Dear A Mitch,

I am a busy freshman trying to make the most out of my college days. I want to live by CMC’s unofficial motto: work hard, play hard. Problem is, I don’t know how find the balance. I play a sport and love to go out…but I also have many ambitions for my future. Basically, I’m stuck weighing the “enjoy everything fun now” mentality against the “sacrifice my time to enjoy things later” philosophy. Advise me?



Ah Young Stag,

Like Master Sho’nuff once inferred, “being a badass negates having to balance any part of your life.” Take what you want, live by your own rules, and make folks bow down to kiss your Converse. Then again, he was eventually beat down by the soft, sensitive, glow-holding Leroy. I don’t know what that means for the validity of Master Sho’nuff’s teachings. If anything, it’s that the balance you seek is a matter of personal preference, rather than something I can determine for you – unless you pay me more than eight dollars an article. Thanks Forum!

On the real though, you can’t party all the time, and spending your Saturday nights doing homework is about as fun as teaching your grandma how to use the right click on her computer mouse. Sorry for calling you out G’ma, but that was a looong afternoon! You need to be able to discern when Whiskey Business is a good idea, and when Ryal Lab needs your ass in one of its seats. That’s not always an easy decision though, especially for a freshman experiencing the wonders of co-ed dorms without dads and curfews to stifle the fun.

People are probably telling you to say yes to everything.  No one has ever laid on their deathbed and said they wish they had worked more! I agree with these people. Yeah, live for the moment, skinny dip in the Axelrood hot tub, run around Scripps with your dead baby mask scaring girls, but budget your time so when you say yes to sake bombs at Sushi Cruise you aren’t saying no to the Federalist Papers. If you’ve neglected your work to the point that you have to decide between going out and getting a zero on an assignment, stay in. This doesn’t mean you’re lame – just that you have invested in your education to the point that CMC was a feasible college option for you. You are smart. Remember, at one point you had the ability to play sports, dominate your homework, and do community service for the sole purpose of buffing up your college applications. Dare I say balance? I won’t– not yet.

It is easy to get caught in the party loop at CMC. When the mayhem is right outside your window, studying is hard. So go to the library where it is quiet and there is a community of homework doers. Get a coffee and focus your pants off on Friday afternoon so Saturday night you can actually take your pants off and make unharmonious love with that big booty girl you met at Tuesday snack.

All I really want to tell you is this: college requires an adjustment from high school. There’s a massive influx of homework, practice, freedom, and girls (or boys), all really fun shit that seems to be constantly grasping for your attention. It may take a bit of trial-and-error testing to figure out what combination of work/play fits for you. Your college career has been in session for three weeks. I know it can be overwhelming, but it won’t be long before you get in the groove. Pinky-swear.

Much Love,

A Mitch

Photo Credit: Sean McQueen

  • Yes

  • Hannah

    meet you in your room in 5.

  • Experienced Student

    the answer to your question is all nighters (or near all nighters)… always go out and do stuff if there is something good to do, unless you have something big due the next day that you haven’t yet done. in that case, do an all nighter and finish it. this frees up the rest of your time to have fun.

    also, only do assignments and reading necessary for assignments. dont read everything they assign you just for class discussion. read enough to get the idea and then in class discussion pick something out randomly from the middle of the book, towards the 2nd half that rebuffs another classmate’s argument. you should pull this out and quote it in class, so it looks like you read REALLY carefully. in reality, you were just randomly flipping through your book while your classmates were talking and stumbled upon something. also, you can argue points based off what others have said, you dont need to have done all the reading.

    this are the 2 best strategies to cut back on work time, ace your classes and go out all the time. may sound strange but its actually true. ask anyone with a GPA over 11.5 that goes out at least 3 nights a week and they will tell you that they do both of these things

  • Experienced Student

    one more thing, if you are worrying about on losing out on “true learning” by using the strategies i listed below, you may be right that you won’t know all the details of every federalist paper if you use my strategies.

    however, i would argue that learning how to think on your feet and effectively BS your way through class is one of the greatest skills you can learn in life for almost any career path that you hope to go into.

  • Hannah