Good Luck with Finals!

Posted: December 09, 2019 | Author: Scott L Wyatt | Read Time: 3 minutes

Sand dunes in southern UtahHello Students!

Last October I found myself standing at the foot of one of the tallest sand dunes in the world. The dune is a huge mountain of sand that stands a few feet taller than the Empire State building. I couldn't keep myself from climbing to the top. It was simply an irresistible urge.

I decided to go straight up the downwind side; geologists call it the slip face. It's the steepest part of the dune. When I got out of my car and started walking toward the dune it was super easy, of course. But, when I started up the face it began to get steep, and steeper, and then steeper still. The higher I climbed the more vertical it became. With every step the sand collapsed from under my feet, sliding me almost back to where I started. Eventually, I was climbing on all fours. I must have looked like a dog paddling upstream as I feverishly swam with my hands and feet in soft sand up the last hundred vertical yards to the top. By the time I was standing on the crest, my shoes were full of sand and I was completely out of breath. The view was spectacular. It was a very happy moment.

In truth, climbing the sand dune wasn’t all that hard. From my view at the bottom, before I started up, it looked more difficult than it actually was. Anyone with patience and four reasonably strong limbs can do it. But today, as I am thinking about the end of this semester, I see a parallel. Like the dune I climbed last October, each semester starts out slowly, easily, and becomes more challenging as we go. The work steepens, becomes more difficult, and stress builds toward the end. I remember when I was in school, like you are now. I always felt like I was dog paddling during the last weekend before finals. Sometimes I felt like I would get washed down a vast river of papers, tests, and projects. But I survived every semester and so will you. Each time you finish and start a new semester you grow stronger and get smarter.

I hope you work hard this weekend and finish strong during finals. When stress builds for you it’s good news, not bad. It means you are getting close to the top. Keep going. You’re almost there. If you get overly stressed, pause for a few minutes and catch your breath. Find someone who can help you. Take a little walk outside. Eat well and get some sleep. And then get back into studying. Keep going. It is amazing how much you can accomplish if you dig in with all fours and just keep going. You are so close. Keep going! All of your friends here at SUU, and I, are cheering you on.

I wish you the most wonderful holiday break after your finals are finished. And unless you are graduating this semester, we all look forward to seeing you back again in January!

With my warmest regards,


Tags: President

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