STUDENT BLOG – Formulating Forgiveness and Gratitude: The End of Semester Blues

Dear Reader,

It’s the end of the fall term, and whether you’re a freshman or senior, we can all admit that this semester has been one of the hardest. Between newfound low social batteries and finding the balance between schoolwork, extracurriculars, and more, the transition from remote to in-person learning proved to be anything but “normal.” As the semester dwindles, I find myself feeling burnt out, frustrated, and sometimes even disappointed with myself. I know that I am not alone in this feeling either; as finals approach, we all do the same flip from the syllabus to Excel sheet to calculate what we need to score on the big exam to earn that coveted “A” in the class.

I’m here to tell you that it’s okay.

It’s okay if you don’t hit that score; it’s okay if you wish you had done more, joined more clubs, went to more meetings, studied a lot more. Instead, I encourage you to reflect on your semester in ways that you typically might not think to. Evaluate yourself based on how often you checked in with friends, if you set boundaries for yourself and kept them, or even how many times you got Hi-Chews from the cafe in the Hub just because they made your walk to class a little more bearable? Thank yourself for going to the workout class you always wanted to try, for staying up too late to watch cartoons with your roommates, for getting the answer wrong in class, and for making new friends. Have some humility, take a step back, and forgive yourself for whatever you define as setbacks.

It can be too easy to get caught up in the rigor and stress of college; I certainly do. But Dear Reader, what if every day we could remind ourselves of what a tremendous opportunity it is to be in college, to be at UMass? Could gratitude become a state rather than a trait? While it may be the end of the semester, and I’m still learning the names of most of my classmates, it has been an absolute pleasure to be back in the classroom surrounded by my peers. I truly could not have gotten through this semester without you.

I challenge you to be kind to yourself this coming finals week and beyond; it will make all the difference. You have done enough, even if it feels different right now. Most importantly, you are enough.




Raegan Hill is a Chase Career Peer – click HERE to access her bio.

By Raegan Hill
Raegan Hill Career Peer