Lopez: Dropping out sounds nice, but persevering is better

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(Graphic Illustration by Falyn Sebastian | The Collegian)

Dominique Lopez, Opinion Columnist

Editor’s Note: All opinion section content reflects the views of the individual author only and does not represent a stance taken by The Collegian or its editorial board.

The semester’s end is finally within reach, and with that comes the stress of finals and the beginning of deterioration. After coming back from fall break and walking to and from classes again, you might hear people talk about their desire to drop out, as if to jokingly find the comedic relief they need to make it to the end.

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But how many of these statements are actually jokes? How many of these students are really feeling like it is time to give up?

Students are beginning to feel the stress of finals dangling over their heads and feel the weight of it all falling down at once. They are stressed out about all the work they have to complete for their finals and getting their grades up, and many are still facing the struggles of adapting to college life amid a pandemic.

Jazmin Arias, a first-year student at Colorado State University, is one of the many students who have felt this stress.

“This semester has flown by really fast, and I didn’t really get to live in the moment,” Arias said.

Every student here at CSU, especially first- and second-years, had gotten so used to virtual schooling that we thought we would never be able to come back, which made the opportunity to come to campus this year so special. Now, we have realized the fall 2021 semester has quickly slipped out of our fingers, as it is now time to face the impending doom of college finals.

Arias said many of us “got used to being online and not doing group projects or presentations,” so much so that being in in-person classes this semester made it hard for us to adapt once again, especially when it came to the broad adjustment in workload levels.

Fall break gave us that sense of relief we needed, especially after making this adjustment. This not only made the idea of coming back for just a couple more weeks seem impossible but also challenged students to reassess their wants.

We were challenged with being able to better assess ourselves and figure out what would be best for us to finish out the semester strong. For some of us, that meant putting our heads down and getting through the final few weeks, and for others, it was a moment to hit a wall and realize that we may not actually be able to get through it with our desired outcome.

For those of us who chose to reassess our wants, we first had to consider what we would learn from giving up, what image that would present for ourselves and, more importantly, whether this was the right move to make for our mental health.

Every step we took in deciding what was best for us at the moment was a decision we were meant to make. In Arias’ case, making that choice to come back as a student and work through it allows her to “push through finals week so (she) can have a break and try to find (her own) motivation again.”

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Despite being at the point of giving up and feeling like you can’t do it anymore, the resilience that it takes to move forward and choose to continue is one that is not only commendable but proves how we are a part of the many who choose not to give up when the going gets tough.

As students, we came to CSU to be challenged by what we learn so we can eventually succeed and do what we have always wanted to do. The moment we felt a glimpse of relief and realized we can finally see the end of the semester, we began to cave and even question the choices we’ve made thus far.

I truly believe there is a way to come back from this — a way to realize that the choices we have made are for the greater good as well as our own success.

It just takes a bit of perseverance to find the way out and maybe even a bit more work. Despite it all, the end goal and the choices we make will ideally all be worth it because we will now get to rejoice for a month of moderate freedom.

This means we can push forward and find the motivation we never knew we needed. We can take the time to reassess if in the end it really was all worth it. We are able to, once again, support our own mental health by rewarding ourselves with a break that we all definitely need and deserve.

This journey may be one that is scary and has a few bumps in the road, but the reality is that in the end, the reward should be worth it, no matter how scary we thought it would be.

Reach Dominique Lopez at letters@collegian.com or on Twitter @caffeinateddee6.