All About Endings

If I learned anything from this semester at college, it’s that a strong finish can make you or break you.
Confession time: All semester my Math grade teetered back and forth between a B and a D.  I knew I was never coming out of a math class with a B.  Even if it was easy math, the tests would do me in.  I could never make better than a D on my quizzes and tests all semester, and it wasn’t for lack of study.
When time came to take the quizzes, I didn’t use my book, even though the quizzes weren’t proctored and I could have cheated easily.  Some of them were higher D’s than others, and I might have managed a C on one and forgot, but on the tests as well, the average for tests and Quizzes was a D.
My homework grade was an A.  I’d hoped that would be enough to pull me to a C center, but as the semester drew toward a close, I realized that I’d missed a key assignment.  I have no good excuse other than a poor choice in taking an 8 week Literature class.  Never should have attempted it.  Anyway, that pulled my whole average down into D territory.
I panicked.  I spent days and days in Math Lab taking the practice final over and over.  I hoped that it would take the edge off of my test anxiety and let me at least get a C on the final.  It wouldn’t be enough to make me pass the class, but it would help my confidence when I took it over the next semester.
I planned to take the class again, even enrolled in it, just so that it was taken care of in the back of my mind,  I had a contingency plan.  Less stress still.
Then test day came around, and on my way to the testing center, I told myself that either way it was over today.  I went in early so as not to give myself time to get worked up, and just took it.
I got a B!  I couldn’t believe it!  I walked calmly out the doors and called my husband.  I couldn’t help it, I was excited.  I told him that the man in the testing center was impressed because I pulled my grade up from a D to a C.  I’d passed the whole class.  I wouldn’t have to take it again, and better– it was the last math class I’d have to take.  It was over.
I walked the rest of the way to my car, then sat in it for nearly ten minutes crying like a little kid.  All the stress and tension I’d tucked away for the last two and a half years came out and it was glorious.  By the time I was able to drive out of the parking lot I felt lighter.  Never again would my GPA depend on something I was so very bad at.  Biology for majors– no problem. College level math– now that’s terrifying.
This experience, along with a string of family losses, and the impending passing of yet another dear family member have taught me that the way I handle endings is important.  Not just in my writing, but in life as well.  Finishing strong can make all the difference between a failure and a success story.
Here’s wishing all of my readers a very Happy and Prosperous New Year.  May 2015 be your year of new beginnings and amazing adventures!