In the past, my blog posts around finals definitely have note a panic in them. I'm frantic for a solid week as I ingest facts, numbers, data, theory. I'm freaking out as I churn out final research papers while trying to squeeze my extra credit assignments in. But this year, with finals broaching, that sense of urgency and panic has been replaced with a cool, collected focus. I make a list of things to get done, and then I do it. I'm currently getting ahead on some last-minute assignments instead of putting them off until four hours before the final. I'm not even concerned about having to pack my "emergency overnighter" bag- containing the essentials of deodorant, a clean shirt, and toothbrush- for my inevitable all nighter at the Laughing Goat in the library. This time of the year inspires stress- but this year, I'm only mildly stressed about the odd fact that I'm not so stressed.
I suppose that after 8 rounds of finals, you sort of understand the rhythm of this time of the year. I also guess that, because I have job lined up (my potential for finding work is no longer hinging on my GPA), I'm not as concerned about acing my finals as usual. But, also, I think I finally understand the balance between work and play- that fine tight rope every successful college student has to walk if they don't want their social life to tip into oblivion, eclipsed by the mounting pressure of being in school. It doesn't have to be that way. It also doesn't have to be the opposite way (you know, where you end up having that awkward conversation with your parents about why you're not doing so hot in school but you have about a million friends and a photo-legacy on facebook that harkens back to you adventures for the semester?). I posted about this earlier this year, but I really am finding it to be easier and easier to accomplish: you work hard, you play hard. So that's the philosophy I'm adopting going into my final finals. I've got a few ski days with my friends planned out- but also allotted time in which to complete my studying. I'm planning to be super focused and crank out some great work next Monday and Tuesday, when I have the bulk of my finals, so that Thursday and Friday when I don my cap and gown and flip my tassel on my hat, I can feel good about what I've accomplished. And then, of course, I'll go crazy in the celebrations that will surely ensue.
Life is not a cakewalk- and neither is college. But wouldn't you rather figure out how to have it all now, while you're in school, pulling the ultimate balancing act between school, work, internships, friends, etc.? If you can get through this, you can get through anything. And you'll have a blast along the way.
Proof? Check out this sick gingerbread yurt I made with my friends after we spent a day at Copper skiing.