Did your mother ever ask you to carry an armful of wood or a pail of water for her when you were a little boy? If she did, you will remember how heavy that armful of wood seemed at times and how light it seemed at other times. Why the difference? One time you carried the wood because your mother forced you to do it against your will. Another time you did it because you were suddenly struck by the fact that your mother was always good to you and that you ought to help her. The seeming difference of hardship in the work was due to the mental attitude which you took towards your work. The fact that you wanted to do the work made it seem easier.
The mental attitude has its bearing upon the work of an older person as well as that of a child. Our school work can be made to appear a pleasure or a drudgery, according to the attitude which we assume. With a large number of required subjects there is a tendency for the idea to prevail that we are studying certain subjects because we have to. In a sense this idea may be correct, but it is a harmful idea that should be combated. If we want to make a certain course seem a misery to us, all we have to do is go to class with the idea that we are being forced to go. If we want to enjoy a course, we must attend classes expecting that there will be something of interest to learn at each recetation. The correct attitude should be assumed at the beginning of the year. The fruits will show themselves most abundantly at the end of the semester, in the form of more work accomplished and memories of pleasant hours spent in the classroom.