When I was a freshman, I thought that I could write papers in the community lounge where all my friends were “doing homework” which looked a lot like watching youtube videos, playing games, and blaring music. Needless to say, I was mistaken. But, did I stop going to the lounge to write papers? No. It had become an awful ritual that never ended in productivity.
I realized that I had associated this room with homework even though I knew it was the worst place to do it. I went my entire freshman year spending ten hours a night in that lounge working on assignments that should have taken 30 minutes. It wasn’t until my sophomore year when I found God’s gift to this planet: Hatcher Reference Room. Finally free from the chains of freshman dorms, I was a free woman with a mission to find a place where I could actually be productive and this library was my calling. Within a week, I was going to Hatcher every day after class and on the weekends to do homework. I broke my old habit of doing assignments with friends and found that working alone was my key to success.
As a senior, I have developed a ritual of writing papers in a quiet library with no friends around me to act as distractions. However, I must admit that I do write from the comfort of my bed from time to time. I think the ritual of getting to the library is what motivates me to write. It is very similar to Tharp’s ritual of calling the cab to get to the gym. If I can get to Hatcher, I know there is a greater chance that I will be productive than if I was at home or with friends at a coffee shop.
The struggle of second semester senior year has been, surprisingly, keeping up with this ritual. After 5 semesters of perfecting this routine, I find myself less and less motivated to get to the library these days. Is this a byproduct of senioritis or does this happen to other people too? Is it possible to outgrow a ritual?