It’s near the end of the semester.
The tree’s leaves have all but changed and lost their previous appeal; a chilly wind now flows through their branches and freezes my fidgeting fingers: it’s the end of the warm times, as we enter into winter. It’s near the end of the semester.
It’s near the end.
Remember in middle school? those simpler times when seasons would indicate their passing in the changing of wardrobes and baked goods? when a rainy day meant only that: a rainy day. Not a day to get work done, or catch up on work already missed, but a rainy day, that and nothing more?
As a college student currently at the end of my second semester in grad school, such times are as a dream. I miss those careless days, those free flowing days. I miss when school was more about seeing my friends than advancing my career.
Alas, those times have long left me, and I find myself at the mercy of finals, at the gallows of academia: that place every student loathes being. So close are we to peppermint drinks and unwrapped presents. So near is the smell of pine, the sound of crackling fire. But not yet—not just yet.
First, we type. First we empty our heads of the mess of amassed knowledge we’ve accumulated over the past three months. First we gorge ourselves on our textbooks, scouring every word of every sentence of every paragraph of every page—nothing will escape our hunger! First we drink coffee like it’s water, and stretch the lengths human consciousness can be sustained.
First, we work.
We approach the end—some of us limping, others striding forth with confident zeal. But we’re nearly there now. We gather our things and prepare for it, we pray and wish and hope for it to come sooner. For it to pass. For us to pass.
It’s almost here now—near to the end. The end is near.
The end of the semester.