Two and a Half Weeks Later…


The steam whistle goes off, the makeshift bell blasting its signature roar all over West Campus, signaling that my last final is finally over.

“Alright, time’s up everyone,” Mr. Belikov, my mechanical composition professor, says. “Stop writing and hand in your exams, please.”

It’s been a tough week, but I’m just relieved it’s over and done with. I put my pencil down and look to find that I’m one of only five people left in the auditorium—including Mr. Belikov and his TA, Priya.

The two other students get up, but I continue to sit for several more seconds, feeling a particular sense of emptiness and hollowness fill me to the brim—a feeling I haven’t felt in six years, not since right before I dropped out of college my freshman year.

I breathe out a tired, slightly depressed sigh, and the action only makes me feel physically weaker and even more sad. When I made the hard decision to come back to school, I never once anticipated that my academic goals would get derailed yet again, not in the way they’ve been. I never imagined that I’d find myself in a similar bind all over again, experiencing the same feelings of demoralization, losing focus, defeat, demotivation, fatigue, and worst of all, indifference.

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