By Matthew Hank, academic advisor, Columbia College-Guantanamo Bay

The start of each session is a fitting time to not only reflect on past achievements, but identify our goals for the future. Here at the Guantanamo Bay location, we’re cheering you toward success, but also encourage you to think about what has prevented you from reaching goals in the past – what I refer to as the “Sisyphus Trap.”

CC 360 logo

For those of you who may not be familiar, Sisyphus was a character in Greek mythology condemned by the Greek gods to arduously roll a boulder to the top of a mountain, only to have that boulder return to the bottom each time. With each passing attempt, Sisyphus regains his strength in the hope that the boulder will remain at the top.

The dedication and resiliency of this story parallels what you may experience as a student. The hours spent studying for exams, writing papers and synthesizing data is like the mountain that Sisyphus must travel. If the terrain was flat, it would be easy. You will likely face several mountains in your quest for a college degree, but when accomplished, you can both climb and move mountains.

The key to achieving that success lies in working through your academic boulders to avoid past mistakes. To avoid the Sisyphus Trap, consider the following:

  • Time management: Balancing work, family, school and having a social life is a skill. If you can orchestrate the menial tasks, you can negotiate the larger boulders.
  • Be honest: Life is too short to sweat the small stuff, so be realistic and honest with yourself about your choices and goals.
  • Stay the course: Life will throw you curves; plan on it. Remember that the path you take may not be the one you envisioned, but it is still part of your journey.

At the end of the day, at least you’re not Sisyphus. And if you need help moving some boulders, reach out to the staff here at Columbia College-Guantanamo Bay campus. We’re happy to help. Also, don’t forget to read the rest of the articles in this month’s newsletter in the column on the right!