It’s funny how what feels like the best thing in the world is immediately followed by the the dark days. The last week of classes went by really fast. It was all a blur. A blur of excitement! Unfortunately now that it is over there is only one thing standing between me and going home: finals (dun dun duuuuuuuuuuun!). I have my Swahili final on Monday, my 12-15 page term paper for Hunters & Gatherers due Friday, my presentation for the Art of Teaching also on Friday, and then finally my Archaeology of North American Indian final the following Wednesday. I also have to hand in my rewrites for two papers for the archaeology class before the final. My last post on Facebook said exactly how I’m feeling about all of this: “Feel like I’m slightly drowning in all this work but I am doggy paddling for my life at the moment! Just keep swimming, just keep swimming!” There are times when it gets really overwhelming here, but the feeling you get when it’s all over is truly priceless! I can picture myself and how I will feel when I’m finally holding my Cornell degree in my hands. I do strive to create work I can be proud of, and I’ve had to realize that I’m going to have off days, or sometimes even weeks. There will be times when my professors do not think my work is as awesome as I do, and that’s ok. What is important is that you always do your best while you are here and realize that you are only human and so is everyone else.
During finals weeks it is imperative that you take time for yourself as well. I am following along with a book of weekly lessons and it has really been helping me out. Each week you are to read the lesson and then incorporate it into every day experiences for the rest of the week. Part One, which consists of the first eleven lessons, is all about being good to yourself. The lessons are: Be for Yourself, Take in the Good, Have Compassion for Yourself, Relax, See the Good in Yourself, Slow Down, Forgive Yourself, Get More Sleep, Befriend Your Body, Nourish Your Brain, and Protect Your Brain (from Just One Thing by Rick Hanson). Here at Cornell no one holds your hand and helps you through rough times. You have to learn to be there for yourself just like you would be there for a friend. In this lifetime your body and your mind are all you have to keep you going, so you need to do your part in keeping them happy and healthy. This is especially true during times like finals when you usually put yourself on the back burner in order to press through. You can ace your finals AND treat your body with kindness. It really is possible! It’s just all about finding that balance. So good luck with finals if you are a current student, and if you are a prospective student remember this for when you are here taking your finals!