Posted 7/31/12 by Brinton Parker in Lifestyle

Olympic Lessons for Back-to-School 2012

Every four years, the summer Olympic Games take the world by storm. This year’s excitement in London has national pride pulsing, televisions across the world blaring, and a heck of a lot of people pretending that they’re experts on obscure sports like table tennis. While you’re on the edge of your seat waiting to see if Phelps will win another medal (or, let’s be real, just admiring Lochte’s perfect swimmer’s body), why not take away a few life lessons that will help you out this upcoming school year?


Lesson 1, Opening Ceremony- Never forget your roots. While opinions vary on the quality of the opening ceremony this year, one thing is certain: it was filled with pride about the rich history and culture of the United Kingdom. College students should take note that it’s a good thing to be proud about where you’ve come from, what you have accomplished, and the people/experiences of your past. Each of these things made you who you are, and often the memories of home can help during the stresses of exams, projects, and internships.

London on a Bank Holiday Monday in Late May JR P via Compfight

Lesson 2, Gymnastics- Don’t get too confident about the future. Viewerss across America were stunned after the women’s qualifiers, during which fan-favorite Jordyn Wieber failed to advance as an individual competitor in women’s gymnastics. Understandably, the athlete was crushed and exited the event in tears… However, this can serve as a life lesson for students everywhere. Just like Wieber was world-renowned as a top athlete in her sport, many of you will accomplish great things and enjoy being a top student at your university. Despite the rightful pride you should have in your accomplishments, though, make sure to always keep on your toes and try your best. You never know when something unexpected might affect your predictions for the future! Keep doors open and always aim to improve.

Gymnast Lina Hayes via Compfight

Lesson 3, Swimming- Using all of your energy at the start won’t help you win the race. At only 17, Chinese swimmer Le Shiwen has broken a world record and is now considered the fastest female swimmer on the planet. However, her method is one that is also advisable for students… saving energy for the end of the race. In the race where she won her first Olympic medal, Shiwen stayed solidly in the middle until the final 50 meters. With only twenty-eight seconds remaining, the swimmer gave it her all and pulled yards ahead of her competitors in the last stretch. The same way that she demolished records and won the gold, students can give extra energy toward the end of the term to finish strong!

tuffo Eugenio via Compfight

Lesson 4, Rowing- Pull your weight when others are counting on you. The synchronization and teamwork displayed in Olympic rowing is admirable academically as well as athletically. Each rower pulls equal weight to accomplish a win, and likewise during group situations for school students should pull equal weight. Nobody likes the slacker of the group assignment, so don’t be that person! Do your part and don’t let your group-mates down.

Creative Commons License VarsityLife via Compfight

Lesson 5, Cycling- Learn to Dodge Distractions. During the road bicycle races on the first day of the games, a dog ran out onto the track. To avoid a pile-up, the cyclists had to dodge quickly and take evasive maneuvers. Likewise, when potentially grade-altering distractions arise during the school term, you need to learn how to evade them and save your GPA! Nothing is worse than a dog underneath your wheels… except maybe discovering Reddit during finals week. Learn self-control and how to say “no”, for the sake of your college performance.

zoom ZOOM zoom Steve Corey via Compfight

Imagine that your degree is the gold medal, the years you spent preparing for college are just like the years of dedicated training put in by athletes, and the crowds cheering on the Olympians are your loved ones counting on you to succeed! If nothing else, it will make the day to day of college much more exciting when you head back to school in the fall.

Brinton Parker

Brinton is a third year student at the University of California, Davis and is majoring in English, with a minor in Textiles & Clothing. Her passion (at the risk of sounding extremely cliché) is fashion, as well as writing, cooking, fitness, and movies. Pursuing a career in magazine journalism is the next check on her to-do list.