The Beginning of the End

Tomorrow I move back into Erskine for my last semester of undergraduate college, and I’m surprised to say that it really doesn’t feel any different.  I’m not sure what I expected – perhaps some great anticipation or a growing sense of the nearing end – but it really just feels like another semester.  So, after a semi-productive break (because it wouldn’t be a vacation if you did everything that you were supposed to), it’s time to pack up and organize a little before everything gets too busy.  So, there is the usual, inevitable checklist:

Get the weekly schedule together.  I actually make a document on my computer for this, which might seem a bit unnecessary, but is unbelievably helpful.  I start with my classes then add everything that I know is permanent on my schedule, such as my SI class, weekly meetings, and rehearsals.  The main point of this is to know where I am going, when I am going, which days are going to be busier, etc. and to start planning accordingly.

Do a little long-term planning.  This mostly involves looking through syllabi and schedules, and writing all the important dates in the calendar.  I think that this is one of the most useful things that I do, along with the weekly schedule, because it allows me to take a broad look over the semester, and know what is coming.  For example, if you have two tests, one paper, and a concert on the same day – that’s something that is good to know ahead of time!

Clean the dorm room.  Ah, yes, the dreaded desk overhaul.  Although I consider myself to be more neat than messy, even the most organized student gets those pesky little piles of accumulation and cast-off drawers that seem to pop up during the semester.  It is nice to clear your mind and your living space a little before the piles creep in again.

Stock the shelves and refrigerator.  Of course!  How else can a college student make it through a semester of late-night studying, waking up too late for breakfast, or needing a little something more than the dining hall?  Food is an essential.

Try to get ahead while you can.  I always try to take advantage of the relatively free schedule that I have at the beginning of the semester to get a little ahead on my schoolwork.  This comes in handy within just a few weeks, as time starts to get scarcer and work more heavy.

Enjoy the free time!  Ah, the beginning of the semester is a rare time, when you can read a little for fun, hang out with friends, or maybe even – dare I say it? – take a nap.  Because for at least the first few days, you actually remember the meaning of the phrase, “free time.”

Hope all that is not too boring, but that’s what is going on right now.  There is something nice about the beginning of a semester – that chance to start almost everything over again.  Although this may be my last beginning at Erskine, I’m excited to start towards the end, and to enjoy my final semester as much as I have enjoyed the previous ones.