North Texas Daily

Restless juniors, we are almost there

Restless juniors, we are almost there

Restless juniors, we are almost there
April 29
10:57 2021

Graduation is but days away, signifying the end for thousands of students’ academic journeys. Going through the gauntlet of online classes and a pandemic that continues to wreak havoc, this year’s grads deserve all the praise and adulation they will surely get this Friday. Seniors have made an incredible example of navigating troubled waters, their accomplishments all the more impressive during this tumultuous day and age.

For us juniors, however, the future looks more uncertain than ever. As we watch our friends walk the stage, we cannot become restless for the next year of undergrad and instead appreciate its immense potential.

We need to remember today’s seniors were yesterday’s freshmen. Those walking the stage were once overwhelmed by the campus’s immense scale, and little by little, what was once daunting and intimidating became their second home, now our second home.

The path to graduation is not an instant or even comfortable one. Perhaps the wide-eyed optimism back in the day has become more measure and even a little jaded. A lot of us are majoring in what we are passionate about, and we have all experienced roadblocks to just reach this point. Yet, we’re still here, even if we are a little worse for wear.

It’s bad enough to go through a strenuous undergraduate program during a pandemic and the fact we still haven’t reached the finish line can make us feel deflated. But like starting an essay with a blank page or a grueling marathon, there is much work to be done. Instead of stressing over the amount of ground left to cover, we need to take each day, each mind-numbingly tedious assignment, as it comes. Being present and aware of what is in front of us is essential in ensuring academic success. To quote Phil Jackson, “the soul of success is conquering what is.”

Eventually, we will reach the finish line and don that cap and gown. Today’s freshmen will someday graduate too. College is essentially a revolving door of a maturing existential crisis. While that sounds nihilistic, there is some beauty to that notion. Success should not be easily earned or painless. Being truly great at a certain craft requires endless hours of trial and error. If you never find yourself at your wit’s end on a single assignment, are you truly learning?

Many of us feel like we’ve limped to the finish line for just this semester. Maybe the idea of summer or fall classes makes you feel queasy. I get it. The last thing we should do is subject ourselves to unnecessary punishment. When you submit that final essay or finish that final exam, put your phone down. Take a nap or a jog. Walk your dog or open a book of your choosing.

This has been a rollercoaster of a semester and we owe it to ourselves to recharge. Appreciate all you have done right here, right now. We’ve been through our own versions of hell and we are still here. We are a little smarter, maybe even wiser and more tired. We are entering the final stretch of the race. We might as well make a good go of it.

Featured Illustration by Miranda Thomas

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Kevin Diaz

Kevin Diaz

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