For The Student, Learning To Push Yourself Now Will Be Valuable To You Later
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For The Student, Learning To Push Yourself Now Will Be Valuable To You Later

You just have to start trying.

For The Student, Learning To Push Yourself Now Will Be Valuable To You Later
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You’re tired, you’re stressed, you’ve had enough, and you are probably thinking that you want to stop. We spread ourselves out too thin, and we may think all our efforts are for naught. You also may think that what is expected of you is unreasonable or too much to handle, and that you are just unable to handle anymore. We are students. These sentiments are not foreign to any of us, and we wear them on our faces quite well. But, if you look more closely, you’ll see that we’re still going. We’re still pushing ourselves to become better.

As I reflect on my time as a student, I have come a long way in terms of what I can handle. What I perceived as stressful as a first-semester freshman and what I consider stressful now as a senior are a world of a difference apart. The freshman who used to think studying for an introductory biology course was difficult does not even compare to the senior who dedicated a whole summer to studying for his MCAT. I’ve grown. Though I would not have been able to enhance my capabilities as a student or pursue other opportunities – joining a fraternity, taking on a research project, or even maintaining this hobby of writing – without learning how to push myself to try to handle more. Goals require you to push yourself. The drive to be a well-rounded student, to acquire knowledge and experience, and to be a good candidate for potential medical schools all serve as an impetus for me to keep growing.

But, learning to push yourself does not just happen, even when it is clearly required of you. A choice is to be made in order take that initial step in pushing yourself in the right direction. The process should be gradual, a marathon, if you will. It should be a process whereby you learn to endure the stress when the going gets tough, and to take on more responsibility. But, with more responsibility comes more sacrifice, and when the going gets tough, you may find yourself stressed out when trying to satisfy your obligations. The required amount of sacrifice and rigorous work ethic can dissuade individuals from taking that first step to go beyond their limits. They can be intimidating and frightening, which can permit excuses: “I can’t do it,” “I am not smart enough to do that,” or “That’s too much work.” This is a mindset that inhibits goals from being reached.

A reflection on your obligations and values will allow you to evaluate your methods, and assess which ones are assisting you in reaching your goals and which ones are hindering the process. This is not to say that Netflix and alcohol are bad, and you have to give them up completely. In fact, I sparingly enjoy both of them myself because me time and self-care is also an obligation of mine that requires my attention. But, in order to know when to self-indulge and when to invest time, energy, and discipline toward your goals requires an honest and critical evaluation of yourself. It requires asking yourself: “How badly do I want it? Am I balancing my obligations appropriately? Is what I am doing currently helping me to get where I want to go? Am I improving both academically and personally?” If you honestly answered, "No," to any or all of these questions, it may be time to try to push yourself beyond your current state.

The next time you find yourself tired, dry-eyed, and sick of the madness, stand up tall, grab some water, and repeat, “I can do this.” The next time you’re in a new course, and you feel that your professor is asking too much of you, repeat to yourself, “I can do this.” The next time you encounter three exams in one week, and you think it’s impossible to study for all of them adequately, repeat to yourself, “I can do this.” It may not seem genuine to repeat a phrase you may not mean to say, but fake it until you become it. You begin to build a better self the more you try to push yourself, even if it doesn’t feel right in the beginning. You're learning. Once you’ve crossed that threshold, you’ll see that your efforts will be rewarded. You will then hear yourself saying, “I’m doing it!” You will then want push yourself even further, thus accelerating the learning process. But, in order to learn the art of pushing yourself, you first have to try.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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