As the end of the semester approaches

It’s that time of year – when students are looking their various syllabi for their classes and are anticipating what feels like a mountain of work: final projects, the last big paper of the class, and of course final exams.

Students at this point in time can feel a wide variety of things – overwhelmed, stressed, snippy with their loved ones or friends, you name it. They might also feel relieved that they can see the finish line of the semester in the not-too-distant future. Or for our seniors, a certain sadness that their years in college are coming to an end.

For the last week of classes, and certainly even through Beach Week/post-exams (which is supposed to be a fun, frivolous break between finals and Commencement), I was pretty depressed, to tell you the truth. It felt so daunting to know that the friends I lived with for 3 years were all going to scatter to the four winds and Things Would Never Be The Same Again. One of my best friends got engaged, which threw our friend group for a loop. And there was the sickening realization that I would have to be a ‘real adult’ – of the bill-paying, fully independent variety. I was looking at Commencement like I was walking to the guillotine.

And then…the day arrived. Well, technically we had Baccalaureate first. And as much as I had been dreading putting on that cap and gown, the day felt exciting. And happy. And lighthearted. And celebratory. It was even better the next day on Commencement proper. So much fun to celebrate that day with my family, my best friends, and my class.

All this to say that if your Deacs are cross or short with you, I might chalk it up to the end of the semester/end of the college experience blues. But those, too, will pass. Keep telling your kids you love them, “you’ve got this!” and they will find their footing. And if they appear to have more than typical stress/anxiety/pressure, etc., remind them that the University Counseling Center has walk in hours if they need it.

 

— by Betsy Chapman ’92, MA ’94

 

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