Living for the weekend is not a good strategy. If every day feels like a battle you don’t want any part of then you spend two-thirds of your life looking forward to the break Saturday and Sunday provide. Learning to enjoy the weekly grind of school and work leads to a more fulfilling life, but let’s be real, some days just get the best of you. It could be a combination of bad luck like missing your train, having a bad meeting, or finding out your favorite niche coffee shop is going out of business. Bad days are not created equal and can also revolve around a single seemingly life-altering event: not getting into your dream school, an unexpected break-up that in hindsight should have been expected, a final that was so difficult that passing the class is now a toss-up. All of these things make you want to crawl under the covers never to be seen again. It’s human to let these situations strongly influence you long after you experienced them, but there’s a fine line between learning from your actions and allowing them to dictate your future. The idea of self-forgiveness seems like an effort to excuse past behavior, but if used correctly it can help you move forward as an individual better equipped to handle those rainy days. Self-forgiveness begins with being brutally honest with yourself. If the midterm you struggled on could have gone better if you hadn’t let procrastination get the best of you then you shouldn’t give yourself a pass and continue to follow the same strategies and habits that got you to this point. Instead, examining your study habits and social decisions leading up to the test can give you a clue as to where you went wrong. Other times it honestly isn’t your fault. Juggling a full course load with jobs, and internships and applications can force you to prioritize certain exams during midterms and finals. Knowing the best way to focus your efforts is invaluable especially when it comes to academics.
Maximizing your productivity can mean knowing how to cut your losses and it’s a practice you learn as you become more familiar with how you work best. Bad days can turn into slumps. It’s hard to pick yourself up especially when it feels as if the tough moments in life are starting to pile up making you feel as if your professional and academic goals are slowly becoming unattainable. But you can never stop working towards that success. Barring catastrophe, career and academic success isn’t built or destroyed overnight. A bad moment shouldn’t be taken lightly but it also shouldn’t shatter your aspirations. It takes years, sometimes decades to build strong careers so the grind of college and even the first years as professionals may seem like there’s nothing happening but hard work does pay off in the end. And when you start seeing your efforts come together those rainy days won’t stop occurring, but navigating through them will be much less daunting.