Two weeks. Just two more weeks of class, then reading days, and then it’s finals season. Then, finally, the spring semester will draw to a close, and we’ll get to relax and enjoy the summer break.
That relaxation couldn’t come sooner. This moment in the academic calendar is one of the most stressful: Job and internship deadlines approach, class projects and term papers are due, and soon-to-be spring graduates had better be lining up some plans for where they’ll live once the dorms close and leases expire.
That’s a lot of sources of stress, and the breakneck pace at which they’re coming in only makes matters worse. We figure that now is as good a time as any to remind everyone that it’s OK to loosen up, to take a break and keep from overworking ourselves.
When you’re in the thick of things, it can be hard to see the bigger picture. Just think of how one of the easiest ways to strike up a conversation with a stranger on campus is to ask about academics: What’re you studying? How are midterms going? Got a rough finals schedule? Academics are always on our mind.
Put all that to the side for a moment and take a deep breath. The Trinity curriculum isn’t easy, sure, but it doesn’t have to be a hyper-competitive rat race, either.
If your high school college counselor was worth their salt, they kept telling you that perfect grades hardly matter. Nothing within the past four years has changed this, and the fact that you’re chasing an undergraduate degree hasn’t changed it either.
It turns out that good is good enough. The compulsion to aspire to 4.0 perfection is just that: a compulsion. And those are rarely healthy.
Consider the fact sheet that Counseling Services shared with attendees of the March 21 SGA meeting. Last fall, 276 students — majority female — arranged for at least one counseling session. Nearly a third of them said that they sought counseling because they were struggling academically; half of those folks cited “moderate to severe academic trouble.”
It would be wrong to look at those numbers and conclude that there’s a problem. It’s no sign of failure or weakness to attend counseling, whatsoever. If anything, it would be better if more students were willing to speak to professionals about academics and mental health.
That’s not license to stop attending class and flunk out. But it is about time that we stop stigmatizing some legitimate ways that we can make life easier on ourselves as students.
There’s no shame in asking for an extension on an assignment, withdrawing from a class or taking an incomplete on your transcript. And spending a semester away from school is a worthy way to spend your time. It can help you recharge, save funds and enjoy a short dip into the ‘real world.’
The tour guides lied to you: triple and quadruple minors are not as common as you might think. Work with your academic advisers to figure out what schedules work best with your life goals.
Finals are nearly here, and they will take no prisoners. But we owe it to ourselves and to one another to keep afloat, rather than turning into a stressful mess.
Good luck, Trin, and stay stressless.