Creating the ideal environment
I proclaim I’m an introvert; therefore, I have trouble being exposed to constant social stimulation.
That being said, having positive relationships and being fully integrated in your environment are huge contributors to how successful and productive you will be.
Bonding with others in mutual struggle and having people to ask for help will help you persist through tough circumstances. It will make difficult situations easier to handle and positive results even more fun. Who says “no” to “more fun”? Not me.
For example, I’ve always enjoyed going to the gym alone. Fitness has always been a solitary endeavor for me. Sure, I say hi to people I know and occasionally I’ve gone with a friend, but I generally considered other people at the gym to be possible distractions. Recently, though, I developed a relationship with a “gym buddy.” To my surprise, my workouts and progress have actually been greatly improving.
This caused me to re-evaluate how I was thinking about things. I think that in every endeavor there are positive connections that will help you, and being able to develop and nurture these connections is invaluable.
I’m not talking exploiting people for personal gain. It’s more of establishing mutually beneficial relationships that have the opportunity for growth.
For this gym example in my personal life, it started with a common goal and mutual respect. I admired this person’s hustle in the gym and it flourished from there.
Let’s take university as an example. I think there’s a good chance that students who have great positive relationships with their peers, professors, and administrative staff probably do better in university and have a better experience than those who do not.
Personally, I love the environment I have at university. I enjoy going to university. I enjoy the opportunity to learn and meet a diverse group of people with interesting background stories, but it wasn’t always like this for me.
I used to be a student who only came to class then went home, studied at home, didn’t do any on-campus activities and exclusively hung out with friends I knew from high school who were no longer students.
My grades were terrible and I didn’t enjoy going to school. When I got a bad test mark I’d socially isolate myself and try to study harder. This did not work. The second I started spending more time on campus and embracing the entirety of university is exactly when my grades started to improve.
There were times in my academic career I felt like dropping out again, but during those times I was able to call a classmate and we were able to get back on track together. I can’t stress to you enough what a difference creating a better environment made.
Volunteering, developing relationships with professors, helping other students, joining clubs, playing team sports with classmates – all of these are great ideas that will not only improve your mental health but also your GPA.
If you have these relationships, don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it. There have been many times when I’ve been low and peers I don’t even know very well have helped me through it. Make sure to ask.
Just as a side note, it’s important to make sure the relationship is based on positive behaviors. Developing a friendship where you cut class together may not bring about positive outcomes, so make sure to keep things positive.
Some people think your success in university reflects your individual academic aptitude but my GPA, experience, and what I’ll take away from university reflects a concerted effort of a whole team of people. I absolutely never could have done it without you.