To The Girl Who Can't Make it Through Finals

Keep your head up, girlie. You’re gonna make it.

I know how you feel right now: beaten down, tired and overwhelmed. Pissed at yourself for procrastinating, for overeating, for snapping at your friend earlier. There is a pile of work on your table that you need to do, and you have no clue where to even start. And that sucks, I know it does, but take a moment right now and forgive yourself.

Breathe in, think of all the crappy and stressful stuff, and then breathe out and let it go. Think of all the toxic energy swirling around in your head and imagine it congealing into one giant ball and exiting your mind. Give yourself a break, and cut yourself some slack, because although it is easy to berate yourself for every tiny misstep, negativity doesn’t have a positive correlation with productivity. In fact, you might be surprised to find that forgiving yourself leads to a better outlook overall.

I know that this is far from easy and that the mountain looming over you right now is large and rather fearsome. But you’ve climbed mountains higher than this before, and you can climb one more. If it helps, imagine what it will be like to stand at the summit. Imagine returning back home to old friends and family and puppies that missed you oh so much. Imagine sleeping in as late as you want for days with your only motivation to get out of bed being the occasional need for food. Imagine how awesome it’ll be to stand on that summit and say, “I did it.” Not even “I did it,” but “I crushed it.” I crushed that giant paper, I crushed that impossible exam, I crushed that group project that made me want to tear my hair out.

If you can’t think that far in the future, focus on the tiny battles you can win now that will make you feel better. Go get something to eat. Go clean your room. Go chip away at that pile of work page by page. Focus on the boulders, not the whole mountain, if you need to.

Find your groove. Find your release. Binge watch a season on Netflix or go run a few miles at the gym. Unpack your mind from its current state: swimming with multiple biology life cycles or the various religious practices at funerals or whatever mundane studying you are being forced to do. Practice activities that remind you of why you’re here: to learn, to grow, to flourish. Do something that makes you step back enough to realize that regardless of what happens during that exam, you will still be you and life will still be life. And both of you will keep trucking on.

My beautiful girl, you are enough. You are enough to beat whatever challenge you are presented with no matter the odds. You will push through this. You are full with strength and courage and determination. You are amazing, and you are needed.

Go and do. You’ve got this.


photo by Hailey McQuiller