Lessons Learned This Week

1)  Soccer can be boring.  I watched the Manchester United vs Inter Milan, Champions league match Tuesday afternoon on ESPN360, and I found it unexciting, start to finish.  I didn’t even have a preference of team, I just wanted one team to score and beat the other.   Neither team scored.

For those of you who are saying, “Duh!” take that inarticulate grunt back again.  Soccer can be exciting, as the US Men’s national team showed us by dominating Mexico.  The lesson I learned on Tuesday is that soccer isn’t always exciting as I had previously assumed, especially if you don’t care about the teams.

2)  If you have work to do and you are watching a boring soccer game instead, turn off the soccer game!  By leaving all my work for later in the week, I suddenly found myself swamped.  Again, I can hear some of you tut-tut-tutting about how obvious this lesson is, but it’s one that needs constant reinforcement.  Consider that on Wednesday night, I received an offer for a major internship on the other side of the world, and I needed to submit an application for Harvard funding within 38 hours.  Now that it’s 39 hours later and I’ve been asleep for 4.5 of those 39, that hour and a half I spent watching boring soccer on Tuesday afternoon is looking particularly ill-spent.

Remember, though, if it had been an exciting soccer game, this lesson would not apply.

3)  It is not possible to work efficiently past a certain time in the morning.  I don’t even want to go back and re-read the ‘sample writing piece’ I cranked out between 3:00 and 6:00 this morning; it was a muddled and confusing concoction.  My only clear memory of that time is of posting a happy birthday message on my little sister’s facebook wall at around 5:30, wondering if she would notice the time.

The lesson, then, is to cut your losses and take a nap.  No exceptions.

4)  Friends can be very motivating.  There are those who say, “Oh that sounds manageable,” some who say “Oh poor baby – good luck,” and others who say, “Shit dude, you just gotta buckle down and do it.  Sleep later.”  All three versions are encouraging and help keep me focused late into the morning.

Thanks, friends.

-Allan

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