Tasha Adams is a senior graduating in May. Like Nicole Reither, she is also terrified of all things graduation—failing a class, walking at the ceremony, not finding a job after receiving her degree. “The undaunted undergrads” is an account of working through last-semester fears and getting the most out of the college experience.
Sometimes we are so consumed by school we forget there is still life outside school. And sometimes life comes and tragically slaps us in the face.
On Feb. 28, a close friend of my family passed away. She was only 12. I got a phone call from my mom crying, telling me “Lauren’s brain dead, she’s dying.” I spent the entire day in the hospital only to hear there was nothing the doctors could do. I watched as a mother lost her child and two little girls lost a sister.
The last week and a half has been a haze of crying, mourning and, unfortunately, schoolwork. Regardless of how broken my heart is, I still need to pass my classes to graduate.
The day after she passed away, I had a midterm to take. That weekend I had a group project to do. Life has still been going on around me.
Now, I will admit, there have been a couple assignments I haven’t done and a couple of classes I missed but I was careful about what I was neglecting at school. I took the midterm and I finished the group project. I didn’t participate in an online discussion and I didn’t do a reading response. Those were worth little compared to the time I spent with family.
I have also seen my counselor since it happened. It has helped to have her there to emotionally spill on. She has helped me remember to balance my sadness with my responsibilities.
Things happen despite our focus on school: we get sick, people break up with us, we get evicted. It would be great to press pause so we can deal with our non-school problems but we don’t have that option.
Be sure to take care of you. Cry if you need to. Skip a class for a job interview. Take a night off to find your sanity.
I am not suggesting you lose control and neglect all things school-related. But it is important to let go of something little in order to focus on the bigger things.