Take it easy. It’s something my dad has said for a long time, as a farewell. Until today, I pretty much thought of it as just that: a farewell. Yesterday, however, I said something to Eric Perry that made me think, and that thinking changed how I heard what my dad said. Yesterday I saw Eric Perry, a fellow Bandit, in the halls of Glaske, the science/engineering building here on campus. On my asking how he was doing, he replied, “Oh, tired and overworked, like every other LeTourneau student.” Instantly the thought except for me flashed through my mind. I said, without really thinking about it, “Well, don’t work so hard that you can’t enjoy life.” He muttered something about trying.
That’s what got me thinking. “Don’t work so hard that you can’t enjoy life.” I’m not saying don’t work hard. I’m not even saying don’t push yourself so hard that it’s unenjoyable. But I do think I’m saying that at the end of the day/week/month/other unit of time, you should be able to sit back, pour yourself a glass of your preferred beverage, and have a nice time. I think I really live by this philosophy. Sometimes I might even take it too far, but that’s, by and large, another article. My life is important to me. Not because I think my life is somehow important, but because there are people in my life who are good enough that as long as they’re in my life, I feel that I should make my life a nice place for them to be, if that makes any sense. Just for an easy example, we’ll use the tired, overworked LeTourneau student. There’s LOTS of them. More than is healthy. It’s probably because this school tends to attract lots of over-acheivers, but that’s neither here nor there. Anyhow, as I alluded to above, I am not a tired, overworked LeTourneau student. Not for lack of my professor’s trying, mind you. But the crux of the matter is, I have a choice. I can have an enjoyable life, spend time with my wife, and my other friends, and do as much homework as I can, or I can do all my homework and ignore my wife, and the rest of my life. LOTS of people go the second route. If I really wanted better grades, I would, too. But my grades aren’t more important to me than the people in my life. I’ll pass my classes with Cs and Ds, and maybe some Bs, but I’ll enjoy my life!
That said, once again, I’m not trying to make a big argument for the moral justification of my not doing much homework. I could, should, and hopefully will be doing more homework, even in the midst of enjoying life. If it’s anything, it’s a big argument against overworking yourself intentionally. Sometimes it might be necessary, for financial reasons or what-have-you, but even then, it’s passing and will end, and you’ll be able to take it easy.
I guess there is a balance to be found. This semester I don’t really feel like I have enough time to sit back and enjoy life, I’ve simply got too much on my plate. Tell Dr. Lee to stop expecting us to be workoholics like he is, but until he starts expecting less I need to do the work to make at least a decent grade, and be a quality team-member for the projects. I don’t have a military job I’m going to be able to just walk into- and hurting my GPA will make it ten times harder to find a job after I’ve graduated. Really, what it comes down to is this: I’ve resigned myself to being overworked anytime I’m in a Dr. Lee class.