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Patience is not a virtue: Why being in a hurry can set you up for success

By Abey Gingras

Dear Abby

Among a list of personality traits, patient is not a word that describes me best. Sure, I'm understanding, I'm thoughtful and I'm hard working. But I am not patient, and guess what? I don't think it's a bad thing.

My parents were both in the Air Force, and they grew up in families where money was tight and foolishness was not tolerated.

My mom would leave her house if her date was more than five minutes late picking her up and my dad got fired from being a teaching assistant because he graded too harshly.

They met and fell in love, and then had four children who became as impatient and restless as they are.

My parents made me who I am today; and for that, especially when it comes to the impatient gene, I thank them.

As a camp counselor, I have learned to be fairly patient when dealing with kids and teenagers. As a grocery store stocker in high school, I had to keep my composure when a disgruntled customer would yell in my face on Thanksgiving morning about how we could possibly be out of cranberry sauce.

I know there is a place for patience; however, I am overall an impatient person -- and I urge everyone to be the same way.

Here's an example. While some people are content waiting in long lines for food in the dining hall, I'll be the one to hop out of line or come up with a new plan.

I hate wasting the time of others, and I certainly don't like wasting my own time.

Why would I wait in line for an hour, when I could simply leave and get food elsewhere? By leaving, I save others time by making the line shorter and I save my own time by giving myself an extra hour to do whatever I want.

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And what if the dining hall employees were more impatient? They wouldn't be content with the long lines and slow service, but instead they might work faster and move the line along quicker.

If more people were impatient with mistakes, I think mistakes would happen less often. If I knew that I would be fired for a typo, wouldn't I go over all my writing with a magnifying glass to ensure my job was safe?

Take kids for instance. When a child doesn't like broccoli and the parents are patient and give them corn instead, is that doing any good? If the parents were more impatient, perhaps if they simply offered the motto my dad would say to me as a fussy eater, "Tough shit, eat it or starve," then maybe more kids would like broccoli.

As a millennial, impatience might just be a part of my mentality.

Growing up with technology and having so many useful tools and devices fit inside my pocket had to make me a little bit intolerant to the idea of waiting and wasting time. But when I think about how useful and powerful our technology can be, I start recognizing how much of it is wasted.

College students are on things like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Yik Yak and Vine constantly, which gives us greater access than ever before to people and events around the world.

So why is it, then, that so many would have a hard time finding Iraq on a world map?

Shouldn't everyone know instantly what ISIS stands for, considering the terrorist organization has been in national headlines for weeks?

I'm impatient with the world because in today's society, there is no reason to not have an answer. If I have a flat tire, I can call Triple A or I could look up how to change a tire on the Internet and fix it myself.

There are answers to all of my problems and more if I simply seek them out.

When I think back to my 10-year-old self, running through the airport with a duffel bag larger than myself because checking luggage was an unneeded expense, I can't help but be thankful. My dad wasn't going to wait for me; I had to learn to keep up. And that's what I did.

Ten years later, when my friends question why I always walk so fast and grumble about my organization of everything, the answer is always the same: I'm just impatient.

I don't tolerate laziness, sloppiness, slowness or ignorance. We all have limitless possibilities at our fingertips, and how we spend our time defines which of those possibilities will become realities.

If you don't believe me, take these words from Meryl Streep about the power of being impatient: "I no longer have patience for certain things, not because I have become arrogant, but simply because I reached a point in my life where I do not want to waste more time with what displeases me or hurts me."

So while you wait for 90's night, a burger from Pulley, an email from a professor or an open note quiz, don't wait for me.

I'll be studying, meeting with professors in person and eating snacks between classes. At the end of the day, I may be a bit more exhausted, but I feel far more accomplished.