Finals Week: Why We Should Be Thankful For Our Education

Finals Week: Why We Should Be Thankful For Our Education

I wish, I wish with all my heart, to get through finals week without falling apart.
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It is once again the most dreaded time of the year for college students: finals week. Finals week is the time in the semester when everything is coming to an end and you can finally see the light at the end of the incredibly long tunnel. But, the best part of finals week is that it is almost summer vacation - keyword being almost. Summer vacation is so close; yet, the only thing in between you and the sunny days of relaxation are five homework assignments, four supersized cups of coffee, three hours of sleep each night, two "oh man, what is this" moments while studying, and one mental breakdown. Finals week isn't impossible to make it through, it just seems that way because of the stress we are all under. In the midst of having stress levels higher than the hills of West Virginia, it' easy to take the education we are pursuing for granted. So, before this "wonderful" week begins, please, take a moment to put things into perspective and remember how blessed you are.

1. Education is a choice and privilege

Flashback to the days of receiving countless college fliers each day in the mail. As the stack of fliers piled up on your desk, the opportunities that had now opened up to you seemed endless. Once you figured out what qualities you most wanted in your potential school and major, you narrowed down the possible schools until you found the one that fit you the best, filled out the application, and waited anxiously for the acceptance letter to arrive.

And now, fast-forward to May 2016, here you are living life as a college student who is pursuing a major that they are passionate about in the school that felt like a second home.

In the world today, it seems as though so many young people graduate high school and immediately start college in the fall because that is what is expected. But, in many places within this country and across the world, higher education is not so easily attained nor can people be as picky when deciding on what school to attend. Some people don't have the money to go to their ideal school. So, be grateful to be attending a school that you picked as your top choice, wherever that place may be.

2. Education is the key to knowledge

When you begin college, you are forced to take a bunch of general education classes that seem like a waste of time and money. But, the GEC classes are far from a waste of time. These are the classes that give you the chance to learn a little bit about anything that you could think of from art history, political science, philosophy, psychology, and economics to name a few. These classes have the potential to transform you into a well-rounded person while also inspiring you to learn about other things that you may not have thought about prior to taking that class.

3. Education opens doors to opportunities

Do you remember when you were a little kid and your parents always told you that you could be anything that you wanted to be? Well, you believed what they said. You used to say what you wanted to be when you grew up only to change your mind by the end of the week because you had thought of something better. The choices seemed endless for the younger you that was full of wonder. But, we have grown up and don't see the world through such rose-colored glasses anymore. Even though we don't dream as much as we used to, it doesn't mean that something is impossible. Yes, you may struggle in a class or two but taking that class increases the knowledge that you have. Furthermore, that knowledge may help to open a door that seemed as though it would remain closed. Any bit of knowledge you have will benefit you in the future in some way, shape, or form.

4. More education is something you will never regret having

As I said before, the knowledge you have will benefit you in the future by opening doors of opportunity. You may hate the subject matter that you are learning from time to time or all the time, but in the end, you will never regret having that extra knowledge.

For example, in my advising meeting a few weeks ago, I talked to my advisor about how nervous I was to take the higher math and science courses. The advice he gave me was completely true. He said that even though people hate taking the courses that force them to be challenged, once the class is over they feel accomplished. The accomplishment is what motivates them to continue pushing themselves and eventually succeed. Finding success at the end of a difficult journey is not only a huge achievement to be proud of but it is also something that all people will take never regret having done once it is over.

Even though it seems as though finals week is never going to end, it will but not without some hard-work and dedication to your studies. No one said that college would be easy. And, no one said that it wouldn't require hard-work because we all know differently. And so, when the stress of finals week is depressing you remember this: you are capable, you are intelligent, and you can do this. You can make it through this week because this is merely a stepping stone to you earning your degree.

Good luck to everyone studying for their final exams!

Cover Image Credit: Tumblr

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An Open Letter To Every Girl With A Big Heart, Except When It Comes To Herself

Because it's so much easier to love everyone around you before yourself.
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They say the key is that you have to "love yourself before you can love anyone else," or before "anyone can love you."

For those who deal with mass amounts of anxiety, or have many insecurities, that can be an extremely hard task. It seems much easier to tell your friend who is doubting herself that she looks great in that top than to look in the mirror and feel the same about yourself. It is much easier to tell your significant other that everything is going to be OK than to believe it will be when something goes wrong in your life. It becomes easier to create excuses for the ones around you than for yourself, and this is because you have such a big heart. You want those that you love to be happy and worry-free, yet you spend nights thinking about everything you have on your plate, about what you did wrong that day, fearing if someone in your life is mad at you, believing that you will never be good enough yet convincing everyone else that they are.

You are the girl with the biggest heart, yet you can't love yourself the way you care for everyone else in your life. There are many reasons that you should love yourself, though, and that's something that everyone around you is willing to tell you.

You're thoughtful.

Before doing anything, you always consider how it is going to affect those around you. You don't want to do anything that could hurt someone, or something that could make someone mad at you. It does not take much to make you happy, just seeing others happy does the job, and it is that simple. Because of this, you remember the little things. Meaningful dates, small details, and asking someone how their day was is important to you, and it makes those around you feel important too. You simply just want the people that you care about to be happy, and that is an amazing trait.

You're appreciative.

You don't need a big, fancy, and expensive date night to make you happy. Whether it's a picnic on the beach or a night in watching a movie, you're happy to just be with the person that you love. You appreciate every "good morning" text, and it truly does mean something when someone asks how you are. You tend to appreciate the person that you're with more than the things that they provide and for that, your sincerity will never go unnoticed.

You have a lot of love in your heart.

Every "I love you" has meant something, just as you remember the smallest moments that have meant the most to you. You remember the look in your significant other's eyes when they told you that for the first time. You remember the smile on your best friend's face when you told them that everything was going to be OK and that you would always be there. You remember the swell of happiness your parents felt when you decided to surprise them with a trip home one day, and you thrive off of all of that love.

You don't give up on the people you love, even if they have given you a reason to.

It is a foreign idea to just drop someone from your life, even if they betrayed you. You try to look at their mistake from every stance, not wanting to provide an excuse for them, but to give them another chance. Not everyone deserves it, and that is something that you learn along the way, but you feel good in the sense that you gave them a chance even if no one else would.

It's OK to not love yourself all the time. It's normal, and natural to stand in the mirror and think about everything wrong. And it's OK to love other people, even when you can't feel the same about yourself. But your big heart is why you should love yourself. There are so many reasons that you are a beautiful person, and the people that you spend all your time caring about feel that you have so much more to offer the world, and yourself.

So, next time you think about what you don't like about yourself, remember what makes you special –– the size of your heart and all of the love in it, and then share that love with yourself.

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My Lake Elsinore Poppy Field Experience

This past weekend I had the chance to visit the super bloom of golden poppies, and they were quite breathtaking.

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Hill after hill, California's golden flower blanketed soft sloped grassy tops that seemed to continue what felt like forever, far into the valley. The hills looked as if they were painted a bright Garibaldi orange, or coated with layers and layers of Cheetos. The sun was out, the sky was blue, and the almost glowing-orange flowers swayed back and forth in the breeze. I felt like I was in a story book or a scene from the Sound of Music. The rare infamous poppy field explosion was right in front of my eyes, and it was absolutely breathtaking.

I had gone to see the flower fields because of how much I adore flowers, and have never experienced a whole field or valley of them like this before. I wanted to be able to respectfully walk alongside the flowers, and see their blinding beauty with my very own eyes, which I did. However, MANY people at Walker Canyon, a.k.a social media influencers and Instagram addicts, were quite noticeably there just to have photo shoots and stare at their phones, checking the lighting and if they're amethyst was glimmering in the sunlight.

As wonderful, beautiful, and bright as the poppies were, and as much as I enjoyed feeling their soft silky petals, and sitting and walking beside them, taking a few photos here and there, I was annoyed with how many people were there just to strike a pose for their social media.

This magical and very RARE moment of a poppy bloom should not have people looking down at their phones, and asking their friends which pose looks better. Smell the flowers, open your eyes look up at the sky, and blind yourselves with the beauty of this natural wonder. Go outside, and actually live a little.

Despite the many people who were there just to get the photos for the likes and followers on Instagram, I am so fortunate and grateful to have had the chance to see these golden flowery fields. If you have the chance to go, look into traffic conditions, and bring a hat and lots of water! It sure was warm on that walk, so always a good idea to come prepared. I also noticed some people picking the flowers and putting them in their hair. As pretty and cute as that may look for your photo, don't do that. Please respect all spaces, and let the precious elements of life be.

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