Opinion: The Final Stretch

“But the truth is, we all deserve to be here because we’re all trying our best, and that’s all you can ask of yourself at the end of the day.”
Credit: Francesca McKernon

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With finals right around the corner, the end of the semester is coming for better or worse. Credit: Francesca McKernon

We’ve finally made it, y’all. After months of grinding in our classes and still coming out subpar, convincing ourselves that we’re studying when we’re really scrolling through TikTok, and being five minutes late to class, and deciding to just not go all together: we made it.

I’d like to think that this semester is isolated; that it was bad because of some random reason that I had no control over and that next semester will be better. But we all know that’s not true. 

I have hopes that winter break will bring some inner peace and rejuvenate me for the semester to come, but instead of spending all of my energy praying for something so boring, I thought it’d be better to over-analyze my successes and mistakes from the last few months. 

Let’s start with September, since I refuse to acknowledge August (and July for that matter) as a month based on anti-Caesar grounds. I, as many students did, started off pretty strong. Going through my paperwork to study for classes, I see that I got a 95 on the first quiz in two of my classes. I’m sure I called my mother in excitement, as this greatly surpassed any grades I received at the end of my last semester.

Next, is the month of October. My younger brother came to visit me smack dab in the middle of the month. So I spent the first half ignoring my work out of excitement to see him and the other half too depressed to do my work because I wanted to go home so bad. My grades reflected this very clearly. I give myself a 5.5/10.

November. The month of damage control. I did surprisingly well on the physics test I didn’t study for cue the excited, unwarranted call to mom), and only had like one homesickness-related meltdown. Very good!

Okay, so, December. I know it hasn’t even been a full week yet, but I’m freaking out. Practically bombed the final test in one of my classes, but I can do corrections, so it’ll be fine. I have roughly one million meal swipes left, and my car has no gas. I should be studying for my finals by now but have barely opened my notebook since before Thanksgiving break. Things are going downhill fast.

Yet somehow, I’m not worried. We college students have a weird ability to get through most difficult things unscathed. It may be because our diets mirror that of a sewer rat or because we live in housing both on and off campus that’s bitter cold and riddled with asbestos. But either way, I feel like we’re pretty much invincible.

If anyone has been feeling just as if not more terrible than I have, just reflect on your semester as I have and make a pros and cons list. Then, once you’ve gone over every good and bad thing you’ve done, rip it up and throw it away because there’s no use in wallowing over it now.

For those of us who want to be here and truly care about getting an education, a crappy test grade or a fourth absence isn’t going to stop us from achieving our goals. The people around us can see our intentions and effort no matter what the result is. The key to being a great student is just that: effort.

I make jokes about college students (particularly me) being dumb and lazy, but the truth is, we all deserve to be here because we’re all trying our best, and that’s all you can ask of yourself at the end of the day.

So, when finals come around next week, just know that you’ve tried your best all semester, and that you’ll give this hideous monster of an assignment just as much. Then, go home and sleep for a month.

Good luck, and enjoy your Christmas break!

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