As high-achieving collegians, many of us have an internal motivation to push ourselves to the limit.
Whether we take our workout routine to the extreme or replace our sleep with continuous studying, we have all pushed ourselves beyond preconceived limits.
As a student, you probably think that you need to do this. At CSU, only the strongest will survive â€¦
You want that job right out of college so you will do everything in your power to earn a 4.0 GPA to succeed and rule over the competition. Your personal hero, Charles Darwin (with apologies to intelligent design fans), would be proud that you are pushing yourself to the limit, right? Wrong. Pushing yourself to the limit isnâ€™t always as rewarding as you hoped.
Case in point:
It all started out as a fun challenge. My co-worker and I, being the only people working this specific day as tech-support, we decided we would do a 13-hour marathon. We would push ourselves to work from 8 am to 9 pm.
We were easily drained within the first few hours of work, but we pushed on, knowing we had to provide strong customer service. We pushed on, answering every call, responding to every e-mail., and assisting every customer. We did it! We had made it to 13 hours! We were going to survive.
But alas, mankindâ€™s nature is to push himself or herself further and further. Since I completed a 13-hour day, nothing could stop me from completing two 13-hour days.
I trucked my exhausted self into work on the second day and began doing my daily tasks. This day was long and torturous. The beautiful sun shone through the window and I asked myself if my peculiar, personal goal was really worth it.
After my two 13-hour days, I decided I needed some fresh air. A hike to Arthurâ€™s Rock seemed like the perfect place to relax and finally stretch my legs. Halfway up the trail, I felt lethargic and weak. I was close to turning back, but I heard Darwin in my ear:
â€œIn the struggle for survival, the fittest win out at the expense of their rivals because they succeed in adapting themselves best to their environment.â€
I wanted to succeed. I wanted to be the best. In an effort to adapt to the conditions, I put myself in the mindset of a coyote on the hunt.
I now sit here, writing this article, on spring break, while fighting the flu.
Iâ€™ve definitely learned some important lessons this spring break.
First: work enough to get work done, not so much that you are completely burned out.
Second: know your limits. Swallow your pride (itâ€™s an overly liberating experience) and take a break when you need one.
Third: Do your best on everything you can so when it comes time to take a break you can be proud of your accomplishments.
The home stretch is upon us. With about two months of school left before summer, students are thinking that now is the time to head to Samâ€™s Club and pick up that bulk pack of 5-hour Energy shots (not approved by the FDA as a stimulant, by the way).
I, however, have taken the contrarian vice. I am starting to set aside an extra hour to relax. I will take naps to recoup. I implore you to do the same.
Just because you often find yourself humming along to Daft Punkâ€™s life changing, â€œharder, better, faster, stronger,â€ lyrics does not mean you need to take them literally and impose them upon your life.
Take a break â€” relax â€” you may find this is more valuable than anything you would have attained through other means (Darwin in your ear, or 5-hour Energy).
Lydia Jorden is a sophomore business major who is in dire need of some sleep and a massage (any takers?). Her column runs Mondays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.