Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The End for REAL.

Today was the LAST day of classes! Woohoo! I wrote my blog response essay for D&C. We were just basically assigned to write a response to our experience blogging this semester. As I thought about all of my blogs, I realized that I really didn't have any life changing experiences blogging this semester, but I did learn a lot. I looked through my blog and the things I had written, and I realized that most everything that I had written was just an application of little things. I wrote about little things and how important they are in my life. Blogging this semester has been a really good experience, because it's provided an opportunity for me to reflect on the importance of little things. Whether it's learning to be kinder, learning to be grateful, or applying the lessons from the scriptures into my life, I've just been grateful to learn and grow through the reflection that blogging has provided. It's been a really good opportunity.

P.S. Just cause the semester is over, doesn't mean that I'm done blogging. I'll still do it. It just won't be an assignment. :)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The End of All Things...sort of...

The end of a semester or school term is always a really interesting time for me. On the one hand, I feel very stressed and under the gun, thanks to all the papers, projects, and tests to complete, in order to ensure that I did, indeed, learn something. When I think about all of these things, I start to feel claustrophobic. Every year, it seems that there is more to do and harder papers, projects, and tests than the previous semesters, which I suppose only makes sense since I'm only getting older and more advanced in my education.

However, something that is also interesting to me is that as I get older and begin more difficult scholastic endeavors, I also find that my stress level and nervousness about upcoming events decreases as well. This week, I have 3 finals, a piano recital, about 240 papers to grade for work, and two concerts this weekend, plus 2 dress rehearsals for said concerts on Wednesday and Thursday nights. Honestly, there are simply not enough hours in the week to get it all done. And yet, I feel strangely relaxed about it. I've been wondering why I've felt so relaxed, and in D&C today it hit me: I think I'm learning to see the bigger picture. Yes, doing well in school is very important to me. I used to be a perfectionist and refuse to accept the possibility that I might get a "B" in one of my classes. But in the grand scheme of things, grades really don't matter that much. I know that they are important for grad school and further education, but in the long run, what happens will happen, and Heavenly Father will make it all work out. I was talking with a friend the other day, and she said that she can't stand to get B's or even A-'s because she can't stand the thought of not doing her best on school. When she said that, it rubbed me the wrong way--I disagreed, but I wasn't sure why. As I've done some thinking about it, I guess it's because I believe that while my best efforts in schoolwork could theoretically bring the "A" grade I desire, while I am busy earning my A's, I could miss out on other things that are equally, if not more important for my growth. To me, it's not worth sacrificing good health or being flexible enough to do what I feel is most important with my time.

Now, don't get me wrong--right now, other than my relationships with Heavenly Father, my family, and few close friends, school is the biggest, most important, all-consuming aspect of my life, and sometimes, it even precludes the relationships with my family and friends. I spend most evenings (unless I have a prior committment, which is rare) and spare time studying. I'm known to often read a book while walking to and from classes, because I can't stand to waste the 10 minutes in walking time. It's not that school is low on my priority list--I guess it's just that I don't worry about the numbers and letters that supposedly "measure" my learning. I know that if I am trying my best to learn, and I give it my very best effort within reason, Heavenly Father will bless me. If I get a B or two and can't get into the very best grad school program I was hoping to get into, He'll make it okay, and it'll all work for my good. He loves me, and He wants me to succeed.

Now, to come full circle: I realized this in D&C today because we were talking about the ordinances of the temple. As I was thinking about the implications of achieving my eternal potential and becoming how Father needs me to be for eternity, I re-realized that that is why grades don't matter. That is why I can relax, do my very best, struggle through and do everything in my power to succeed as best I can, and then He will make up the difference. "It is not requisite that [I] should run faster than [I have] strength," after all. In the next life, Heavenly Father won't care whether or not I got good grades, but He will care that I trusted Him. Instead of taking everything upon myself to make me succeed by my own strength, I can just trust Him. What a beautiful idea. I don't, none of us has to worry, because we can just trust Him to give us the rest we seek and believe in His power to do so. I love this gospel. :)