Finals season can be rough for everyone. There's the stress of figuring out what to study, the deep analysis of what grade you need to get to get the grade you want, and the pressure of doing well enough whether it be to get into medical school or keep your scholarships -- there's something for everyone. The libraries are full, the anxiety is hard, and there's an unbelief that we are actually at this point in the semester. Here are some reminders for the person that is on the verge of collapse.
Your grades do not define you. I know you've heard this a million times but it is true that your grades, in reality, have no impact on WHO you are. Think back on high school -- maybe you worked hard on your SATs or that GPA to get into your dream school, but think about the last time someone looked at your SATs in college. Nobody really cares about those things now, and in a few years, no one is really going to care what grade you got on your bio final. In fact, if my parents are any example, even you won't remember what you got. Remember Matthew 24:35: "Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away." There are only a few things that are eternal-- remember to keep the perspective that this world is truly temporary.
The Lord uses everything for His good. Sometimes it can feel like if we don't get a certain grade, we really screwed the pooch and there's no going back. But as Romans 8:28 reminds us, "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purposes." Even the worst things in our lives can be turned around for good and to fulfill the purpose that God has for our lives. Look at the story of Joseph. Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers and put into jail for no reason, but in each horrible circumstance, there was something even better that came out of it. And in the end, when Joseph sees his brothers again he says: "You intended this to harm me, but God intended it for good."
Remember who is in control and that he is all-knowing and can use things in ways we can never even imagine.
You will get through this. At the moment it can be hard to see past finals week and all the many things you have to do. You have to take these tests at weird hours, make sure you get out of the dorm at a certain point, make sure to spend time with people, and don't forget all the Christmas things going on that you don't want to miss out. How can one person do it all? And, will you ever do it all? As my mom always reminds me -- just do the next thing. And the next thing. And keep going until you get to the end. It will come, and you will amaze yourself. You are strong and "all things are possible through Christ who gives you strength" (Philippians 4:13 )
This to shall pass. As Ecclesiastes reminds us, there is a time for everything under the sun. There's a time to laugh and a time to cry, a time to live and a time to die, and there's a time to stress and a time to just breathe and relax. Right now might be the time to take tests and finals, but soon there will be a time to relax and enjoy life. Just hold on, friend.
Whether you're a person not affected by stress, or a person that has literally had to drink 3 cups of coffee just to get everything done, know that you are not alone and that there is someone out there rooting for you. Remember that God loves you more than anything, and he loves you unconditionally and it is does not depend on your grades. Remember that this is just a season and you are stronger than you know. Take a breath, spend some time with God, and remember who you are and whose you are.