Falling Off the Academic Wagon

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As I sit here sipping on my delicious coffee stout beer in the warm glow of the dining room light, it’s 2:43 pm and I cannot get my focus together. Well, I guess I’ll have another beer. The fall semester is over and finals start for me in less than 2 days. I start out fine, first thing in the morning with actual coffee and books in hand. Then, two hours later my focus is slipping, the dog is whining and nudging me, and I’m all but about to give up. I love education, and I love my major but hard work means exactly that. Anyone who has spent any time studying knows the gnawing pain of repetitive errors in search of knowledge retention. Nowhere did anyone say,”Yeah it was easy getting my doctorate.” If I met that person I might go into a fist flying jealous rage. Until then, I will content myself to knowing this is but a part of life and a chapter in reaching my goals.

At twenty-four years old, I am aware I know everything and nothing depending on the given moment in which you ask. This would even apply to my study habits. Just a little background – I am currently pursuing my undergrad majoring in biology and minoring in writing. So, the last thing I need to be doing is writing about how I am not studying, but I need to take a break at some point, right? This wouldn’t be so bad if I wasn’t contemplating a nap following the post.

Procrastination is the evil gremlin crawling on my shoulder, and most everyone’s to some degree. I am usually good about not allowing this little bastard to get the better of me, but as the workload piles on his whisper becomes more and more entrancing. How do I make it stop?

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To each his own in this endeavor, as I’m not sure I know the proper technique for doing so, yet. I have found one relatively good technique for studying. Try torturing, I mean studying for, give or take, an hour and then break for fifteen to thirty minutes. The problem lies in what activity you take part in for that time. This could be anything, but some leave you unwilling to return to the leaning tower of papers. If you decide to eat, for the love of god, eat light! Drinking alcohol is always acceptable in my book, but be careful of the quantity (and your age). Avoid the television, it will suck you in, drain your soul, and leave you with 3 hours wasted in what felt like 3 seconds. Depending on who you are, naps are perfectly acceptable, don’t forget to set an alarm though. Taking the dog for a walk is great, because; it kills the dogs energy, gets you some fresh air, and checks off an item on the to-do list. No reading or writing, like I am doing. You need to give your brain a break. Allow some neuron recovery before bashing it with lewis structures, stoichiometry, or any other academic form of torture.

At the end of the day studying is studying, and motivation will come and go. Stay the course and we may all one day make it. If you have already made it, don’t talk to me. I will be in the corner envying your’ achievements. I will continue to plow through the papers like the Tasmanian Devil with a sense of purpose, all the while the purpose being completely lost on me. I must remind myself that while this is its own style of misery it still beats sleeping in the mud. The life college students, like myself, live is one of privilege and we should acknowledge it as such, and do as much good as we can with it.

Thanks for reading and as always I love you guys!

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