4 Maxims to Live by in College - Geneva College, a Christian College in Pennsylvania (PA)

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Campus Life College Preparation
October 30, 2017

4 Maxims to Live by in College

One would expect to learn about some important topics during a college education; facts about major areas of study, key strains of thought in various subjects, skills needed to acquire a first job, and so on. For me, one topic about which I’ve learned an awful lot, much of it unexpectedly, is the subject of “me;” I’ve learned a lot about myself and how I work. I’ve boiled down what I’ve learned about myself into these four maxims that I hope can help anyone who is now in or headed to college.

  1. You really have to study.

The big one. The obvious one… because it is true. Personally, I did not necessarily feel prepared for the workload of college when I arrived. I was an academic success in high school, but I found a whole other level of challenge in college. I realized how important it was to actually work hard and study, especially in the rigorous curriculum at my school. I didn’t learn this fact right away; it took a period of adjustment as big changes often do — which leads me to the next maxim.

  1. Don’t get too stressed at the beginning.

In any new endeavor, not just college, people like me tend to get overly anxious about everything. Instead of learning the process, we try to be perfect in everything we do. Any mistake is something to be ashamed of, rather than something to learn from. It’s an exhausting and stressful way to approach any situation. The beginning of college is an adjustment, so take your time to adjust to it without worrying about being perfect… don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

  1. The importance of saying, “No.”

There are moments when “it” has to be done, whatever “it” is. Even when your friends are begging you to join them for a super-fun activity, you will need to work on projects, papers or readings assignments instead. It is upsetting at first, but it is much better than putting it off and worrying about it when it is too late. It’s also good to avoid getting over-committed and involved in too many clubs or activities. At my school, there are so many extracurricular activities, intramural athletics and spiritual or social groups that I could spend every day just joining in. It may be tempting to try getting involved in as many things as you can, but saying “No” to some things will allow you to focus your energy in more constructive ways, rather than spreading it too thin.

  1. Sometimes you need to relax.

While you do have to say “No” at times in order to focus on work, it can be easy to get caught up in the all work, no play mindset. You cannot put every leisure activity — and even sleep — on hold to work, work and work. Obviously, it is good to have a strong work ethic and be disciplined in studying, but going too far and not allowing any time to rest and let your brain recover can be very detrimental and cause burnout. Take a break and just relax when needed; go to the movies, play video games, go to an amusement park with friends or simply take a nap. When you return to working and studying, you will feel refreshed, and you will be able to think more clearly than before.

It’s important to remember that balance is a key to living a healthy life — physically, emotionally, intellectually and spiritually. While you are learning about the nature of the universe and how to make it in the professional world, among other valuable lessons, you are learning about yourself and the right balance for you.

Geneva’s Christian liberal arts core can help prepare you for a balanced life by integrating Christian faith and learning in all academics, athletics and activities. To learn more about a Geneva College education, contact Admissions at 800.847.8255 | admissions@geneva.edu.

- Andrew Domencic ‘19