Take a second. I know you’ve got a few. Stop looking at the end of the university highway and appreciate your own current sidewalk square on which your feet are planted right now. Chances are it’s a great spot.
1st year, 3rd year, change of programs 2 times over, masters students, out of high school or out of a job. We are all on our own perfectly paved squares. And we all share the roof of the same institution. I think this is absolutely incredible. The other day my mother showed me a video entitled “life is not a journey”. I was intrigued by the title because it goes against almost all mainstream inspiration. But who really finds true inspiration in the mainstream? The video explained that if life is a journey than we are all in it to achieve an end goal, for a piece of paper in our hands, for the firm “you’re hired” handshake. The video uses the example of a song, and that if music was like that, we would only really ever listen to hear the ending.
Think about a song that you know and love to pieces, which you would belt out with the windows rolled down to on any given day. My personal picks: Signed, Sealed, Delivered by Stevie Wonder and Bajo el mismo sol by Alvaro Soler.
You enjoy that tune from beginning to end with every beat evoking pleasure. So why can’t your time here be like that? It sure can my friends. I wanted to share with you all a few tips that have helped me to understand and live this message.
- REACH OUT. Chat with people who you share common interests with, and others with very different interests. Contrast is a very beautiful thing that may allow you to feel moved by something you would never give a second thought. When I was younger I used to seek friends just like me, but now my closest circle I am proud to confide in, consists of a wide range of personalities and interests. I sit there amazed at the minds of the people I keep close and proud to share myself with them.
Chat with a prof outside of class. Apart from the presentations they put on for our education they are extremely knowledgeable people who have walked some interesting paths before teaching in front of you. You, as a student, have as much to gain as you see possible. A passion of mine is public speaking and it is constantly something I enjoy practicing and learning from others. I admire the skill of my professors to convey a message effectively one to the masses. I’ve collected that the kind of individuality I look up to stems from passion driven work. For this reason. I like to learn more about the story behind the persona up on stage. Let your profs inspire you!
- TAKE TIME TO DO NOTHING AND MONOTASK. We can never really do many things very well all at one time, but school and social media lead us into the habit. When you simplify things in your daily life and routine you do them better and you give yourself time to plan and discovered new things. Take an hour or two in your day to do something brainless and natural. This way you feel good and relaxed to start school work focused. Throughout the past few years, I have ranged from working 3 jobs with no time for myself and others, to travelling and exploring with not a care in the world. I have learnt so much from both extremes. I am working on marrying the two, and it isn’t easy but I have been taking steps in the right direction to schedule unplanned time to do what I feel. In doing this, I’ve noticed that the time I have pre-devoted to working and studying always comes easier.
- LET YOUR CREATIVITY GUIDE YOUR LEARNING. Think outside of the classroom! Consider learning in the sense of enriching who you are as a person. Just because you are not taking a class in a given subject area, doesn’t mean it’s not for you to discover. You are your own personal incentive. What makes you tic? What can you get lost in for hours? What can you produce? The only way to learn is to DO. Pick up that pencil. Go to the park. Buy that music program. Put on those dancing shoes. Play with your makeup. Whatever feels right. Above all, be excited for the unknown. As you may have noticed with my blogs… my outlet is writing. The same way I think, I write. I run with a theme and take the bowling bumpers off. Even if I’m not blogging I write in my black moleskin. When I was on my exchange in Spain I journaled every day, and now that I am back, I would feel naked without it. Find your CLOTHES… streaking is illegal.
Now HARMONIZE all three music notes. Think about this: If you leave time in your schedule unplanned… you leave room for creativity and interesting conversations with random people or good friends. The interesting conversations and relationships easily facilitate inspiration, which guides you to step on the next sidewalk square without even realizing you have moved your feet. Be mindful of the present moment and SLOW DOWN people. Enjoy then entire song you are playing here at Laurentian and don’t skip a beat.