Goodbye, semester


author: annie trussler | op-ed editor 

Credit: Jaecy Bells

Think about how small you are.

As yet another semester comes to a close, I find myself reflecting on the absolute Red-Bull-fuelled enigma that was the last three to four months. I reflect on what I’ve done, what I failed to do, what I simply forgot to do, and what I “forgot” to do. I wonder if my accomplishments measure up to those around me, or if my essays are of a higher standard than most, or if, as a student, I am somehow contributing to the universe simply by existing. To those thoughts, I want to say “fuck you.”

The year is 2018. Thus far in human history, we have waged innumerable wars, killed billions of people, caused unimaginable suffering, and man, that sucks. We have caused genocides, mass murders, we don’t say thank you when people hold the door, we honk about people going just a little too slow, and to that bullshit I say “fuck you.”

Human history has also been peppered with kindness: puppies have been saved from mills, slavery has been more or less abolished (looking at you Nike), art was invented, science was discovered, and people fall in love every single day.

Think about how small you are.

Imagine yourself in a white room. It’s you and no one else.

Now imagine everyone you have ever known in that room, and imagine the room gets bigger accordingly.

Now squeeze the world’s population in there.

Now their ancestors.

And their ancestors before that.

Imagine every river, tree, and ocean fitting into that room. Imagine every star, every moon and planet.

The room is enormous by now.

Now, just imagine you in that same enormous room.

You are so, so, so small.

Depression has made this semester hard, as it makes every semester hard, but I must remind myself that, as always, I am small. I am just a blip in a blip in a blip on the wavelength of human existence, and honestly, a 68 per cent on a test really won’t put the world into a spiral.

More important than my grades is my kindness, my sense of humour, my appreciation for plants, and my appreciation for the world.

More important than your grades is your kindness, your qualities, and your skills a capitalistic world has devalued.

If you can make babies smile without fail, you are worthwhile. If you can make a mean mac and cheese, you are worthwhile. Simply by existing and putting kindness into the universe, you are worthwhile.

Time, money, and the world as it exists has told you that systems we invented are what measure your purpose – I am here to tell you, or at least remind you, that your life is important simply because you exist.

With the recent tragedy that struck Saskatchewan, I think it’s important for all of us to remember (as cheesy as it may sound) that our time here is short, and it is love and joy that makes our time here special, not grades and pay raises.

I have been feeling particularly useless lately (maybe this endless winter isn’t good for my depression, but it’s hard to say), and I feel as if many of you have as well. There’s something about the weeks before finals that make a person feel like absolute useless garbage piles.

I am not here to preach traditional self care – while self care is invaluable, it’s important to remember not all of us have the resources for yoga, or gym memberships, or the energy to go outside for some of that sweet, sweet sun juice. For those of you feeling like garbage, try to:

  1. Take vitamin D supplements! It’s not replacing the sun, but it can help your mood big time!
  2. Force yourself outside for even a little. Go to Chapters. Look at a bird.
  3. Wash your clothes.
  4. Make your favourite meal.
  5. After finals, let those classes be dead to you, and the world.

I felt like I had to write this article for the world, but partly for myself. I am trying to let the world move around me in a way that does not leave me scared or confused. Life is hard.

Be strong, friends. Look for the good things. Believe in yourself. We’re going to be okay.

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