College is all about learning new things, whether or not those things have anything to do with the subject matter of your major. For example, I have learned that it is entirely possible to function (by which I mean “not die”) on 10 hours and 20 minutes of sleep out of the past 48. Ah, the lessons learned during exam week.
I have also learned that freaking out doesn’t get you anywhere. The temporary release of adrenaline may help you feel a little better about the situation, but the fix is only momentary and does little to resolve whatever is causing the freak-out. Unfortunately, the brain’s “remain calm” function is one of the first to go when the brain is forced to run on 4.5 hours. With the help of prayer and hugs from friends, a balance between utter panic and serenity of spirit is attainable.
Additionally, good friends are key to maintaining emotional stability in times of crisis. I know I’ve written this recently, but I’ll write it again. For every ounce of pressure exam week has placed on my shoulders, there has been a kind word, a joke told, or chocolate given by a dear friend to counteract the pressure. Several different people throughout the day have given me handfuls of laughter and joy and encouragement—and chocolate. I feel like Ruth in the fields, scooping up handfuls of purpose. Did I mention chocolate? I did? Ok, good.
Lastly, this week is emphasizing a truth I have held firmly in the past. This is the truth that God rewards those who do their best work for His glory. That doesn’t always mean He gives us what we want. The reward comes, even if it is slow in coming. He never neglects to give us the strength for the tasks appointed to us. In that knowledge and with that strength, we can seize the day.
To my fellow students at UU: only two more days of exams remaining. Carpe that diem.