There I was, out on the open road, running free and far away from campus. At last, I had found some time to get myself outside. It was your classic adrenaline shebang: energy coursed through my veins, wind blew through my hair … need I say more? My responsibilities were trailing far behind, eating more dust than time for once, and I felt better than I had all semester.
Mind you, it was dark out. We’re talking dark enough so I couldn’t exactly see the outline of my hand in front of my face unless there was a street light nearby. Of course, I’d realized this the moment I stepped outside, yet somehow I’d managed to convince myself that I would spontaneously develop a sixth sense to guide me through the night. Lucky for me, however, this sixth sense of mine has a knack for doing the opposite of that. It hadn’t been more than 10 minutes before I found myself diving headfirst into the concrete sidewalk, having not-so-gracefully tripped over a sidewalk lip to my doom.
I would blame the city of Somerville for not having enough street lights to prevent the aforementioned fall from happening. But unfortunately, the situation in broad daylight may not have been any different. No amount of visibility can save a klutz, after all. After a panicked glance at my surroundings to see if anyone had witnessed my fall, I stood up, brushed off my scraped knees and despite my body’s protesting, ran on.
This unfortunate fall is a wonderful depiction of how my semester has gone. I kicked it all off with my spirits high and my doubts low, feeling like I was ready for this whole sophomore year thing. Sure, the first week or two of classes took some fight out of me, but I was just getting into the groove, the rhythm, the pace of it all. It wasn’t long before I was cruising comfortably through September and October.
That is, until the inevitable mid-semester faceplant into a concrete sidewalk of stress. The month-long pressure of exams and steadily dropping grades combined with a longing to go home and go to sleep made for a fantastically terrible wipeout. And it all hit me about two weeks ago. Since then, I’ve been a dampened spirit, surrounded by crumpled lab report drafts and cough drops.
Something about my sidewalk tumble snapped me back into focus, however. There won’t always be street lights outlining every step of the way. The semester may just dump me onto the sidewalk, bruised and wanting desperately to go home. There aren’t always going to be friendly faces waiting to help pick me back up on my feet when gravity gets the best of me. But these moments in which I have to get myself back on track are the most helpful of all, because they remind me that I have enough fight in me to get myself up and keep on running until I’ve finished what I’ve started.