It’s that time of year. All my friends who are still in college have been locking themselves away in libraries, coffee shops, and their respective living areas for one thing: finals.
Just typing the word makes me shudder. If there is one thing I do no miss about college, it is finals. Final papers, final projects, final tests, final performances. Some classes feature all of the above and they are all due in a week’s period of time.
Finals week is the point of no return. It might be someone’s last chance to get that A they want. Or maybe just to pass the class at all. It’s filled with all-nighters, excessive amounts of caffeine, and a late night food run or three. It’s about tracking down who has the best study guide or took the best notes or knows the best way to remember this absurd amount of information.
Final’s week is about giving it all you have and then some. And this year, as I witnessed my friends going through this hellish nightmare, I had a thought.
What if I Lived My Life Like Finals Week?
It may be over a year since I’ve been in college, but I remember it all. I remember desperately trying to polish up my 50 page senior project in the midst of other tests, papers, and presentations. I was relentless.
I forgot about romantic frustrations. I passed on hanging out with friends. I sacrificed “precious” gaming time. And I did it for a greater cause.
I did it because I was running out of time, and it was now or never.
If a Gun was Put to Your Head
Did you ever see Fight Club. There is a scene where Brad Pitt drags this store clerk out to an alley and puts a gun to his head. Looking through the man’s wallet, Brad Pitt discovers an expired college ID.
It turns out the clerk wanted to be a veterinarian, but gave up because it was too hard. Pitt tells the clerk if he is not back in school and on his way to becoming an veterinarian in 6 six weeks, he will kill him.
It may be morbid. It may be dark. But how much do you want to bet that man became the best darn veterinarian out there. The gun to the head didn’t actually change anything. It simply opened the man’s perspective as he realized just how fragile his life was.
He realized he had been taking life for granted.
The Magic of Finals
While not quite as intimidating as a gun, final’s week provides that same sort of motivation to so many students. All of those areas they have been slacking in suddenly become incredibly important. And when their life is put in this vice, so often something incredible happens.
It’s insane how much some students manage to accomplish in the span of a few days. They somehow find the will to output thousands of words in papers while retaining thousands of other words for exams.
My senior year of high school, I did an entire independent study class in one night. I need you to understand this was a semester’s worth of work and I managed to do about 90% of it in the span of twelve hours. The next day, I had a final for another class to take. I fell asleep three times during it.
But, not only did I get a A on the final exam, I got an A in the independent study class.
I don’t say this to encourage procrastination (if anything, what I did was completely idiotic and left me with a three day headache).
All I am saying is you would be amazed by what you can accomplish. You simply lack the will to do it.
Live Like Your Time is Running Out
Your time is running out. During finals, you are simply reaching the end of the semester. If you screw around or mess up, you may fail a class. But when it comes to your career, your dreams, your passions, if you take too long, if you don’t try hard enough, you run the risk of failing at life.
In truth, right now, outside of school, the stakes are so much higher. And you are running out of time. With every day, with every hour, you come closer to the end.
Do you want to be like the kids who party through finals week, sleep through their exams, and fail out of college?
Or do you want accomplish more than you ever thought possible? Amazing things can happen during finals week. But honestly, amazing things can happen right now. You just need to get up and do it.
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