The beginning weeks of school serve as a mere appetizer compared to what we will truly experience later in the semester.

So far, many of us have taken this time to have fun, rekindle connections with old buddies and establish new friendships. This is the perfect time for that. Our workloads are still relatively light, and many enjoyable events are held all over campus at little or no cost to us.

Of course, when I say that, I include such parties that happen off campus that are illegal, but occur anyway (after all, this is college).

As we find ourselves in the second week of September, we need to start gearing up for the semester ahead of us. Although we may have had a gratifying first few weeks in school, it's time to realize we can't let ourselves get used to this notion. Spending zero or no time being serious in our studies or extracurricular activities is a recipe that will only yield negative results.

In my eyes, so many things have transpired since this school year has resumed. What seems to be only the passing of three or four weeks actually feels like the passage of months. Immersed into life here at UT, I have already developed my own day-to-day routine.

I'll admit that my routine isn't very organized. Although I try my best to plan time to do my work, I end up being over-spontaneous and doing anything that "tries my fancy." It would be more prudent for me to take note of how much time I spend, in regards to my studies and organization activities, and my "goofing-off" time.

All this talk about being serious and getting down to work makes me seem like a killjoy, but for those who know me, I'm the exact opposite.

I'm an outgoing, loud and impromptu person – main ingredients for having fun. As a result, unfortunately, it is quite difficult for me to stay continually focused, and my grades and work have suffered as a result.

We all know the phrase, "all work and no play makes for a dull boy" – but I can scarcely imagine how "all play and no work" would turn out. Spending a majority of your time playing around can spoil and ruin a person to the point of losing his or her worth ethic, and making him or her oblivious to how the real world functions. To such people, having fun is the priority in life.

But what good is the fun if no significant work is put into said fun?

Suppose you're planning an event or doing a project. In order to maximize the outcome, you do your best, dedicating copious amounts of time, work and energy to make the event or project as successful as possible. Few things feel as gratifying and satisfying as the moment after hosting an amazing event or submitting a big project.

People that always emphasize having fun but fail to do any important work don't understand this concept, nor can they truly understand such after-moments. What good is fun if there are no "boring" or "serious" periods to compare it to? If you're always having fun, you eventually get used to it and soon that pleasurable feeling you get from "fun" loses its edge.

In the end, one must balance fun with seriousness and work. It's not just for making you a better person – it allows you to keep experiencing "fun" as fun.

Jan Urbano is a senior in biological sciences. He can be reached at jurbano@utk.edu.