As college students, we compare ourselves to others on a daily basis. We are constantly comparing grades, comparing capability, comparing time management and social skills. It is easy, especially during finals season, to forget perspective. When we struggle, when we fail, when we do not reach the heights we dream of, it’s easy to believe that we will never overcome the pressure we put on ourselves to succeed.
It’s also hard to drag ourselves out of this rut, out of this negativity and anxiety that seems to permeate every aspect of our lives. During this finals season, it is imperative that we cling to a wider perspective hold on to the light in our lives and remember that there is more to life beyond these next three weeks.
It is easy to look at another student and think, “Wow, they’ve got it all together. Why can’t I be like them?” We look at people in our classes and think they have life figured out, that their grades are reflective of how balanced they are. However, this is not true for anyone. For instance: The student that you envy for having the perfect GPA and being wonderfully prepared for medical school is, in reality, studying for 14 hours a day without rest, lacks sleep and still has crippling anxiety about their grades and their resume and the fact that if they slip up, even once, they may lose their shot all together. It is easy to look at someone and believe that they have a better life than you, in some respect. It is hard to remember that everyone is fighting his or her own battles.
Take our editorial board for instance: In our small group alone we have graduating seniors struggling to find jobs, several who are facing the reality of student debt, one who is failing a class, one in the throws of planning a wedding and another who is deciding whether to follow a dream or to stick to practicality.
Because we are able to produce content for this newspaper daily, and because we are able to write commentary on local and global issues, it may seem as though we have it all figured out. This is not true. We are human, and just like the rest of the student body, we all struggle to figure out college life. At times, especially at times like these, it is hard. And it is because of this difficulty and our shared hardships that we implore you to believe — believe that you will make it through, that failure does not define you, that you are not alone.
The bottom line is that you will persevere. Hardship is something that we all experience as humans, especially as college students, and it will not end. Throughout our lives, we will face more trials. Some will be easier, some will be much more difficult. All we can do is remember that we can learn from our failures, that we can improve based on disappointing feedback and that we will persevere. We all came to Baylor chasing a dream — whether that dream was to find our passions or to pursue them. We have all put an incredible amount of time, effort and money into our futures, and that sets us apart from many people in this world. We want something, and because of that, each failure or loss hurts just a bit more, hits just a bit harder.
But at the end of this year, we will all return to our homes, we will all push the semester from our mind and we will all move on with our lives. Don’t give up — three months of freedom, and a lifetime of possibilities are just around the corner. Don’t let that depression, that anxiety, that stress overshadow all of the greatness you have already achieved. You attend one of the most prestigious institutions in the country; you have survived a trying year and three weeks from now, you will look back and say you made it. You deserve to be recognized for the wonderful accomplishments you have made this year, no matter how small.
Finals season is two weeks of hell, but at the end of it, you can say you made it. It is easy to focus on the stress, the inadequacy and the failures. Take the road less traveled and do the hard thing — remember to keep it all in perspective.