College Students: We May Never Get Ahead

Enjoying life without constantly worrying about getting ahead is essential to true collegiate happiness.
Enjoying life without constantly worrying about getting ahead is essential to true collegiate happiness.

Admittedly, I often denounce this thought and continue pushing forward with schoolwork, extracurriculars, applications, and everything else, never taking enough time to relax and enjoy the ride. At the end of the day, would I rather run around as quickly as possible, or savor each moment, even if this means pushing an assignment or a study session back a few hours? We may not ever get ahead, but if getting ahead comes at the cost of enjoying the college years I know are fleeting, then I'd rather stay behind.

On Thursday night, I walked into the library at 1:30 am and didn't leave until 9:00 the next morning. This came as a result of my deeply rooted procrastination, which I've just accepted as a way of life, for now. I use it as an example on campus tours, always telling the high schoolers to whom I'm speaking to be better than me. Moral of the story: Don't procrastinate and cause yourself to feel miserably behind in everything. The only problem? Procrastination is not the only cause of feeling behind.

Even when I don't procrastinate - and hopefully I speak for plenty of others when I say this - I still find myself feeling perpetually behind. Behind on schoolwork, behind on College Republican emails, behind my classmates on studying for the LSAT. Sometimes I'll spend an entire week going as fast as possible and at the end of each day I still feel as though I'm climbing uphill.

The thing about college that I believe everyone learns sooner or later is that you may not ever feel "ahead of the game." When you're being pulled in ten different directions between school, family, friends, clubs, service, and whatever else, there really aren't enough hours in the day to accomplish everything. Much like I do, you'll tell yourself that you're never going to truly be on top of things, and that is okay.

We may not ever get ahead. We may always spend our college hours catching up on past readings, sending late emails, and rushing to get to lectures, despite already being five minutes late. I've said before that we are more than a GPA or any other acronym that's supposedly representative of students today, and the same holds true now. We may not ever get ahead, but that's alright because who you are as a person is much more than whatever you're trying to catch up on. Let your character define you, not your ability to be so often on the go that you nearly hurt yourself.

Everyone is busy with something, at college or elsewhere. I get it; you feel swamped and overwhelmed, much like I often do. Remember that if we hold true to our morals and values - personal attributes that actually matter - then it's alright to be behind. We may not ever get ahead in our daily lives, but as long as we're happy, healthy, and humble, we can rest and be thankful.

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