November, Trees and Clarity

It’s that time of year again when the stress of finals has reached its peak. Professors are handing out last minute assignments left & right, tests are coming up and papers are due at every turn. Thanksgiving seems far away and even though a weekend break is coming you have to swallow that pill and look responsibility in the eye like a collegiette and say no, I can’t go out.

The stress of November really takes a toll on everyone. Professors are stressed, students are stressed, parents want attention and old friends want to hang out but everyone seems to be struggling to not drown. I was thinking about all of this when I remembered an old lyric from a song that I hadn’t listened to since freshman year of high school; “Where the past comes back to life” from ‘Clarity’ by Zedd and Foxes.

This lyric came to me when I saw an old oak with its leaves colored and ready to fall - some having done so already. The more I dwelled on it, the more I thought about how we, humans, are a lot like trees. We are, in the beginning, just as flimsy as they are - but through times of hardship we stabilize and learn to stand tall. Hardship for a tree is the fall and winter; the tree is losing leaves, storms cause branches to break and shakes and grounds itself into whatever it can to survive and stands tall.

We, as collegiettes, struggle the most by the end of October to fuel our needs & motivate ourselves to keep going. We go through this struggle just like the trees - yearly, thus the line I remembered: “past comes back to life.” Our struggles as students vary a bit every fall and winter just as the struggle varies for the trees - but we get through it and come back to life after hibernation during winter break.

It takes work to see beauty in the agony we suffer. Sometimes we wonder if it is all worth it - the stress and the anxiety just to pass or to find who we are. Many people will argue that one should schedule inspiration into their lives to ensure they feel ‘rejuvenated’ and that is a good idea - but with all the other things on our minds we forget and put our self-care last.

Sometimes all we need to do is make small adjustments. If you normally drive with music on, try a podcast one day or drive in silence. Those 20 minutes of driving alone can make you see things more clearly or just give a little calm we need in the day. I stumbled upon this revelation as I was driving and looking at the oaks on the lawns as I went home. We all struggle and sometimes all we need is a connection or a small change to make a difference. We are strong & beautiful and I believe just like trees we will grow and touch the skies. Keep faith and remember that after every fall (pun intended) we come back stronger.

If you want to hear the song I mentioned by Zedd and Foxes, click here!