Student Experience Blog

Storm Before the Calm

If you happen to be strolling through campus this week and you happen across the odd napping junior, crying freshman, sophomore in the fetal position, or senior in riot gear, fear not! It just happens to be mid-term week and such sights are normal, if not expected.

I have two papers due this week, three tests to study for, a poem to write, and some Shakespeare sonnets to dissect. Simply put, readers, please do not let my calm exterior fool you. Internally, I am a veritable “crazy hot mess” soup on the verge of boiling over.

It’s not just me feeling the heat, either. Everyone is experiencing that burgeoning sense of panic/doom as we race towards the halfway point of the semester. On Friday, we’ll all put away books, studying and essays for a week of good ol' rest and relaxation. But, right now, we are stuck suffering through the messy, coffee and Taco Bell-fueled storm before the calm.

C of I, thank the deity of your choosing, doesn’t leave the students hanging. Mid-Term Medicine is already marked on my calendar. The Program Council knows how much studying whomps (shout out to your favorite troublemaking school kid and mine, T.J. Detweiler for my go-to pseudo swearword) so they offer up a tailor-made college student care package in the form of energy drinks and candy.

While all this is going on, I’m also in the process of choosing my classes for next term. Even though we still have a whole half of this semester left, I’m still itching to get the next one started. The best part of not being a freshman (other than being old enough to finally know about the school’s secret underground tunnels) is the fact that when it comes time to actually registering for classes, I can take my time. Last year, there was a chaotic dash to fill any of the few remaining spots open in the classes you want. Heads up, freshmen, if you don’t sign up for your classes at EXACTLY 12:01 a.m. on registration day you are so going to get stuck taking random classes like Advanced Whistling or Manicures for Beginners. So, prepare accordingly.

My class schedule for winter/spring terms has changed at least 6 times. Maybe more. Actually, definitely more. Being a Creative Writing major, I obviously have to take a lot of writing-intensive courses. But the trick is, not taking them all at once. You need to pace yourself. This semester, I think I finally managed to find a right mix. My journalism class has a lot of writing in it (for obvious reasons), as does my poetry class. But my other three classes, not so much. For those, there is just reading. So. Much. Reading. Like, you’re thinking “Oh gosh, there goes Ashley, exaggerating about the amount of reading required” but no, you’re wrong. I started reading for those classes the day before school started in September and I don’t really think that I’ve stopped. So, try to make sure you don’t take all reading-heavy classes, or all science lab classes, and so on. Find the happy mix.

Also, be sure not to make the most fatal of all scheduling errors: don’t get excited when you see fun classes and forget to take any of the classes that you actually need to graduate. Archery can be amazing fun, as can scuba diving, rock climbing, and fly fishing. But all play and no work made Jack Nicholson go crazy in The Shining (before any movie aficionados angrily email me telling me how terrible I got that reference, please just bear with me here. I needed to have an example to truly bring my point home).

Well, I’m signing off for now, readers. Procrastinating by writing to you guys only can go so far and it’s time for me to head back to my super-secret study spot (it’s an elaborate underground place, akin to Dexter’s Lab) in order to properly tackle my last assignments. Have a great week!

-Ashley A. Miller

Ashley is a sophomore Creative Writing major from Payette, Idaho.