Instant gratification is not so gratifying

IUS Horizon

I was not blessed with the virtue of patience, and I have yet to acquire this virtue thus far in life. I am a person who lives to be instantly gratified and have often become frustrated or given up entirely if I am forced to wait.

I know impatience is an ugly trait. However, I take comfort in the fact that most of society also seems to lack the virtue that is deemed “morally excellent.” I am not alone.

Each day, the news is filled with stories about people who fell for a “get-rich-quick scheme” and are now living in even more debt with bad credit and a stolen identity to boot.

Almost everyone takes the quick and easy route at some point in life to experience instant results.  Instead of prolonging action for the betterment of the future, individuals are discovering new techniques in making their lives easier and better for the moment.

Living in the moment is great when it comes to appreciating what one has now, but, when one disregards the future and acts impulsively to gain temporary satisfaction, a much larger problem ensues.

Credit Cards and Student Loans

Sure, credit cards can be handy when one is placed in an emergency situation or when one needs a $4 gallon of gas and their change holder is down to the last penny.

However, credit cards have earned their dangerous reputation honestly.

They are temptresses of money one does not actually have. Credit cards have the ability to convince individuals that they have access to “free” money which often leads to irresponsible, rash purchases.

Although credit cards are convenient at the time, the interest rates become overwhelming and minimum monthly payments hardly keep erratic spenders from drowning in debt.

By the way, this debt will impact a person’s future for the rest of his life.

Suddenly, shopping frivolously via credit cards does not seem too appealing when the future has arrived and one is denied a loan for a house because of $50,000 of instant gratification debt from seven years ago.

Credit cards are not the only way people can financially screw up their future by relying on immediate results. I cannot even keep track of the amount of people I know who have taken out an outlandish amount of student loans each year despite not even using the money for educational purposes.

In case my peers did not know, student loans pile up, and, if one happens to take out an unsubsidized loan, the additional interest is ridiculous.

Student loans are not provided as free money to buy shoes or a car, they are provided with the intent that college students will use this money to pay for their education.

I realize graduation could be a while away for some students and the thought of paying the $20,000 or more in student loans back is probably on the back burner, but the day will come when Sallie Mae wants her money back. On the plus side, students do not have to start paying the loans back as long as they stay in college forever and the loans disappear after one dies.

I know I am as impatient as they come, but I would prefer to work full-time and budget my money well while in school instead of relying on loans that will haunt me in the future.

Cheating

The typical IUS student works and attends school simultaneously while pursuing other commitments, as well.

As one may assume, IUS students are busy and may have a difficult time trying to find time to bathe let alone do homework or study.

Some students may feel so overwhelmed by their daily schedules that instead of preparing for an exam or writing a paper, they decide to cheat.

Plagiarism and cheating are serious offenses in the college world. In my eyes, students who cheat or plagiarize are too lazy to try and earn a decent grade honestly.

When individuals cheat, they are only disserving themselves because they refuse to take the time to actually learn the subject.

What is the point of attending college if one does not complete assignments and decides to cheat through each class?

Assuming the cheater does not get caught and he receives an A on the exam, he will more than likely feel great — for the moment.

If his conscious does not eat at him first, he will be angry at himself in the future when he is hired for a position he is not truly qualified for.

A good grade on an exam through cheating may be gratifying initially, but as time goes on and cheating becomes a habitual quick fix, one realizes the fast and false fulfillment is not worth it.

If time to study was not managed or a priority, OK, accept the deserved grade and learn from it instead of taking pointless shortcuts to attempt success.

Plastic Surgery And Fat Burners

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, 284,405 cosmetic surgical procedures were performed on people ages 13 to 19 in 2009, totaling 2 percent of all cosmetic procedures for that year.

In 2010, there were 4,153 breast augmentation procedures performed on women 18 and younger, which represented 1.3 percent of the total number of breast augmentation procedures.

These are extremely unfortunate statistics.

I have known several young women who have opted for plastic surgery, whether it be breast augmentation, liposuction, nose jobs, etc.

I understand when these decisions are made due to health risks or if the person is unable to live their daily life comfortably, but I have never comprehended why anyone under the age of 25 would ever go under the knife strictly based on cosmetic reasons.

For years, people have been opting for liposuction and taking fat burners to shed their unwanted weight instead of healthier alternatives.

These unhealthy options may have faster results, but, in the long run, one may end up gaining the weight back or end up having worse health risks.

Obviously working out and dieting are not fun, and they are definitely hard work, but they are much more reliable and safe when trying to lose weight.

Besides, liposuction and fat burners hardly tone one’s body, therefore, working out is necessary when trying to gain the body one desires.

Final Thoughts

If people were offered two options — $1,000 today or $15,000 in five years — I wonder how many people would select the first amount because it could be the answer to their current desires, despite how much larger the second option is.

Just because something is instant or easy does not mean it is better or more beneficial.

Life is more gratifying when worked for and as the old saying goes, good things come to those who wait.

By COURTNEY MCKINLEY

Sports Editor

comckinl@imail.iu.edu