Once again, we approach that dreaded point of the semester, finals season. It's been a few days or weeks since the last midterm, the campus is starting to have a holiday vibe, but before we get too distracted filling up our Amazon carts, we, unfortunately, need to shift gears. Instead of making Christmas wish lists, we have to plan out what to study. Thanksgiving provided a short break before the grind, but now that it's over, all of the lists, assignments, projects, and essays seem to be piling up.
Without a doubt, I can say that this has been my hardest semester yet. My days have gone back to waking up at close to the same time as I would in high school and working late into the night. Multiple times, at least once a week, I've wondered, "Have I taken on too much?" The answer, "probably," but that still didn't stop me from trying to fit everything in. It definitely seemed overwhelming during the beginning of the semester as I tried to schedule classes like organic chemistry and physics, with extracurriculars, research, and a part-time job, while almost forgetting about giving myself some free time. Overwhelming would be an understatement.
Despite all of this and a lot of doubt that I'd wouldn't be possible to complete the semester completely burned out and exhausted, I went through with it for two reasons. The first being that I wanted to test my limits. I honestly wanted to see how much I could accomplish in this short amount of time, and if done well enough, it would be a personal feat. The second has to do with the mindset I've kept since high school and into college. I've always been very goal oriented, so most of what I've done and continue to do so in my educational career needs to answer this question, "How will this bring me closer to my ultimate goal of becoming a doctor?"
Having that question and goal in the back of my mind has kept me focused, for the most part. When the semester gets especially stressful, it's helpful to keep it as a reminder and a way to prevent myself from panicking. That's not to say it always works, but having any goal, no matter how small or large, to act as a light at the end of the tunnel, will make the long, sometimes dim, journey completely worth it.