Making the most of the stress of finals
Augie students are really good complainers.
We become particularly adept at petty whining this time of year. Finals are hard. Being a part of choir and orchestra during Vespers week is exhausting. Everyone is sick. We all got a small taste of being home during Thanksgiving break, and now we’ve whet our appetites for Christmas. If only we could get through these next few “hell weeks,” we’ll be home for the holidays with visions of an easy J-term class dancing in our heads.
I’m certainly not immune to falling into my own little pity party during the slump between Thanksgiving and Christmas; don’t get me wrong. But I’ve noticed that when I get stressed, I start to wish away the present in hopes of an easier, more manageable future.
For example, this summer when I got bored with the menial tasks assigned to me at my internship, I would dream of the fall semester with my full, structured schedule and assignments that required more thought than simply answering phones or entering data.
Before that, I was struggling through my final papers for my spring semester classes, dreaming of my nice, easy internship where all I’d have to do was come off as charming on the phone and not royally screw up the photocopier.
Looking back at the last year, I’ve been constantly pining for the next part of my life. I’m excited for finals to be done. I’m excited to see my family at Christmas, but in the meantime, shouldn’t I be trying to find the opportunities to develop in the struggles I’m facing right now?
Often I feel like the value of suffering is overlooked. We get too used to being comfortable all the time, and when we’re faced with adversity, we just whine and complain until it’s over. Instead, we should be rejoicing in the growth that we experience when we overcome stress and hardships.
I don’t always enjoy spending hours in a crowded room rehearsing for Vespers, but I become a more competent singer through exposure to the other choir directors and singers.
Taking finals sucks, but the feeling of accomplishment when I finally make it through the end of a tough semester is fantastic.