Wednesday, January 25, 2012

If It's Not Broken, Don't Fix It

So perhaps at the start of the new year you made a new year's resolution. And, if you're like many people, perhaps you're struggling to maintain that promise to yourself, or have already abandoned it altogether. If this is the case, don't be so quick to throw your arms up in self-loathing and call yourself a quitter. Instead, maybe it's better to ask yourself if the resolution you decided to make was, indeed, worthwhile, or, was it simply a superficial product of the tradition of the season? If you did, in fact, make a resolution just for the sake of making one, it may be very difficult to keep up with since you might not actually be fully committed to the decision you made.

Perhaps there's something to be said for just staying the course. Now that we're in the third week of the spring semester, you've probably figured out what works for you and what doesn't. That is, regardless of your class rank, by now you've almost certainly learned many valuable lessons through experience about what it takes for you to be successful. If I'm correct in making this assumption, then you've probably also noticed that your recipe for success might not be the same as your friends' and peers'. In fact, it might be vastly different. For example, when I'm studying or writing, I need absolute quiet to be able to concentrate and be productive. But if you work more effectively with a friend or with the TV on, then I encourage you to stick to that strategy.

It is largely unimportant what means you use to achieve success; what is important is that you set goals. Decide what success means to you and what you want to accomplish. Then, work towards those goals in whatever way works best for you.

The same principle holds true to your writing; set goals for how you want to improve as a writer this semester, then work to achieve those goals. Don't be discouraged if you receive a lower grade on a paper than you wanted. Stay the course, stay positive, and remember that we at the Writing Center (304-293-5788) are here to help. We'll do our best to accomodate your particular learning styles and preferences.

So, if you learn like me, then barricade yourself in your room, turn off your phone, and get to work. But if you prefer to get your work done in a crowded pizza shop with friends, then I would argue that you should keep doing just that, and have your next slice to celebrate your own recipe for success.

Mick Snyder

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