There has been a shift in the air this past week. Everyone just seems more tense. Students are finding it a little harder to smile when the book they need is checked out. Some are playing dodge-the-librarian when it comes time to close up. And there have been more complaints: about noise, about tutors, about teachers, or about the heat of the room. Well, let’s face it, there have been more complaints about everything!
It’s like an internal switch has turned on across campus, the one that indicates that the final weeks of the semester are here. In many ways, this time is even more stressful than finals week. At least that week, there are only exams to center on: now there are presentations, papers, homework assignments, and tests. And then there’s the added pressure of knowing that there’s only a certain length of time left to pull out a grade.
Almost every student reaches a point during this period when he/she wonders if it’s worth it. Perhaps it would be better to just give up, stop working on assignments, and declare the whole college experience a bad experiment.
Don’t do it. This feeling is ubiquitous. There’s a good chance you’ll feel it every semester, and the only solution is to ignore the feeling and keep on working. It doesn’t matter how much college is under your belt. I had the same overwhelmed feeling when I was working on my dissertation and more than once thought a doctorate was just too hard and I would drop out of school. The only good thing about it was that, in that point of my career, I knew enough to realize that if I had followed my feelings, I would regret not finishing.
So when you’re feeling overwhelmed as you look at the list of tasks that needs finishing before May 3, just remember everyone around you is feeling the same way. It’s part of being a college student.