It's that time of year again. The time of year when second semester is more than halfway done and you are counting down the days until finals. At the beginning of the semester, you were super ambitious and did every assigned reading. You showed up for class on time and still found the energy to go out every weekend. But, now, there are nearly 4 weeks left and you are crawling to the finish line.
To me, a semester can be easily compared to a spin class. Before a spin class begins, you have a mix of emotions. You feel a little nervous but confident. That's how I feel about a new semester. I'm nervous but confident that I will do well. Then it's the warm up...you don't have a heavy resistance on your bike yet so you are cruising...just like syllabus week. You know what's about to become of the semester, but you are enjoying the small window of time without any intense homework.
Now here we go. The instructor screaming at you to turn that knob and spike the resistance is equivalent to a professor announcing that your first exam is next class. You start sweating and you kind of want to cry, but there's no going back now.
Once you conquer that first hill of your spin class, you get a recovery. Once midterms are over...spring break. You feel great. You want to party. You feel smart. You feel strong. You want/need a drink. As soon as you feel relaxed...back to reality. One minute left of your in-between workout break. It's Sunday of spring break.
TURN THAT KNOB. Out of nowhere you are back in full swing. The instructor announces a series of jumps. It's the same as your professor announcing the series of mini tabs you need to complete before finals. You panic. How will you finish on time? Where will you find the strength to complete this task? You don't know how, but you do it. Spin class is almost over. The semester is almost over. You know that if you throw in the towel now, your grade will be compromised. You can't give up now.
The instructor decides to push you through one more hill. Your professor decides to assign a 15 page paper. You feel small. You feel weak. You feel defeated. You are slowly making it up that hill in spin like you are slowly finishing that paper. The resistance is at its highest level of 10. The semester is the busiest it has ever been. The instructor screams out colorful metaphors to make you feel better. The only difference here is that unlike your lovely spin instructor, your professor doesn't use nice metaphors to make you feel better.
"We're at a level 10...that sticky oatmeal...that wet concrete", the instructor screams.
Your legs are burning up. You consider letting your bike get stuck in so-called sticky oatmeal or wet concrete or whatever your bike is riding through. Your mind is the same as your legs at the end of the semester. You wonder if your brain is still a brain or just a pile of mush.This point of the semester is like sticky oatmeal. It's impossible to get through.
"We're almost at the crest! Imagine you are almost at the top of the biggest hill on campus," the instructor announces. This visual is revolutionary. You picture the end and speed right to it. The last push of adrenaline. You're studying for finals. Only 5 more exams until summer. You picture yourself on the beach with your friends. You study harder. Then relief.
Somehow, after being yelled a bunch of analogies and pushing yourself to new limits, it's all over. It's almost like you blacked out for the past few months. You don't remember how you got there, but you did and that's all that matters. This semester is just like a spin class. Super challenging but you come out much stronger.
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Now that it's over...Netflix.