Finding new focus

By: Louis De Gruy – Columnist, Junior

As the stress of finals approaches, and the hard work (or lack thereof) for the semester culminates, I took the opportunity over break to pretend that none of my academic responsibilities existed.

Let me tell you, it was great. I was able to truly enjoy time with my family and friends for a brief window.

However, my worries about school did creep up on me from time to time, growing exponentially from minor concerns to partial panic attacks as Thanksgiving Break progressed. In between two of these episodes, toward the end of the break, I realized I actually hated school. I had allowed myself to come to hate school.

See, I’m not very good at time management, and would much rather spend time on the Internet learning something new (or playing a game). This is an attitude that has dominated pretty much all of my high school and college career, and I dislike that about myself. It’s created a cycle in my work ethic that involves putting off assignments until the absolute last minute.

What’s even worse, this procrastination happens almost exclusively within the context of “working.” Typically, I will have an assignment opened on my computer, but I’ll be playing a game in a different window as a “break.” I end up spending several hours in my room, or at the library, with nothing to show for it, which in turn leaves me unable to spend time with my friends.

My poor time management has made me into a “student” that focuses only on the material relevant to the grade for the homework, quiz, test, or the course, and I dislike that. But I’ve realized that I do not want to attend a university for the sake of finding a job or because my parents told me to go. I want to be here because I enjoy learning.

I’d rather be someone who understands the course topics well enough so that I can think critically with the knowledge given to me and use it to help solve some of the problems of the world. I no longer want to be someone who just crams for a test and then forgets it all when the course is finished.

This late in the semester, it’s kind of hard to go back and deepen one’s understanding of the courses taken, but I have decided that I will be keeping my textbooks from this semester and future semesters and hopefully using my spare time to pursue the topics within that interest me. Now, I’m not saying that I’m hoping to become some kind of reclusive bookworm in place of being a reclusive procrastinator. But, starting next semester, I hope to treat my classes with a greater sense of enthusiasm in the hope that I can someday make a positive impact on the world.