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Guys, we did it! After the next couple of days, we can officially say we’ve completed an entire semester of college during a pandemic. It feels like one of those moments where the credits should start rolling and we celebrate making it through, but that’s not the case. When we first got the news that we’d be completing some of the spring 2020 semester online, I remember I was excited because that meant more time to sleep in and binge my latest show. About a week later, that little break was extended to the rest of the semester and although slightly worrying, I was okay because I would’ve had to leave in less than a month anyway. Fast forward to nine months later, and that excitement I once felt has long-passed and I am left with little to no motivation.

Finals week has always been a super stressful time for me with my intense fear of failure combined with my severe testing-anxiety, but this time feels different. The fear and anxiety are no longer present and instead, I am left with this feeling of indifference. After working hard all semester teaching myself, attending various Zoom meetings, getting involved in research, and more. I can officially say I am mentally exhausted. In this past semester, I can count on my two hands the number of days we’ve had off from school, and in my case, each of those days was spent completing more schoolwork to avoid falling behind in the following week.

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School became just about meeting the 11:59 p.m. deadline, and once I took a test on certain material, the knowledge I acquired was gone in the next second. I know plenty of professors tried their best at understanding our situation, but it didn’t feel that way when after we log off Zoom, we are left with enough work to occupy any free time we have for the rest of the day. This endless cycle of waking up, working on my laptop for X number of hours, joining and then leaving Zoom meetings soon grew exhausting and now here we are. Finals week is officially here, and I must scrape together any motivation I have left to finish strong.

I’m tired.

I’m exhausted.

BUT I did it!

As I write this, I wanted to show readers that if you’re feeling like this too, you’re not alone. Many of my friends have expressed the same emotions I did in this article and in a weird way, that made me feel better. Sitting in quarantine for so long makes you feel like you’re in this bubble and no one understands what you’re going through, but many of your fellow college students do. Usually, you’d catch me burying all these feelings and hoping it just goes away, but I decided that I can potentially help someone else by being honest. We’ve all had our college experience stripped away from us and although we’re not going through the same thing as each other, we can relate to one another.

Next semester, I plan to advocate for myself more, stop taking on overwhelming amounts of responsibilities and listen to my body when it says it needs a break. Winter break is the perfect time to rest up and prepare for a better spring semester, and I plan on doing just that.   

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Jahnaezha McFadden is a first-year Biological Science major at Florida State University. She has a passion for advocacy, journalism, and science. She enjoys binging TV shows on Netflix and Hulu and you can typically find her crying over a fictional breakup or death.
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