‘A little progress each day adds up to big results’
Today, I begin my third and final year of lectures, seminars, study groups, workshops, and long library sessions- with the goal of a 1.0 at the end of it, when I graduate next July. And I have recently come to realise that this is going to be one hell of a year for keeping up to secondary reading.
When I’m passionate about something I’m studying, I can get in perhaps 3-5 secondary reading sources alongside the primary text (I study English Literature with Creative Writing, if you’re new here) each week. This is how it was with one particular module I chose in my second year, Revolutionary Britain. In this module, I came out with great marks. Same with my creative writing. However, in another module- Victorian Passions- I became so sick of the texts that my motivation dipped, and I didn’t get as much secondary reading under my belt. Consequently, though my marks were still okay, I didn’t achieve as highly as I had wanted to. And I realized that all of those little things I did throughout the year, leading up to my assessment, they all added up. And that when I put that little bit more effort in, it ultimately really did pay off.
Let’s try another example:
Back in high school, I had no clue what I wanted to do with my life. Now I look back and think of course I didn’t, I was 16. I still don’t know what I want to do with my life. I did know I liked cooking, writing, reading, photography, and I was just getting into exercise. So I began an IG account with food pictures and recipe ideas. Then I began a blog. Then I began teaching myself how to manage my blog more effectively, and putting a hell of a lot more effort in. I started to email companies with recipes and some of them got back to me. I emailed BBC GF saying simply how much I liked their webpage, and the inspiration it gave me, and was offered work experience. A year later, through someone in the marketing department of one company, I ended up on a placement with a PR company that handle blue-chip clients. Then, a few months after that I landed my first freelance work with a chocolate company. All of the little things that had come about through hard work and a dash of luck over the year, all added up to some big results.
We’ve all been in the position, I’m certain, of wanting something that we want to happen, to happen right bloody now. It’s like at New Year’s. When the 1st January rolls around, and something in you goes wait, my resolutions haven’t been achieved yet- and I’m 10 minutes in ALREADY. At this point its safe to say that most of us give up, some cling on for another week or so- and then a small number of very dedicated individuals actually stick it out, knowing full well that the little things they do day-t0-day will make the difference over time. The paragraph immediately above is a collection of little things, that over four years, made a difference.
To return to my first example: this academic year, I am going to try and keep very firmly in my mind that the little things add up. Those 10 minutes of extra reading. That final essay edit, getting up an hour early to go down to the library and do some more research- going the extra mile, not just a couple of times, but consistently. Consistency pays off more than anything in situations like this one.
So, if you have a big goal, just keep at it. When you feel that you’ve hit a wall, don’t give in. Just remember that all the things you do count- you may not be able to see all of the results you want now, but in time you will.