Over the summer I contemplated the various methods that I would use to make sure I get the most out of the upcoming semester. Immediately I was consumed with ideas of purchasing a completely new wardrobe such as cute pencil skirts, sneakers and fancy shirts, but then I realized I already had enough clothes. Next, I entertained ideas about buying new lightweight notebooks, or multi-colored pens to take notes with. I even thought about purchasing organizational tools so that I could keep track of my assignments, as well as the various meetings and seminars that require my participation for the duration of the semester.
With the constant stream of new ideas that flowed through my mind, I came to the conclusion that there wasn’t any tool that I could buy that would help me be more successful. Regardless of how many sticky notes I put on a page, or how many highlighters I use in class, my grades are not going to reflect all of the unnecessary things I bought during the summer. My grades will be a reflection of me, and the amount of effort that I put forth to execute each task given to me.
I feel as though students flock to department stores and malls to buy all the latest fashions, and all the new gadgets with hopes that they will have an amazing semester. However, I have learned from experience that in college the best way to succeed during the semester is to preserve as much as possible. Constantly purchasing new products with hopes of a having a fresh start to each semester is not as beneficial as it may seem for a few reasons. The first reason is that by spending a substantial amount of money at the beginning of the semester on unnecessary items, students are limiting how much money they can spend on necessities such as food, and transportation fare throughout the semester. Secondly, students are putting themselves in the position to become dependent on purchasing new things so that they can have a positive mindset about their school work. Becoming dependent on materialistic things to enhance the college experience takes emphasis off the learning aspect, and gives more importance to the vainglorious parts of college.
As a current student I’ve realized that worrying more about what you wear instead of studying your notes from the last class lecture can eventually cause your grade to decline. Lastly, but most importantly purchasing new items each semester will continuously alter the way students absorb information in my opinion. For example, I require certain things in order to absorb as much information as possible in class. I have trained myself to learn using the following tactics like: dressing comfortably, sitting in the front row of the classroom, taking handwritten notes in a notebook specific for each class, while only using black or blue ink. Imagine if I changed up my whole routine to accommodate new items that I purchased over the summer. I would have to reteach myself how to absorb information, while also finding ways to incorporate these new tools into my daily learning schedule. Ultimately, these new items become more of a hindrance than a benefit because I would have to devote time into learning how to use them, that could actually go to my school work. In retrospect adding new tools into your academic repertoire can be helpful, but in my experience I’ve noticed that less is more, and sticking to a specific routine has produced better results than constantly changing your methods of learning.
My advice for any students looking to be successful this upcoming is to understand the meaning of the saying “Less is more”. Instead of spending large sums of money on new outfits, and gadgets to improve your academic status, save your money and be careful with your time. Focus on making each day a productive one by completing tasks, studying your notes and preparing for the following day in advance. Devote a specific amount of time each day to understanding new concepts, and figuring out what tactics you must use to absorb the necessary information for each class. After you figure out what works best for you, make a conscious effort to be consistent. Don’t give up on yourself when the semester becomes “too difficult”, and you start to feel downtrodden about life. Keep up with your academic life, and do not let your minor effects detour you from your path. College life can be sustainable for any student as long as you set a goal, stick to your routine for success, and omit from your mind the idea that materialistic things are necessary for you to be successful. In the end items of monetary value will not make your grades magically improve, hard work and dedication is the only way to truly achieve academic success. So for all the students who are starting school in the upcoming days, do yourself a favor “Don’t splurge, Preserve!”