Work Hard, Play Hard

Julie - Syracuse, New York
Entered on September 2, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: pleasure, work

I believe that the key to a successful college experience is to work hard and play hard. While transitioning from high school to college, it is easy to lose sight of your responsibilities if no one is keeping track of your where-a-abouts. In order to keep myself from getting overwhelmed when I arrived at SU, I adapted to a “work hard, play hard” mentality. Of course at times, the balance between work and play may outweigh one another, but for me, the key to having fun while learning, is to maintain a middle ground.

Throughout high school my mom always told me that college would be the best four years of my life. This gave me hope for my future yet made me wonder why the monotony of high school was necessary. It did not occur to me how routine my high school days were until my first week of college. No one noticed if I wasn’t present in class and no one was there to remind me to do my work. For the first time, in a long time, I was in complete control. If I didn’t want to go to class, I didn’t have to and if I wanted to stay out until four in the morning, there was no one stopping me but myself. I quickly realized how dependent this control was over my success in college and became aware of how detrimental losing balance could be if I had no reservations, time management skills or independence.

By overcoming a few obstacles the first semester of freshman year I learned to use my new found power wisely. I recall my high school years marked by expected milestone celebrations, such as my sweet sixteen and going to my first prom. In high school, my work schedule outweighed my room for personal time. It wasn’t until college that I realized how lucky I was to have such celebrations independent of my academic successes because small leisure activities are now attached to my academic schedule. I learned that in order for me to remain emotionally and mentally stable, I needed to appreciate my hard work and learn to reward myself fairly. Whenever I felt as though I worked hard preparing for a class, I would take time out to reward myself with simple pleasures. To this day I still rationalize my work ethic with my social life and I believe that the balance between the two is what has made me successful in my college experiences.

Approaching my senior year, I look back on the past three years knowing that I studied hard, did my best and gone out with friends when I deserved to. Years spent in college are not always marked by milestone celebrations but I have met people, been places, and seen things which I will always remember. I will always have these memories because I learned the importance of balancing my time spent in classes and doing homework with my time spent exploring the social university and enjoying those around me. I believe that those who work hard, deserve to play hard.