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Carpe Diem

ose my expectation of tomorrow. The heavy pressure of work made me anxious and irritable. When dealing with work, I sometimes lost patience, but afterwards felt sorry. I became someone I didn’t like. I was looking for ways to change the status quo and break through. However, at the end of a busy day, I did not have much time for myself. Sleeping, watching TV, shopping, chatting and dining with friends, all these made me feel that I had nothing to gain except the passing of time, until the day I walked into the gate of BFSU. I realizedthat only learning can bring me back to a simple, focused, calm and happy life.That’s why, many years after graduation,Ichosetoreturn to campus, not for any practical reasons but rekindling the passion for life.

At first, I didn’t have much confidence in following the intense program. Squeezing time out ofmy already busy work and life is the biggest challenge. At the opening ceremony of the school, our teacher FengXueaddressed the time issue by saying that every student who can finish the program is a successful time manager.So true! Carpe diem (Latin) is a classic line in the movie Dead Poets Society, meaning, seize the day. It preaches the attitude of life that a brave young heart should know what he/she wants to do and work tirelessly for it. Efforts should not stay on words; Without action, it has no meaning. “I could have, but I did not” is a regret of life, I remind myself. Only by thinking about what I want to accomplish every day but not about in two or three yearsfrom now on, I try to achieve maximum learning results, and I find strategies that help me balance work and life.

1. Clarifying my goals and priorities. Everyone’s energy is limited, so one cannot achieve several goals at one time. With a fulltime job, learning is an added task of myalreadybusy life. I make it clear that learning English is now my primary task within two years, which means that I will inevitably give up some entertainments, social activities, andeven some rest. Over the past two years, except visiting my parents and doing housework, I almost gave up all the weekends and holidays.Even on New Year’s Eve when everyone was watching “Spring Festival Gala”, I wasstudying.

2. Taking advantage of all available time. God is fair to give everyone 24 hours a day. How to make full use of time is the key.There is no shortcut in learning, devoting certain amount of time is the premise of success.I set myself a strict time schedule. Early morning is my most sober and energetic time, I listen to VOA when washing and housekeeping. Half an hour later, I sit in front of my desk and begin to study. One hour later, I leave home and go to work while listening to English news on my way. In lunch time, I walk to canteen and again listen to English on the way, so that lunch and study are carried out simultaneously. Evening time is the biggest chunk of time in the day, a precious uninterrupted periodforcontinuous thinking. After a little physical exercise and dinner,I will block out all distractions and concentrate on learning for two or three hours as the ending of one day’s learning task.Time is maximized by this arrangement, and it seems to me that onesingle day has become two.

3. Recording my study time. People often feel that they have been learning for a long time, but in fact not so. Even with a timetable, the study plan couldbe interrupted by many things. So, I prepared a calendar to record my actual study time. On my schedule, the weekend lectures come first as the regular study time. Besides, I squeeze time to preview lessons before class, watch all the videos on the online platform; after class I need to review the lessons, finish the exercises and assignments.Every time I study, I make records of the start time and end time, and interruptions are not counted. In this way, the real time spent on learning is objectively recorded.

4. Treating every piece of homework and exam seriously. The preparationfor the homework and examination are the chancesof understanding and memorizing knowledge. It plays animportant role in consolidating and strengthening the effect of learning. The knowledge in books lies in the books forever. Only when one digests knowledge as the nourishment that one can absorb and put it to use, it really belongs to him/her.

5. Making full use of summer and winter vacations for supplementarylearning. Before the vacations, we have completed the exams of the last semester, but the new coursesare still not available on the learning platform. This precious time is easy to be wasted. In my first vacation, I thought I had learned very hard soI deserved a rest. As a result, I allowed myself to waste two months. When I picked up the study next semester, it became rusty. In my second vacation, I earnestly followed the teacher’s advice: I took 30 days to dictate New Concept English Vol 2 lessons. Then, I bought the new textbooks in advance to preview the new semester curriculum, and in the following semester I found the learning tasks become much easier.

6. Actively participating in extracurricular activities. Extracurricular activities are the opportunities to practice and testing our learning. In the first year, I participated in the “Outstanding Oral Talents Training”. It gave me an opportunity to challenge my courage to speak English on the stage. By careful preparation and on-site efforts, I was lucky to be selected. Although I did not continue to attend the training because of limited time and energy, I still got a lot of practice. The next year, I took part in the recitation contest which was attended through sending in recorded audio of text by the participant’s own choice. I read a lot in the process of looking for reading materials and improved my pronunciation and intonation during the recording process. The award I received in the recitation contest enhanced my self-confidence and increased my interest in learning English. This is also the very reason I participate in this essay contest, because I think this is a good opportunity for me to practice written English, as well asmake a summary of my learning.

7. Focusing on both Western cultureand language learning. No language exists in isolation. We should pay more attention to the culture while studying a language. Especially in the second semester after the Cross-Cultural Communication course, I started to pay more attention to the history, art, customs and other aspects of the English-speaking society. I use every opportunity to visit museums and art exhibitions, listen to lectures and concerts, watch dramas and dance performances, and travel to English-speaking countries. They are not only helpful for learning English, but also for broadening my horizons.

8.Trying to do the best not only for pass the examinations. It is not easy to learn while keeping a regular daytime work, butthe opportunity to study atBeiWai is precious for me. There are the best resources and teachers, so I try my best to learn more. Now, I have completed the study of all the courses, and my average score of professional courses and basic courses reached 88.19 points.Although getting high scores is not the only goal of study, it still feels like the small red flower awarded by teacher when I was a kid. What I get is happiness in my heart and affirmation of my efforts.

In the past few years, with all the enthusiasm that has been put into the study, I pushed my limit and gained a great harvest. Time management relies on good habits, and good habits are based on willpower. What I learnt here is not just knowledge, but more importantly, the determination to challenge myself, the spirit of overcoming difficulties, and the willpower to persevere.With excellent teaching of our teachers, mutual help among classmates and the strong support of my family, I have learned knowledge, broadenedmy horizon, improved self-cultivation, increased self-confidence and realized my dream. Just like the saying, “the more you train, the better you are”, compared to two years ago, my life and work have changed a lot, and every day is full of passion. I feel again that there are many wonderful things in the world waiting for me to discover and experience, so my heart becomes more spacious and free. Freedom is precious and I believe now it means a broadened life through diligence. Studying atBeiWai will be an unforgettableperiod in my life. It will inspire me not to beafraid of hardship, to overcome difficulties, and constantly seek knowledge, so as to become a better person.

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