Legend’s VIEW

Challenging yourself for more

Cartoon of musician playing real instruments who are mad at some one playing a kazoo.
Illustration: Gabriela Jaurez/ Mesa Legend

We’ve all done it. Started the paper the night before, hit the snooze button, waited till the last minute. Whether it’s not studying for an exam, being late to work, or even, in our case here at the Legend, shirking a deadline, we’ve all been less than our best. But instead of learning our lesson, many of us, professionals and students alike, take pride in the fact that we are able to eventually complete any task with minimal effort.

The essay that was written an hour before class gets a “C”, the presentation for work we hastily constructed on PowerPoint was understandable enough, the article we wrote just before deadline will have to do. For students, pulling all-nighters after weeks of procrastination has almost become a right of passage, frantically repeating the mantra “C’s get degrees” while chugging a Redbull at 4 a.m. Rather than put forth our best effort, we begin to revel in mediocrity. In an academic sense, students never reach their true potential and maybe never even realize what caliber of work they are even capable of.

However, this translates to our lives outside the classroom. As we spend our youth chasing the bare minimum, it becomes all too easy to settle for less in our adult lives. We stay in romantic relationships long after they stopped being fulfilling because they are familiar and convenient. Our days in the work force become a daily battle to do as little actual work as possible while still receiving a paycheck. Even the best and brightest among us, lawyers, doctors, teachers, the ones we trust with the safety of our futures, often become fixated on performing the bare minimum that their profession requires.

Our romantic partners, our clients, patients and students all suffer because of our lack of effort. And in a way, so do we. The difference between average and ambitious is decided by the sacrifices we make for the sake of our goals. Somewhere along the line, it became acceptable, almost cool to be un apologetically ordinary. But effort never fails you, and ambition never goes out of style.

About Author

These are archived stories from Mesa Legend editions before Fall 2018. See article for corresponding author.

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