This past week has been one of stress, struggle, and frustration for me. It's the last week of classes and papers are due, presentations are expected, and finals are fast approaching. Along with the stress of having to study for finals and finish up classes, I've gotten sick and injured my ankle at my sorority semi-formal. Needless to say, I've been feeling pretty low about my life this past week.
It feels like nothing else could go wrong and that every bad thing is being thrown my way. This semester has been crazy difficult and really challenged me in my studies. I have cried more times than I can count and threatened to drop out more than once. It feels like once I finish an assignment, a teacher assigns five more. It's overwhelming, to say the least, and has really put me in a bummer mood, especially in these last two weeks of school. To say I have been cursing my education lately would be an understatement.
But then it hit me.
I am lucky to be burdened with these things. I am fortunate enough to go to an incredible school that challenges me to think about difficult things and pushes me to find an answer and develop an opinion. I am lucky to have teachers who believe that I deserve to write a 10-page paper on a topic that interests me. I have a family who allows me to pursue my dreams and supports me fully. Sure, school is difficult and time-consuming, but I have people who know I can do it and who give me assignments that encourage me to think.
There are people out there who don't have access to this kind of education. In some places, women still aren't allowed to be educated because it is believed to be not a right they deserve. Across the United States, there are families that cannot afford higher education because it is so expensive. There are communities where education is low on the list of priorities and not something that is encouraged.
Sure, being sick doesn't help when it comes to trying to study for hours on end and having a swollen ankle that hurts to walk on is not something I need right now. But these are small things that I will conquer and survive and are not the end of the world.
Having two papers, two presentations, and five finals is a lot of work. But it's a lot of work that I can handle and that I have the privilege of fighting through. Someone I know said to me over the Thanksgiving break, "How lucky we are to have to carry the burden of education." This really hit home for me and is something I want to share with all of you.
So, next time you feel overwhelmed by all the tests you have to study for and all the papers you have to write, take a moment to feel frustrated, and then check your privilege. Remember how lucky you are to be blessed with an education and the ability to pursue your dreams in a world where for many, that is not possible.
If I were to ask you to take one thing from this article, it would be to remember that education is a burden we are incredibly fortunate to have to carry. Don't take it for granted.
Good luck, and happy studying!