Are you feeling overwhelmed by your finals this semester, and unsure of how you're going…
Hindi words of the week:
खरगोश Kharagosh (kha-arr-gō-sh) – Rabbit
कछुआ Kachhua (ka-ch-oo-äh) – Turtle
Welcome to the new school year everyone! I hope that it’s progressing well for you as we are already a few weeks into the fall semester. It’s always hard to keep on track with school. For me, personally, I usually struggle with submitting homework on time. It’s just so tedious, wouldn’t you agree?
I attended medical school in India, and despite what I thought was my best effort, I continuously fell into my old bad habits. It was during that time that I learned a very important life lesson. It’s not about how you start but rather how you finish.
Let’s take a look at a familiar childhood tale – that of the hare versus the turtle. In the beginning of the tale, the turtle is losing; the hare, being the faster runner, speeds ahead. However, by the end of the race, due to a plethora of circumstances (as many people grew up with different versions of the story) the turtle wins.
As a young adult I always took the meaning of the story as such: if you take your time and do what you do well, you will win. However, another meaning that can be interpreted as I stated earlier. At the end of the race, how many of the bystanders do you think would remember that the turtle spent most of the race behind the rabbit? I would assume not many as in the version of the story I grew up with, the turtle is lauded for being the winner. So what does this mean in the greater scheme of things and more specifically how does it relate to college life?
It’s not totally necessary to start perfectly. In the beginning of the semester while you’re getting adjusted to your new time-table, finding your classrooms, figuring out who your study buddies are, and learning how your professors assess your intelligence, your focus shouldn’t be on being perfect. That’s something that might actually hinder your academic progress and growth. What you should focus on is building a good support base (study groups, review partners, etc). Also, build and maintaining good habits, which doesn’t happen overnight but rather over the course of many days by repeatedly following through and completing actions.
Here’s the thing: if the beginning of the school year is not going according to plan, THAT’S OK. Anyone who sees your report card isn’t going to know that you failed that one test or that you didn’t turn in that homework assignment. No, they’re not going to even have access to that knowledge. What they will see is your final grade for the semester. The total cumulative effort that you have put in over the course of a handful of months. So don’t worry, just finish strong like the turtle. If you’re falling a bit behind at the moment, it’s OK. There’s still plenty of time in the semester to work on things and pull that grade up!