Dropping all pretense and silliness (I've been familiarizing myself with Midsummer Night's Dream in anticipation of the auditions this week) it is the end of the semester. By the release of this writing, we will be in our final week of classes. So, congratulations if you are reading this! You most likely survived three grueling months and for that, I am proud of you. You did it sport. Champ. Chief. But that isn't to say you are out of the woods yet. There are still plenty of papers, projects, and other miscellaneous things to get done before we can even think of studying for final exams.
I'm not going to lie to you, it's crunch time and absolutely not the time to dick around. As a good friend of mine frequently tells me, “God love you for a liar” and I'd love if that were true now too, but it couldn't be farther from. This is where things get real for all of us. Tests, papers, they're all approaching at the speed of light. For those of us with jobs outside of school to do, the heat couldn't be turned up higher than it is right now. We've all bought a one-way ticket on the stress express, and that train just left the station.
It's not uncommon for students to freak out or break down around this time. Wheelbarrows of work still need to be done before we are in the clear, and it can definitely feel like all the tires may as well have been slashed. Here is the thing, though: no two people handle stress the same way, so it's impossible for me to give out credible advice on a large general scale, but I want to so badly. I've talked to so many of students lately, and it breaks my heart. Sleep is lost, relationships are damaged, the ever-present worry that our grades won't be up to snuff. There isn't enough time in the day to get through everything we need to, let alone what we actually want to.
So things pile up, the pressure grows and grows, and it doesn't feel like anything has really been accomplished at the end of the day. I'd love to continue this article positively, to tell you that at the end of the day, you will be one step closer to freedom, having things done, and to not worry about it, or that things will work themselves out. In some ways, that is true. But that's not what this article is about though. God love me for a liar. The truth is none of that is true. We can't just sit on the sidelines of our lives and hope that things will work out if we leave them be. Nothing gets done if we don't do it.
I'm not trying to say “get over it” or “just relax” if things have got you down. That's both silly, ineffective and even counter intuitive. The heaviest burdens are the ones we carry alone. What I am trying to say is, if you feel that any of the above describes you, take a break. If you don't have a pet, find a friend with cats, dogs, or anything fuzzy and friendly then bribe your way into their home. If, heaven help you, furry creatures result in allergic reactions, go find something you think is fun and do it, guilt free, on me. The school offers help for people in these sorts of situations, too, if you feel you require professional aid. If you feel trapped by your workload, don't let yourself be paralyzed by it. Your work might need to be done by you, but it can sure as hell wait until you are ready to do it.
If you're still with me and paying attention, you may notice that those two last paragraphs are in direct contradiction to each other. You are completely correct in that assessment. But I have a good reason, which happens to be the number one lesson I have learned this term; not just from one class but from all of them, is that there are no easy answers. Real life rarely separates nice and neatly, and contradictions are abundant. What I'm saying here is that no one, not even I, know what is best for you. But you are resilient, all of you, and I know that no matter what, you can find a way to make it work. I genuinely believe that. And you know what else?
I believe in you, Concordia. I know you can do it.