Picture by Austin Chan
Although you might enjoy a good geek-out hitting the books, feeling accomplished to learn something new and retell it to anyone else who’ll listen, there are other things to do once in a while that are just as important, living! To satisfy the appetite of those still not convinced to draw themselves away from their books, dabbling in other areas of life could have a positive effect on your studying and assignments. It’s called stimuli my friend, we all need it to feel alive, which is why once in a while you should shut the books and seek other pleasantries and rewards beyond burying your head in a textbook.
Be A Yes (Wo) Man
Simple yet effective, rather than plan bit by bit go with the flow and say yes to EVERYTHING. Seriously, you’re a student most likely with little to no attachments or commitments to anything, you have more time than you will have in later years so sap it up and say yes to stuff. Say yes to things that make you feel uncomfortable, say yes to going on a date, say yes to playing a game and winning money on www.critiquesdecasino.com, say yes to a request to join a sports team and say yes to going on a ski trip to France. You get the picture, saying yes to opportunities will set you up to do things you would never have dreamed of doing. If there's one way to live it’s to start saying yes to things you never would have dreamed of doing, stretch your mundane routine, shock your nervous system, switch it up and start living.
What we mean by this is to complete a task, an application, or begin building something that will eventually, potentially reap the rewards and add a little excitement to one's life in the short/long term future, increasing opportunities for you to give you the ability to live a better, fulfilling, rewarding life. In doing so, you will encourage yourself regularly to aim for things you would never have usually attempted. Also by planting multiple seeds and eventually seeing the steady rewards come in, you’ll make it a habit, one that which adds a little success and happiness to your life. Combine it with the stage above as these two go hand in hand so whether it’s a study abroad program for the summer you’ve been thinking about but haven't taken the plunge, or a college funded business startup bursary you could apply for, or perhaps you want to put an advert out to start a band and see what comes back, there's plenty you can do to start sowing seeds.
‘Mighty oaks from little acorns grow’
Studying independently can be quite a self-absorbed task, especially when working your way up to completing a piece of coursework or approaching an exam, a lot of attention is on ‘I’ rather than others. To a degree this is understandable. However, it could benefit you if you shift your focus to helping others with as much intent as you do yourself. Not that all helping others should come with your own agenda for a feel-good factor, but it also gives you the opportunity to take a step out of your own little box once in a while and step over into someone else's (the box being a metaphor for the world). Shifting your focus to another can help you gain perspective on life, and help you to destress and revisit your studies with purpose. For example, if someone's struggling financially, you may remember your initial mission to decrease poverty by working for the local council thus studying hard for your politics degree.
Living On The Edge
Picture by John Baker
Once in a while, you’ve got to take a risk or expect to live a life of calculated averageness now and forever. There are SO many risky opportunities waiting in line, big and small, ready for you to choose. Which one will you go for to get the adrenalin pumping, make a memory, tell your kids “I did this!”. It can be anything, here are few for your perusal;
You take a risk to ask someone out you’ve been crushing over for a while
Take a risk being your true self in front of other people
You might dare to start a YouTube channel
Invest your savings into starting a business
Risk speaking up in class to voice an idea or challenge a concept
Risks are present everywhere, some have just been consistently dulled down by the echo of your mind regurgitating your learned responses of, “it’s not safe, it won’t work, do it another day.” Be exciting, take risks, and you will be living on purpose not just merely existing.
“The trouble is you think you have time” - Jack Kornfield.
This statement whichever way you wish to interpret it explains the importance of how our time on earth is limited. However, many of us live as though we’re immortal and we shall infinitely exist, thus putting off the things we actually want to do and wasting the time we have right now.
If your study materials online, you can study anywhere, Japan, Fiji, Italy so why not do it. Why restrict yourself to your same old town with the same old people when there’s over 7 billion people in the world and 195 countries, yet you’re confined to one. No wonder you’re probably feeling a little bored, unchallenged and underwhelmed by your studies, and your studies are all you have to look forward to. Be spontaneous book a flight and travel somewhere, anywhere.
This is a non-exhaustive nudge, no, push in the direction of living. It’s scary, risky and everything your nightmares are made of, but do it and it’ll make your studies more worthy of your time, give your life more meaning and purpose and direction and excitement, help you find yourself and make you feel alive, not just a hermit reading and typing away for the duration of your college and university years. And don’t wait to start living; otherwise, it might never happen.