I have yet to cry about homework this semester. I’ve come close, meaning I’ve let loose a few whimpers, suppressed a few tears, heaved sighs dangerously close to sobs and buried my head in my arms, but I haven’t actually cried.
I’ve cried about other things sure; the writer’s strike in Hollywood and what it means for “The Office,” the sound of a fire alarm in Beall signaling the third time in a week that I’ve had to descend and then climb 50 flights of stairs, and the first signs of a slow death for my lucky bamboo plant.
Oh, I have emotions, and I feel no shame in expressing them at the appropriate time. But it is never good to let a water works show interfere with homework.
The only reason I bring it up is because if there was ever a time in my life when I thought I deserved to breakdown in front of my computer at 2 a.m., it would be during this 19 credit hour semester. For whatever reason though, God and my tear ducts have spared me.
We all know how difficult it is to function in anticipation of, during and even after a good cry. The only way to avoid the effects is to avoid the entire cause. If I want to be able to focus then I’ve got to man up. I find the best way to do this is through unreasonable optimism.
“I might just fail this exam and ruin my GPA, but as long as I try my best, God will probably still love me.”
“What’s the worst that could happen? Getting an F isn’t as bad as learning I’ve come down with a bad case of Malaria.”
“No one will be able to look at me and tell them I’m an idiot who had to withdraw from an LER.”
If I’m super positive, I can usually think up a worst-case scenario to make me feel better. If the worst-case scenario seems more likely to happen, I always find comfort in knowing that whether I should or have time to, sleep will eventually happen. I get excited when I wake up and realize I’ve been dozing because it’s the best excuse I could use for calling it a night.
When I went home this weekend, my mom said goodnight to me before she went to bed about 11p.m. I had only just started my homework and when I complained I was tired, she told me to stop working and offered to tuck me in. It was then that I realized that in addition to making tons of money by renting out square, linoleum-floored cells to students, colleges also require us to live on campus to increase retention.
If I lived at home and mama offered to tuck me in every night, I’d most likely take her up on that offer while rationalizing that mother knows best, and I’d never get any studying done. No studying would mean bad grades and bad grades would mean I’d either drop out or fail out.
To prevent this, freshmen are ripped from their mothers and forced to study until they can study no more. Some are strong and can fight through the fatigue, others are weak and cry like little sissies. The strong press on, kicking the whimpering sissies aside, earning killer GPAs and operating under super optimistic ideals.
Kristine Gill is a newspaper journalism major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected]