I’ve been thinking a lot about The Rules lately.
Specifically the societal rules we surround ourselves with every day that go by unchallenged – sometimes for good reasons, othertimes not so much..
I guess this is a long winded, overly pedantic way of me trying to rationalise and explain why I feel so bad for dropping a class, when by all objective measures it would be the best course of action for me to take.
I don’t NEED to max out my course load and take 6 classes (18 credits) in one semester, in fact, I KNOW I would burn myself out a few weeks later when taking into consideration my commitment as a peer tutor (in both English and Science), my role as a student blogger, my non-credit German classes, my new role as an Equal Opportunity Student Ambassador, hall activities etc…
The list keeps building, yet there are only a finite number of hours in a day.
And as Malthus pointed out (paraphrasing to make an contrived metaphor):
As populations (workload) increase exponentially, while resources (time) grows linearly if at all, eventually you will reach competition and eventually, collapse.
Yet it feels a bit… wrong to do so.
Like I have just given up when this is pretty much exactly what add-drop period is made for.
I’m not sure where this feeling comes from really.
I could go with the classic “Asian Parent” excuse, but that is just that, an excuse not a reason.
I guess it is the fear of being left behind.
Everyday, you are surrounded by messages of supposed encouragement:
- “Push Yourself!”
- “Don’t let dreams just be dreams”
- “Shoot for the stars!”
- “XYZ famous person made it while living in a college dorm at [so and so] famous university, why can’t you?”
It all creates an atmosphere of “Is that all you CAN do?”, when the more pertinent question is “SHOULD I do more?”.
And, although it sounds much less inspirational…
Sometimes the answer is NO.
Sometimes the correct solution isn’t to keep on going with reckless abandon til you crash, it is to slow down a bit, perfect what you have, then SLOWLY ramp up the speed.
Right now my gut is telling me slow the F- down.
So I am daring to disobey what society often expects of university students, and taking the time I would spend in an extra class + tutorial + homework to sharpen my skills as a whole.
To look for opportunities outside of the classroom such as volunteer work
And above all, to just prove to myself that I am in control of my own destiny and which path I decide to take is mine, and mine alone, to make.
Because sometimes it is okay to buck the trend and do your own thing.
In the words of Robert Frost’s The Road Not Taken (emphasis mine):
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I —
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
And besides, great scores in 5 classes > okay scores in 6, GPA wise. 😛
Thanks for reading!
This post was based off of the Daily post prompt: Disobey (September 12)