It's already come down to the end of the semester and most of us are probably digging our heads into studying for finals. If you're like me and you didn't have that so good of a semester, then you would probably be sitting in front of your desk anticipating that final close to the end of this chapter.
Most of us that are desperately waiting for this long semester to end and to be able to have the chance to start anew, would probably be wondering where all of our time has gone. The snow and the cold weather has gone away, as warmer weathers, sunny patios, and venti latte cups filled with motivation came over.
Sometimes the semester turns out differently than how we have envisioned it. And...that's okay. No semester is going to be perfect and there will be ups and downs that make us wonder if we are doing the right thing. But, truth be told, there is never a "right" thing or answer to how someone's semester goes. One whole semester brings a new set of challenges, unpredictability, and obstacles all in one course of several months. And we only have several months to get through these obstacles. Once the semester is over, our time of fighting has also come to an end.
And this semester, I learned this the hard way. I wasn't expecting this "obstacle course" when I first set sail this semester. I was expecting it to be as fluid or at least almost as good as the previous one. Little did I know, that I was about to embark on a whole new set of challenges that would surely teach me a lifelong lesson about endurance and vulnerability to these challenges. Although challenges aren't necessarily a good thing, I learned this semester that it is okay to be vulnerable and show my open paper cuts and wounds. It's part of growing as a college student, but also as a person. I have always been so used to wearing a shield over my wounds, that I never knew they existed, until a blister ended up popping. And.. there is nothing wrong with showing an open blister.
The most difficult part about finals is that it is ultimately our last chance to tackle this "obstacle course" and to find our freedom from the challenges that we were faced with during the semester. Unfortunately, sometimes we can't make it out successfully out of these obstacles. We end up tripping and maybe even breaking an arm while trying to reach the finish line. What hurts the most is when the finish line happens to be so near, but yet we end up tripping and falling on our face.
If it was me, several years ago, I would have probably thought that it was the end of the world. But the me that is sitting here, writing this article today, is someone who has already been on the other side. I have already tripped and fell while trying to make it to the finish line. I have open bruises that still do need some healing. But that doesn't mean life is over. This is just where a chapter ends..
Write notes or self reflection letters to yourself- Although we live in a world where everything is heavily digitalized and there has become little to no need for physical notes and letters, it never hurts to write one and remind yourself that nothing can replace a physical copy. Whether it is a blank sheet that stays there for 30 minutes until something is written or a sheet that is filled with only different crafts and emoticon stickers, nothing beats a physical copy of how we actually feel about the progress we have made.
Water succulents or small flowering plants-I am not a plant owner myself, but I do believe in the spirit of growth. When someone is watering a plant, they are watching it grow and helping it grow as well. Sometimes we need to see the process of growth before our eyes in person to truly feel it after the end of an arduous semester. Watching growth and helping something to grow, can help instill some kind of growth in us as well.
Make a creative timeline of all that you have achieved during the semester-And don't forget to make the timeline extra personal and include small tidbits of things that remind you that hope still exists. It can include a small icon or magazine poster of a celebrity that has inspired some type of hope and growth in you, or a family member that has helped you to believe that growing is "healthy."
And with that, we also need a few complimentary things to help get us moving and clean some of the dirt off our knees...