By Walker John ‘19
With summer break coming to fruition, the demands of the fall semester loom over college students across the country. For some, this means hours of studying and preparation to reach a level of academic excellence. For others, it means finishing work last minute and attaining the bare minimum.
In this environment, students who constantly strive for excellence are labeled as “over-achievers.” Although this label seems to denote a negative trait, being an over-achiever in college should be a highly-regarded aspiration. The act of “over-achieving” represents a student’s ability to completely utilize the resources and opportunities that college has to offer while defying the numerous distractions.
To better understand what it means to be an over-achiever, one must define achievement. While being a member of the Franklin Pierce women’s field hockey team, junior Madison Gagnon found achievement is attained through academic accomplishment, athletic performance, and finding a balance in between.
“Being a student-athlete is already hard on its own, but it’s even harder when I’m trying to make the Dean’s list and shine in the classroom,” said Gagnon.“I want to be the best I can at field hockey while making sure I’m getting the most out of college.”
This past Spring, Gagnon was inducted into the National Criminal Justice Honor Society, showcasing her desire to surpass the average.
“I work my study times around practices and always make sure to get it done, no matter how tired I am,” Gagnon said. “I took advantage of the library, I had a lot of late nights, and I drank a lot of coffee. I always want to do as well as I can in my classes.”
Gagnon looks to uphold her status as an over-achiever in her remaining two years at Franklin Pierce and encourages students not to “settle for average.”
Although it shines a light on accomplishment, being an over-achiever isn’t a simple feat. Behind every award are the extra hours spent studying a chapter, practicing a play, or memorizing a formula. The over-achiever is often the last to leave the library at night and the first to enter in the morning. The passing grade is merely a safety net as the over-achiever always strives for the perfect score.
As the semester unfolds, students will be constantly presented with the option to aim higher and achieve greater. The resources are there to promote success, and the opportunities are not going to last forever. Inside of everyone is the potential to become an over-achiever.