Column: Patience is key to the semester
Published: Friday, January 18, 2013
Updated: Friday, January 18, 2013 22:01
I always find myself with a low energy level when the spring semester approaches. Fall semester begins with almost three months of rest (i.e. not class) behind it (if you’re an incoming freshman, you’re probably still on a graduation high, which is even better). But there’s only a three week preface to spring semester, like a nap that’s just long enough to induce a false sense of complacency but too short to offer any real rest. While it seems that everyone else is talking endlessly about New Year’s resolutions, I’m asking how I’m going to go back into the classroom when a lot of the memories of fall semester’s finals weeks are still fresh in my mind. Just looking at the list of my textbooks is enough to make me sleepy (let’s not even talk about trying to buy them).
A few days after the start of the new year, I sat in my room trying to pack and get in the mindset of another semester of college. I packed some new things I had picked up in town, including one of those calendars full of inspirational quotes that my aunt likes to give out as a Christmas gift. I flipped through to June 22 (I know, I cheated) and found a quote by Jean de La Fontaine: “Patience and time do more than strength or passion.” It made me think. Strength and the pursuit of my passions had brought me to college and were, I thought, what sustained me through college. I hadn’t considered where patience fit into my life. As I thought back on how I’d pushed through the first few sluggish weeks of spring semester in the past, I realized that I had been patient with myself. I’d woken up earlier to give myself more time to mosey my way to class. I’d had several hot cups of tea throughout the day to award myself for tiny victories—the “I Worked Out” cup, the “I Turned in My Homework” cup, the “I Made It Through Today” cup, etc. I got back into the school routine eventually. Patience helps when strength and passion decide to take a break; sometimes, the secret to getting through periods of burnout is just plodding along until things feel better.
I’m not a fan of the New Year’s resolution (I think they get too much attention, when every day is a new chance to make a resolution), but I found a sort of resolution in knowing that I would probably feel better if I kept going. Moving forward, even if your pace rivals a snail’s, is still moving forward.
Kylee McInytre can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org