- Photo by Teresa Mathew
By The Statement, Staff
Published October 1, 2013
We’ve all heard the Wiz Kahlifa song, “Work Hard Play Hard.” Wiz’s recommendation to achieve both: “Make sure you do whatever is that you gotta do, that's your job” (as well as make it rain with bigger bills). But in all seriousness, with a surplus of academic requirements and organizations on campus, can students maintain a balance between working hard and playing hard? Business senior Christine Vanek and LSA senior Cameron Fletcher met in The Michigan Daily newsroom to answer this question based on their own experiences.
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Cameron Fletcher: I think the answer is definitely yes, mostly because the University attracts really motivated people. The University has so many opportunities for people to do stuff. People are motivated to do what they love, and that could be academics or that could be outside of academics. I feel like people will have their work and then they have their passion, and they’re motivated to finish their work so they can do their passion. Or if their passion is work, they can just do work.
Christine Vanek: I think it’s cool that people come in with a lot of different interests and then, eventually, as you’re moving through your years at U of M, I’ve found work and play really start to overlap in more interesting ways.
CF: For sure. I’m in a percussion group on campus called Groove, and I’m in two music classes right now. I’ve just seen both of those overlap perfectly. What I use in Groove is what I’m learning in class, and I also use what I learn in class in Groove. It’s pretty cool that they overlap.
CV: I’ve found that, too. I’ve started doing a lot of research, and right now I’m doing (research) with 1,000 Pitches, and it’s just really cool to see how my own personal interest in innovation can also be something that counts as work.
CF: Right. What are you pitching?
CV: I’m not pitching, I’m just studying (the pitches). It’s kind of a bit top-secret.
CF: Oh, I see. I know whenever I sit down to do work, I always have a goal in my mind, like I have a show next week so I should probably get my paper done this week so I’m not all crazy. I think, for me, it just comes down to motivation. I think everyone at this school has something they’re motivated to do, and that’s what makes it easy to work hard.
CV: For me, motivation is something that kind of makes it difficult to work hard and play hard, because there’s just 24 hours in a day, right?
CF: Yeah, that’s true.
CV: But I definitely find that motivation is something that helps me make time for things that are important. There are some days where I have to rush to finish something so I can run to a Comedy Club meeting.
CF: Yeah, that’s another thing: deciding what to put your effort into. I’ve seen that over the course (of my college career), I’ve kind of taken some effort from my academics and put that into other things, such as Groove or Camp Kesem, which is another organization I’m in. But I just think that’s interesting that over the course of college, you figure out what you like to do and you realize that some of the classes that you have to take aren’t that important in the long run.
CV: Do you find that the time and the energy you put into your clubs energizes you more for the rest of your week and the rest of the stuff you have to get done?
CF: Yeah, I would definitely say that. I just love doing the clubs that I do. I love going to those meetings and seeing the people that I always see, and that just makes me feel better, honestly, for the rest of the week. I think that helps me get through the tough parts of the week. As a senior, I’ve definitely put more time into my clubs and my extracurriculars than my classes. I don’t know if that’s the right thing to do, but that’s what I’ve found makes me happier, which I think is more important than doing well on a stupid exam.
CV: So you’re studying environmental science, right?
CV: Do you find that that’s become something that’s not just a work interest but something that stems into your personal life?
CF: Yeah. My concentration is fish and aquatics, and I’ve always loved fishing and fish. Those classes that are fish-related are really fun for me, and they’re definitely interesting. But it’s taken me a while to get to those classes. The classes I’ve taken for the past three years, not all of them have been the classes that I want to be in, but I just have to be in them to get to the ones I would enjoy. Now, since I’m in those classes, they’re a lot easier just because I enjoy them more.