In case you haven't heard...finals are upon us! Of course you've heard, because if you're a college student you've been stressing about them since the second you returned from Thanksgiving. If you're the parent of a college student, you've been there and are probably stressed for your child. Finals matter, but only to an extent. Yes, they're worth a chunk of your grade for each class. But no, they are not the be-all and end-all. They are the final assessment for a class, not the final declaration on who you are as a person. To help remind you of life outside of library, here is a list of 8 things that, believe it or not, matter more than finals do.
1. Your sanity. Now more than ever you need to make sure to give yourself breaks and take a breath every once in a while.
2. Your relationship with the Lord. He is the ultimate sustainer, so lean into Him during the chaos.
3. Your earthly relationships. Your family, SO, friends, and roommate don't all of the sudden stop needing to know that you care about them when finals roll around.
4. Your health. Some sleep deprivation is expected, but don't get crazy. My personal rule is that, if I know I'll be able to stay focused better and consequently get more done if I take a nap first, then I do it. I've heard that drinking water apart from the water that constitutes your coffee is a good thing to do as well. Try eating 'brain foods' like blueberries, avocados, and nuts.
5. Advent and the approaching of Christmas. While you're trying to memorize the process of phosphorylation for biology, don't forget the reason for the season.
6. Your promises. If you previously made a commitment to someone or something, keep it. You knew at the beginning of the semester that you would have finals to take this week, so there is really no excuse to cancel on that freshman that has been wanting to get coffee with you for weeks.
7. Birthdays. A few of my closest friends have birthdays this week, and I would never want them to feel forgotten because everyone has nothing but finals on the brain. Everyone deserves to feel celebrated on their day of birth. If this applies to you, happiest of birthdays!
8. Gratefulness. Don't neglect to acknowledge the fact that not everyone even gets the opportunity to get an education and therefore take finals. Some people would give anything to be in your shoes. Be thankful for the small things---hot coffee, funny dog videos, and Quizlet (debatably a big thing).
Keep in mind, that the reason you are even taking finals is to do well in a class. The reason you are even taking that class is to fulfill degree requirements. The reason you are even fulfilling requirements is to graduate college with a degree. The reason you want that degree is to fulfill your goals in life. Finals, as much as we hate them, have a constituent purpose.
Best of luck, I believe in you!