As I finish the first half of my final semester at UW Oshkosh I have realized how easy it is to just get by when it comes to responsibilities. It’s not that I don’t care, but my excitement is all focused on what could happen after graduation and not always at what’s important now. So let me say if you find yourself just getting by and not giving it your all try not to “jump the shark.”
What do I mean by jump the shark? Well it is an idiom that was first used to describe the moment in a television show that is absurd and stands out from the show’s main premise. In other words you know from that moment the show has reached its peak and can only do downhill from there. The phrase actually comes from an episode of the hit show Happy Days in 1977. Fonzie, played by actor Henry Winkler, visits Los Angeles and while there his bravery is challenged. Wearing his signature leather jacket, he water skis over a shark. Watch the video below and you’ll understand what it means to jump the shark.
And just for some fun you can check to see if your favorite show has jumped the shark.
Even though the phrase if most often used in reference to television shows you can apply it to your own personal life. As I said before, I’m just ready to be done with college so I can move onto the next phase of my life. That sometimes means I’m only doing the bare minimum to get by. Let me just say that we should always strive to do our best, but I understand how we can get of track. With spring break coming soon I challenge us to reflect on how we have been doing so far this year and make some plans to finish with a bang. A good way to do this is to ask yourself what kind of legacy will I leave behind when I….graduate, leave my current position, etc. Will I be remembered by my peers as someone who give it their all, or someone who just got by?
Here are some tips that I think we can use to stay away from jumping the shark.
• Reflection – Ask yourself questions to pinpoint the reasons why you feel you may be jumping the shark. Examples in my life right now include being a bit burned out from all my commitments and the stress of applying to graduate school.
• Set Goals – I mean really set some goals for yourself, don’t just write them down and forget about them. Share them with a friend who can help motivate you to reach your goals, but remember to write SMART goals.
• Legacy – Think about the legacy you want to leave and make goals that will help you reach that.
• Motivation – Surround yourself with things/people who will inspire you to do your best. What I like to do is leave message all over my room with quotes, phrases and other words of wisdom. Or, I will give my grandma a call for a little pep talk. There are also many books on the topic of motivation, worth looking into.
I hope you have found this post helpful, I know that by just writing this I have become motivated to work harder so that I don’t jump the shark.