It’s dead week here at Cal Poly, which has basically involved a bit of rain, lots of coffee, and a whole lot more time working through problems and reading up on old material. Because next week is the last week of our first quarter— I am almost one third way through my freshman year. As much as I want to reminisce on that fact, it’s not hard to remember that it’s not over yet. I’ve still got finals next week, the
last set of challenges standing in the way of me getting on a train with Nick to head home for three weeks. Finals are all I’ve got left to finish. And I’m ready to show those tests who’s boss around here.
I think one of the most interesting things to watch happen over the course of this week was the difference in personalities around campus. Some people took it upon themselves to throw as much fun and enjoyment into one week because they knew that during finals, they would have to buckle down and really get to work. Other people, like me, started studying two weeks ago, knowing that the earlier we start, the easier it would be to go into the week feeling confident and prepared. The funny thing is, no matter where you fall in that spectrum, we all end up in the same place: pass or fail.
For these classes and for college, it doesn’t always matter how much you study or how much work you put into it… The only thing that matters is knowing who you are and how you work best. I guess that’s how high school came
into play: if we got to know ourselves in the past, it could really change how we g
et to where we want to be in the future. Life has a way of throwing lessons at us with no regard to whether we catch them or not. Lucky for me that I caught this one earlier than later, because I’m sure this year is going to be over before I know it.
It’s been hard to get through this last
week, with the constant studying, the late nights, and the incessant need for time to keep passing whether we want it to or not. One of the few things getting me through it all is knowing that in exactly a week, I will be on a train home to Folsom, brand new Barnes & Noble and all.
They say that as you get older, the holidays become something entirely different than what it used to be, and the meaning changes. I used to think of the holidays as sleepovers in my older brother’s room, baking our Christmas cake, opening one gift the night before, and always sneaking out of the room to check our stocking for 24 days in a row. Looking at it all now, the only thing that matters to me are the people. My family, my friends— the biggest component of my life that has made me who I am. As long as I have those who matter me and time to spend with them, that’s all I really need.
I guess that’s what my parents have taught me over the years. Material things lose meaning, it comes down to the hands you hold and love you give that feels the most like the holidays to me. Because that’s what’s special, the reason things hold meaning— they make you feel something.
Whether it’s the meaning of finals week or what’s to come afterwards, this week I’ve been feeling both pretty stressed and excited at the same time. It makes me wonder about how we spend our time; we spend so much time looking forward to what happens next or where we’re headed that sometimes we forget to appreciate the present. After working hard through 12 years of mandatory education, I ended up here at Cal Poly so I could work through four more years of education to work my way towards the professional world… Then what? As much as I’ve been looking towards the end of the quarter, I have been working on appreciating where I am in my life right now and understanding that time is finite. Wherever I’m going, I’ll get there whether I’m ready to or not. And I’m okay with that. For now, I’m going to work through this last week of the quarter, do my best as my mom always says is all I can ever do, and appreciate that I’ll be home in a week.
No matter how little sleep, how much time I spend studying, or how stressful this week is, it can only last for a finite amount of time. So I hope that for all of my readers, if you’re going through a lot of hard work or stressful times, just remember that things can only last so long. One way or another, time will pass and will be on to the next thing to do on this list of our lives. I’m going to do my best to make the most of where I am right now, and hope that I can make it out of this week with some shred of my sanity left. I wish the best of luck to those preparing for the homestretch of this race we’re all running, and to those returning to their families this week, welcome home.