Established 1874.

The Oberlin Review

How to Flourish During Finals, and Other Clichés

Sophia Ottoni-Wilhelm and Sam White, Current and Incoming Opinions Editors

It’s that time of the year again: The trees in Tappan Square are exploding with foliage, the daffodils are blooming and the bumblebees are having awkward, turbulent inflight orgies. Meanwhile, Oberlin College students are gearing up for finals, oblivious to all the wonderful and weird things happening in nature. Barred from the outdoors by Mudd’s cavernous, Inferno-esque clutches, they bury themselves in their studies, trying furiously to extract information from waist-high piles of skipped readings and cram it into their Solarity-ravaged brains. In these trying times, we Obies would do well to take a step back and learn a few lessons from nature.

Take the trees, for instance. While it’s been a difficult spring for many of us, the trees have had it especially rough. They emerged from winter’s sap-chilling polar freezes and branch-snapping winds only to enter

an equally unstable relationship with a perilously fickle spring. Slowly, tentatively, the warming temperatures led the poor, unsuspecting trees on, and — just as the buds started to unfold into blossoms of hope — the winds snapped back into their older, colder ways. Yet with the month of May in full bloom, the trees have bounced confidently back into an ever-expanding green canopy, undeterred by their previous challenges. Their resilience is inspiring.

Most of us have spent the semester falling behind on work, but now it’s time to spring ahead. How, you might ask, does one do this? The answer is simple: Make stuff up, just like we did in the previous paragraph. Let your words bloom like sun-kissed daffodils in May, and let your thoughts climax, one on top of the other like a couple of buck wild bumblebees. Suddenly, four pages double-spaced with expanded margins and 12.5 Comic Sans font becomes 12 single-spaced in Times. There is a time for acknowledging one’s own bullshit (like we just did). For you, that day is not today.

Academia is hard. Sometimes, college will throw more than its share of punches. Our advice: Roll with those punches like a roly poly, motherfucker. To put it less crudely: Know your limits, and know that it’s perfectly OK if you can’t do everything. If everyone fought back against every punch that came their way, the world would likely be a much more war-torn and loveless place than it already is. Instead, channel that energy elsewhere. Be wonderful. Be weird. As for the work, you’ll get done what you get done, and there’s no reason to sweat the rest.

Finally, we, the current and future Opinions editors of the Review, would like to remind you to keep your shit in perspective and not lose sight of humanity in the midst of your Nietzsche-fueled, Machiavellian rage of a paper. At least one of us has, in recent history, turned in a half-written paper in favor of experiencing more fulfilling aspects of life (and, generally speaking, gotten away with it). Always do your best, but remember that doing your best doesn’t always mean doing it all.

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Established 1874.
How to Flourish During Finals, and Other Clichés