The right side: Getting a strong start academically makes the rest of the semester less stressful for students


I always hated the phrase “someone got up on the wrong side of the bed this morning,” but it does have some meaning. A bad start can ruin your entire day, so it’s best to have a good start to give you a boost. It is important to keep this mindset as the first day of school approaches. An average semester usually consists of going to all your classes for about three days, then slacking for three months, and finally trying your hardest right before the end. But imagine if we actually kept going to class and doing our homework. Would the cramming and the stressing really be necessary? I’ve yet to try it, but it sounds like a cool plan. I’m going to try and postpone the procrastinating until Christmas – oh, I mean winter break. If I start out well, maybe the entire semester will be worthwhile. If I buckle down and take the two or three hours a day and go to class and pay attention, I might learn something in the process. I know I might sound like a radical, suggesting that we actually do what we’re supposed to do in college. But higher education shouldn’t be the thing we do five days a week in between beer pong games, shower parties and other frat shenanigans. (I would have called it Beirut, but that city has enough problems right now.) The shenanigans should come second to work and study, because then instead of relying on Daddy to get us a job, we might gain knowledge and have real qualifications for the real world. If we do the hard work, we will make ourselves that much more prepared. And we only have to do this thing for a little while, then we get to be adults. Think about what you’ll be like in 10 years. Will you look back and say, “Man, I wish I would have tried harder”? Or will you say, “Dude, classes sucked in college, but at least I benefited”? If you say the latter, chances are you won’t have to settle for a career in selling jean shorts and jean-short accessories. It is always good to live in the moment, but you have to consider tomorrow from time to time. I wanted to get the most out of the college party experience as I could, but then I realized that wasn’t going to pay the bills when I was done here. We all have to grow up sometime, and it’s best to start when it matters. Get a good start to the rest of life, and that will set you up for continued success and achievement. To get a good start to the rest of your life, why not get a good start to this semester, and, if you’re a freshman, get a good start to college. Do your best consistently this semester, and finals week won’t be so dreadful. Do your best today and tomorrow, and life won’t be regretful once we’re in the real world.

Owen Kennedy is a junior in print journalism. You can reach him at