The best way to… succeed

You’ve enrolled at the RUG and you’ve told yourself you’ll do your best. Yet some of us continue to struggle - what’s a student to do!?

University years are supposed to be the best time of your life. There are few responsibilities and the alcohol flows freely – as do the hormones. However, that Bacchanalia tends to distract us and studies may take a back seat if not be thrown overboard altogether. I’m not your mom or your study advisor, and I’m well aware that just telling you to study harder is not helpful. With that in mind, these top five tips take a different approach:

Challenge yourself MORE: Have you considered that maybe you’re not stressed out enough? What’s the point of doing a degree if you want to simply cruise though everything with ease? Why go to university if you’re not going to apply yourself? What’s the point of easy courses? What’s the meaning of life? Okay, the last one’s a joke – but seriously, if you know, I’d be happy to hear it.

If you’re genuinely struggling, maybe that’s a positive thing. You’ll feel that you truly earned it when you finally get that elusive diploma on graduation day. After all, people who procrastinate are often those who need more stuff on their plate. I like to call it ‘organized chaos.’

All I want is…In the words of the great modern philosopher Kendrick Lamar, some people have ‘dreams of living life like rappers do,’ where they can grow metaphorical ‘money trees’. In other words: study for the right reasons.

If you want to become rich and think your study will make that happen, awesome! If your dream is to study rappers like Kendrick Lamar, get the hell away from here and go to Georgia Regents University: the American institution has a whole course dedicated to Mr. Lamar himself! Follow your dreams, kids!

Try stuff: University gives us a free pass to try the most diverse things. When you graduate in a few years, you’ll (probably) have a normal life with a normal job and normal everyday activities. You won’t be able to find drugs as easily, nor will you be as able to randomly join a kickboxing or sword fighting club with your friends.

Experimenting now is seen as adventurous, but when you’re fifty, you’ll be accused of having a midlife crisis. Especially with the drugs.

Sustainable development: As an ex-student, I’ve come to recognize the things I took for granted ‘back in the day’ (all of six months ago). Things as simple as having the UB be a part of my daily routine, meeting other young people, following interesting classes and being able to print hundreds of pages for a few cents are relics from a bygone era (maybe that last point isn’t super sustainable – read from your screen if you can, guys).

All these things are awesome and help you sustain your personal development, and you’ll miss them very quickly once they’re no longer at your fingertips.

Multi-dimensional: What does it mean to say, ‘I’m at university to learn’? Does it mean learning about postmodernism, realism or homeostasis in a literal sense? These are things we learn about in class, but there’s more to it.

At university, we also get to learn about who we are as people, whether you wind up becoming a politician or a debt collector. And you can never fail in that sense. It’s possible that university really is not something for you, but at least you learned that – at university.