04 April 2008

Lock It Up!

Time to do it: lock it up like a Flagstaff bicycle, bear down like a starting pitcher, concentrate like a can of OJ, focus like the Hubble Space Telescope, get ready like Jimmy Kimmel before he goes Live!, prepare for victory like.... aw, you get my drift. There are now, as of today, 35 days left until my last final and my graduation ceremony. I have plenty to do now, and I really need to get back into concentrating mode to get it finished, because frankly Senioritis has set in BIG TIME, and I actually could be in danger of not passing one class if I don't bear down. As it stands, here are the numbers: 6 = papers left to write, 5 = on-call RA shifts left to do, 4 = tests left to take, 3 = credits left to pass (via the CLEP test), 2 = number of things to buy for graduation (cap & gown set and announcements), 1 = number of group projects left to complete, and 0 = number of job offers I've received for after graduation.... I'm frankly both supremely excited and scared out of my wits. On the one hand, I'm finally graduating from college, getting ready to move into the "real world" - something I've never fully done yet, and will be starting on the rest of my life with a background in something I love (politics and communications). On the other hand, I have to find a job, an apartment, a source of income to pay for deposits, a car or other transportation, finish school, take my final CLEP test, pack all my stuff up for yet another move, survive the Phoenix heat for another summer, and then make the decision about where I will go from here. I won't lie and say I've had an easy time dealing with it. The anxiety I felt on Thursday was almost overwhelming, and I basically shut myself up in my room for about 6 hours after I took a class quiz and tried to calm down about my future. It's a very difficult thing not knowing what is supposed to come next. Do I focus solely on school right now, or do I look for a job, an apartment? What AM I going to do in 36 days? What if I can't find employment right away? Will I have to go back to Mesa and live with my folks for a while? Yesterday, I got a little help from one of my professors. I went in to see him to talk turkey about my grade in his course, and I told him that I was feeling really overwhelmed with the courseload from my final four classes. He gave me some really solid advice, and I think he was feeling the same way, because he's in his own last semester about to retire: he told me that I needed to focus on just paying attention in class and focusing on completing the final paper. Same goes for all my classes: focus on completing the papers, and let the final chips fall where they may. A little anxiety can be a good thing if you can direct the emotion to finishing strong rather than worrying the time away. So that's what I'm going to attempt to do: finish strong, and let the chips for after I get my diploma fall where they may fall.

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