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September 29, 2023

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When stressed over finals, remember purpose of college degree

Now that we have all recovered from our food comas from Thanksgiving [or perhaps not], it’s time to get back to school for the final push of the semester.

The period between post-Thanksgiving and pre-winter break that’s fraught with presentations, papers and the big kahuna: finals.

As things begin to wind down for the semester and everybody gets one step closer to graduation, it’s easy to get overly stressed out.

Professors seem not only to strive for but actually enjoy heaping assignments on their classes all at once, so it’s almost impossible not to feel like you’re being spread around too thin. How can you help yourself?

Well, I’m not going to talk about brushing up on those time management skills, although that certainly helps. If you have been procrastinating in buying a planner, now’s the time.

Make sure you’re getting enough sleep. Eat healthy meals and get enough exercise and all that jazz. Take some time to relax and clear your mind and do something fun, like watch Frozen.

I find that it also helps to take a moment to pause and remember the reason why you’re here in the first place. To get a higher education, you say.

Groovy, but what precisely are you going to do with that higher education? No, really — I’m not trying to be a hellish echo of your Uncle Whoever who just harangued you about your future all through Thanksgiving dinner.

Maybe you aren’t sure what that is — and that’s okay.

For those of us who do, though, recalling that reason can not only revive us but give us a heightened sense of purpose to even the most mundane assignment. It might be busy work, but it’s necessary in the long run to get a good grade in the class that you need to graduate with your

intended degree.

Often I feel like I’m not cool because I don’t have one of those “I’ve known I’ve wanted to be [blank] since I was five” stories. If you do,

that’s awesome.

That doesn’t make my passion for what I’m going to do any less and it doesn’t lessen the motivation at hard times of the semester, either. I have, though, known I’ve wanted to be a teacher since my first field placement in my first education class here.

I can’t even say that it was the moment I interacted with the first student I ever worked with in that class, but rather it was the result of repeated interactions with them, day after day, week after week, semester after semester.

I had a lot to be thankful for on this Thanksgiving and every day.

In addition to my family and friends and the students whose lives I’ve been a part of already, even with just a small presence, there’s that feeling that I’m doing precisely what I’m meant to do. That’s what keeps me going.

What keeps you going?

Remember that, take a deep breath [or five] and study on.

Respond to Abigail at

[email protected]

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