It’s that time again, when the hallways stop bustling with people and the noise levels stoop to that of a cricket in the night. Finals are officially here.
The wind has started to howl, the rain is pouring, and the clouds start to smother the sun out of the sky. The dread of the exam is all that is on the students’ minds. The months of learning have all led up to this final moment, one that could make or break the semester for most.
The worst part isn’t the exam, it’s the waiting afterwards like a dog chasing bone and never close enough to fully grab on. The tic-toc of the clock seems to mock you as the days go by waiting for your professor to finally post your grade online.
Then finally that day comes, you hold your breath, and then for a moment your heart stops. Your sweaty palms grace the keyboard as you login to finally see if your hard work has paid off. Then you see it, and you can breathe once more.
The winds quiets to a hush, the rain halts, and the sun can shine once again as you gaze at the grades. Pass or Fail, happy or sad, you can once again see clearly.
Whether you are leaping with joy or crying in sadness there is still a moment of reprieve where everything exists on the same plane and same emotion.
That plane is called relief. Where just for one second, just a simple moment, the grade doesn’t matter because in the end you worked hard for it. It’s the relief that the class is finally over and done, where it can no longer worry you with deadlines and assignments. It is the moment when you realize float or sink, you have finished the race to the end.
That time is coming, in just a week there will be a collective sigh across the world as college students on campuses worldwide will end their semester.
For graduates that sigh means they are finally done and are moving on to the next chapter of their lives.
For juniors it means that they have one year left, and the finish line is fast approaching.
For sophomores it means the time for internship searches begins now, the fast track to the end is just beginning, and you have a better grasp on college.
For freshman it means they have survived year one. Many do not make it that long, and they have persevered and made it to the end of their first year.
For those incoming first year students that sigh is a silent battle cry. It signifies the end of their high school self, and the beginning of their college career. It is bittersweet in its relief and hopefulness for the next year.
Though the meaning may change, the sound is the same. It resonates within us all.