Yeah, you, you caffeine fueled, sleep deprived, book and syllabus consuming academic, I’m talking to you!
Listen up - midterms may be over, but the road grows longer and colder. Those mornings of waking up in temperate weather will be replaced by teeth chattering awakenings that bind you under your covers. Your finals are about to coalesce into a giant, Eldritch abomination from space, reaching its shadowy coils into the depths of your mind and body! Does it suck? Yeah, of course it sucks! What are we, Ubermensches? We're naught but human humans! And if you're a senior? Oy vey, that layer of existential dread isn't gonna remove itself.
But you can do it!
You're goddamn right you can! You made it this far, didn't you?
*grabs lapels and smiles* Well, I suppose so.
Hey now, that don't mean it's a set thing. Nothing's ever set in stone - this is all you. You're capable of anything, but anything isn't capable of just emerging from thin air.
To you freshmen - congratulations! Will you be in for the long haul? This is the decisive time. The final part of your audition. You can postmark how every semester will go from this point. What will you choose? Is this what you want? You'll find yourself. In the snow and sweat, you will be reborn.
So, you mentioned the layer of existential senior year dread..
Yes. That shit's cray, no two ways about it. But think of it this way - if school's been nothing but bitter memories, if you've never felt all that great being there, if you just want to be out in the world and free from a horribly broken school system - then you're nearly out. For good! And if you want to make sure it's permanent, then do it. There are no bounds to a life!
And on the flip side, if you've enjoyed it, you don't want to leave, then make that finale memorable! I'm talking Return of the King style send off. Make it epic, seize the opportunities you always wanted to, cherish the academic setting as much as you can.
And the real world after that semester?
Hey, that's a cop out! Asshole!
I may be pretty dope, but I'm only 98% perfect.
Alright, what about the non-seniors? Back to the impending end of semester, you rogue.
Yes, yes! It's a long month. Cramped, hectic, consuming. I'm here to encourage you forward. You're smart and resourceful. You're strong, and you look to the horizon no matter where the horizon lies.
Aw, thanks, dude.
Yeah, no problem! It's my pleasure. There are infinite hands to hold in this time. Don't let pride or thickheadedness block you from reaching out. We need warmth in winter's approach, don't we?
Yeah! Well, like, unless you live in California or something.
You want my last bit of advice or not, you take-a-third-option son of a gun?
Yeah! But it's true.
Of course! It's a trade off, though. Imagine having to do all that work sweating all day.
Right. And don't think of dreams as childish. You're a student, you don't have to be cynical about what you want. Pragmatic, yes, but not cynical. Go to bed dreaming of sitting by your family with the fire, or getting your grades to find that you've got As. You need those dreams, trust me. Our hopes and wishes for success can be friends in times like these. More than friends that you met at that one college party, spent the whole night exchanging information, and then never talked again.
Hah! I love those people!
Organization. Management. Allocation. Don't just thrust your tasks into the drawer, where you can't see them - put them on a desk where you can track them. Like I said once before I think, the scariest type of insect is a tiny one that can scurry where you can't see it. If you know where they are, when they're coming in, and what exactly you need to do to keep track, you'll always be on your feet. Instincts flashing! Woo!
Woo! Studying tips?
Yeah! Find good places to study and by that, I mean non-bland. Warm lights are a good friend. Never strictly stay in one place - if your senses are bored, your mind will follow.
Awesome, what else?
Above all, don't punish yourself. You're a student, not a masochist. You have a life beyond your books and studies and projects. Enjoy Thanksgiving. Go play in the leaves. A nice pile of gold and red ones, yeah. Take a walk outside, look at the moon. Have you seen the moon tonight? It looks wonderful.
You'll do great. I've the utmost faith in all of you to take the challenge head on and stand triumphant against it. Cold, exhausted - but triumphant. Hang in there, the end is nigh. So give it all you got so you can sit back when the end comes and relax. One time, I waited to do my final animation project after I just filmed my thesis. It was quite possibly the stupidest academic decision I've ever done. Don't be stupid academic like me. When the end of the semester came, I felt hollow. Feel good!
Never give up! Three of my favorite words.