How Can University Students Turn Excuses Into Inspiration?June 27, 2018

Jordan Baker (of Sydney Morning Herald) penned an inspiring tale of Hamish McDonald, an upcoming police officer. His mother's addictions could have affected him severely, but police officers often knocked on their front door. It was his (late) grandmother who acted as his mother figure during this chaotic period. It wasn't surprising that Hamish didn't excel as a student, as he was often angry at everyone and himself. The birth of his son, Lachlan, made him realised that he could start all over again. He swallowed his pride, not thinking that his schoolmates were younger than him. It became challenging when his daughter, Olivia, was born a month before he started his studies. He might not have made it if not for his supportive wife and their following of a strict schedule.

People like Hamish could turn Australia into a great nation once more. Not that there would be a shortage of the likes of him, but it seemed easy to give in to the pressure. It would be natural to blame everybody. Hamish, a soon-to-be police officer, won't have any of those excuses.

The struggles of a university student may seem trivial compared to Mr. McDonald, but his story could be a life turner.

From a Struggling Student to a Trail Blazer

Give your best effort, but don't forget to have a break. You're not supposed to compare yourself with other students. You shouldn't be jealous at a coursemate who would get a higher grade on your first assignment. Keep on trying. You might get too occupied, such that you may not notice that your professor is commending your essay. There will be times that it could be a relentless process, so don't forget to have a break. You're looking at a long term.

Have fun. Your experience at the university would be meaningful after recalling the moments you spend with the members of the faculty staff. You might be one of those students who doesn't seem too old for their (younger) age, so the yearning to make new mates. Don't be afraid to show your vulnerable side including your repeated attempts to understand a novel like "Ulysses".

It's time to build your own support system. You've been taught to do everything by yourself, but you won't be able to do it all. It's a lesson that you would fully understand when you're older (and hopefully wiser). There's no need to make your existence more miserable, as you inquire about a passage from a prose (or a stanza from a particular poem). Accept the fact that a coursemate could read between the lines faster than you.

Always look forward. Don't get upset if you miss the deadline, also not giving adequate time on preparing for an upcoming examination. You'll get more chances, so learn your (hard) lessons.

Look at the bigger picture. There will be instances when you feel grateful for studying at the university. You must be doing something right. It may not be wise to think about it solely. You could speak to any representative from the Careers Section, who would give you a clearer picture of how your (professional) life could turn out after graduation.

Never stop learning. This is the best investment you could make, as you build your confidence along the way. You won't be intimidated by daunting tasks, not even disheartened if you would fall a bit short. It doesn't mean that you should weigh your options on pursuing a graduate degree, as the next item will tell it all.

Read a lot of books. Ignorance is not bliss.

And keep a journal. This may not be a priority if you're not a B.A. English student but look at it as a chance to hone your talent in self expression. You must be able to communicate clearly IF you want other people to hear (or follow) you. How you write down your thoughts (or feelings) should be a good start.

Follow a schedule. You won't go the distance if you don't keep order on your routine. You must not go all over the place.

Don't put too much pressure on yourself. If the coursework is not demanding enough. Keep in mind that you could only do that much. Not that you can go beyond your limitations, but there's a danger of spreading yourself too thin. You could get exhausted in a short notice. You might see yourself struggling during the month of December, also wanting inspiration during the spring semester. Talk about bad timing.

Return the Favor

If you're able to achieve your trail-blazing status, then don't forget to help other students. You can do it as early as possible. It should give you a good feeling, also another chance of having a lifelong mate. There might be a regret or two, but there must not be any room for it. After all, nothing could go wrong if you follow the above. If it's getting to you, then call your parents. Chat with your sibling. Anyone who has been your biggest supporters.

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