November is like the last hour and a half of work where somehow 25 customers manage to walk through the door and yet only 15 minutes have passed. Exams, due dates, deadlines, meetings, reports and papers -- they somehow all decided to wait until November to be due and somehow November never, ever, ever, ends.
And I'm feeling the heat (literally -- why is it 75 degrees in November???)
Attempting to navigate through this delightful month often results in me, not-so-seriously-but-also-maybe-seriously, debating on whether or not this is all really worth it. And while I do, begrudgingly, always come to the same conclusion, I have to admit there is no high like the thought of dropping out and selling fruit on the side of the road in some tropical Caribbean island.
But then I'm smushed against thousands of other NCSU fans at a football game, feeling exhilaration as if the fireworks exploding in the sky are the same as those ricocheting inside my chest, the blood pumping in each player the same that runs currents through my veins. I am sitting in class and the discussions that leave me blinking in astonishment remind me why I love what I study, I smell old books in the library and remember the love I felt the first time I wrote on a blank page. I go to my club meetings and see my passions reflected in people who are nothing like me, feel the same desire to be great in people I never would have imagined knowing. I turn in papers and realize how much I have grown, how much I have learned. I walk across campus and see people laughing in the red light of sun shining through changing leaves and I remember meeting each of my friends for the first time. I feel a chill and remember each time my friends and I went to get pints of Howling Cow no matter the weather, smushed up together on a futon like there were no other chairs in the room.
And while this may all seem completely irrelevant to the hours upon hours of work that sits waiting -- it is. Because your degree isn't just a piece of paper to prove you sat in 120 credit hours worth of classes. It's a piece of paper to symbolize every late night, every great idea, every time you stepped out of your shell, every friend you made, every new thing you tried, every moment you thought you couldn't do it. That degree that feels like it's killing you is going to remind you the complete whirlwind that was college.
So breathe, and take that pile of overwhelming work one thing at a time. And remember that college isn't just the classes. It's four years of your life where you should live like no one is watching.
So between the papers and exams, due dates and deadlines, please don't forget the part of college where you live every moment.