This past summer, many of you were glued to your boob tubes*1, often at ungodly*2 hours, cheering on your countrymen and women as they competed in the Summer Olympic Games in London. Competitors spend their lives training vigorously for these moments. The Olympics are the ultimate platform of competition. It is where top athletes compete, after years of hard work and sacrifice, for an ultimate pay off*3. Often, there are gut-wrenching failures, but to even qualify for the Olympics requires an unbelievable amount of dedication and effort. If athletes cut corners*4 in their training, preparation or execution, it usually shows up in their results.
Whether you are a senior heading into the final semester of your university career, or a freshman still feeling the sting of low grades from your inaugural*5 semester at UOS, hopefully you learned something from these Games other than Usain Bolt is a very, very fast man. Hopefully, you have seen that if you want positive results, you need to have the proper mindset and put forward the necessary effort to be successful.
Many Koreans were disappointed when one of their badminton teams, along with two Chinese and one Indonesian teams, were disqualified from the Olympics for trying to throw their matches*6 in order to face easier opponents in the next rounds. Personally, I loved the decision to kick them out. If you are not going to show up and play, why show up at all? If you want to be the best, you have to beat the best, right? However, based on the countless cries of conspiracy that littered the internet, many disagreed with me.
I have lost count over the years of how many times I have walked into class and have seen students scrambling to finish the homework I assigned to them the week before or putting final touches on presentations that were assigned weeks before. It always amazes me at the end of the semester when these same students then complain to me about their homework grades. Many even try to throw fellow classmates under the bus*7 for their own benefit. It is simple. Just as in life, half-assed*8 effort leads to half-assed results. You are not entitled*9 to anything. It is important to remember that.
My advice to you as you head into this new semester is to absolutely enjoy yourself as much as humanly possible. Your university life will be over before you know it and you should make the most of it. That being said, if you decide that having fun is more important than actually studying or doing assignments, then do not whine when your grades are low. Find a balance that works for you. You will not get any medals at the end of the day, but hopefully you will be able to enjoy the best of both worlds. Good luck!
*1 Boob Tube = slang term for televisions
*2 Ungodly = outrageous
*3 Payoff = positive result
*4 Cut corners = take the easy way out; cheat
*5 Inaugural = first
*6 Throw their matches = lose on purpose; try to lose
*7 Throw under the bus = To snitch on someone; to sacrifice someone else for your benefit
*8 half-assed = slang term for minimal effort
*9 entitled = to have a right or claim to something (In this case, a good grade)
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