Scrolling through my Instagram feed, I saw it for the what seemed like the millionth time of my college life. We've all seen it. The clever little chart depicting the horrible truth that college students are one of three things: a zombie, a slacker or a nerd.
This was posted by a senior in college, which struck me as not only surprising, but sad. How can an upperclassman still struggle with the concept of being a grown-up? Then I realized, I've chosen to be a zombie.
For those of you that haven't seen this graph, the zombies of campus choose a social life and good grades. I will change the "good grades" portion of the chart to "success." Solely a 4.0 won't get you where you want to be in life and takes less effort than working towards your personal definition of "success."
For some, success is measured by money. For others, success lies in a comfortable life. I believe success is knowing you couldn't have done more. You couldn't have tried harder. I also believe that success is not worth having if there is no one to share it with.
So, as a student that has grown into the path of the zombie, I am here to say, from experience, it is worth it. I'll start with the statement that convinces my friends to lose more sleep than anything: you will never wish you had slept more in college.
These 10 words are spoken in my house daily and should not be taken lightly. I wonder sometimes how many of the world's corporate leaders, entrepreneurs and just plain happy people slept their life away. My guess is not too many.
For those of you "nerds," as the graph labels you – that is, you choose sleep and success – don't be offended. I have had my time in your category and it was zero fun, sir. My freshman year was full of going to my minimum wage paying job, school and sleep. Of course, when in the category, it isn't as apparent that you're in it.
My sleep that year was great, or as great as it could be in the top bunk of a Clement Hall dorm, but I will never look back to my freshman year of college and say I had the best time I could have. So for those of you in the nerd category: please get out of it.
And the slackers. To you, who choose social life and sleep, I don't need to say much. Unless you have The Daily Beacon delivered to your parent's basement, which I doubt.
The year I figured it out was my sophomore year. It was the hardest, most confusing and best year of my life so far.
This is for the portion of students who have an excuse for their excessive sleeping, laziness or whatever variation of the word you choose.
There are no excuses. Maybe your significant other broke up with you and you just can't go on without them. False. Put on the Beatles' "Here Comes the Sun" and you will survive. If that doesn't work, bake a cake. This is scientific.
By the beginning of my junior year, I had discovered it's possible to stay on the path to a successful life and make memories like no other. Yes, it's easy to blame your lack of motivation on dramatized personal issues, but it's also cowardly.
The thing about choosing a social life and success is this: it is virtually impossible to have one without the other.
Success comes from working hard at what you love to do, of course. It also comes from being surrounded by those who you love.
As college students, we owe it to our future selves to create strong friendships and work hard for our dreams.
Use sleep to survive, not to live.
Cortney Roark is a junior in journalism & electronic media. She can be reached at email@example.com.