Finals week is a campus-wide pity party. I feel like every conversation I pop in on is a competition for the most grueling schedule, which major is hardest and who “can’t even” more.
It’s fun to partake in the self-indulgent complaining, in part because the rest of the fall semester is – to put it bluntly – incredibly fun. It’s like we’re all walking around thinking, Great, now I actually have to focus for an extended period of time without the promise of a football game at the end.
Don’t get me wrong, finals week can be really exhausting. Several tests and assignments compounded by the inescapable procrastination trait that we all seem to be plagued with, and you’ve got yourself a sleep-deprived, complaint-riddled existence.
But as I was laying in my bed in a post-finals comatose last night, I realized how astoundingly lucky we are.
I don’t care what you do (or don’t) believe in, it’s an indisputable fact that the college-aged kids living in the United States of America in the 21st century may be the luckiest generation in the history of mankind.
Before you scoff and head back to Facebook to stalk your ex-boyfriend, think about it for a minute. Being a citizen of the United States in any time period is just short of miraculous, but being in the socioeconomic class that gets to go to COLLEGE, too? Only 40 percent of Americans have a college degree, which is more than five times the world population at a mere seven percent.
Just by nature of our citizenship and impending college degrees, we’re already an incredibly elite group. And I don’t know about you, but aside from making good grades in high school, I didn’t do a whole lot to deserve my fate.
You and I are both card-holding members of what I like to call “The Lucky Sperm Club.” Your soul just so happened to be born into a financially capable family in the greatest country in the history of the world during its apex. I can’t even begin to do the math for the probability there (partly because I’m a public relations and international studies major — sorry).
The bottom line is, we can complain about papers and exams all we want — but the fact that our reality is a ‘world’ in which we literally spend all of our time pursuing our interests is basically unheard of everywhere else.
Education is a really strange, phenomenal thing. Beyond the means to a lucrative career, education is really just structured (and expensive) self-improvement. For four years (or even longer, if you want to), you get to spend between 12 and 18 hours a week making yourself more intelligent. I don’t know if I’m just nerdy, but I think that’s really cool.
And the other 150 hours in that week? You can spend them with whomever you want, doing whatever you want and becoming whatever you want — all by nature of your status as a college student. That’s what I call #blessed.
You may be finally finished with finals week or just now embarking, but gratitude for the opportunity to explore your talents and demonstrate your ability makes the long nights just a little bit easier.