For about a week now, I’ve stayed up until at least 2 a.m., fueled by high-protein smoothies, late-night dinners from the Chat, and determination.
Every college student knows what I’m talking about: Finals Week, a 2-week period of pandemonium. There is crying, lots of crying. Students practically camp out in the library, hastily typing up papers they’ve procrastinated on all semester. You can feel the stress when you look into a fellow Arcadian’s eyes and see only misery there.
And yet, even though I’m one of the crying, stressed-out students, I love it. Does that make me weird?
Although I hate the pressure that Finals Week brings, I enjoy the finality of it all. Through my six papers and two presentations (that’s not an exaggeration; welcome to college), I’m wrapping up the semester by showing all of my professors what I’ve learned in their classes. From a Frida Kahlo-focused research paper to a reflection piece describing how I’ve grown as a writer since starting my English class, all of my assignments have the goal of explaining to my professors the great impact their classes have had on me.
Sometimes, that impact is hard to express in a 5- to 6-page paper. How can I thank one professor for pushing me to constantly revise and improve as a writer? What’s the best way to express my gratitude for the professor who listened to me when I told her about an issue I had and she offered her support? How do I show my appreciation for another professor for guiding me through my academic journey and encouraging me to go for opportunities I didn’t think I was good enough for? What do I say to a professor who lifted up every person in our class and created the safest self-expression and learning environment I’ve seen?
To be honest, that desire to show how much I appreciate their work and what they’ve taught me is why I spend those late hours perfecting my work.
No, I’m not delusional from all that studying, nor am I a stress-loving masochist. If you’ve read my earlier post, being here is an opportunity I never thought I’d have. So, yes, even amid the blur of Finals Week, I feel purpose and gratitude. Weird, maybe, but I’ll take that over an A any day.