

But this is a reminder that during college you get to spend your time the way you want to spend it, and you shouldn't spend it doing things just because you think you should be. You should spend your time focusing on yourself and what makes you happy, not what others are up to. 

If going to parties and staying out late is your idea of a perfect weekend, then plan your weekend full of social activities. But if it isn't, don't feel guilty if all you want to do is have a date with your favorite Netflix show and your cat. Don't feel pressured to change your lifestyle based on what you see others doing on Snapchat or Instagram.

For incoming students who have this set idea of what their college experience is going to be like, I encourage you to be flexible with yourself. Don't say no to experiences just because they aren't in your "plan" that you have in your head. Especially if you are a freshman, you are not going to have everything figured out right away, and that's part of the fun of the college experience.

It's way more worth it in the long run to focus on what you want to be doing rather than what you think is "expected" of you. You truly aren't "expected" to do anything. In other words, don't let expectations ruin your reality. 

One of my favorite quotes is "comparison is the thief of joy." I remember that when I start worrying about what others are doing and how I compare. 

So as long as you are doing what makes you happy, try not to think so much about what others are doing. Focusing on what is best for you will help keep joy in your life, and it will help reality surpass your expectations.

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(2) comments

Steve Gregg

You should think of college as a forty hour per week job with about nine hours of overtime. During the week, put your full eight hour shift in every day. Even if you don’t have a class, get up in the morning and study. Keep the same schedule every day. You should be up by 7 am and studying by 8 am. Take an hour off for lunch and put in another four hours, either in class or holed up somewhere doing your assignments.

Do your homework during the day. You should get ahead on your assignments up to your next test. Do your term papers and projects at night, when you can put in a three hour shift. When you get a paper, begin work on it immediately and get it done.

The problem that slacker students have is they procrastinate until they pile up a mountain of undone work which can not be done in the time left. Front load your work instead of back loading it, getting it out of the way.

Put in a three hour night shift about three nights each week. Don’t study in your room. It’s too easy for people to interrupt you. Find a study nest somewhere that you can not be interrupted. The library is the most natural location. See if you can get a study carrel. Many college libraries have private study carrels that are small private rooms with doors and frosted glass windows that you can reserve. If you can get one of those, you should make it your study nest.

Always go to class prepared and use it to patch the holes in your knowledge. Get there early. Sit in the front row, far left end, so you can see immediately what a right-handed professor writes on the blackboard. Far right end for a left-handed professor.

Use Sunday night to plan out your week, listing all the tasks you need to accomplish with deadlines. Plan your work and work your plan.

Steve Gregg

Work the week hard and take the weekend off. Always take Friday night and Saturday off. If you work continuously, you’ll burn yourself out after a couple semesters. You need to refresh yourself. Go socialize Friday night and Saturday. You might do some light work on Sunday, like your laundry or fun reading. Sleep in.

You need eight hours of sleep when you do brain work. Set a bed time like 11 pm to 7 am or 10 pm to 6 am. If you skimp on sleep you’ll degrade your understanding and performance. If you go to class with less than 7 hours of sleep, you’ll be somewhat handicapped. If you go with five hours or less, you’ll be useless. You should have such a regular bedtime that you wake up without an alarm clock.

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