Like all of Aesop’s fables, The Crown and the Pitcher uses few words to teach infinitely applicable lessons. It’s also a fantastic metaphor for succeeding in higher education. For those unfamiliar, the fable can be read here. Simply put, it is the story of a thirsty crow that drops small stones into a pitcher until the water is high enough to drink. The water is his reward for intellect and diligence in the same way that a successful college year is reward to first-year students. Here are four stones that a struggling freshman can use to fill their own pitchers in the coming weeks:
Devise a system that works for you and organize as much of your life as you can. Having a well-planned schedule can lower stress, improve performance, and keep your life within your control.
A healthy lifestyle is a key component in combating stress. Too often do students make room for their studies by neglecting other important factors of their life. Sleep well, keep a balanced diet, and exercise often. While these might seem to take up time, in the end they’ll improve your mood and keep you mentally sharp.
There is an entire university that is as close to your fingertips as your computer. Use it. Between libraries, writing centers, and office hours, nothing should be able to escape your understanding.
Get involved. Whether it is making friends, joining organizations, or engaging others in the classroom, a good community can be the support system needed to maintain health, happiness, and motivation through your first semester.
Casting these stones into your pitcher can help you survive your first year in higher education. Do you have any other pebbles of advice? Drop them into the comments below.
Nathan Repp is a writer for Scholar Hero, Inc.