Everyone is tired; everyone is anxious. Another paper to write or exam to study for. As soon as an assignment is completed another takes it place. Some students feel as though they are drowning in final studies and pray that it ends soon.

We study hard to learn as much as possible. That is obvious. How wonderful it is to be able to quote a poem or analyze a situation in a new way. It is satisfying to dive deep into research and receive a terrific grade. It is great to hear, “Wow, good job,” from the toughest teacher.

But much of it comes at the price of constant stress: the type of stress that makes some people not want to talk to anyone; the type of stress that causes some depression; the type of stress that causes fatigue and overall disgust with anything unplanned or uncontrollable.

Stress restricts freedom.

Often when a wave of stress comes over me, I begin to contemplate all that must get done during the semester. I begin to think about time. We have been allocated a certain amount of time on Earth, and I don’t know anyone who wants to spend that whole time being stressed.

My parents both went to college where they dealt with similar pressures and faced similar deadlines. But if I ask about a specific test they stressed over in college, they would have no remembrance of it.

So study, but don’t stress. While grades matter, their power over us fades with time.

And in the midst of tough times at the end of the semester, it is important to realize the things that actually matter. Spend time with friends. Make time for relationships and adventures.

I am not suggesting that you neglect school nor implying that it is unimportant. But you should not let stress take away joy or prevent you from making lasting memories and relationships. In the long run, these memories will mean so much more to you than the grade you received on your final.

It is the relationships we make that provide fulfillment in life.

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