The stalemate

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The battle of the semester has come to a standstill, but we must push on

Paul Bogdan
A&C Editor

It’s late, but I can’t sleep. How could one sleep in times like these? I look over to one of my counterparts next to me, hunched over, silent, but trembling. We were well into the barrage, but it showed no signs of slowing down. Everyone braced once they heard the whizz and boom of a midterm, or the flash of a research paper that lit up the black sky. Yes, this is Midterm Month, that dreaded time from mid-October until late November when everything is due.

Morale is low around camp. The assignments, the essays, the exams, the horrifying screams of insanity and futility from our fallen comrades have taken their effect on the rest of us clinging with all our frail fingers can muster to the last bits of sanity we have.

How might we hold on in times like these? Why should we even bother, given that we all know our fate? It’s hard, comrades, but we must trudge on through the rain, the lifeless bodies in the computer labs, the muck, and the mud of the trenches and keep fighting. A saying was once told to me by a since-passed officer, Illegitimi non carborundum. Don’t let the bastards grind you down.

Losing your mind and despairing is easy in times like these, but you’re going to need all the wit you have left if you want to even stand a chance to see the end of this war. So, go hard, but you’re going to need to take a break at some point. You can only study so much before the gears of your mind become clogged, rusted, and immovable, and you end up pissing around on Facebook and subsequently fueling your already immense sense of self-loathing for not studying hard enough and being a failure. So, comrade, go out! See the light of day; I say, live comrade! Take a night off to blow off some steam, have a drink or two or thirteen; a time comes when you need some mental rest so that you can get back in the fight.

Once you rejoin the ranks and continue the battle, you’ll need to be more organized than you’ve ever been. Set reminders in your phone. Get into routines of studying and doing homework. Make lists of all the things you have to do. Make lists of assignments. Make lists of readings. Make lists of all the fucking lists you have to make. You’re going to need all of your shit in line when the enemy comes over-the-top, creeping behind a barrage of textbooks and lab manuals. But you’ll be ready when you hear that whistle blow, and those sons-of-bitches come sprinting across the wasteland. Yes, you’ll be ready with your MG already loaded and aimed so that you can sprint to it and fire off round after round of Saussurean Semiotic Theory at the enemy. Yeah, how’s that for a sign?

But, know that all battles can’t be won. Casualties are inevitable. You can be organized, but being on top of everything is impossible. The enemy is coming at us with all they’ve got, and they will surprise us from time to time. But, despair not, comrade. Accept the fact that this time will be hectic no matter how many lists you make, no matter how long you study for, no matter how late you stay up, there will always be more homework. These times will be hectic, but there will be an end. The snow may be cold, but it hints that the good times are coming – the holiday times, the times of drinking, and merriment, and carelessness, and ease. Yes, comrade, the good times are coming.

But now, we must fight.

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