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Mental Health

Why Are We Trying to Rush Through Finals?: 3 Mantras to Keep You Inspired

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

On the Sunday after getting back from Thanksgiving Break, I headed to my second home (the library) to plan for the week ahead and finish up some homework. After being there for about an hour, I heard two people meet up at the table behind me. Judging by their conversation, it seemed to be a French tutor and his tutee going over material for her upcoming test. Before getting into the review session, he started by asking her how her break was and she replied *not a direct quote,* “Ugh, I’m tired! I just can’t wait to get through this week and the next week and then go back home again.”

While this is a common response that I hear, especially during this stressful time of year, it still caught my attention. I get it; these last few weeks are tough with all of our final papers, projects, and presentations due in such a short time frame. Doing all of this school work on top of work-work, extracurriculars, and real life is a struggle, even before you pile on planning for Winter Break and trying to squeeze in a few extra minutes with friends before we leave campus. I agree that this time of year is challenging and the thought of going home is comforting, but why are we trying to rush through all the wonderful moments the rest of the semester may also bring?

After being forced to go home two months early at the end of my sophomore year due to COVID, it was beyond difficult knowing how many memories we would miss out on. On first getting the email with the dreadful news, me and my roommate talked about how we wished we could all just stay on campus over Spring Break and create a bubble so no one would get COVID and we could finish out the year together. While we were naive in our knowledge about the virus at the time, we were still upset that we were leaving our friends, events, orgs, and in-person classes behind to spend the next two months stuck at home. After losing that time at Denison, I am grateful to be here no matter how hectic, busy, or stressful things get.

I am even more grateful to be here now that I am a senior and realize how short my time left on the Hill really is. I don’t want to rush through these next two weeks wishing to be home when I could instead enjoy hearing the research presentations that my classmates worked so hard on, playing volleyball with the best teammates before I get rusty over Winter Break, and spending time with the most wonderful friends a girl could ask for. After this finals season, I will only have one semester left to do those things and I don’t take any of that time for granted. I admit it is difficult to think about those little joyful moments under the pressure of major assignments, but I want to soak up as much of Denison as I can in the little time I have left.

So, instead of rushing through these next couple of weeks, complaining about assignments and the cold weather, I challenge you (and myself!) to be present in as many moments as possible and to savor the little joys of being on campus. To do that, here are 3 mantras I use to stay present and hopeful and that I hope will help you to do the same during this hectic finals season:

1. “I will never have this version of me again. Let me slow down and be with her.” – rupi kaur

While this is originally a poem from the lovely rupi kaur, I like to use it as a mantra to remind myself that this is the only time I get to be this exact version of me. Yes, the core of who I am will always be the same but this is the only time I get to be Grace, senior at Denison University Fall Semester 2021. After the end of this semester I will be taking different classes and following different routines. After graduation I will be living an almost completely different life. I want to slow down and be with the version of myself I am now before she has moved on to different people, places, and things.

2. These are the good times.

I saw a quote recently on Pinterest about how when we are searching for something better, we are never content with the present and, therefore, will never feel fulfilled. This made me think about how often I wish that I was in a part of my life where I felt more certain and more in control; the good times. But this post reminded me that the times I am living in right now are the good times. Instead of wishing for the sun, I walk to class in the rain repeating the mantra “These are the good times” to remind myself to accept the present moment and be happy with what is.

3. I trust myself, I trust the Universe, I trust the timing of my life.

This is a mantra I first heard back in high school from one of my favorite YouTubers, Kalyn Nicholson, that has stuck with me ever since. Especially as a senior with so much uncertainty on the horizon, I like to repeat this phrase to remind myself to trust that everything is happening the way it’s supposed to. I can sit back and trust that as long as I keep putting in the work, everything will turn out marvelously.

I hope one of these mantras can be helpful in some way to inspire you through this busy season. If they don’t resonate with you, that’s okay, too! Whether it be mantras, pictures of your pets, or the chicken avocado you’re going to get for dinner, find some way to stay hopeful and keep yourself going in the coming weeks. Please take care of your mental, physical, and spiritual health in whatever way works for you. Now go out there and absolutely CRUSH your finals!! 

Grace Klein

Denison '22

Grace is a senior Educational Studies and History double major with a Women's and Gender Studies minor from a small town in Northeast Ohio. When she is not busy studying or writing for Her Campus, you can find her spending time with family and friends, playing volleyball with her BFFs, listening to country music, or eating choclate chip cookies :)
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