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Pinto: Make the most of the best time of year

Yoni Pinto, Columnist

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We’re approaching the end of the year — only a week or so of classes remain ahead of us, and we’re turning onto the final stretch. The weather’s actually becoming nice, and the campus has started to look like what we saw on the brochures before we came here.

At this point, the work all of us have to do is increasing exponentially as we move closer to finals and projects approach their deadlines. While we’re scrambling to meet all these deadlines, stress comes in. Stress makes everything worse: You struggle to come up with an idea for your paper, there’s a lab that you need to complete for tomorrow, you haven’t slept more than five hours in the past four days. How are you going to finish this paper? Was there another thing due yesterday? When will you study for the math midterm?

Chaos. So many things your mind’s telling you that it doesn’t know how to accomplish. The guilty feeling from missing deadlines slowly creeps in. You begin to feel uncomfortable and annoyed with yourself but can’t fix it.

It’s the worst situation to be in.

I imagine this is the situation a significant amount of students go through often during their time here. Almost everyone always has a lot on their plate — too many things to complete in too little time. I certainly have been in this situation, and, to be perfectly honest, it has resulted in some of my worst days at NU. It’s unhealthy, demoralizing and depressing to constantly be stressed, and that seems to be what a lot of people are experiencing.

When we’re buried under all these things we have to do, when our minds are chaotic, when we get stressed out, uncomfortable, sad and depressed, it’s easy to lose sight of what makes things great.

To everyone who might be stressed out for any reason whatsoever, take a step back. Calm down and take a short break. Take a moment to look around you and find the positives: See what makes the things around you great. Give your mind enough peace so it can keep going on.

When I did that today, I saw how pretty campus was — the Lakefill, green and under sunlight, is truly beautiful. I realized how interesting the classes I’m taking are, how they make me more interested in what we were learning about.

But besides all that stuff, there was one thing that really stood out today, one important element that makes NU great. Us. The students. We’re what makes this place so great. Every person I’ve met here is exceptional in one way or another. Everybody’s extremely capable, strong-willed, visionary. Every student here has what it takes to make life amazing for the ones around them. But more importantly, each and every one of us has what it takes to overcome the stress and chaos.

That’s why I love it here. The negatives are significant — aside from the stressful academic workload, the six months of snow, cold and darkness don’t help — but the positives I’ve found far outweigh them. Northwestern is truly a great institution — just make sure you’re calm enough to be able to see it.

Yoni Pinto is a Weinberg freshman. He can be reached at ybpinto@u.northwestern.edu. If you would like to respond publicly to this column, send a Letter to the Editor to opinion@dailynorthwestern.com.

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