10:00. 10:30. 11:00…

The minutes ticked closer to 12, and as the time before midnight decreased, the immense pressure and stress from the work in front of me increased. My brain felt like it was being squeezed, as the exertive force of deadlines bore down on me. With a math test, geology quiz, and statistics quiz to prepare for, I still hadn’t started my column due for The Central Trend the following day, and I didn’t even have a clue of what I should write about.

The minutes stopped ticking toward 12. Instead, they poured away like a waterfall toward 12. 12 came, and 12 became 1, and 1 became 2, as I finally moved onto my column. Normally, I can crank out and execute a story in a short period of time, but my brain, clouded with a combination of sleep depravity, a too heavy workload, and the distraction of upcoming events, seemed to hit a wall. With a turtle-like pace, I began to drum out ideas. All I could think about was the claustrophobic, suffocating pressure crushing me from all sides.

Moments of severe work-overload like this beg for a solution. If students could take brief periods of vacation with no assignments when work becomes overbearing, that would solve the issue of missed work compounding into more missed work in the process of trying to catch up. Also, if students could cancel one assignment per semester, this would save the worst of the worst from plaguing their grades. However, these ponderings are items of fantasy.

In reality, being a student, especially a student with commitments to heavy classes and multiple extracurriculars, requires points in which the walls feel like they’re closing in on you. Eventually, anyone runs into points in their lives in which they hit a wall, and academia is no exception. However, we have no choice but to push through it.

No matter how much suffering you have to face, no matter the late hours you’ll witness looking at the books and papers below you, you only have one choice: to continue. So in my moment of weakness, my moment of dry-eyed, exhausted turmoil, I pushed on. And wrote.

2:00. 2:30. 3:00…