As the semester begins to end, most of us rediscover a side of ourselves that usually hides in the shadows of midterms and finals.
We discover within ourselves the emaciated, sleep-deprived college student.
With our meal plans running out, we revert to stimulating the canned and frozen food industries.
As numerous deadlines fill our horizons like threatening enemy hoards, we frantically attempt to repair the neglected battements of our poor study habits.
We type out incoherent sentences in the dead of night about the life cycle of fruit flies and the history of people who never knew fruit flies existed, hoping desperately the teacher will not notice the obvious signs of nocturnal writing.
We consume copious amounts of strong liquids with vain hopes of inspired, caffeinated highs.
We forget the finer points of common hygiene, like daily showers and shaving.
But honestly, this area of neglect should be expected.
I mean, honestly, who wants to wake up thirty minutes earlier to shower when we stayed up until three, writing about the fascinating sex lives of the South American Chinchilla?
Let it be said that I am eternally grateful that the fate of the Chinchilla race has not rested on my understanding of their reproductive habits because, if this was so, their species died out eons ago.
Likewise, are we not all infinitely grateful that our daily life functions like mastication, digestion and respiration do not depend on a passing grade in general biology?
That said, I will be the first to say am guilty of these things as anyone else.
I too have sacrificed sleep at the altar of frantic educational madness.
I recognize, as most will, that a lack of studious activity throughout a semester cannot be redeemed in an evening of educational passion.
I too have written my full share of papers in morning hours where my bed calls my name in a voice of powerful seduction.
I have studied my full share of topics in hours where my desire for learning mirrors the passion of a graveyard.
With this point made, there must be a voice of reason during these last few weeks.
As my father has told me many times, you can fall off both sides of a horse.
During these last few weeks, we often can become so studious that we can neglect any resemblance of balance.
We have seen it time and time again that imbalance always leads to corrective imbalance.
In the final moments, the lazy must become the hardest workers or perish in the flames of educational destruction.
And, let’s be honest, the flames may still prevail regardless. It is hard to recover from severe neglect.
So here, I stand: a single representative of the college species, proclaiming a message of hope.
The first step of our redemption is recognizing our many failures.
Though we, as college students, may be the best case studies of imbalance, we do not have to remain under the heavy yoke of educational neglect.
We can choose to stand up as men and women of self discipline, making infinite numbers of mommies and daddies proud.
We can choose to eat like normal human beings and choose to not smell like the ghosts of showers past.
But, alas, it may not be this semester.
We must finish the work we have begun.
We must take the consequences of actions already done.
We must survive on the rations of our meager meal plans.
Here is my encouragement as I write this article in the wee hours of the morning.
Endure brothers and sisters!
Only two weeks more and you shall have opportunity to start afresh!
Who knows, maybe we will learn something about balance this semester.