Ask Hahney: End of Semester Blues

As the semester begins to wind down, I’ve taken some time off of writing weekly articles for this column. And I wanted to return with this piece… to simply talk.

The last few weeks have been hard. Donald Trump’s win was very frustrating for me. My school workload picked up, and I’ve been so exhausted running between accomplishing the things I have to get done, being an adult, etc. However, in this chaotic mess, I’ve learned a lot…

I’ll list it below and I hope some of you take something away from it:

  1. Empathy doesn’t come easy, but it doesn’t hurt to try. There’s a lot of stuff going on in the news and there is a lot of stuff going on in our personal lives. But we should never expect others to teach us why certain things are upsetting/important to them. It’s on us to learn, to seek to understand, & to learn how to empathize.
  2. You are important. I know that I’ve reiterated self-care a couple of times on this column but self-care is so important. If we’re tired and dreading doing anything, then we’ll inevitably be dissatisfied. We have to take care of ourselves to truly do any real good in the world.
  3. Life works itself out. As cliche and hackneyed as that expression is, it’s true. Life will work itself out. This is for any of my friends stressed out about the end of the school semester. You’ll be fine. A grade doesn’t define you. What you do defines you. What you strive towards will define you. That’s the twisted beauty of life.
  4. Be kind to others. I was up in Yosemite for a couple of days and something I’ve noticed about hiking culture is that everyone says “Good morning” or “Hello” to you, even when they don’t know you. If we could extend that courtesy in our daily lives, we’ll find that there are so many good people (amongst the bad) in the world. And that makes me happy.

I hope you all are finishing off the semester strong. Looking forward to your questions next semester. But for now, have a good holiday season with your family!

Submit your ethical quandaries to and be on the lookout for sage advice from Ask Hahney.