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Saturday, April 13, 2024

Editorial: Do not go gentle into that sleepless night - motivation for finals week

Dear readers, this beautiful Monday marks our collective descent into the abyss. Many of us students find ourselves waking up to the academic reality we’ve been trying to ignore since Spring Break. Papers, finals, deadlines: It all comes down to these next two weeks.

You might be shooting for that 4.0, or maybe you’re just trying to get by after a really rough semester. Either way, we at the Alligator have your back. We’ve done our best all semester to give you useful and accurate information. Now, as the end rushes toward us all at full-throttle, we extend to you our best wishes and reassurance.

“How did I get here?” you might think to yourself. Six weeks seemed like so much time between Spring Break and now. What happened? In times like these, it’s natural to direct blame outward. Sure you can point toward this person or that organization draining all of your time. Perhaps you blame the commies or those blasted redcoat imperialists or better yet: Steve Harvey. First he gambled with the soul of our democracy by flubbing Miss Universe. Now he’s coming for our grades.

Kidding aside, we can all look back individually at how we wound up in this academic hysteria. Maybe it was that Netflix session you said would last only two episodes but quickly turned into a weekend-long binge. Maybe it was that one, two, perhaps even five parties too many. Don’t worry, we’re right there with you. Time management, self-reliance and discipline are hard skills to develop — don’t beat yourself up about it. If growing up were easy, there’d be no need to have this time in college to figure things out and test life’s waters.

Procrastination is the slyest of devils. It tempts us into thinking we can stretch time to accommodate our individual circumstances. All the while, we forget the fundamental truth, what physicists have failed to uncover for years, the bombshell Edward Snowden really unearthed from the NSA’s clutches. The fastest speed in the universe isn’t that of light, but rather these dreaded deadlines we have before us. So it’s no doubt this task of catching up and finishing the semester strong is daunting.

But in such times of uncertainty and self-doubt, we at the Alligator encourage you to consider Rocky Balboa’s words: “(Life) ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward — how much you can take, and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done.”

So, readers, we say to you, give ‘em hell these next two weeks. Whether you’re neck-deep in assignments or in the minority that actually feel prepared for the storm to come, make a statement. Show these classes and exams what you’ve got. You’d be surprised at the kind of counterstrike you can muster when you stand up to the heat and fight with fire, against all odds. And if you come up short in the end, make sure your failure comes not from a lack of effort. Go down with dignity, to paraphrase Jack Black in “School of Rock,” with a guitar in your hands and rock in your heart.

Do not go gentle into that sleepless night. Caffeine should brew and brave at close of day. Cram, cram against the dying of the light.

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