Nov 04, 2011 1 Share

Tired of College


Male college student holding tablet computer in front of blackboard with math.
iStockphoto

After completing a year and a half of college, I have noticed that I have become increasingly tired of doing schoolwork. I was able to handle the pressures of balancing a busy personal life and fulfilling my college assignments as I began my studies. However, I feel that this same balancing act is harder to maintain now, even though there have been only a few changes in my life.

During my first semester of college, I was trying to get my bearings. I struggled a bit with readjusting to a regiment of schoolwork after a little over a year away from academics. I had to learn how to do things in each of my classes almost every day and maintain the proper participation level to get a good grade. Because I was new to attending classes online, I also had to learn how to hold virtual discussions, transfer documents from a word processing program onto the college website’s occasionally uncooperative interface, deal with the realities of dropped Internet connections, and try to cope with my “evil-hearted” printer that would not print out what I wanted neatly and completely. I have been able to handle these technology woes better over time, but there are still several words I would like to use to describe them but dare not on a family website. Despite these concerns, I actually enjoyed the challenge of trying to take all of this in at once. I was learning skills which I felt surely would become very useful to me in my later life, and I was well aware of the old saying, “No pain, no gain.”

Besides, I still had plenty of time to myself when I was not doing my college work, and there were many things in my life which supplied relief for when things got too stressful. I had a continuous schedule of extracurricular activities such as piano lessons and Special Olympics sports practices, which I found much more relaxing than my regular work. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner were also moments of respite for me, as I could simply eat and concentrate solely on whatever was playing on television. Of course, I learned in one of my health classes that this very pastime was a bad habit in itself, but quite frankly, I have to admit that not having to think sounds much more relaxing to me these days. In a roundabout way, even sleep proved to be a luxury, as it served as a rich prize after a long night of attempting to hammer out every last detail of a vital essay. 

In the middle of my second semester my attitude toward college began to change. I became increasingly frustrated by some of the assignments my professors gave me. Sometimes the assignments themselves were hard to work out, while other times the professors’ instructions were simply unclear and would not become much more understandable after I e-mailed my teachers asking what they precisely wanted. In addition, I felt that my schedule was becoming more restrictive. I had less free time to myself as my assignments began to require more of my time. I have even had to cancel some of my extracurricular activities some days because I had to put in extra work for an assignment, an outcome I have never been quite happy about.

However, I recognize that my perspective on this is shaped by the fact that some of these complications have resulted from my own behavior. I do not get going on my assignments early in the morning as my mother suggests I should because I prefer a slower transition into starting my school day. I like to take my first few waking moments watching morning news shows, eating a good breakfast, and taking a hot shower before I start my college work. I sometimes enjoy reading a portion of a good book in the morning as well, but this tends to make me lose track of time. I have also adopted a habit of looking at websites other than the college website, even though I am supposed to be doing my work. This also makes me lose track of the time, prompting my mother to remind me to refocus my attention on my work. I promised her at the end of my second semester that I would not slip into this habit again, and yet I still find myself doing this. I believe that I may have taken on this habit because I feel pressured by my increasingly tough regimen of work, and I feel like I need some sort of release to keep relaxed during intense work sessions.

Through analyzing my personal feelings and the effects they have had on how I have conducted my college work, I now realize I can do better and will work on improving the areas I am struggling with. I need to streamline my morning routine so that I can get to work sooner. I will also focus more on my work and not on my favorite websites which only serve as distractions, and I continue to let my professors know of any trouble I may have with the work they assign. 

I know I need to improve my attitude toward college because, while it may be frustrating at times, I feel it is still necessary for me to be successful in college if I hope to reap the rewards of a successful career and a life well-lived. I also take comfort in knowing I only have a few semesters left before I will be done with this phase of my life. In my view, it is wise to make the best of what I have now so that I can have even better opportunities for tomorrow.  



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Anonymous

Hang in there!

Although it sounds like you are still adjusting to school and life outside of school, you are doing well! I can remember trying to figure out school, work and having a life outside of work. Thankfully, I could try to keep my hours down to 40. Unfortunately the demands from school and home (like laundry, cooking, etc) made life difficult. I can hear you saying the same in your situation. Take it a week or a day at a time.You sound like a great student trying to find a balance. From reading your column, I can tell that you will be able to find the balance and be quite successful. Hang in there!