Well, exam week is approaching, and once again, I hear people complaining, stressing, and just complaining about exam week. I know for a fact that it’s an over packed ship of people trying to finish the school year strong, despite being worn out since most of the semester has taken its toll. It’s been an eight month journey. Trying to be on top of homework and being at peak brain condition for this long is quite arduous. It’s hard to finish any exam well when you’re tired.
The same can be said for our track team, especially for us distance guys. We’ve been running since the summer sun started shining and shimmering upon our sweaty souls. We’ve completed cross country, indoor track and field, and are now approaching the end of outdoor track. It’s been an eight month journey. Trying to be on top of training and being at peak racing condition for this long is quite arduous. It’s hard to finish any race well when you’re tired.
Despite this, students make it through with passing grades on their final exams, and runners often show explosive kicks when one would think they are at their weakest. So how is it, that at people’s weakest moments, they they are strong. Well, in 2nd Corinthians chapter 12, Paul talks about the thorn that Satan gave him, and how despite his pleading with God to take it away, God said “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Later in verses 9 and 10, he explains that he boasts in his weakness, for that is when God can truly show his power. “That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.“
I think one of the biggest things that get me through tough times is relying on outside things. This means relying on God to pull you through those tough situations. This also means relying on others to push you to be your best, because that’s what’s expected of you. I remember in high school, I was in a particularly hard class, pre-calculus. We had a great teacher, but nonetheless, we struggled pretty hardcore. For the final exam, we as a class collectively agreed that we were all, very, very screwed if we tried to tackle the exam alone. So we decided to make THE Study Guide. Not a study guide, THE Study Guide. There was a master copy, and then copies were made and given to most of the kids in the class to look at, work on, and pray that we would pass the exam. Personally, I ended up getting a C, but other kids did better, some a little bit worse. But not a single person failed that class. Without that collaborative effort, I couldn’t imagine tackling that exam all on my own.
As an athlete, the phrase “dig deep” is very impertinent when it comes to the end of any race. There are some runners who are able to “dig deep” and drop a kick at the end of the race that can break runners that were beating them for the majority of the race. Now, I imagine that each runner has his own way of reaching deep to pull out that last burst of energy. For me, it is all mental. Days where I don’t have a kick is because I wasn’t able to muster the motivation needed to do it. Because it hurts when you kick, more so than when you just coast it in. So why should you kick, other than to beat that last runner?
Reasons can very across runners, but for me, giving it my all, and simply refusing to let someone beat me can be a very strong reason.
One of the worst things the worst thing an opposing coach can do is tell the runner in front of me “You can beat this guy, hold him off and kick!” or something like that. I may be tired. I may want to collapse. I may have been suffering from sports induced asthma for the last mile of the cross race and stopped to puke for 5 minutes on mile 4. But doggone it, if a coach dares tell his runner he can beat me, then shoot man, I will pass and beat your runner by sheer will power that is only matched by the power of a thousand suns. I. WILL. NOT. LOSE. TO. THIS. GUY. Not on my watch sunshine. Not on my watch.
Where was I? Anti-stress guide. Right. Let’s break it down.
- Organization: I’m certainly not an example to follow in this category, but whenever I somewhat figured out life more than 3 hours in advance, I found myself having less stuff to deal with in the future, since everything is already prepped and in place. This might mean getting a schedule planner and writing down assignments or simply just packing your backpack for class and setting out the clothes you’ll where the next day the night prior. Less stuff to worry about in the morn.
- Time management: “I don’t have time for this!” is a phrase uttered by a lot of people. However, I’ve found that this is because of poor time management. Being able to get rid of what I like to call “time wasters” from your daily schedule will greatly increase your free time. Right now, I’m trying to battle the addictiveness that is Overwatch. Holy smokes is that game addictive. Trying to learn Genji right now, but shoot is he hard to play as, but we’re getting there. We’re getting there.
- Speaking of fam, study with fam! Fam is love, fam is life, and fam will pull you through. Find friends who are as equally as stressed as you, and just let it out. Work together. It’s amazing how much 2, 3 or more people can accomplished if they share a common goal.
- It’ll be over with eventually, and you’ll move on: The number of times that I’ve finished an exam and thinking that the stress I put on it was way to much is too much. Now that I’m in college, I’ve realized that an exam is not necessarily the end of all things. For one, no exam is worth 100% of the class grade. Two, even if you fail the exam, it is not the end of the world. There are always other options, like taking the class again. Or not taking that class again and picking a new major. Whatever floats your boat fam.
- Pray. Just pray.
Revelation. You ever read it? It describes the end of the world. I’ve read it through a few times. Sure, it’s confusing, has all the symbolism you could ask for, but I’ve noticed a few things about Revelation, or, to more accurately put it, lack of stuff in Revelation. Idk about you, but I can’t find anything about my Sport in Society exam in Revelation. I also can’t find anything on my social media presentation that I have tomorrow, or any other exam or homework or stress which I or others have had in the past few weeks. So if none of those 4 tips works for ya, just remember, it’s not the end of the world. After these exams are done, life will go on, summer will start, the sun will shimmer down on your soul, and I’ll probably still be single. But hey, I’m working on that as well. One thing at a time, my friends. You’ll get through this.