A sick girl’s thoughts on finishing strong

Dear readers: it was my intention to run in this, the last issue of the Spring 2019 Anchor, an incredible article to wrap up the semester in a nice little bow. Perhaps I would’ve concluded my semester-long series, the Dow Diaries. Maybe I could’ve given you some really heartfelt advice that would bring you to tears. Who knows what might’ve happened if I were able to muster the courage to whip out one last article with my senses about me? Unfortunately, that’s not going to be possible because as winter decided to have its last hurrah, I got absolutely slapped with an end-of-the season cold. I’m writing to you from Lemonjello’s coffee, where they’re playing music that makes me think that the present moment might be a fever dream in disguise. Please bear with me as I wait for the caffeine and DayQuil to kick in. I am not the only student at Hope who is desperate for the end of the semester. It seems as though it should be so easy – we are in the home stretch, after all.

Today, Wednesday, April 17 marks the two week point until I will pack up my belongings at get into a car bound for Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and somehow it still feels like a lifetime away. When there’s snow on the ground and snot in your nose, it’s hard to believe in the promise of spring and the prospect of three-and-a-half months in the sun. Above all else, I long for rest. My body is aching and I’m tired all the time, but I have this funny feeling that no amount of sleep is going to make things better – at least not until I finish the stats project that’s been haunting my dreams. The purpose of writing this is not to make you feel worse than you already do or to paint the present circumstances as bleak. There is much to look forward to, even as the trees in the Pine Grove fling saturated clumps of snow at the backs of our heads in what seems to be an act of spite. For those of you who are religiously observant, you might find your solace as Holy Week comes to a close, and we celebrate the risen savior with family and friends. Others might delight in chilly visits to Captain Sundae and savor the taste of vanilla and caramel as an IOU for the blue skies and Birkenstock-clad feet that the very best days of Michigan springtime can boast. These little joys and momentary brushes with the divine are what allow us to breathe easily, even during the hardest days. For some of you, though, you will not know happiness until you are in your bed at home, with a dog at your feet and sleep on the horizon. That’s okay, too. But however far off summer seems, you must choose to finish strong. It is not going to be easy; it never is. We still have two partial weeks of classes and a host of finals to complete before calling it quits.

Perseverance is cheap when the days are long and frisbees are flying. It is when we are pressed down, when we are at the end of our rope, that our true colors shine through. How will you deal with the pressure? Will you crumble and fall, or will you rise up? I am a poor excuse for a motivational speaker, but I still want to encourage you to run the last leg of this race with all the determination of a trained sprinter. Anyone who knows a thing about running is aware that the best athletes always run through, not to, the finish line. We cannot stop short of the prize due to momentary pain and a suffering that will pass. We must carry on through snow and sun, through sickness and exhaust. Now is the time that giving your all makes the most impact. These are the moments that define our character. Finish strong, friends. There’s more riding on this than you know

Ruth Holloway (’21) serves as a Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Anchor alongside the brilliant Claire Buck. She is studying political science and history and in her spare time enjoys cooking, reading, hiking, and finding good music for her radio show at WTHS. Ruth has applied to eleven graduate programs with the aspiration of becoming a professor of political science. If that doesn't work out, she will probably go off the grid and raise sled dogs in the far reaches of the Alaskan wilderness.

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