Dec 16, 2011 0 Share

Endings and Beginnings


Student sitting at laptop with hands in the air indicating happiness.
iStockphoto

As of this writing, I am officially finished with my latest college semester. I have spent the past three days completing one last assignment, a pair of essays similar to the pair I had to complete for midterm. I feel incredibly relieved now that both of them have been submitted and graded. I have a sense of closure with the events of the previous semester, but I also know that I have one more semester to go, and I am already preparing myself mentally for it. 

I felt a copious amount of stress as I began writing the last two essays for my remaining class. I had completed all of my assignments in all of my other courses, so I had plenty of time to finish the essays, but the pressure was still on because both essays would require some time to research and write. I had gotten my reference books at a couple of different libraries about a week ahead of actually writing the essays, but I didn’t  have a lot of time to look through them because I had to complete all of my other work first. Therefore, as I wrote each essay, I looked up material in the books at the same time.  Fortunately, most of the books contained indexes arranged by topic so I could easily find which pages might contain the type of information I needed. Using the indexes, composing the essays took far less time than I thought they would.  

I put the finishing touches on the essays and submitted them yesterday, thankful that both of them and my obligations for my other classes were complete. I have spent today waiting for my final grades to come in and relaxing, something I have not been able to do for quite some time. It feels so good to be able to have about a month off between semesters, and I am also now able to turn my attention to celebrating the holidays with my family. I still have chores around the house to complete, but fortunately, I find it much more relaxing now that I do not have to worry about deadlines and grades for a little while. 

I am also anticipating my final semester coming up in about a month. Prior to beginning my finals, I visited my course administrator at the college campus to choose my classes for the upcoming semester. I am looking forward to next semester because I feel I picked out a good mix of classes which will help me immensely in the future. I am especially excited to start the three writing classes I picked up. I have done a lot of writing for my previous courses, but I have not worked in a class devoted specifically to writing just yet. I think I will enjoy these classes more than most of the ones I have had in the past because they will help me to learn many different writing techniques, techniques I hope to use to make my living as my life goes on. My other classes are mostly extensions of classes I have enjoyed in the past, but I feel they may provide me with insight into some interesting subjects to write about in the future. In a few weeks, I will head to the college bookstore to pick up the materials I need for my new classes, and I will be checking the syllabi so that I will be able to plan out my work schedule. This process has always been a bit chaotic for me in the past, but once everything is organized, I will be able to settle down and begin my work in earnest. Now that I know that everything smoothes out as I go, I feel I have been able to handle the process better and better as each semester comes and goes. 

Of course, my preparations for the upcoming semester will not fully occur for another few weeks, but I feel like I am in a period of transition. I have finished climbing one mountain, and I am looking forward to beginning my climb up to another peak. I also take comfort in knowing that my next semester will also be the last one I have to do before I graduate. If my past semesters are any indication, I am sure that this one will have its fair share of challenges, but also some truly enjoyable moments. As usual, I look forward to learning new things.