The countdown has begun… 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5… five more days!
So my granddaughter is a college student in the throes of the last minute rush as another semester, and another year, come to an end. Reports are due. Portfolios must be immaculate. Final exams loom closer. Professors are stressed. Professors are stressors!
Hence these thoughts… My granddaughter has one class that has caused her much stress… in fact she withdrew last semester because the stress was overwhelming. So it’s essential that she pass, and she has done amazingly well all semester, with an awesome grade average. Until… well it appears that the professor’s busyness has kept her from grading the work of her students. For many, many weeks… no grades showing up on that infamous student portal. But, if one doesn’t know how well one is doing, how should one move forward in the most productive way to succeed? Ah, the dilemma. Okay, so clearly the answer for a college student is that you continue to strive toward excellence, do the best you can with each assignment, each quiz, each test. We all would know that to be true.
But, have you ever had situations in your life when you didn’t know about something you’d said, or something you’d done… and you felt a bit ‘frozen’… hard to move forward? Have you ever bought a present for someone but received no response? Or have you accomplished a task but never heard whether your work was acceptable? Or have you had medical tests to rule out a serious health concern, but didn’t hear anything about the results of your tests? What happens? Likely you feel anger, fear, frustration, or other less than healthy emotions. But what if we just moved forward… looked at each day afresh, covered our negative feelings with a blanket of peace?
The Chinese word for crisis has two symbols: one stands for danger, and the other, for opportunity. Hmm… danger and opportunity in the same sentence… is it possible?
Dr. M. B. Ford wrote, “Our fear of the unknown signals danger and leads to isolation. We seek a safe harbor and allow our fear to act as an anchor, holding us in place. When we choose to trust and let go of our fear, we accept the gift of unlimited opportunity.”
In answer to my own question, I do believe it’s possible, albeit difficult, to create opportunities in the face of crisis. And maybe, just maybe, the path we walk when we feel lost or out of control will lead us to a better place, certainly to a better sense of who we are.
Eleanor Roosevelt said, “If life were predictable it would cease to be life, and be without flavor.” I like her! But Scottish philosopher Thomas Carlyle said something that also resonants with me… he said, “Doubt, of whatever kind, can be ended by action alone.”
So, what’s my action plan? My goal is to continue to move forward, to try to face each day’s new challenges with a fresh spirit, with an open mind. My goal is to stomp on fears and uncertainties by a proactive spirit, a willingness not only to ‘stay the course’ but to willing to ‘explore the unknown’.
For my granddaughter… study, study, study… do your best on these last days of the school year, and trust that your collective grades and wonderfully growing wisdom will propel you into the amazing world of being a college senior!
What about you?