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  • The Griffin

A love letter to burning the candle at both ends

By Maddy Lockwood, Assistant Features Editor

Sometimes life will just shake you around, hit you a couple times, then put you down and claim you’re going to be just fine! While that may be an overdramatization, it is how I felt for a good chunk of the semester and, through the good and the bad, I can say that I feel like a completely different person than I was in August when I moved back to school.

All the way back in August, I got a head start and I moved in early to be an orientation leader. I was so ready to hop back into my life here at school! I had a new major, a new apartment and I was feeling refreshed and inspired from the long summer at home. If you haven’t had the experience of being an orientation leader, the best way to describe it would probably be six straight days of long training followed by the most draining yet rewarding four days of your life and then the following day starting a brand new semester. That may seem like an over exaggeration, but I promise you it isn’t.

Then onto the academic semester! I completely changed the direction of my college path and decided that after a summer of working at a summer camp I needed to become a teacher. So I did! After spending my entire first year as another major, I had some major catch up to do in order to still graduate on time. I had to commit myself to taking eighteen credits every semester until I graduate, something I hadn’t done before. With that came setbacks and a major learning curve where I had to learn some serious organizational and time management skills just to keep my head on straight. Some of the time it worked, and other times– most of the time honestly– I came up short. Along with my course load, I committed myself to too many things and frankly, just had overly high expectations of myself.

In all of this craziness of the semester, I forgot that I was a person outside of being a student. I still had to be a good friend, a roommate, a daughter, a sister and a hundred different titles that I could label myself. Many of those titles I, at times, let slack in the search of a perfect something, maybe a grade or GPA or something I couldn’t explain because I don’t even know what it was myself (cue “You’re on Your Own Kid'' by Taylor Swift). A lot of the time, I was the only person I let down. Regardless, I was overwhelmed by the idea of pouring my entire being into being at Canisius that I struggled in other aspects of my life.

While pouring all of my time and energy into my life here, this is the part where I add the 180 degree turn and say that this has been the best four months of my life. While I did fail myself at times, in those moments I learned that I need grace for myself and others too. I had an unlimited amount of new experiences that have completely changed how I view the world. Sometimes they were small things like seeing the inside of Loyola Hall for the first time and going to my first college party. Others were really big to me like living without adult supervision for the first time in my life and teaching my first lesson in a real classroom! All of those small moments and big experiences that happened for the first time warped my brain somehow. And in this long-winded monologue of my semester, I hope you realize that you can’t have those moments where you are so happy you could cry without the moments that make you contemplate dropping out of college— and I am only half joking!

As we move through finals and begin to go back home I want you to know that while we are away at school, it may be easy to think that everything that happens here is the end of the world. Just know that it isn’t, you are going to be okay, we’re all a work in progress (me as a prime example) and I guess what I learned this semester is that life isn’t that serious and you are so much stronger than you can even imagine.

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