Monday, March 28, 2011

What I've Learned in the Past 4 Years

I don't anticipate to jot down every single thing that I've learned since I've been at college. That would take way too much time, and some of the things are too personal to post for everyone to see. However, there is one thing I have come to discover about myself that did not solidify until the past 3 months. I would not have come to realize it if it weren't for the previous 3 1/2 years, so this discovery is all inclusive of the past 4 years.

I feel that most college students (that want to be the best in their field) approach college life as a jumping block. There is no time to cook healthy meals, exercise, sleep enough, or do things that make us happy. We must work, work, work, and not stop until Christmas break. I was one of those people...for a long time. What I've come to realize is that this particular lifestyle, in college or not, is not as productive as one might think.

There is a spectrum of efficiency that I came up with. Pardon my paint example.

 I don't know if you can see it all that well, but on one side there is laziness, the other side there is insanity, and in the middle is just right, like Baby Bear's Porridge.

When you get too close to the right side of the spectrum for too long, bad things happen. Your body gives out on you, you get sick, and you have to miss class because you have the swine flu. You start to hate life, and re-think your major when you might not need to. (Now, sometimes people really do need to change their majors for other reasons. I'm talking about something different.) You start to re-think priorities and you just want to throw in the towel. You spread yourself so thin that you begin to not like how you look or feel, and you start to see the negative in everything. You don't believe in yourself because of how you feel, and because of this, your performance isn't quite up to par. You just want the next few weeks to be over. Then you just want the next few months to be over. Then pretty soon that turns into you wanting the next few years to be over. Look at yourself! You want your life to be over! Who wants to live like that?

The only way that I have found to get to that middle ground is to first, remember what's most important.

Next, don't forget to make friends a priority. Social health is a good thing.

Always remember to sleep enough!!! You will be able to accomplish so much more at a time if you do!

Eat healthy and exercise! Your body is what is enabling you to do the things you do. Don't abuse it!

You might say, "Well there just aren't enough hours in the day to do all of those things." Maybe not, but there can be. The key is to not bite off more than you can chew. You CAN do anything and everything. Just not all at once. Spread out your schedule. It's OK if that one project, that competition, that goal, graduation, or anything else doesn't happen this instant. By the time you are in college, you should know what you are and are not capable of handling all at once. Let me encourage you, all you ambitious students and workers out there, that when you sign up for your hours at school or work, keep in mind that you won't be able to be 100% happy unless you remember your body and your relationships. There might be periods of time (a semester, a week or two, the few weeks before your wedding) that gets crazy busy, and there is no way to get out of it. I agree that this is inevitable sometimes. But your whole life doesn't have to be like that.

If you remember these things, you will have the endurance and stamina to keep going. I thought I hated school. I thought I hated the flute. Now I've come to realize that I don't hate these things. I was just biting off more than I could chew. I'm able to accomplish just as many things, and I'm happy while I'm doing it! Bring it on, graduate school!


  1. Wow, Thanks Amber! You are so awesome! I agree with everything. Living just right is the right way to live. Do what is requisite and let everything else fall away. Love you girl!

  2. I think that if you had learned absolutely nothing else in the past four years, this wisdom is totally worth the price of a college education. If you can live your whole life this way, you are going to be insanely happy and well-adjusted!

    You're so awesome.

  3. Oh Amber! This was such a wonderful post! I too, have learned this this past year. What a wonderful realization. The road to this realization is was not so fun, but the destination is well worth the destination. Different details and circumstances, but the same idea.

    And I'm sending a link to your blog to my sister. :)

  4. You're a doll! It was fun having you stay in our home! You're talented and you're right...when we find balance in our lives we are happier!