Filled with Joy

It has all come and gone – first university semester is officially over. The interesting thing is, it feels so final, despite the fact that this will be my constant reality for pretty much the next four years.

But it feels so good to accomplish something that used to seem so far and unattainable. I never had any doubt that this day would come, I just did not expect it to come so soon. And that I would survive it, by even more than the skin of my teeth.

I feel so comfortable where I am. After hours of days of studying in advance, my four finals have passed. My right arm feels sore, and for whatever reason I have this perpetual voice inside my head telling me that I need to study. But for the next two weeks, I am free to do whatever I want.

I think the biggest change between then and now (aside from the change of pace) is that now I am so much happier than where I was. Granted, it does not make me any happier to write really long papers or study for hours and hours on a subject that is impossible to study for (e.g. world literature), but I know that in the end, I did my best. I put in the effort, I went to class everyday and I came out of this semester learning new things, and even finding a bit of direction as to what I want to do with my life after university is done.

This happiness, I think, came from acceptance. At the beginning of the semester I was so scared of the change, even though I knew that a) it was inevitable and b) I thought I was excited and ready for it. But September came, and even though I tried to feel confident in my ability, the reality was I had so much to learn. I wanted to resort to my old ways of studying the night before, Wikipedia-ing all my information and hanging out with my old friends. But being pushed into something new – a new normal – has proven to be altogether terrifying but a blessing nevertheless. I have accepted the change, accepted that things are different now and that the expectations I had with myself before had to be altered. To understand that there is more to school than just work, that high school relationships do not last forever, and that life fulfilling relationships are the way to go. This happiness and acceptance comes after I have decided to let somethings go and fight for other things that I thought were worthwhile in my life.

Today in mass we talked about joy and what it meant to be joyful. When the right things are top on your priority, everything else will fall into place.

And I guess that is all I need.

Here are some pictures that I took over the course of finals mania:

I wish everyone fantastic grades, a Merry Christmas and a happy new year! Enjoy the break and spill more ink while you do!

x R