Advice for the Specimen Collegium Discipulus, Part 1: Eliminate Distraction
Why yes, that is the actual Latin translation for "college student" (thank you Google translator). I started this blog series with the first installment “Eliminate Distraction” to offer some advice to the increasing number of faltering, lazy college students. While I don’t think this struggling or negligence has much to do with the inherent qualities of the average collegium discipulus, I do think it has to do with the overwhelming amount of forces trying to veer college students from the main purpose of college: education.
Oh yeah that.
These influences come in many forms from the traditional socialization pull to the increased use of all forms of social media. While focusing on studies comes down to the student alone, I am offering a few concrete suggestions to eliminate distraction and improve the overall quality of the academic experience.
- Eliminate Facebook.
Don’t fret young ones, you don’t have to delete it completely, but just limit the amount of time spent on it. For instance, only allow yourself to get on Facebook when you’re finished with homework or only on the weekends. If this doesn’t work for you, the extreme route may be more suited for your social media addiction: deactivate your Facebook. Now, Facebook will allow you to put your FB on hold, so you can go back after you’ve graduated. I choose this more extreme route, and while I suffered from panic attacks for the first couple of days (joking, but I was pretty close), I am WORLDS more productive.
- Go out with friends ONLY on the weekends.
It is very tempting to blow off steam on weeknights after a long day of classes with a little get together with friends. While a light meal might be a nice study break, once you turn to heavy drinking on weeknights, you probably won’t be able to think about Communication Theory in the morning. I don’t think this is incredibly enlightening. I’m sure most college students who drink heavily on weeknights know what the consequences will be in the morning. Listen to that guilty feeling. Get yourself to bed and don’t bring the bottle of Jack with you.
- Don’t overwhelm yourself with extracurriculars.
It seems, especially at Gonzaga, students are always loading up with as many extracurriculars a 24-hour day can hold. While prospective employers do look at extracurricular involvement I’m sure, if extracurriculars are getting in the way of the school work, there is an issue. If you are having trouble with this, as I did last semester, write a list of everything you are involved in outside of academics. Then, keep a third of those programs, eliminating the rest. I know how difficult it may be to say goodbye to some programs, however, it is better to do a few things well, than many things poorly.
- Cut down on television.
I don’t have cable, rather I rely on Netflix and Hulu to fill my pop culture fix. While some might be scratching your head saying, “Well you still will get distracted if you use Netflix or Hulu” I say, “Nay.” Cable and satellite television are much more passive than Netflix or Hulu. It is simple to turn on the television and let it play through while you attempt to do homework. However, Netflix and Hulu are much more active. You have to actively choose what you will watch and how many episodes to watch. Yes, Netflix and Hulu still can undermine your academics, but it slightly more difficult and a whole lot cheaper.
I’m sure there are many more ways to eliminate distraction, but these are a few ways to do so, and ones I have had personal experience using. I promise you that if you eliminate distraction and keep your education at the forefront, you will have a much more rewarding college experience without wasting your money.