Well, I never thought it would come. I’ve wished for this semester to end countless times, but it is finally here. I am just one final away from finishing a semester that has been tough- more so than just on the academic front. But you know what? I can’t wait to come back next semester. I wrote a whole blog post (which you can find here: https://jordancarmichael.wordpress.com/2011/08/16/goodbye-summer-you-will-be-missed/) one time about the importance of embracing what is ahead of us and, even when we feel that we’re not meant to be in a certain place, resting in God’s plan for us. Throughout this semester, there were times when I was good about doing that, but there were other times in which I just quit trying to have any kind of optimistic attitude- I have to be better about that! Nevertheless, I can’t wait to walk out of my last final tomorrow night- it’s going to be wonderful.
In the midst of my procrastination efforts today, I came across a blog that one of my friends posted on Facebook about finals, and it really helped me to remember that in the long run, this stressful week of finals is nothing compared to my experience while I’m here. It was great, so I’m going to post the link here:
This post talks about how one day, we’re going to miss everything about college. One day, I’m going to miss my all too frequent travels to the Starbucks on campus to study for hours on end. I’m going to miss living in a dorm room and having a roommate that is like family. I’m going to miss walking all the way up to north campus for my 10 am class and making a late-night dining hall run right before it’s supposed to close. One day, I’m going to look back and wish that I embraced every opportunity I had to make this experience even better than it is now. So when I let this one week of finals bring such a burden on me that I begin to wish away these precious days on campus, I’m failing to remember that one day it’ll all be over and I’ll have to have a real job. And do real work… without the late-night dining hall runs and fun roommates.
Building on that, I think we forget all too often that the small problems that we face now are not worth the concern and attention we give to them. Yes, sometimes things in life happen that are hard. And sometimes we just have to stop and be upset about those things. The situation with my granddad has been something that I have struggled to find the balance between being incredibly upset and remembering that I have to trust God’s plan, no matter what it is. That situation is something that will matter in the long run- so how can I stress this much about finals when I have witnessed first-hand much more difficult problems? I’m not sure, but I definitely do it.
I started thinking about that when I was writing this super long, super frustrating paper for my political science class because I was at a point where I couldn’t think of what to write about and I knew it counted for a big percentage of my grade, and all I could think about was how much I didn’t want to be sitting in the study lounge writing a 7-page paper at 3 am. But you know what? It’s only been two or three weeks since I’ve written that paper, and I can already tell you that it’s not nearly as big of a deal as I made it that night when I was staring at a blank Microsoft Word document. Because when it all comes down to it and I look back on my days at the greatest school in the world, I’m not going to remember writing that paper. And I’m not going to remember how good or bad I did on my finals this semester.
I’m going to remember the first time I walked into Kenan Stadium for a UNC football game.
I’m going to remember when we had a snow day at UNC, beat the University of Kentucky, and had a photoshoot all on a beautiful Saturday.
I’m going to remember asking Kendall Marshall to be my valentine on national television.
…and then telling him about it.
I’m going to remember that first Friday night of sophomore year when we played fish bowl and watched Family Feud until we were so tired we couldn’t see straight.
I’m going to remember the night that all of my friends threw me a birthday party- I’ll even remember the strobe light dancing session that went with it.
And I’ll remember when I thought it would be a great idea to study with my best friends for my 8 am Spanish final, and instead we spent a good hour or two finding ways to catch candy corn in our mouths- which left me up and studying around 2 am.
-And I really wish I had a picture for it, but we were so caught up in throwing candy corn that taking pictures just wasn’t a priority at the time…-
…but it was worth it! Because when I look back on it all, the grade I got on my Spanish final won’t matter nearly as much as how happy I was that I was getting to spend time with those people. So yes, school is important… and of course I’m going to study for my classes. But is it everything? Absolutely not.
So as I go home, rest for a few weeks, and somehow summon up the energy to do it all again in January, I’ll try to keep the mindset that when I only have 5 semesters left at the Hill, I better make them count.
Carpe Diem, anyone?