Zanib is a senior at Hunter College majoring in Studio Arts and Combined Media and minoring in English Writing. She is a Stage Manager for the theater department at Hunter and is a free lance artist. She enjoys reading, music and often goes museum hopping in Manhattan.
America doesn’t run on Dunkin, sadly to say. Rather we run on excess and extremes. It’s easier to blame the busyness of modernity life as a flux. But let’s say If you’re unhappy with your job, you can’t always quit because tuition bills need to be paid. Nor can you lie in the few moments of luxury in your bed because dear old professor wanted the final paper in his mailbox by 8AM. No excuses. The fact of the matter is that we are in constant motion, one after the other as we wait anxiously for a test result, lottery win, or the next sale at American Rag. But do any of us really think in moderation? Am I taking on more credits than I can handle this semester? Was that fifth slice of pepperoni last night really worth the bellyache this morning? Maybe I should’ve studied for that quiz rather than going to that party. Chances are we can’t always handle life in moderation because there is a constant feeling of overwhelming pressure in the back of our minds.
When we start college, we are placed in an environment that is equivalent of the planet Alderan to that of Earth. They’re both habitable and there may be a princess Leia come Halloween, but in the end the culture is different. The amount of academic expectations that charge towards Freshmen is a plethora of core classes, lecture evaluations, and paperwork that makes war look like a potluck. The added stress of socializing among peers and the desire of acceptance into a group makes it all the more difficult for students to pace themselves during their semester.
However no task is impossible to achieve if we take a deep breath and organize our thought process. A good change of pace always starts with a choice. The idea is to make the right choice for oneself. There are notable preconceived notions of college life; excess work load, excess party, excess weight gain, etc. while half of them turn out to be true the other half are usually blown out of proportion for the sake of TUMBLR feeds. The problem is that we as college students tend to over-think about problems and undermine the possibility of performing solutions. By prioritizing our thoughts on the problem or obstacle themselves, we tend to move away from solutions and risk the chance of gaining tangible affirmations. Moderation in academia, health and relationships is key to surviving college.
The demands placed on college students, especially first-year students is always set on a high bar. The abrupt switch from high school to a college environment evaluates a student’s academic performance. Basically how one survives college is an exam in of itself. Moderation is essential to hinder procrastination and excess of any kind. The constant and looming pressure of handling school with a job on the side is a struggle but not impossible. By prioritizing academic and personal affairs one can utilize time management between studying for a lab work and catching up on the newest season of Game of Thrones during the weekend. Keep these in mind. Get a planner! You will thank yourself, and no you’re not a total loser for carrying around one with baby kittens on the front cover. By writing down the essentials you are mentally preparing your brain on the expectations you need to follow through for that specific week. That way come Thursday night, you’re not having a mini stroke about the Bio quiz the next morning you would have otherwise forgotten about.
It’s okay to decline group outings. For the record, you have four years to make amiable friends and even if you do decline to attend a group outing chances are that your friends will understand and they’ve probably had papers and homework looming over their heads as well. Nevertheless enjoy your time by giving yourself a break. The likelihood of a decent grade on your exam depends on your stress level, if you cram all week with no breaks in between you’ll end up burning out too soon.
Consider talking with your advisor about moderating your goals. Advisors are not just limited to academia, they use their time to make your workload easier and applicable to your schedule, so unlike in high school you won’t be ostracized by your peers for hanging out with your advisor too much because it’s a possibility that they too need help with structure. And last thing, if your serious about graduating on time with a good academic profile than your need to prioritize your goals. It’s easy to listen to an advise but following through is a challenge, and if you can take each challenge head on day by day than you’re on your way to surviving college with the unnecessary baggage.