Although the official first day of spring has come and gone, the weekend snow has reminded us that nothing is entirely written in stone.As much as we’d like the calendar to coincide with the weather, we’re able to accept this type of unpredictability because we know that there is nothing we can do in order to change it; it’s completely out of our control. Unlike the weather, however, we are at a point in this semester where we have absolute control. Whether we’re talking about our grades, our social lives, our final exams, our summer jobs or even our future plans; we have a hand in determining how all of these things play out.
And that stresses us out.
Yesterday morning, Unity presented a chapel that both assessed the importance of hope in relation to faith, and acknowledged the necessity for rest in order to make it through the last weeks of the semester and the relentless workload that comes with pursuing higher education. Sitting in chapel, I found myself guilty of exactly what they were talking about: not being able to turn my brains off. I caught myself thinking of all of the things I needed to do before the end of the day, like writing this editorial, finishing a draft of a news piece for a class and making sure everything for next week’s newspaper is all set up and ready to go. Instead of devoting that time in chapel to resting, allowing my mind to take a break from the stress and the chaos of my schedule, I was stressing myself more.
How is it possible to forget about your day, your semester, your future, during the last month of the semester? With end of the semester projects, papers, presentations and exams just around the corner, it is easy to attach blinders to our faces and try to push through until the semester is over, but we all know intense focus can also bring about an intense need for distraction.
We have four weeks left of school, and in the next four weeks you will need to balance all end of the semester work for each of your classes. While making this happen, some students will be scrambling to organize a summer job or internship, or finish the last few pages of a pinchpenny book or senior show. No one would take me seriously if I tried to write a motivational editorial saying that it’s easy, and if you manage your time right, you won’t feel stressed. College is hard. Classes are tough. You’ll feel overwhelmed at one point or another between now and finals week. Some of you may already feel overwhelmed now. You’re human, that’s okay.
When you feel the stress building up, take a break. Do something to help you forget about everything that needs to get done. Get a cup of coffee with a friend, run a mile, read a book that isn’t required for class. Not only will you feel refreshed afterwards, but breaks make even the most impossible task seem manageable, even if it’s just for a moment. Then, you’ll get started, and before you know it, you’ll be one step closer to May Term.