An Open Letter to the Extremist

Written by Rachel Priya

Oh come on, you know what I’m talking about. We’ve all been there, or at least had friends who were stuck in this ‘extremist’ mindset bubble. This is the guy who says “Alright guys, see y’all after my semester wraps up!” and the girl who goes, “Well goodbye fun me and hello nerd me!”. Here is an open letter to the extremist that we are all so familiar with:

  1. Fun and failing isn’t synonymous

You, and yes you! Having fun doesn’t mean you are doomed to fail. There are so many ways to fail without having fun and likewise, so many ways to have fun without failing. The secret to having the best of both worlds is to identify the right time to do each. Time to study? Then shut down the world! Time to have fun? Give your knowledge-hungry mind a rest. It’s possible to develop the art of having fun and getting those dream grades! (Again, these are not mutually exclusive; be a go-getter and score points at both!)

  1. The best of both worlds is too good to pass

As much as we’ll never admit it, we’ve been there- eyeing that one person with both excellent grades AND a healthy social life (wait a minute, how sure are we you’re even human?!). Well, don’t we all want the best of both worlds? What more can we ask from our university life apart from good grades and good fun? Imagine becoming the person that you’ve always envied. Finding a balance between having fun and scoring well is the most rewarding experience for any university student! What’s a good work week without a weekend to reward yourself, and what’s a reward without having to earn it in the first place? ;)

  1. If you can’t do it now, you never will

Like most dads, mine hounded me with a great life lesson. “If you can’t run the thousand miles now, what makes you think you’re going to be able to run it later?”. As much as we’ve all been given the ‘you can do better’ pep talk, let’s get real. If you are unable to balance your life right now with all its glorious clutter, what makes you think you can do it later when let’s face it, there’s going to be more of that?

  1. Life really can’t wait (and I mean it really, really can’t)

We have inherited many things from previous generations. Life-changing technology, unfortunate genes and of course, the ‘I’ll-do-it-later’ syndrome. We are always holding on to the notion that we will even have a tomorrow. But how often do we know for sure that there is going to be a tomorrow? We live in the epitome ages of uncertainty! If your life is about to end in the next five minutes- what would be your regret? Is it going to be that HD that you missed for your favourite subject or the times you chose an option that gave you something short of true happiness?

  1. What’s bad about ‘Jack of all trades, master of none?

Everyone is always raving about being a Jack of all trades and yet master of none- but really, what is so bad about that? Hmm, could it be the fact that I am capable of trying my hand at several things without a guarantee of being the best at them? Or maybe the only reason I’m not a master of a single one is because I’m master of all (muahaha!). Or maybe this is society’s latest way of making sure we conform to following a specific path: and you and I are both playing a part in ensuring this happens. Why not be extraordinary? Get your Jack on! (because it’s not a good idea to Jack off, hah hah hah….)

  1. LEARN, don’t just study

If you’re reading this then I know you’re someone who values tertiary education. But what I don’t know is whether you’re someone who values learning over studying. There is a major difference between learning and studying (I think to distinguish them, another article is in order). Learn to make new friends, learn to make mistakes that you can change into experiences, learn to live in the moment, learn about your favourite enzyme, learn how to catch up after missing classes, learn to feed your interests in various fields. Studying binds you to better grades, but learning results in you becoming the best version of yourself.

These are just a fraction of things you should consider, my dear extremist. Our days in university are numbered, so I hope this short letter opens up your mind to great possibilities (and no, I don’t just mean those HDs).

.gif credits: Tumblr

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