A Degree in Patience: Enjoy Your Time in College

By Mac Pomeroy

I’m a sophomore, and I already can’t wait to graduate. I mean, it isn’t that I don’t like my major or college or anything like that, but instead it’s that I just want to move on to the next step. As I have mentioned in a previous article, looking forward to the future is great, but you need to live in the present.

This is going to include a ton of patience. For me, finding the patience to wait through school isn’t hard. After all, I am a very long way from being completely done with school. However, for those like my sister and one of my best friends, graduation is a lot closer, and it is very hard to remain patient. 

It’s important to do your best and gather your patience. This enthusiasm toward finishing your education may at first provide fuel or motivation. However, if it continues or grows stronger, you risk losing motivation.

I’m sure many of us have heard of “senioritis” during high school, slang for the phenomenon that causes seniors to slack. It turns out this exists in college as well. And by focusing purely on graduation and growing impatient, this becomes a real threat.

There are many things you can do to make sure that you remain focused and keep your patience and motivation. The first thing you can do is acknowledge the hard truth. Whether you are a senior about to graduate or a sophomore who just can’t wait to be king, you have to do your work. 

As I mentioned prior, lack of patience often leads to lack of motivation. This will cause you to simply not complete your tasks. No work, no credit. Your grades will drop, possibly preventing the graduation you were so worked up over.

Of course, the opposite is also true. Not only can a lack of patience cause you to lose motivation and stop working hard, it can also cause you to overwork.

When we enter college, we are expecting to be part of a certain class: spring or fall exactly four years from when you began. Many times, we are told how it isn’t uncommon for students to spend a few extra semesters getting their degree, but that doesn’t always stop you from feeling anxious about it.

A diploma earned after 12 semesters is just as real as a diploma earned after 15. You aren’t a failure if you need to pace yourself and take extra time.

Every semester I have attended college, I have taken four classes, 12 credit hours. That is my pace. I am not any less successful because I don’t do more than that. Nor are you if you find that you need to drop a class or two and extend the length you will be in school. 

You aren’t a failure if you need to take a semester off. You aren’t a failure if you graduate later than your intended date.

If you fall on the opposite side of the fence, you also aren’t doing yourself any favors by rushing and not taking your time with your class work or by not doing it at all.

Patience is a virtue that gets extra difficult in regard to your education. However, this is when it really means something. So, please, give yourself some time and credit. Graduation will come when it does. Just do your best and keep track of it all.

As for me, I guess two years in is a bit early to be worrying about these things.