Monday, December 12, 2011


Finals is a rather ugly time of year, don't you think?

We are supposed to be full of Christmas cheer, singing carols and rejoicing in the birth of the Savior, giving gifts of love to people we know and some that we don't. Instead we languish in dark windowless libraries, trying in vain to cram our little neurons with information from the last four months that was bypassed the first time around by blithe excursions on Pinterest and surreptitious Netflix watching.

My finals week is actually much lighter this semester than it has been in the past. I don't know if nursing is easier than neuroscience or if the University of Utah is easier than BYU, but my class load isn't nearly as heavy as usual. While I'm still really busy, most of the issues come with traveling, not studying. However, that dark, nasty finals feeling is still surrounding me, obscuring the fact that in four days I will be in California and in six, on a ship to Mexico; obscuring the fact that three weeks of blissful freedom {in which I am going to try very, VERY hard not to bring an NCLEX study guide into my vacation time} are ahead of me. I really think that finals week contains the longest, dreariest days of the year.

Bear in mind, I am being facetious. I know I am very lucky that finals are my biggest problem right now. That, and the fact that everywhere in Provo is out of mistletoe, and December 12th and mistletoe combine for a very special tradition for Scott and my relationship and I am sad that we can't have it this year. But I digress.

However, despite the fact that finals cannot be skipped, only pushed through and endured and beaten, there are a few solutions to the finals woes. Disclaimer: Solutions are in no way proven to positively affect G.P.A.

1. Blogging. Obviously. I am at this very moment experiencing the effects of this cheap and effective therapy.

2. Pinterest, which goes hand in hand with blogging. What better way to revive your dead spirit than by being creative {or envying those that are?}

3. Eating Nutella out of the jar with a spoon. Anyone who chooses to consume alcohol or abuse illegal drugs is clearly missing a key point -- Nutella is a much quicker route to happiness. The onset of a Nutella high is only 0.27 seconds. Also, it is cheaper, not to mention legal.

4. Spend time in a beautiful place and get a dose of eternal perspective while you're at it. Today, I left campus a few minutes early for some surreptitious Christmas-ing at the Gateway Mall. I then had to make the journey back to my bus stop on the opposite end of Temple Square by 3:15 to catch my bus home. As I walked by the Salt Lake Temple in the almost completely abandoned Temple Square, I felt so peaceful and so lucky. When I looked at the Nativity scene in the reflecting pool I loved the juxtaposition of the Savior, who gave us the opportunity to receive eternal life, and the Temple, that more or less opens the door to let us through. I was grateful that in a few mundane moments of my busy day, I had the opportunity to walk in a quiet place and remember what eternity is about -- not my tests and whether or not I get an A or an A --, not whether I have the time to do all the little traditions for Christmas that are meaningful, but not essential the way Christ is.

5. Take a deep breath, grit your teeth, and get back to work. It won't be fun, but you can do it. And there is light at the end of the tunnel {but have the fortitude to leave your textbooks at home, no matter how much you think you can get ahead!} {Okay, that last bit was mostly for me.}

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