Committing to your College Studies

“The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence”-
Vince Lombardi

Are you committed to excellence in the area of college studies? Commitment is defined as an agreement or pledge to carry out a specific task. Commitment entails determination, perseverance, and the responsible attempt to meet obligations. Commitment means rising to a challenge, overcoming an obstacle, endeavoring to endure temporary unpleasantness for the sake of long term satisfaction. Commitment happens first in the mind as an abstract aspiration then it manifests itself in the actions of an individual. The following suggestions are for any student contemplating what it means to be committed to studies. May they bring encouragement, enthusiasm, industriousness, and excitement to your college years and plant seeds of excellence in every area of your life.

*Commitment begins with gratitude. Many people desired to be in your shoes the day you opened the mail box and saw that college acceptance letter. Millions of people around the world do not ever approach the kind of opportunity that attending a university is to a great future. Be thankful to be honored with the chance to go to college. Show your gratitude to the people who helped you accomplish your goal of getting in to school: parents, family members, teachers, friends, mentors, counselors, pastors, and others. If you are appreciative of your role as a student, you will value the task of studying.

*Commitment is a choice. People aren’t just born with a gene that makes them especially prone to be hard working and devoted. You must decide that your studies are your focus and mold the rest of your life around that top priority. The job of a student is to study. In order to succeed as a student you must engage in study. Draw up a study plan at the beginning of each semester. Carefully review the requirements for each class such as reading, research, writing, projects, speeches, group work, etc. Practically and honestly mark down on your calender the proper amount of time you will need to study for each class. Some classes will require more study that others, so adjust your plan accordingly. Block study time in 30-45 minute increments with at least 15 minute breaks in between for optimal learning. Study is the priority of excellent students. It may seem like you will have time for nothing else, and some semesters you won’t. Learn to value free time and spend it around the people and activities that you truly love. Don’t be tempted to pursue a social life instead of a college degree. Be sure to create an environment to work in that is highly organized and free from distraction. Your living space should say to the world “I am a student”. If your room looks more like an office than a flop house, you are on the right path.

*Commitment is set in stone. While you may revise your class schedule, study time, or even you major over and over again, do not go back on your original pledge to academic excellence. You will encounter many trials and tribulations but don’t let these make you loose sight of your commitment to be the best student you can be. College is full of many enjoyable experiences and success often follows determination, but no student can escape all of the hardships and pitfalls of those long four years. Know that mistakes are inevitable and that you will tire of all the work or begin to question why you have spent your college years slaving away over a book while everyone else is out having a grand old time. Commitment to college studies will pay off, trust in that truth.

*Commitment is lived out every day. Many people begin with the notion to succeed in college but they fail to practice the daily habits that make achieving that goal a possibility. Your life as a student is your life, period. Don’t waste time wishing you were doing something else. Be proud of who you are. Talk about the things that you are learning with the people in your life. Approach every class, even the most uninteresting, with the intent to walk away having attained some new knowledge. Essentially that is what you are paying for when you attend classes so you might as well get your moneys worth. Make responsible choices that honor your first priority as an excellent student. Mingle with people who appreciate this about you. Never forget that college is not the rest of your life, it is simply a bridge. Build that bridge with bricks of strong commitment to your studies and it will lead you to an amazing and fulfilling future.