December 2011 Archives

It's the "Finals" Countdown


“One down, four to go!...One final and three papers until freedom!...Just got to get through the next 24 hours and I’m free!...yada yada yada”

Yeah, it’s remarks like this that clutter my newsfeed during the month of December. December is certainly the month of countdowns. The countdown to the end of the semester, the countdown to my BIRTHDAY, the countdown to Chrismahanukwanzakah and the countdown to the New Year.

Back to finals though. Without a doubt, this is one of the most stressful times of the semester. If there was any time to be “under pressure” (shameless plug) this is the week. This is the week people decide to go to the library for once. This is the week where coffee and energy drink sales skyrocket. This is the week you find freshman in panic because they spent the last five weeks playing Modern Warfare 3, Uncharted 3 and Skyrim, and didn’t go to class so now they have to try and learn a semesters worth of material in a few days (good luck). This is the week where (some) seniors “just don’t care anymore because after this last final I am done with finals FOREVER!” (not this guy). It’s definitely an emotional week.

My routine consists of the following. I’m going to collect all my materials, head to north with 23 ounces of Arnold Palmer and find the deepest, darkest, loneliest, corner of the library. I’m going to sit down, put my big noise canceling headphones on and sit there until midnight. I’m going to go over everything I have learned this semester and I swear if you disturb me with meaningless *bird noise*, it will be the last time you disturb anyone. When the clock strikes midnight on this Cinderella story, I’m going to close my books, pack up my belongings, make haste back to my room and retire. Simply put, if you don’t know it by midnight (assuming you started at a half decent hour, not 11:00PM), you’re not going to know it ever.

Nice try, better luck next year.

Good luck to everyone one on their finals! Don’t “mail it in” this week, give it the old college try! End the semester on a high note!

Under Pressure


In 1981 a song you might recognize titled “Under Pressure” by Queen and David Bowie was released. I was listening to this song recently and I thought how I naturally related it to my life thus far. 


“Pressure, pushing down on me, pressing down on you no man ask for.”


There’s no two ways about it life is full of pressure. Pressures we don’t ask for. The pressure to do well in school. The pressure to eat right, exercise and be healthy. The pressure to be thin. The pressure to fit in. The pressure to fulfill the American dream by being successful.


For me it’s senior year. My fellow students and I feel the pressure to graduate. The pressure to get a full time job. The pressure of interviewing for that job. The pressure of being accepted into grad school and more.


“Under pressure…splits a family in two, puts people on streets.”


Everyone is trying to “Keep up with the Jones’,” (not the Kardashians) today. Pressures to make ends meet, to raise children right, and to maintain a loving relationship, can all lead to divorce, splitting families apart.  People cave under pressure, give up and wind up with nothing.


“It's the terror of knowing, what this world is about. Watching some good friends screaming 'Let me out'! Pray tomorrow gets me higher.”


It’s a complex world out there, and after graduation I’ll be facing it head on. I’ll have more responsibilities than ever before. I imagine during at least one point during your life someone you knew was under so much pressure about one thing that they were just begging for it to be over. I think a common example amongst college students is public speaking. You sit at your desk waiting for your turn. You think about the presentation and start to feel nervous and anxious. Then you feel the pressure because you want to do well and receive a high grade. Finally, you reach the tipping point where you say to yourself “let’s just get it over with already!” In the end though, you hope that it is all worth your while. Dealing with all the pressures in hopes that tomorrow you will be better off because of it.


"This is ourselves, under pressure."


So here is a nickels worth of free advice for you all, don’t succumb to the pressures. Don’t let them run your life. Don’t be afraid to fail. Failures can lead to successes. Homer Hickam, a former NASA engineer, built rockets with his friends in high school. He wrote about it in his book called “Rocket Boys, later adapted into the film “October Sky” (rearrange the letters from Rocket Boys and you’ll get October Sky) Homer and his friends failed over and over…and over until they built a successful rocket. So, if at first you don’t succeed, skydiving is not for you.


“Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. But if you work really hard, and you’re kind, amazing things will happen."- Conan O'Brien

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