Student A is in his freshman year at Castleton and life is pretty sweet for him. He skips class to go hang with his seemingly always thirsty group of peers, shows up to Soundings with his shall we say “high spirited” crew of companions and demonstrates promiscuity with his female contemporaries by pretending to be anything and anyone but himself. To put simply in freshman terms, he is a hero.
Student B is a sophomore at Castleton; life is rigorous for this student.
He shows up to class 15 minutes early to rehearse his daily affirmations and ensure none of his classmates steal his already assigned seat. He spends more time in the library then the football team spends in the weight room, and most recently, was named president of SGA, where he has already been successful in his prolonged social reform to further extend the schools library hours.
Then there is student C, a junior here at Castleton. Unlike her predecessors, this college student is well acquainted with her strengths and limitations. As a token for her self-awareness, this student is able to place boundaries where they are needed and set reasonable goals, rewarding herself upon being able to reach them.
By this juncture, it should not require a degree in astrophysics to decipher which college student would be considered most successful of the three and why. But for the individuals who may have overlooked the metaphor (i.e. students A and B), what measures Student C’s success is not indicated in her ability as a scholar, but in her sense of practicality. That is found in her ability to both excel as a student and her ability to recognize that receiving straight A’s does not necessarily mean having to trade away a college social life
One should also note that the student who holds impractical expectations and is incapable of putting the books down is as every much in the wrong as the student carrying a double major in excessive partying and abolition of parental resources. The only difference between both extremes lies in how each student chooses to prioritize their lifestyles.
The point trying to be made here is that getting the most out of a college education does not mean tormenting yourself with all day study sessions, the same way it does not mean drinking until your liver gives out. The key to an ideal college experience is balance and leaving ample time to prep for that big exam, while still leaving plenty of time to make yourself look foolish at that frat party. Parties not your thing? No worries, but do yourself a favor by taking a chance and going abroad for a semester, pick a class you may ordinarily opt out of or engage in a conversation with someone you find interesting. Gain the most out of one of life’s most lucrative investments, by working to both jumpstart your career and stopping to smell the rose petals every now and again.