Top Shelf: There’s no light at the end of the tunnel, so grab a flashlight

(Mireille Raad/Flickr Creative Commons)

(Mireille Raad/Flickr Creative Commons)

Let’s be real for a second: There will never be a light at the end of the tunnel unless you put one there. You can spend years daydreaming about your ideal life; maybe this perfect version of you goes to the gym every day, maybe they eat a little healthier or study a little harder for things. Maybe they have a great job and a nice apartment and a cute significant other. But the life you want will never stop being a fantasy unless you actively start working towards it.

You can do poorly on exams and tell yourself you’ll do better on the next for as many semesters as you want, but the pattern is going to keep repeating itself unless you actually sit down and study or ask your TA for help. The same applies to every area of your life. Unless you ask out that guy, apply for those internships or get out of bed early to go to the gym, then nothing will ever change.

It’s not easy by any means. I’ve set my alarm early to do yoga or go for runs, and time after time I’ve just snoozed it and gone back to sleep. It’s so easy not to do things and push off every dream we have because it’s hard or takes too much time and effort. But ignoring our goals is a cycle, and it’s one that can be broken.

The end of the semester is here, finals are on their way and all of us are experiencing burnout. But don’t give up just yet. All it really takes is one action, one moment in time where you push everything aside and do what you’ve been meaning to. Once you start, you’ll realize how easy it was all along, and like a snowball rolling down a snowy hill, you’ll just keep going and keep growing.

Your first day at the gym might suck, but the success you feel from going might just keep you diligent and waking up for it. Even if you apply for 10 internships and don’t get any of them, then at least you have the peace of mind of knowing you tried. And what if you do get one of them? Isn’t it worth at least just trying to be the person you want to be?

With exams quickly approaching, now is the perfect time to start implementing new study strategies and to learn ways to fight off your procrastination. After that, you have the entire summer and probably a good amount of free time to figure out who you want to be. Even if you’re working, you don’t have to worry about homework or class assignments. Use this spare time to start picking up the healthy habits you’ve been telling yourself you’ll adopt for years. Read a book! Go for a run! Eat less junk food! Drink more water! Apply to study abroad!

Even if you think it’s impossible and you have the smallest hope of success, then do it anyways. You learn from everything you do and could very well be more prepared for something else in the future.

It’s easy to look at dreams as just that: dreams. They don’t have to be unattainable, though. You just have to try. No one else is going to do it for you. You’re not going to magically wake up one day in some gorgeous apartment with a six-pack and two college degrees.

So get out there and start working! Improve your life. Your mental and physical health will thank you for it.


Courtney Gavitt is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at courtney.gavitt@uconn.edu.