There’s a cloud gathering around the tower. Nervous energy is swirling about, eyes dart anxiously in the classrooms and library, and the loud thumping of your own heart deafens the silence. It’s final examinations time.
The beginning weeks seemed like just a glance ago, and yet, here I stare the last week of classes square in its menacing eyes. This last week will sneak by fast and chaotically. I’ll have little time to even think about my own anxieties and stress about finals, but every minute the clock ticks by, it brings me closer to that dreaded day. On my first day of finals, I’ll sit alongside my classmates and sweat bullets with hopes that my brain doesn’t suddenly decide to shut down on me.
A large source of this pressure is my own desire to excel and continue my reputation for good grades, but another large chunk is the system. I’m graded against my classmates. Even if I do exceedingly well, another person could inch me out and that inch seems like a mile. Grades are really important because they are the baseline for your first job, and they help set you apart from the other 200 students potentially vying for the same things you are. My fellow students are incredibly intelligent, motivated, and just as determined as I am. As a friend back home tried to placate my worries with “you’re the smartest person I know,” I had to tell her imagine a room full of me. Cue wide eyes and the obligatory “yikes.”
I have heard of and seen the beginnings of people cracking under the pressure. It’s something we all have to do. At some point, it starts boiling over and you need to let it out. Luckily for me, I have an amazing support network inside and outside of the law school. I can’t imagine taking this journey without people to whom I can turn and remind me why I’m here when I can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. Don’t forget the people who can give you emotional support.
There is a light at the end of the tunnel. If the finals fog engulfs you, I advise you to leave the tower and call someone/talk to someone about anything but finals, law school, or other law related items. You can get lost in the fog pretty easily, so don’t be afraid to reach out and find someone to help you out of it.