10 Stages of Drake Finals Week

It’s my final finals! And what an exciting time it is. Thank goodness I’ve learned so much over my years at Drake and have now managed my time so wisely that I’m just sailing along. Hahaha; just kidding. I’m a mess. In what has become a truly time-honored tradition, I am currently reaping the seeds of my expert level procrastination, cramming to write papers and finish projects at the very last minute possible. Is this the smart way to do things? Nope. But it’s who I am, and at this point it’s far too late to change the crazy thought patterns that enter my head. It’s now my pleasure to provide an insight into my finals week thoughts. As deadlines loom, I make decisions. Some productive, some questionable. Okay, they’re mostly all questionable, but here they are:

8 hours till deadline: Okay, unlike last semester, I’m gonna get this paper done early. But not right now, obviously. I have tons of time.

7 hours till deadline: I just need the perfect playlist, then some stuff is gonna get done.

6 hours till deadline: Okay, that playlist took longer than I intended. But I’m gonna get started and write the header on my paper. Ooh, actually, my apartment is kind of dirty. I can’t work in these conditions. Better take some time to clean.

5 hours till deadline: Whoops. Okay, definitely going to write now. For real. I mean, right after I get a snack.

4 hours till deadline: Okay, I now have two pages written. That’s an accomplishment. An accomplishment that deserves a quick break.

3 hours till deadline: Oh, boy. The good news is that I work better under pressure anyway. And the pressure is building. I’ll calm down by checking my phone for a minute, then, it’s time to get serious.

2 hours till deadline: Ohhhhh no. I really have to work

1 hours till deadline: AHHHHH!!!!

1 minute till deadline: TURN IT IN; IT”S FINE. IT’S DONE!!!

2 minutes after deadline: That was terrible. Did I even spell check that paper? You know what, it doesn’t matter. That was so traumatic, I better settle down and take a well-deserved break.

Gray’s Lake

So, it’s springtime! Well, I guess it technically has been for a while, but now it finally feels like it. The Drake campus is happy, warm, and bright. And people are out and about. Which is great. Love those people. In my earlier days at Drake, I would lounge on the grass outside of my residence halls in warm weather or hang out with friends outside of the library. We’d talk, study, read, and well, mostly talk, to be honest.

As wonderful as all that was, these days, in my oh-so-mature years, I often find myself needing a little peace and quiet to think and get stuff done. That’s not to say that I still don’t spend time with others enjoying the spring, going to ball games, eating ice cream, and everything, but there is something very appealing in the idea of a solitary escape to nature every now and then.

I guess my version of nature is still not exactly “natural,” but it is outdoors, and it works for me. This past week, I took some time and went to Gray’s Lake. It’s kind of an urban-feeling park just a few minutes from campus, and connected by bike trails to downtown Des Moines. There’s people parasailing, sail boating, running, walking dogs, playing with kids. There’s even a beach with sand where people can lay out and go swimming in the lake. I know it sounds like I’m describing a George Seurat painting or something, and actually, I guess I kind of am.

Gray’s Lake is an idyllic spot in a lot of ways. It seemed like the whole Des Moines community was there the other day, and yet, I still found a spot under a willow tree, in the grass, near the bank of the lake to relax and read and just be. It was the kind of spot that made me want to recite Keats and read Wordsworth. The kind of spot that made me want to drink some lemonade and just take a nap. I guess what I’m trying to say is that it was refreshing to be outside on a beautiful day. Not exactly a revolutionary statement, I know. But a powerful one nonetheless.