As I enter my second semester of my junior year, I have come back more motivated to do work than I ever have.
That's not to say I don't usually come back revitalized, but this time just feels different.
Over the break I worked at my high school as a maintenance guy, like I do over all breaks. I'm basically a pack mule there.
Whenever there's something heavy to move, my boss asks, "T.J., can you carry this?"
But it's never really a question.
I've worked there for almost four years and I've met some really good friends and learned some pretty valuable life lessons.
I learned that if you're out of sight, you're out of mind, meaning that if the boss doesn't see you, he can't make you do something else.
I also learned how to milk every second out of an opportunity to walk to the shop to grab a tool.
But probably the most important lesson came from one of my bosses, JD.
We were talking about school and how I lost some motivation to do homework.
He turned his head at me and said, "Come on bro. You don't want to do this for the rest of your life, do you?"
JD and I started working together two summers ago and become pretty good friends. He's one of the most brutally honest people I know, which is why I talk to him about certain things.
After our conversation, I realized that I need to buckle down with school work.
I looked at the things I had done over the past four years-jack hammering cement, electrocuting myself, cuts, bruises, scrapes and splinters.
I've realized dang, I really I do not want to have to do this for a living.
Since I've gotten back to school, I've been much more organized.
I found an awesome tool called Google Calendar, which has every hour of my life planned.
I am also spending less time on Netflix, the death of my GPA.
I have instead spent the time getting an idea of what I want to accomplish the next day.
I have all the motivation I need to be the best student I can be.
I remember being angry with how strict my high school was and how I never wanted to go back.
If I listened to myself, I would not have met the friends I now have nor would I have received this wake-up call from my boss.
T.J. Brennan is a junior journalism major from Long Island, N.Y. He can be reached at email@example.com.