Mike Ralphs is a sophomore at Merrimack College in North Andover, Ma. He is currently majoring in History and Secondary Education. He currently works for the college’s Compass program as an academic peer mentor and also participates as a philosophy tutor. He works with students day to day to create a progressive academic environment and to work towards a successful trajectory.
I know what you’re thinking, “isn’t life what you make it?” You’re right it is, but you must first start today. Everyday counts, no moment should be taken for granted. As a student in college it seems like every test, quiz, project, and homework assignment might affect your entire life as a whole. This stresses us out and causes us to get tense. It happens to every one of us at some point or another but the point of this article is to ease the tension and put into perspective what should be acknowledged.
Though the present pushes forward to the future, that doesn’t mean that it determines it. These moments do count but just because you don’t do as well as you thought you would, that doesn’t mean your whole life is over. If we fail, we must learn from these mistakes not just accept them as defeats. If we keep failing then something in our paths to success must be changed. If one fails now, that doesn’t make them a failure, it just means that something must be changed. Study harder, longer, more precisely. Develop, and keep striving forward.
College is a time to discover as much as one needs to know about themselves. We must first focus on ourselves before we can focus on anyone else. When one can take aspects of the things learning in college and use it to develop oneself, they bring diversity to their character. They diversify aspects of their own life and open themselves up to new realms of opportunity. Not all classes are going to be the most fun but that doesn’t mean that things can’t be learned from them. We need to extract interesting things from uninteresting subjects. Things do get rough, stressful, and uninteresting at times but you need to take life with a spoon full of sugar.
If there is one word of advice I can give about college and life for that matter is to be optimistic. Things in college aren’t always what you want them to be. When I went to college I assumed far too much about it and in my time at college I came to realize that the only way to succeed is to never give up on yourself and just keep a good head about things. It was Epictetus that said “It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.” This stands true in many aspects because college and life will throw you a lot of curve balls. So the best way to go about it is at least having a positive outlook and the knowledge that you can’t fail when you know that even failure is a good thing. We learn from these failures and grow to succeed. We strive onward through the paths of life that we sculpt out for ourselves. Ultimately life is whatever you want it to be and the past never has to determine the future. Just keep breathing and keep chugging along.