About a month ago, The East Carolinian featured a front-page article saying “The Princeton Review named ECU one of the Best Schools in the Southeast, based on academic achievements and student surveys.” But wait; is this the same school that featured a similar front-page article back in 2010 stating that ECU ranked no. 5 on Playboy’s Top 10 Party School list? How can a University be viewed as both a “top party school” and “best in the southeast” for academics in two years? A University where there were 1.5 girls for every guy, where downtown was filled with partying pirates. If you ask me I would tell you it’s because of the Pirate Nation’s dedication towards our academics and our ability to define the line between our studies and our social life.
Ever since I was a freshman back in 2009 I have been actively involved in a Fraternity and now I have a 3.0 GPA, declared as a Business Marketing Major, and have many service hours under my belt. Let me be the first to tell you, I didn’t do this by living up to the image others have bestowed upon us, such as the famous “you can’t spell parties without pirates” slogan, though I did have my fair share of good times. I did this by getting to know myself. If you don’t know yourself first, how can you possibly know what you are capable of doing and not doing? I’ve finally admitted to myself that I am a procrastinator. I know that if I don’t start next week’s homework before the weekend, I will be up all night Sunday trying to catch up. Once I realized this I had nothing but acceptable academic results. This made my social life better, which in turn made me a happier student. I maintain that “work hard play hard” attitude, one that our University shares. This is how we can be recognized for both our academics and our social scene, which are ranked higher than most of the North Carolina schools.
College is a lot about getting to know whom you are as a person without Mom and Dad monitoring your every decision. Being in College especially in a Fraternity you are faced with many temptations, many directions you can take. Let’s be real, most of us put off our studies until after the weekends festivities’, especially football weekends. This is one of the most common mistakes that students make, especially freshman. Don’t do this! From my experience I found that if you at least start your schoolwork before the weekend you would be more inclined to finish it on time and with no rush. Another useful piece of advice would be to plain your schedule so that you have Fridays off; now this is not necessarily aimed at freshman because it is hard to accomplish this with your registration time slot and all of your requirements. However for those who are able, I have found that having Fridays off is a blessing. Not only do you have a three-day weekend but you also have a day you can dedicate to schoolwork while your friends are in class, this helps prevent procrastination.
The journey to success may not be all fun and games, but in the end you will come out with a unique and beneficial experience, one that will help prepare you for the job world. I took risks and stepped outside my comfort zone. I made some good decisions and some bad decisions, but I can say that I have learned from them all. There are many paths you can take on the road to success; it’s which path you choose that makes you come out as a true successful Pirate.