Happy Thoughts, Happy Finals

Happy Thoughts, Happy Finals

"You is smart, you is kind, you is important"
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This week, students across the nation are preparing for finals or are in the process of taking them. Finals week is a sort of whirlwind of academic rigor that no one wants to go through, but we are all forced to do so. Even the week before, we are stressed out finishing up projects, papers, and presentations our professors magically scheduled at the same time. And, not to mention the extracurriculars that also demand your attention at the end of the semester. What do we do to prepare? We tell ourselves we'll work ahead over Thanksgiving break, and that quickly becomes a failed plan, so we will just study hard and sleep later. An important part of finals week mania we can forget to take care of is ourselves.

Here are a list of quotes to help you through finals week and the seemingly mountainous amount of studying you to have to do.

“Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habit. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.” – Lao Tzu

I like this quote because it helps you stay in touch with yourself and where you will be when you graduate. It can be hard to see now, but all the hard work and effort you are putting in will pay off. That political science final you are studying for, one day you could be helping create better foreign relations between countries. That lesson plan you are spending copious hours on, you will be glad to have it when you are teaching. These are a few examples, but remember your work and effort contribute to the bigger picture.

“This too shall pass.” – Persian Poem

As finals week has everyone stressed out, sometimes relationships and friendships can become tense, but remember everyone is fighting a battle. Elevated stress levels come with elevated impulsive actions and words, so do not take what people say or do too personally. A friend told me to think of finals as a tsunami where exams need to be handled first, and then when they are over, you can move onto your personal stuff. But, any thing stressing you out, think of it in the bigger picture.

"A lot of people have gone further than they thought they could because someone else thought they could” – Zig Ziglar

Believe in yourself and you will be successful, but we all need a little reassurance. Well, here's your reassurance. I am telling you I believe in you, even if we are strangers, I believe in you. Whatever exam, presentation, or paper you are unsure about, you got this.

"If you were able to believe in Santa Claus for like 8 years, you can believe in yourself for like 5 minutes." - Unknown

Santa was a pretty significant character in most of our lives, so think back to waking up in the middle of the night swearing you heard reindeer on your roof. Or swearing you saw Santa in your living room. If you believed Santa was literally in your house like I did, then you can believe in yourself writing a paper or studying for an exam.

"How cool is it that the same God, who created mountains & oceans, & galaxies, looked at you & thought the world needed one of you too?" - Unknown

Even if you do not believe in God, realize that you are on this earth for a reason and a purpose. Though the purpose probably is not the be freaking out over exams and papers, these small steps to your big journey of life will someday make sense. This world is full of people and somehow you ended up here, fascinating.

I hope these quotes help you through your finals!
Cover Image Credit: my photo

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A Senior's Last Week Of High School

The bittersweet end.
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Well, this is it. This is what we've worked so hard the last four years - who am I kidding - basically what seems like our whole lives for. This is the very last week we will set foot as a student in our high school's hallways. As most schools are getting ready to set their seniors free at last, it all begins to set in - the excitement, the anxiousness, and also the sentiment and nostalgia.

For seniors, the years since our first day as a freshman at the bottom of the high school totem pole have seemed endless, but as we look back on these last few weeks, we realize that this year in particular has gone by extraordinarily fast. It was just yesterday that we were sitting in our classrooms for the very first time, going to our 'last first' practice, and getting our first taste of the (very real) "senioritis". With all that's going on in our lives right now, from sports and clubs, finals, and the sought after graduation ceremony, it's hard to really sit down and think about how our lives are all about to become drastically different. For some it's moving out, and for some it's just the thought of not seeing your best friend on the way to fourth period English; either way, the feels are real. We are all in a tug of war with the emotions going on inside of us; everything is changing - we're ready, but we're not.

THE GOOD. Our lives are about to begin! There is a constant whirlwind of excitement. Senior awards, getting out of school early, parties, and of course Graduation. We are about to be thrust into a world of all new things and new people. Calling our own shots and having the freedom we have so desperately desired since the teenage years began is right around the corner. Maybe the best part is being able to use these new things surrounding you to grow and open your mind and even your heart to ideas you never could before. We get the chance to sink or swim, become our own person, and really begin to find ourselves.

Things we don't even know yet are in the works with new people we haven't even met yet. These friendships we find will be the ones to last us a lifetime. The adventures we experience will transform into the advice we tell our own children and will become the old tales we pass down to our grandkids when they come to visit on the weekends. We will probably hate the all night study sessions, the intensity of finals week, and the overpowering stress and panic of school in general, just like we did in high school... But it will all be worth it for the memories we make that will outlive the stress of that paper due in that class you absolutely hate. As we leave high school, remember what all the parents, teachers, coaches, and mentors are telling you - this are the best times of our lives!

THE BAD. The sentimental emotions are setting in. We're crying, siblings are tearing up, and parents are full-out bawling. On that first day, we never expected the school year to speed by the way it did. Suddenly everything is coming to an end. Our favorite teachers aren't going to be down the hall anymore, our best friends probably won't share a class with us, we won't be coming home to eat dinner with our families...

We all said we wanted to get out of this place, we couldn't wait, we were ready to be on our own; we all said we wouldn't be "so emotional" when the time came, but yet here we are, wishing we could play one more football game with our team or taking the time to make sure we remember the class we liked the most or the person that has made us laugh even when we were so stressed we could cry these past few years. Take the time to hug your parents these last few months. Memorize the facial expressions of your little sister or brother. Remember the sound of your dad coming home from work. These little things we take for granted every day will soon just be the things we tell our college roommate when they ask about where we're from. As much as we've wanted to get out of our house and our school, we never thought it would break our heart as much as it did. We are all beginning to realize that everything we have is about to be gone.

Growing up is scary, but it can also be fun. As we take the last few steps in the hallways of our school, take it all in. Remember, it's okay to be happy; it's okay to be totally excited. But also remember it's okay to be sad. It's okay to be sentimental. It's okay to be scared, too. It's okay to feel all these confusing emotions that we are feeling. The best thing about the bittersweet end to our high school years is that we are finally slowing down our busy lives enough to remember the happy memories.

Try not to get annoyed when your mom starts showing your baby pictures to everyone she sees, or when your dad starts getting aggravated when you talk about moving out and into your new dorm. They're coping with the same emotions we are. Walk through the halls remembering the classes you loved and the classes you hated. Think of the all great times that have happened in our high school years and the friends that have been made that will never be forgotten. We all say we hated school, but we really didn't. Everything is about to change; that's a happy thing, and a sad thing. We all just have to embrace it! We're ready, but we're not...

Cover Image Credit: Facebook

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To The Girls Who Have Doubts About Their Worth

You can do so much more than you know!

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I won't say I'm a professional at this, but it is a frequent state of mind. I think that's just something we all go through. Whether it be during high school, college, or even later. There's a small part of your brain that whispers, "You don't deserve this" or "You're not good enough." And despite all of your accomplishments and how far you've come, you believe it. It's not your fault, it's none of ours, it's just something that makes us second guess everything about ourselves. It's not intentional, it just happens. Sometimes even without us knowing it. So, this article is for you all. I hope it helps.

This past semester has been the best one of my three years of college. I got the best grades, the highest GPA, and I actually enjoyed myself. I am in my major classes, and it really made me proud that I made the scary switch. I am in a much better place and I am so thankful. I am changing apartments next year and living in the same complex as three of my best friends. I am going to get a job and enjoy my senior year. So, despite having all of these amazing things in my life, there is still a sliver of doubt that I don't deserve it. Since I found my passion, I'm not allowed to have two fantastic internships or a summer job. Or time next semester to enjoy my college career. And it doesn't matter how many times my mom reassures me that I'm doing great or my friends tell me that this is the happiest they've seen me, I still have this doubt.

My advice for dealing with the negative thoughts is this: tune them out. Say f*** it, and just do your thing.

All you can do is better yourself and your future. Take risks and do something that you actually enjoy. I didn't realize how much I hated business until I switched to journalism. Even a small change like that has really turned my entire life around. I have met so many fun and awesome people that I now call my friends because of this switch. It's OK to be nervous but take that leap of faith. Trust yourself. You are capable of so much more than you let yourself believe. As long as you are safe and careful, make things happen. Apply for that job. Get that tattoo. Do what makes you happy. Because that's all any of us want. We all want to be happy, and if you can do that, you can do anything.

Yes, putting yourself out into the world is super scary. But it's worth it when it matters and it's something you want to do. You are worth so much more than you are aware of, and that stupid, little voice in the back of your head should be your motivation. It should push you to become the best version of yourself you can be. Don't let it hold you back, let it push you forward. You don't want to miss out on awesome opportunities because of that stupid voice, right? Right! So, just tell that voice, "Give it your best shot" because you just use that voice to motivate yourself to do the best you can. Nothing should hold you back, even that little voice, because, you can move mountains and change the world.

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