Overachieving students best example for going far

After three and a half years, I often wonder how we made it. There have been several students over these humble years, which have taken upon themselves a load of 20-plus hours per semester.

And, it is no surprise they have also had their share of stress.

One question for them: what is college all about?

It’s not just about hanging out and meeting people. Yeah, that has its place, but that’s not what this column is about.

There is nothing more notable than those who will go above and beyond the norm and take what some may call an insane amount of classes. To me, this has been the most amazing thing to see. And, on top of that, the ones who usually do this horrendous amount of work are the ones who have the highest grades.

How do they do it?

Simply put, they try. Students get out into the world and realize they have the power to touch it, embrace it and take the essence from their passion for work.

To them, it is more rewarding to know they have done their best than it is to have some sort of grade come out of it.

While the grades are still important, they only come second. The work is a clean, cathartic form of purging. Yet, they often have active social lives as well.

It is somewhat of an irony. The most active people on campus tend to be those who also do the most work. Everyone can take a lesson from these admirable students.

I know I have. No matter how much I think I can’t take the load, I think back to those who have much more to do. They make it work and so can I. Is that egotistic of me? No.

One of my friends once told me, “Just take it one step at a time.”

The advice seemed cliché, but it didn’t stop there.

“It took me a while to get to this level,” he said. “I just kept trying and here I am today. I didn’t give up and I don’t think you can either.”

And there lies the prestige in that petite, contrite little wordage I almost put off my shoulder.

We are all in the same boat – four or more years of classes on top of work on top of social lives on top of families on top of whatever else there happens to be. And yet, with a little effort on our parts, we can see the finish line and reward ourselves with the knowledge of doing our best.

What is our best?

From the observance of these overworked super achievers, it seems to be doing what one can with what one is given.

It also takes a bit of salt. Well, proverbial salt. Sometimes these students simply take their work with a grain of salt.

They do not complain. They do not regret what they do. They don’t keep thinking about their mistakes. They learn from what they did wrong.

It’s all been said before, but it’s rare to actually see the epitome of a clichéd college student taking it up.

So, next time you hear about someone taking the hours from Hell, just take it as an example.

Learn from them and think too, they are your fellow students. They aren’t bragging; they’re just doing what they think is right.