Where do we start?

Advice on when to start and where to go for answers.

Rosa Poetschke, Editor-in-Chief

The best two pieces of advice for anyone struggling with adulthood boil down to “do it now” and “look it up.” Most likely some form of this advice has already presented itself. It may have been disguised with words or phrases such as avoid procrastination, carpe diem, research, analysis or various clichés posted on a social media site or a Pinterest page.

Hundreds of thousands of words have been dedicated to navigating life. The best way to go about adulting is getting started – now. Stop putting things off. 

Not sure how to pay for school? Fill out a scholarship application today. Not sure which scholarship applies to your program? Look it up. 

The Dallas College Foundation website provides accessible information on scholarship opportunities. Look it up. Do it now. 

A delay in completing tasks does not make the tasks go away. Ignoring a problem is not a solution because it only creates more pressure and stress. According to a Fast Company article, pressure and quality have an inverse relationship. When pressure increases, quality decreases. If the quality of our work determines our success in life, why devote less time?

Putting things off not only affects success at work, school and other activities, it can also have adverse effects on our physical health. According to Inc.com, scientists have discovered a direct link between procrastination and hypertension and cardiovascular disease. 

Heart health is not the only thing at risk. According to an Association for Psychological Science article, “Previous research has linked chronic procrastination to a range of stress-related health problems such as headaches, digestive issues, colds and flus, and insomnia.”

The advice bears repeating: Do it now.

Maybe the obstacle to action is a lack of knowledge. In the current age, a lack of knowledge need not be an obstacle. In Greek mythology, those looking for answers sought out an oracle. In literature, the oracle served as the bridge between man and gods providing answers to life’s mysteries.

Our oracle sits in the palm of our hand, in our home offices and in libraries across the U.S. 

I like to call her Google. There are other oracles, by other names and with different functionalities but my go-to is Google.

When my garbage disposal starts making a funny noise, I turn to Google. When I see a cute bathing suit, but don’t want to ask the wearer for the manufacturer information, I turn to Google. When someone uses an unfamiliar acronym or made up word, I turn to Google. When my kids ask me for help with a long forgotten or newly formed math concept, I turn to Google. 

You get the point. When in doubt, look it up.

I learned this methodology from my mom. When I would ask my mother how to spell something, she always said, “Look it up.” Rather than hand over an easy answer, I was pointed toward the dictionary or set of encyclopedias in our home – the original, hard copy Google. 

Technology has brought change and easy access to a wealth of information. Does that mean we accept the first article, image or search result Google offers? Absolutely not. Sometimes searches must be refined and sources need to be verified. 

For example, when doing research for this column, I searched for the word procrastination. If the result was a personal blog on procrastination, I skipped it. If the result was an article from Psychology Today, I read on. 

When conducting a search, be sure the information provided is from a reputable website. If you’re not sure it is a reputable website, this too can be looked up. “Is [blank website] a reputable website for information?” can be typed directly into the Google search box.

There are a variety of tips on how to maximize your Google searches. When searching for something specific like Dallas College scholarships, add quotation marks around the word phrase. The quotation marks signal Google to look for items containing those three words in that exact order.

According to techtimes.com, using the punctuation symbol “:” allows for specific item searches on specific websites. For example, if you are looking for any mention of procrastination on The New York Times website, your search would look like – procrastination:newyorktimes. 

The move into adulthood is complex, but it does not have to be delayed and often the information you need is in the palm of your hand. When in doubt, do it now or look it up.