JACKSONVILLE, Fla.— As the quote attributed to Woody Allen goes, “Showing up is 80 percent of life.”
If there is one thing I have learned in my years at college, it is just that.
To be successful in your college career, or in any venture, you need to show up. And no, I don’t mean just showing up to class, although that is a big part of it.
By “showing up,” I mean just doing what is expected. Show up to class, yes, but do your assignments. If the rubric says to write a four-page paper, make it four pages. If your professor says to have a clear thesis, have a clear thesis. If the assignment says to include a works cited page with no less than five sources, you better gather five reliable sources and cite them correctly.
I feel as though this all should go without saying, but you’d be surprised.
Often times, I’ve seen students who put too much into the wrong places. They may write an essay that has all of the flair and voice you could ask for, but falls short where it matters the most.
As a result, the essay comes out disorganized, or lacking some essential element that was stated when the assignment was given.
And while it’s great to have your personalized style or to be different, before you can do any of that, the first thing you need to do is just show up.
Imagine every piece of work you do as a pyramid. The foundation of that pyramid is all the basic necessities. When we’re talking about things such as schoolwork, this would be things such as the number of sources, the content of the work, grammar, etc.
The very top contains the things that make it your own. Often times, interestingly enough, by just meeting the requirements at the base, the stuff at the top will naturally follow.
Don’t stress so much about all of the extra. At least, don’t do that first. Make sure you have a solid base before you go off adding the extra pieces.
Before you run, you have to walk. And how do you do that?
Just show up.