Lazy overachievers?

Rachel Hicks

For such an overachieving, pressure-cooking university like Washington and Lee, there sure seems to be a surprising amount of lazy students on campus.

Don’t worry – I’m not going to rat anybody out. But in the past few weeks, I’ve had several conversations with fellow students who’ve told me they have absolutely no desire to study, work out or apply for internships. All they want to do is lay in bed, re-watching Netflix episodes.

If that’s you – get up! You’re too young to feel apathetic about anything. Yes, school is tough, but there are many ways to get yourself excited about pretty much anything. It’s a mental thing.

A good first step is asking yourself, “What am I passionate about?”

If you don’t have an answer to this question, figuring one out might be the cure for your lazy attitude. Passion is a significant driving force, and it’s strong enough to power you through your day, week and life.

“I’m a big believer in the idea that you should be passionate about what you do,” said Brooke Donnelly, ‘17. “I do my best work when I am enjoying myself and motivated to take the next step.”

Are your grades not what you want them to be? Don’t automatically assume you’re not as smart as your peers. Maybe you were just born to take a different career path. Your grades could soar if you feel naturally motivated about your classes.

Now, there’s a large difference between simply giving up on a class because it’s hard, and switching classes because you’ve discovered what you’re passionate about. I’m not suggesting you should drop a class just because it “doesn’t feel natural.”

But if you honestly hate your current career path, have the courage to jump ship. You don’t want to find your future self staring out the window of your high-rise business building wishing you’d chosen any job but that one.

Also, if your parents threatened to stop paying your tuition if you didn’t take certain classes, it’s worth having a conversation or two with them. If you show them a well-developed plan for your future in your dream career, maybe they’ll support your heart’s desires. However, if this chat doesn’t work, try to preserve your tuition income as much as possible.

Finding something that makes your heart race and your mind run in exhilarating circles is not only a key to success but a requirement for a healthy, productive life.

“As cliche as it is, if you follow your passion, you’ll never work a day in your life,” said Layne Setash ‘19. “I’ve always known deep down that the only thing I really want to do is be a teacher, but the stigma and negativity surrounding teaching deterred me for a long time.”

Don’t allow stereotypes, incomes or other people’s opinions decide your future for you. You are the boss of your career, so get out of bed and take charge.

Lazy students at W&L aren’t really lazy. They’re simply going through a phase of lack of excitement and need something to be passionate about. After all, I’ve found Washington and Lee students are capable of being the most passionate students of all.