So much work to do in college.

Learning My Lesson

Lately, I’ve been receiving some very eye-opening messages. Some of them hit me like a ton of bricks–even though they are SO tiny. And since they are so small, I’m left wondering if I’ve completely overlooked some messages.

I should explain.

I tend to complain–a lot–about schoolwork. I’ll complain to my mom, my friends, Twitter. Whining never helps though; it just frustrates me (and probably the people around me) more about my workload. Actually, it’s one of my methods of procrastination.

Ehh, I don’t feel like doing my work right now…let me just complain about how much I have to get done instead of doing it.

Asking for help, I should clarify, is different. I’ll explain a dreaded assignment to my sisters, expecting their responses to ignite inside me a very much needed inspiration. Hope isn’t something I need– I know I’ll eventually finish. It’s just a matter of getting motivated enough to start, continue, and complete.

But anyway, back to those special messages. The past few months, very often when I begin to complain about an assignment, an exam, blah blah, something happens to make it easier.

A paper…

For example, a couple weeks back, I had the heaviest workload I can remember in a single week. For my Sufism class, I had to write a paper. My professor gave us three topics to choose from, and I had decided on topic #2.

I was dreading it. I had so many resources to look at and read through, and I felt like I had no significant knowledge to even make a mental outline. This paper was due the week before my spring break, in addition to another paper, three midterms, and a quiz–all due/taking place in three consecutive days.

So I looked back to the sheet with the topics before I officially set my brain to write-a-paper-mode and discovered topic #1 was significantly easier. I had a good idea about that paper’s background info and even had an argument in mind! I thought, “Wow, God sure has a way of doing things.”

A novel…

I had to read almost an entire novel (I was about 50 pages into a ~250-page book…my fault–procrastination) for one of my midterms, and I was stressing out. The book was great, and I knew that, but 150 more pages to read in a single night AND absorb the info seemed impossible. I was not motivated at all, and complained to Twitter.

Within seconds–like literally two seconds–I realized that all I have to do is enjoy reading this good book. I’m not reading it for my midterm; I’m just reading a good book tonight called Having Our Say. The stress pretty much melted away. I would read a little and sleep a little, but I finished the book and got full points for that question on my midterm, Alhamdulillah.

And, another paper.

Most recently– I have a paper due tomorrow for my Development of Mass Media class. It was assigned long ago and only needs to be three pages long, but I just wasn’t feeling it. I rarely take good notes in that class due to my professor’s uploading of her Power Points online. Today, I checked the online course site for the recent slides to get some information for my paper and saw she hadn’t yet uploaded any of the presentations from March.

Really, Prof? You’re making time to upload our readings and not the lecture slides? You couldn’t have at least told us so we’d take better notes to prevent ourselves from being screwed for the paper?

And right after I decided not to tweet a 140-character version of the above complaint, I clicked on one of the Power Points my professor uploaded from earlier in the semester. It was exactly what I needed for my paper.


These are just three times I’ve received these messages. It’s happened a LOT more, and I’m sure these messages will keep coming.

I’m trying to learn my lesson: Stop complaining. Open your eyes, even just a little, and the realization will come–it’s really not that bad. Log off Twitter and YouTube, be grateful, say Bismillah, and get your work done.


4 thoughts on “Learning My Lesson

  1. SubhanAllah, so sweet to read. I’m glad you’re able to see the goodness and ease within these frustrating situations, it just helps to bear in mind that WITH hardship (not after) comes ease and that Allah is always aware of our struggles.

    I enjoyed reading this and have to get back to my own research paper now :)

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