Congratulations! You will finish classes for this semester tomorrow. Most of your work is completed and now is the time to prepare for final exams and complete papers that are due.
I went to Austin, Texas last weekend for a retreat with all of our ACE teachers. Everyone came from California as well as New York City and many parts in between. It was good to be together and feel the love and support of each other. I loved my time with these teachers and it was good to see the nine women from Ryan who are part of ACE.
I know that the next ten days can be a time of stress and worry for many and this is especially for first year students. There are several things to consider. Think of it as the PIES approach to Final Exams. Do not be confused as I will now explain this idea which I have thought about for the thirty two years that I have lived with students.
“P” stands for physical. It is important that during these days that you pay close attention to your well being which means to make sure you sleep every night for about eight hours. You also want to eat well and get exercise every day. There is nothing like a good run either on a treadmill or outside that can reduce your stress.
“I” stands for intellectual which is about the classes you have attended, the notes you have taken and how you have studied during the semester. It is to know that you were taught to love learning by your parents, teachers and mentors. You have great minds and you are aware of what you know and what you don’t know. You can ask for help from a classmate and your professor. Everyone at Notre Dame wants you to succeed.
“E” stands for Emotional. You might begin to panic and worry because you place high expectations on yourself. You need to know that you have done well in the past and that can give you confidence. Also, remember that you would not have been accepted to Notre Dame if the people in the Admissions Office thought you could not do the work. You might practice spending some time in quiet meditation as a way to keep yourself calm. You might also consider going to Starbucks or Einstein’s for a coffee with a friend.
“S” stands for spiritual. Remember, you are loved into existence by your parents and you were made in the image and likeness of God. You have been given many gifts and talents and we are called to share them. You have a vocation to be a student and we need to give thanks to God for all that we have. Pray that you can do your best and that your work as a student is to give honor and glory to God.
I am praying that you will do your best and that the coming week will be calm and peaceful.