If you are like me and have mastered the art of procrastination, you’ll understand the amount of work and studying that needs to happen for the final stretch of the semester.
Actually, I think you know.
As the semester comes to an end, the libraries once so deserted are packed with zombie-like students sipping on their energy drinks trying to keep their eyelids open to finish what should be a full 10 page paper by barely making it onto the 10th page with a few sentences; adding extra adjectives, commas, and superlatives to fluff it up. Even after promising to yourself to never again put yourself through another 5 consecutive days of “all-nighters”, at the end of each and every semester, you find yourself among your peers trying to piece together the bits and pieces of the lectures you’ve managed to attend.
Despite all the last minute hustle and bustle, what intrigues me each year is the very ability of each and every student to excel in school, studying the fields of their choice, while being active on campus and within communities that they choose to serve. When you weigh the importance of activism and extracurricular activities within the lives of the students, the end of the semester behavior of flocking the libraries is easy to understand. As students, we have the task of managing and balancing out our mundane lives of boring lectures, projects, and papers by adding on activities that will provide our inner selves joy and excitement.
It is not to say that academics are less important. However, many of us lose sight of actually having a meaningful college experience when the emphasis is placed on the final objective of getting stellar grades and impressive resumes to land one’s perfect job.
To the contrary, many of us want the experiential education that can only be obtained through active participation in activism, community service, and through networks of other passionate and energetic individuals. As a student who has struggled to find the right balance between school, work, activism, and play; I can attest to the difficulty in finding the “happy medium” while still having reasonable hours of rest and relaxation.
This year, I intentionally chose not to be too involved on campus activities to focus on my academics as an upperclassman. However, what started out as an attempt to achieve better quality of work, turned into longing for more involvement in the communities around campus and to at times loss of focus. I’ve come to an understanding with myself regarding this year’s decision to shift my focus. Although my decision was intentional, as I face my final lap before the closing of the semester, I’ve learn to listen to my inner self. Because when your heart is in the work that you do, no matter what it is, there are ample chances and room for success and progress.
The vote in the House of Representatives last week on the DREAM Act was another occasion that inspired me to continue to strive and to demand more of myself. Despite the polarized political climate surrounding the issue of immigration and despite the reality of Congress being in the lame duck session, those who truly believe in progress and change for the group of young minds, kept pushing and demanding for change.
The passing of the DREAM Act in our political arena is not going to be an easy one as it has never been easy to push for progress. However, those who support change will continue to march forward until our government finally takes that positive step forward.
The coalition built by individuals from all walks of life have come to define this movement for the DREAM Act. For many of us who support the legislation, our victory will not lie solely on the passage of an act but through the impacts the legislation will have on the actual individual friends, families, and loved ones who we’ve come to meet and to care for.
Nothing in life will ever play out the way it’s be planned. But I think we can make those incremental advances and necessary accommodations towards getting closer to our goals, aspirations, and dreams. Through supporting the DREAM movement and by following the inspiring voices of the movement, I’ve come to realize the well-spring of potential in myself as well as others.
With that said, as I continue to push forward with my last week of finals, I will make necessary accommodations to motivate and to inspire myself to finish the race I’ve been allowed to run on a positive and a meaningful footing.