College freedom leads to greater productivity

Credit: Staff Artist Credit: Staff Artist
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As the first semester of my time at Carnegie Mellon draws to a close, I can’t help but think of all the ways that this school, as well as the general college experience itself, has defied my expectations. Despite there still being many semesters to go, which no doubt will include some of the busiest periods that I will experience, I think this is as good a time as any to do some reflection.

Despite how fast the days went by, I cannot claim to be surprised, especially since I had the same experience during my senior year of high school. While I thought everything to be long and tedious during the actual day-by-day operations of college, thinking back on what has happened made it seem shockingly brief. I can still feel move-in day and orientation week jitters, but all of that was months ago! Still, already having one-eighth of my college education almost finished does not sound like a minor feat.

What shocked me the most about my experience here, however, was the inexplicable disappearance of senioritis, which I had been inflicted with mere months before entering this school. I feel that nothing substantial within myself has changed, yet I seem to be procrastinating less and less, taking on tasks in a timely manner more and more.

Having so much freedom and need for self sufficiency appears to have made me willing, even excited to handle responsibilities, as menial as they may be, which can include anything from doing my laundry in regular intervals to ensuring that I don’t stuff myself with too many ultimate brownies (which some may know as taking care of one’s health).

Perhaps I am the type who works better under minimal supervision, but the routines of high school seem positively stifling to me now. The watchful eyes of both high school teachers and parents somehow made me more prone to put off homework or avoid my obligations, which was a surprising thing to realize. Here, I am the captain of my own ship, and I am perfectly willing to sink or swim with my boat, because the outcomes are entirely dependent on myself and myself only.

Now, I can admit to finally beginning to understand why some people say that college is some of the best years of their lives. As for me, while I cannot say that conclusively yet, I am extremely excited for what the next three and a half years have in store for me at Carnegie Mellon.