The last leg of a race, is always the hardest to run. It’s not because your body can’t handle it. That home stretch is your body against your mind, it’s all up to your mind’s stamina and desire to finish.

Maybe it’s because I love running, or maybe it’s because running actually is suitably analogous to finishing up four years of high school or college. Finishing up high school and college are tremendous feats. The transitions into high school and college are exciting, movies and shows have made it a point to idealize the high school and college experience. But, what you don’t see quite as often is the finishing up part. No one really tells you how tired your brain feels by the end of it all. No one really touts the feelings of weakening fatigue at the end of it all.

By the time we’re seniors, so many people look up to you as a leader, so much to the point that you’re kind of left no choice but to step into the role and pack on the responsibilities. It becomes a little overwhelming at times; learning how to balance being a student, leader, human and young professional follows a steep learning curve. It’s no wonder we, or at least I, am so tired as we come upon finals. The thing is that you can’t let your steady stride falter, if anything you’ve got to kick it all into high gear.

You owe it to yourself to finish not just the school year, but your high school or college career off on a strong note. Yes, it’s an exercise in delayed gratification but it’s one that will carry you far into the future you want for yourself. When you feel those moments of, “I can’t do this anymore,” just close your eyes and visualize the future you want, then open your eyes and bring yourself back to the present moment. Feel it and enjoy it, because you’re an incredible person, working on incredible things to get you to an incredible future. So chin up, let’s finish this race together, let’s bring this home.