“It’s Monday” is not a valid excuse

As a college student, chances are you’ve heard and/or spoken one of the following phrases: “Ugh! I can’t pay attention in class – it’s a Monday.” “There’s no way I’m getting any homework done – it’s Friday.”

Whenever I hear that, it reminds me of a teacher I had in high school. We would come into class looking tired and unmotivated, and she would say, “I understand – it’s a Monday.” Or we’d groan after she assigned us something to do in class and she’d say, “I know, I know. It’s a Friday.” Or someone would answer a question wrong and she’d reassure them, saying, “That’s okay. It’s a Wednesday, I understand,” or “Don’t worry about it – it’s a Thursday.” Or maybe just “it’s Tuesday.”

Don’t get me wrong, she was a great teacher, but it just seemed a little silly to me that any day of the week could be used as an excuse for lacking motivation, focus, interest, etc. “Tuesday” just didn’t seem like a very strong logical argument to me.

You can’t use every day of the week as an excuse to not put in your best effort. Well, actually, you can. You can make an excuse out of any day of the week. Nothing’s stopping you from saying “ugh Monday,” pulling the covers over your head, and skipping your morning class.

But you can also make any day of the week an opportunity to be the best version of yourself. The choice is yours, but I recommend the second option.

Such excuse-making is so common in our daily lives. We perpetuate it all the time in small talk. Here’s an example conversation:

“Hey, should we do that task that we’re supposed to do?” said student X.

“No, dude – it’s Monday. I can’t life right now,” said student Y.

“I know, right?” said student X. “Let’s give up on that task.”

The next time you encounter that in conversation, challenge it. Say, “yes, today is Monday. What difference does that make?”

If you choose to hate Mondays, you’re choosing to be unhappy for 1/7th of your life. And considering that roughly 1/3rd of your life will be spent lying unconscious, you don’t have time to waste. I don’t remember where I first heard that, but it really struck me.

So often, these opinion articles end up sounding like elongated inspirational Facebook wall posts. I want to avoid that. I don’t want to write an article just for the sake of writing an article. I hope to impart at least something of value, even if it’s not much.

Here’s a practical piece of advice that you can work toward in your daily life: be present. Be present to the moment that you are living in. “Now” is the only moment you live in and the only one you ever will live in. However mundane or however exciting, be present to the task at hand. When you work, devote yourself to work. When you rest, devote yourself to rest. Be present to the people around you. Talk with the friends who are physically in your presence, not those who just posted something on Facebook.

A wise MSU professor has said that when you take a shower, don’t think of all the stressful challenges waiting for you that day. Just focus on the comfort the warm water is bringing you.
It’s not easy, and I know that I personally don’t live up to my own advice. It’s hard, but it’s something worth improving at. In fact, the most valuable things in life usually are the most difficult.

There is nothing about Monday or Tuesday or Wednesday or Thursday or Friday or Saturday or Sunday that is keeping you from being the best version of yourself. Take advantage of those days – they’re the only ones you have this semester.

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