In high school, I was on the track team and mainly competed in the short sprints and jumps. At the regional track meet my coach came to me and said he wanted me to run the 4x400. Throughout the season I had only run the 400 one time and it was far from my specialty, but I answered my track coach without hesitance that we should do it.
The 4x400 started and I stood there on the side of the track watching my teammate run with the baton. He kept us in a competitive spot and handed it off to another one of my teammates. My heart pounded as I stepped on the track knowing it would be my turn to run with the baton next.
My teammate reached me, placing the baton in my hand as he gasped for air. An opposing team's runner got his baton nearly the same time as me. I decided that I would pace myself off of the opposing runner as I assumed he was a more experienced 400 runner than I was. We turned the first curve and hit the straightaway and I was feeling okay, but as we approached the final curve the opposing runner I was pacing myself off of kicked into another gear. Initially, I thought to myself I'm not sure if I can finish the race at that speed, but nonetheless, I kicked into my final gear as well. I don't remember how the race ended, but I do remember that I gave it all I got.
I tell you this story as an analogy for what it has been like returning to campus after a year away from Oberlin. It has been an exciting experience since the baton that is syllabus day hit my hand. I have paced myself through the semester by remembering how I handled classes through my freshman and sophomore years. Now that midterms have hit, it is time to kick into that final gear, and even though there may be moments of doubt, I know that at the end of the day I will give it all I got.