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college motivation

Will This Be Curved? What Grade Do I Need to Pass? Am I Pretty? & Other Finals Week Dilemnas

It’s finals week. By the way, why is it called finals “week?” I swear it’s been like a month of nonstop papers and deadlines and bull shit that I don’t have time for, so why the false advertising? Why are finals even a thing? Like, if I got something all semester, why do I have to prove to you that I still get it with a long winded essay with a point that I could prove efficiently in a paragraph or two, or a test that I spend two weeks freaking the fuck out about but studying once or twice for? Finals should be an extra credit opportunity. But I digress.

imageI’m stressed out, I’m behind on everything, I’m exhausted, and I feel like the human equivalent of the drying vomit in a freshmen dorm on a Friday morning. Why do I suck at getting out of bed? Why do I suck at doing anything remotely related to my education in a timely manner? Why do I continue to go out weekend after weekend knowing that I have things to do as well as how much I could benefit from a solid night of sleep? And as guilty as I feel about even thinking about this when I have so many more important things to be worrying about, why the fuck don’t guys at my school seem to like me?

imageI give myself the same speech every semester about how I’m going to prioritize and make Dean’s List and find the cure for cancer and work a lot of hours and save a lot of money and start budgeting better and start working out, and at the end of every semester I end up in the same place: on my bed at 3 o clock in the morning, poor, broke, fat, and finishing things that were already due.

imageI’m not trying to throw myself a pity party or even avoid responsibility for my actions; I know that most of my problems are my own fault. What it really comes down to is discipline and self control, but it’s so much more easily said than done. There are exceptions to every rule, but people are generally successful when they make short term sacrifices for long term success; when they decide to make sandwiches every day instead of eating at the food court during their lunch breaks, when they give up a night out to get ahead on homework, when they save up their paychecks as opposed to blowing them on clothes and other things they don’t need, and as easy as a concept as that is to grasp, it’s so much harder to execute.

imageIn terms of appearance, I’m quite confident. I have my bad days just like anyone, but they’re few and far between. As a general rule of thumb, I think I’m quite the smoke and don’t really care who agrees or disagrees with me. But as the downward spiral of finals has continued to take its toll, I’ve found myself more insecure. Why don’t guys ask my friends to hook them up with me? Do my friends even actually think I’m pretty? Am I one of those delusional bitches that thinks she woke up ***flawless but actually needs to take her ass back to sleep?

imageStress has clouded my judgment and penetrated every facet of my life, making me extremely vulnerable to things that usually wouldn’t matter to me. College is unique because its almost impossible to keep different aspects of your life neatly separated; everything overlaps. Your work schedule affects your academics and the time you have for fun, but fun costs money. Under pressure and stress some of us become weak, and lose sight of not only what we want but who we are and what we stand for. College is no humble feat; it takes a serious toll on our emotional, physical and mental wellbeing, but we are all capable of much more than we give ourselves credit for, and if we ever want to amount to anything in life we have to stop asking ourselves if we can rise to the occasion and demanding it of ourselves.

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  • “When I told your father I was pregnant he told me to get an abortion. After you were born he told me he had never been more wrong about anything in his life.” I’m pro-life, and I always have been. My mom was starting law school at Brown when she got pregnant with me a year younger than I am now. My biological father...wasn’t exactly boyfriend of the year to put things lightly, and as an Ivy League grad the world was literally my mom’s oyster. She was extremely religious and went to a very conservative church where a child out of wedlock would turn her into an outcast. Because like every last professed pro-life Christian, she wasn’t perfect. But this wouldn’t be a sin that she could hide or bury. She had every reason to make that appointment, but she chose not to.

Fast forward 24 years, and a really good friend of mine got pregnant at the same age my mom did, and I assumed she would keep it. She was in a stable relationship and even told me she wanted to start a family soon. And according to almost every conversation we’d ever had on the subject, she was pro life too. But she was panicking, and almost overnight her entire perspective changed. Ironically enough, just days before I attended my first March for Life, a good friend of mine got an abortion.

And I won’t lie; I was disappointed. Because like most abortions, it wasn’t the result of some freak accident of properly used but failed birth control. She was being careless. And while I did my best to make the case for keeping it without pressuring her, I completely understood her decision and didn’t judge her for a minute. Because what my friend needed more than opinions or condemnation was my support.

I am pro life, and I always have been. My views didn’t change, but my attitude did. I realized that week, after taking frantic phone call after frantic phone call, that life happens in a lot of different directions. Life happening for my mom meant a child at 24 and dropping out of law school. Life happening for my friend meant an abortion. And part of being pro life — for me at least — is being there for people in your life even when it challenges you.
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