It’s Week 11. The end of the semester is in sight, however, final exams and projects loom on the horizon. It’s getting colder out, and it’s getting darker earlier every night. This is the point of the semester where everyone is run down, sick, and tired. Walking to class, I constantly catch bits of conversations where people are complaining about something. The excitement of a new school year has officially petered out, and many are struggling to find the motivation to get through these final weeks.
The other day, I was sitting in the Union when I heard someone complaining to a friend about the “absurd” amount of exams he had that week. He was complaining about his classes, the professors, and the tests themselves, while his friend sat there and kept nodding in agreement. Eventually, the pair got up and left, sparing everyone around from their negativity.
I have a huge issue with this. People complaining about petty things such as exams and claiming their lives are hell or they’re so stressed that they can’t imagine doing anything for a certain amount of time should consider re-evaluating their situation. Let me outline a few situations:
Three weeks ago, an apartment caught on fire on 13th and Summit. The people living in this building lost everything; their clothes, their belongings, and their sense of safety went up in smoke.
Lauren Hill is a college freshman at the University of Mount St. Joseph in Cincinnati, Ohio. After committing to play at MSJ during her senior year of high school, Hill was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. She has been given two months to live. Lauren Hill is dying.
These realities are awful. My friend lost everything to an uncontrollable fire. He now lives with the uncertainty of whether or not he’s safe within his own home. However, he continues to go to class, and he is working on putting his “normal” back together. As for Lauren Hill, she started in her first ever collegiate basketball game in front of a crowd of 10,000+ this past Sunday.
Against all odds, these people are living. They aren’t seeking pity from the people around them, but rather are looking to normalize their lives. I’m sure Lauren Hill wished the only stress she had to deal with in her young life was a few midterms. I’m sure if you asked my friend, he would tell you the same thing. So I challenge you this: before you complain again about a week of tests and assignments, think about what others around you might be facing, and realize how incredibly lucky you are. You have your health. You have your safety. You go to the greatest university in the world. And that is something that many people can’t say.