A year ago I questioned the existence of this paper: Our future was in the hands of student voters, many of which had never heard of the Sentry or the Advocate or Tivoli #345. We had to defend our cause amidst fighting for our sanity.
Endless hours of campaigning went into our success. Suddenly, the Sentry’s purpose was twofold; we still maintained our mission to produce a newspaper filled with content relevant to the CU Denver community, but we also were faced with defending our worth as an institution. The pressure felt endless—we were buried under a myriad of social media promotions and tabling and making announcements to our classes, all while worrying if our legacy would be the destruction of free speech.
Referendum became our life. Former Editor in Chief Madi Bates and I spent most of our time making strategic plans and implementing them. Editors and writers and photographers rallied, volunteering unpaid hours to our cause, going around campus and raising awareness for the ongoing vote. For much of the semester, the student vote became our priority, intertwined with our hopes, dreams, and plans.
Similarly, today I’m struggling with another all-consuming faction of college life: group projects. Instead of tabling and handing out newspaper flyers, I’m dedicating all of my energy to making PowerPoints and babysitting other group members. I’ve been paired with peers who either haven’t been paying attention to core class concepts or that seemingly have never worked with another person in their lives.
It feels endless. For one of my classes, my group mates decided that practicing their parts was unnecessary. Unfortunately for the rest of us, our presentation went 20 minutes over the time limit, leading to a major point reduction and a re-do for a later class period. For another project, there was confusion over our subject and how cohesive our overall production needed to be, resulting in wide-spread panic and very sweaty palms. These project-related frustrations are adding up, and it feels like there’s no escaping from their impending doom.
If the year of space between now and referendum has taught me anything, it’s that this all-engaging mess—hours of late night Google Doc collaboration and group texts with strangers and overwhelming dependability—will not last. The semester is coming to a close, and the end is in sight. What is painful now will not cause any discomfort in a month. With graduation rearing its head, the collegiate stresses will soon be long gone for those of us planning to walk.
As the end of the year anxiety surfaces, remember that it’s just temporary. Election week will conclude on Friday, presentation grief will evaporate immediately following the presentation, and last-minute cramming sessions won’t exist post-finals week. Before long, those allencompassing hindrances will vanish, only existing as character-building memories.