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You get back what you put in

March 6, 2011
The Mining Journal

Life is tough. This we know. Everything we do -whether it's our jobs, relationships, schools - it all takes effort.

I'm beginning to understand what my mom meant when she used to say, "You get what you give."

This past week was Spring Break. While all my friends ventured off to warmer destinations like Mexico and Florida, I decided to stay in Marquette to work. It was the "responsible decision." Thankfully, my best friend, Amanda decided to do the same so I'm not completely alone. She and her boyfriend both work a lot of hours during the school year, so they figured this would be a good time for them to catch up and have more time together. Dating in itself is a challenge. But dating while balancing work and school makes it even more complicated. When I asked Amanda how they do it she smiled and said, "A little give a little take. And A LOT of compromising."

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Growing up, I always pictured my college spring breaks to me so much more ... exciting. I imagined and my best girl friends and I?would be packing our bags and hanging out at some luxurious hotel. We would go shopping and eat at the finest restaurants. You know, like you see in the movies. Of course, I never factored in the cost of all this.

I could have taken a vacation and traveled off with my friends, but I'm saving up for some new furniture. I'm not looking for anything too extravagant. But all of my current furniture is starting to fall apart. It's had to put up with two years of beatings from me. Stains, ripped stitching - my couch has been through it all. I figured if I saved up a little, I could find a new couch on sale for a reasonable price. But my bank account isn't going to fill itself. Once I 'm able to order a new couch, it will make all these weeks of work worth the while. I put in the work; I reap the rewards.

Plus, I knew this week I had to find myself a new apartment. My lease is up at the end of March and I'm ready for a change in venue. I had my heart set on a house on Cleveland Street that I was going to rent out with a roommate. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to find a roommate in time and I lost the house. I found this out Feb. 28th. I had to have a place lined up by March 1. Instant panic.

But, before I started to break down, I took a deep breath and regrouped. All it would take was for me to pick up the phone and call around Marquette. Something had to be available. Sure enough, after only three calls, I found a one-bedroom duplex in my price range.

Problem averted. All it took was a little effort.

Breaking down and giving up is the easy way out but nothing is gained from it.

Whether it's working at a job, a relationship, or school, the effort that I put into them will show in what comes out.

So, my friends will come back with their spring break tans that will last a whole week; I'll have the luxury of sitting on my new furniture in my new apartment for the rest of the year.

Editor's note: Chelsey Roath is a student at Northern Michigan University. Her biweekly column on college life in Marquette runs on Sundays. Her e-mail is



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