Opinion: I’m ready to be done and that is okay

By Emily Smith

Opinion Editor

It’s 9 a.m. on a Wednesday morning and the first thing I do when I wake up is check my phone. This action is not one that I make consciously, but my sleepbrain knows that the light from the screen will burn my eyes open. As I press the home button, I am filled with dread at what I see: texts from friends that I haven’t answered in three days, emails about opportunities to take advantage of, reminders about meetings. Even last semester, these notifications wouldn’t have seem so daunting, but now as the days creep from March into April, they are overwhelming.

Hi, my name’s Emily Smith, I’m a senior in college, and I am exhausted.

Truly, how did this happen? My sophomore and junior years, I was busy all the time and absolutely loved it. I was on three eboards, juggling 18 credits, planning events off campus, and still somehow managed to have time for friends. Now, it’s a struggle getting to class, and when I do, I find myself critiquing the teaching styles of teachers I’ve loved for years. Discussions that used to excite me about books or topics, I’m bored by. Projects that before would challenge me, now only tire me.

This reality is such a frustrating one for me as someone who has always derived so much joy from learning and being in school. The highlights of my past four years have been centered around doing things, soaking up the knowledge and people around me, exploring new parts of myself. I am a vastly different person now than I was four years ago, and I am extremely grateful.

However, this is not about how much I’ve changed; I’ll save that story for my Mission Hundred Days (coming soon to a theater near you). This is about where go from here.

I asked myself: I can’t be the only senior having this issue, right? I thought, perhaps this all can be chalked up to a nasty case of senioritis. And at its core, I suppose that’s what is going on. I’ve realized it comes down to this: I’m ready to be done and that is okay.

I am a naturally guilty person. I find that I feel badly for things for longs periods of time and think about my possibly wrongdoings for just as long, So, as I felt myself slipping out of the groove of school and extracurricular activities, naturally my first instinct was to blame myself. It was wrong that I was feeling the way that I was and I needed to find a way to remedy to seemingly innocuous wrongdoings toot-sweet or I would continue to wallow in guilt. However, I couldn’t find a way to get my jazz back!

I tried counseling, signing up for different activities, talking to other senior friends about it, taking breaks from things that were stressing me out, but nothing made me excited to be doing what had been making me happy for the past four years.

Only after this spring break did I figure out the problem: there was no problem! I went home and spent time with my family, hung out with friends, read for pleasure, and generally enjoyed myself. When in the past I would have been excited to go back to school to get back into the swing of classes and activities, I found myself dreading it.

I turned to my ever-wise mother for help on the issue and her response was something that had never occurred to me before.

“It’s good that you feel like you want to be done with school,” she said, “I’d be worried if you felt like you weren’t ready.”

Huh, okay. What did she mean by this? After thinking about it for a while, I realized that she was absolutely right. How equally scary would it be if I was dreading being done with school, if I didn’t feel ready to leave? Of course, it is totally fine if some senior reading this is truly does not feel ready to get out of here. College is, after all, the best time in a person’s life. Apparently.

In my case though, I could not be more ready to go, and I should not feel guilty for that. College is a place for young people to develop, grow, and learn. And while I️ know I️ don’t have all the answers to life’s great many mysteries, I do feel as if I have gotten all I can out of the countless great opportunities Canisius has offered to me. I feel confident knowing that I️ can go forth into the next chapter in my life well equipped with the skills I have gained over the past four years. Then someday soon when I’m ready to go back to school, I will be able to pick up my studies with fresh eyes, filled with the same excitement that tradition learning has always given me.

For now though, I need a good long break. And I now realize that that is nothing to me ashamed of.

 

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