Most of us, with the exception of, say, boarding school graduates, are new to the qualities exclusive to college life: life in a dormitory with complete strangers, the general increase in the number of students per class, blood battles for 6 A.M. course registrations, professors indifferent about attendance and performance, escape from the pressure parents give you, and lastly, the general freedom, or responsibility, of managing your own phone bills, debit cards, grades, meals, and health.
Now that you are in college, your professors aren’t as concerned with your grades, the attendance office doesn’t call home every time you are late to or absent in class, and you are essentially free from your otherwise vigilant parents. The qualities that come hand-in-hand with college, the start of a new era of your life, tend to bring out the lazy bum in even the most diligent person.
Remember: it is only the nature of the human being to adapt to its environment. You can’t help but become lazy now that you’re in college. It’s only natural. Here are some crucial points for preventing yourself from succumbing to the laid-back nature of college.
- Get a part-time job: Most colleges don’t require students to be in class for eight hours each business day, like in high school. Now that you are actually in college, you will find that you are much less busy than you thought you’d be. Some days, you don’t have class at all, and some professors cancel class at the last minute. The most important thing to remember is that your life must run on a cyclical basis. That is, you must keep the habit of doing the same thing at the same time each week, like going to work at the same place at the same time on the same day of each week. Once this pattern breaks, you start to make excuses, become lazy, and justify that laziness with more excuses. The free time that comes with college makes a great opportunity to get a part-time job—on-campus jobs are even better! Keep an eye out for application deadlines for jobs at the college library or technology center. Since you are an employee hired by a boss of some sort, you will have to force yourself to get out of your room and walk over to work. Also, a little extra money is always great and the feeling of accomplishment is extremely rewarding.
- Go to the college gym: As mentioned in the previous point, the key to maintaining an active life is having something rewarding to do at the same time on the same day every week. Make a promise to yourself, or even arrange a workout at the same time and day every week with your friends! Once again, you’ll be forcing yourself to leave your room, get some fresh air, and walk over to the gym. Getting some exercise in your otherwise sluggish life is always great! Plus, it’ll be fun to do it with your friends. You should not only set a fixed time and date, but also a fixed duration. Then, after the workout, you can catch up on gossip on a nutritious snack, like a banana and cherry tomatoes. Again, the accomplished feeling that comes when you walk back to your room is quite worthwhile.
- Join a student organization: Keep an eye out for student organizations that interest you, regardless of how silly you think it is. After you join a student organization, you will have unknowingly become much more involved on campus and have a wider range of friends. Also, the weekly or biweekly meetings will keep your life busy and healthy. If you find that you really like the organization, then heck, try out for an executive board position! As the new Secretary of a student organization you are passionate about, you will feel a greater responsibility to attend those meetings and be more engaged with the organization.
You may think that these tips are impractical or maybe getting a job or working out is just not your cup of tea. However, you will find yourself becoming lazier than you were in high school—caring less about grades, skipping class much more often, and sleeping through all your commitments and becoming a lazy bum.
The most important point to remember is that in order to prevent yourself from becoming inactive and lazy is to engage in the same activity at the same time and day each week. Make a reason for you to force yourself to freshen up, come out of your room, get some fresh air, and accomplish something, no matter how “trivial” or “silly” you may consider it.
Every aspect of your life is, indeed, within your control and only your control. You are the only one with the power to control your life—it only takes some determination to change your life and achieve something.