Why You Should be Positive During Finals

Why You Should be Positive During Finals

...even though Winter Break is literally a hair's length away.
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Just recently, a little snow fell onto my city. It was a light dusting in comparison to what other parts of the United States may experiences, but it merited a lot of enthusiasm amongst the students. I experienced it through walking out on a veranda on my dorm that evening. It was beautiful, almost romantic.

It was a study break, so I couldn’t experience it that long, which brings me to the timing of Winter Break and finals for the quarter/semester.

***

This wasn’t the first time in which I’ve experienced a crunch of exams and papers before a long break; during high school, there was an infamous two weeks between Thanksgiving and Winter Break. I’ve observed due dates left and right, people peering over papers and laptops to get something done at the last moment. I got an intense atmosphere everywhere, something which was rewarded with two weeks of doing whatever we desired. And did I mention no homework?

It was embued so into me as of the time; nowadays, I don’t have a clear memory of the times in which homework was assigned over the break, work which would be neglected until the last possible moment after the New Year. While I had a long paper during my junior year, that’s the only time I recall, and it was for the end of the semester.

Speaking of which, one difference between high school and college in terms of these hanging moments is that with my private high school, there was still more time before the semester formally ends. So while we enjoy our holiday antics, or just laying down in bed doing nothing, a black cloud hangs over, reminding about what ambitions are needed to add cherries to the semester.

However, in college, one can relax for the most part, save for the FAFSA, study abroad applications, summer jobs and internships. Either way, one can do what they wanted to do before they got overwhelmed with another round of classes, which are bound to be exciting, depending on the year.

***

So for those who think winter break is ruined because of this juxtaposition, one may take some positivity out of it. As the cliché goes—one door closes, another opens. But it also means that it's the last chance to take something out of the classes your about to end; once you turn in that exam, you'll never go back and rewrite it.

I don't agree with calling tests "festivities", because they aren't. At the same time, they don't have to be torture chambers; instead, it's an opening, towards a further opportunity to talk about these things during the break you've earned.


Cover Image Credit: Killing the Breeze

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To The Teacher Who Was So Much More

Thank you for everything
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I think it's fair to say that most people remember at least one teacher who had a lasting impact on them. I have been incredibly lucky to have several teachers who I will never forget, but one individual takes the cake. So here's to you: thank you for all you have done.

Thank you for teaching me lessons not just in the textbook.

Although you taught a great lecture, class was never just limited to the contents of the course. Debates and somewhat heated conversations would arise between classmates over politics and course material, and you always encouraged open discussion. You embraced the idea of always having an opinion, and always making it be heard, because why waste your voice? You taught me to fight for things I believed in, and to hold my ground in an argument. You taught me to always think of others before doing and speaking. You showed me the power of kindness. Thank you for all the important lessons that may not have been included in the curriculum.

Thank you for believing in me.

Especially in my senior year, you believed in me when other teachers didn't. You showed me just what I could accomplish with a positive and strong attitude. Your unwavering support kept me going, especially when I melted into a puddle of tears weekly in your office. You listened to my stupid complaints, understood my overwhelming stress-induced breakdowns, and told me it was going to be okay. Thank you for always being there for me.

Thank you for inspiring me.

You are the epitome of a role model. Not only are you intelligent and respected, but you have a heart of gold and emit beautiful light where ever you go. You showed me that service to others should not be looked at as a chore, but something to enjoy and find yourself in. And I have found myself in giving back to people, thanks to your spark. Thank you for showing me, and so many students, just how incredible one person can be.

Thank you for changing my life.

Without you, I truly would not be where I am today. As cliche as it sounds, you had such a remarkable impact on me and my outlook on life. Just about a year has passed since my graduation, and I'm grateful to still keep in touch. I hope you understand the impact you have made on me, and on so many other students. You are amazing, and I thank you for all you have done.

Cover Image Credit: Amy Aroune

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To The High School Counselor I Wouldn't Have Made It To College Without

I couldn't have made it through high school without her and now even college.

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Dear best counselor ever,

When I came into Blake High School I had no idea what to expect. I was a scared, confused, lost freshman. Coming into a school that my sister had just graduated from there were some familiar faces, yours being one of them. You were my sister's high school counselor for four years and then mine. But, you weren't just a counselor you were a friend.

Anytime I came into to your office you were there for me. You became more of a mother figure to me than a staff member. The endless times I came into your office with endless problems you were always there to help. When we lost two seniors my junior year your door was open for me and the rest of your students when we couldn't bear to go to class. When I couldn't handle my biology teacher anymore you were there for me to vent to. When I had testing anxiety you opened up a quiet space for me to take my tests. When I didn't know how to apply for colleges or what I even wanted in a college you were there for me. When they tried to switch my last name to a different counselor you kept me.

You were truly the role model, friend, mom, staff member I needed at Blake. I loved coming into your office and just talking to you about everything. I don't know how I would've survived four years without you and even survive college now. Every time I come home which isn't often your door is still open. I come home you ask how college is going and you're proud. You expect the best out of me and it makes me expect the best out of myself. I know how hard you work and I just want you to know that I couldn't have done it without you. When I was scared to go to a school fourteen hours away, away from my family and everyone I knew, you told me to follow my heart. My heart led me to Alabama and I couldn't be happier.

As you go back to school from winter break I want you to know how appreciated you are because I really don't know where I would be without a great friend like you. I walked across the stage at graduation looking at all the faces I would be leaving as I took the journey to Alabama. When you called my name I knew that was where my journey started. They handed me a red rose at the end of the stage. We were told to give it to someone who made a difference in our four years at Blake. I gave it to you not only because you made a difference in those four years, but because you made a difference in my whole life and taught me so many lessons that I couldn't have taught myself. I am stilling learning so much and I can't wait to tell you all about it the next time I come to your office.

Love,

Your favorite student (hopefully)

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