• Kristen Aguilar

Are You Diligent or Distracted?

Updated: Oct 10, 2019

I get it.

Your friends want to do life with you.

At the same time, your GPA refuses to be ignored.

Navigating the balance is a key element to your success.

It takes diligence and discipline to balance your studies and your social life.

Staying organized helps but when your friends and significant others (AKA baes) pull your attention and beckon you with your favorite hangout or a list of your favorite things, you need more than just a halfhearted “no thanks”.

You need something to believe in.

Or better yet, someone to believe in.

Someone like you.

You have to make up your own mind to stay the leader of your college future and not allow your social life to dictate when and where you will or will not study or complete your work.

No one can make you.

In every healthy human heart there comes a point that not even your parents can make you do what’s best for you.

Yet, at the same time you still want to remain open and friendly with friends and loved ones.

So here’s my encouragement for when you run into that friends-want-to-hang-out-but-I-have-to-tackle-my-responsibilities-right-now-even-if-I-don’t-feel-like-it moment in life.

Be upfront about it.

The next time you hang out with your friends or loved ones, let them know that you want to do your best this semester and that will mean more study time and less time to hang out.

Set the expectation in advance so they are not surprised when they ask you to hang out and you say “not this time”.

Say something like “Guys, I’ve got to get after my studies this weekend, maybe some other time” or “I’ve got a project due soon and I don’t want to wait until the last minute”.

Set simple phrases in place to help reinforce your intentions while setting boundaries to help you keep your grade from tanking.

A lot of times friends will understand not being able to hang out every weekend if you tell them straight up instead of try to avoid the issue altogether.

There is a chance that your diligence and discipline aren’t going to be popular and sometimes friends don’t always understand.

Remember you cannot control their response to your message but you can control yours.

So if you run into friends who give you a hard time for going after your goals instead of out with them on the weekends, stand your ground.

Fair warning: this can also apply to baes and dating opportunities.

You may need to give up some date nights or turn down some dating requests that look epic in the moment (and far more interesting than math homework).

Some people may take it personal and try to wear you down with guilt tactics or responses like “If it is important to you then you will make time” or “Well, if I am important enough to you then you will make the time”.

While this is statement is true in theory it may not always be possible on a practical level.

Sometimes what bae wants, bae doesn’t get.

Find your balance.

Not your best friends, not your suitemates in a dorm, not your next door neighbors.

Find what works for you.

If your friends and family have been made aware of your previous commitments, study schedule and workload in advance, the effectiveness of their attempts may only go so far.

There’s a time to be silly and a time to be serious.

I love to laugh as much as the next human breathing.

Scratch that, I probably love laughing more than most people.

Have you met Mr. Pouty Face?

A neighbor and a kindhearted soul, Mr. Pouty Face has vigilantly kept his dog from making anything living it’s kibble.

Something I greatly appreciate.

He’s interesting because he never smiles.

I’m convinced he is somehow related to the Queen’s Guard.

I’ve said “Hi” and even taken him and his family home cooking for the holidays but I have never…not once…seen him crack a smile.

Or laugh.

Hence the affectionate nickname.

Mr. Pouty Face is awesome.

I’m sure he does laugh sometime.

Anyway, even though laughing is fun and – if you are anything like me – you enjoy it often, there is a time to be silly and a time to be oh so focused on your goals.

There is a time to fritter away an hour relaxing and there is a time to kick it in high gear and maximize every second of productivity you can muster.

In college, if you are going to achieve your goals, there must be a balance of both the silly and the serious.

Silly in this instance can be laughs but it can also include nonproductive ways you spend your time.


Binge watching episodes (of anything) when you know (deep down in your soul) you need to study?

Hanging out at an event with friends 2 days before a due date when you know there is a 75% chance it will cost your GPA big time?

Breathing bae’s air when you need to keep your adulting vibes relegated to juggling work, school and restocking your essentials before the day ends?

(You get the vibe.)

You must be serious enough about your goals to mitigate between your study schedule and your social life.

Even if it means you take the road less traveled.

As you journey on, do your best to work well with others, find win-win situations whenever you can and refuse to give up your future or your goals just to please someone else’s mood.

This may mean you come across like a study bug but rest assured that true diligence requires such consistency over time in order for it to work epically.

In other words, diligence brings success if it is maintained consistently.

College is a proving ground that will separate the diligent from the distracted.

In the best of scenarios, friends and loved ones will understand, even if they are disappointed they didn’t see you much this week.

In the most challenging of scenarios, some friends (or baes) may walk away (this is not the norm).

Either way use your personal judgment to exercise diligence and discipline with discretion and do not give your friends (or baes) any unnecessary power to make or break your grades.

The only human ultimately responsible for your success (and if your grades “tank” or not) is you.

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