Well, UNH, we have done it. With finals beginning next week, we have made it though another semester. I cannot believe I only have three semesters left here. It seems like just yesterday I was moving into Williamson Hall, nervous, excited and not knowing what to expect. I still might have to switch my major some time next year just so I can stick around a little bit longer. To the students graduating early or leaving for internships, good luck out there. I am not here to worry about the future though; that is what second semester of senior year is for. I am going to use the next few hundred words I have left this semester to share some advice.
I realize that I am only a junior and I have another year and a half left in this magical place we call college, but I cannot stress enough to make the best of your time here. It goes by fast, way too fast and I don't want to wake up one day regretting my time in college. I have friends and older brothers out in the "real world" and every time we get together they remind me, not that I necessarily need it, to enjoy every second I have here. Like the late Warren Zevon said, "enjoy every sandwich," because eventually one will be your last.
That is why I no longer complain about doing work, even when it keeps me up until the early morning hours. Right now, I'm writing this well past midnight while I'm working on a PowerPoint presentation I have to do later today. Oh boy. But I'm doing this now because I just enjoyed the crap out of my weekend, because I'm in college and I try to take advantage of every opportunity I have to make my time here memorable, even if I don't necessarily remember it. Sure procrastination can be stressful, but you got to stay balanced. For every essay you write or night you spend cramming should be another weekend night you cut back and let loose.
Cutting loose does not mean that you need to get drunk bar-hopping downtown or raging at a party, although those are great options. Find your own place and your own thing to make you happy. Whether it is simply sitting down to read a book, going for a run or to the gym, find your place and stay balanced. That is the best way to avoid the stress of college or finals week.
For myself I have a few things to balance my life. When the weather is nice, I'll be out around campus on my skateboard or tossing a baseball around with a few friends. As dedicated readers know, I also take great pleasure in drinking lots of alcohol. Nothing competes with the feeling of having a few (or a lot) of friends over and throwing back a few (or a lot) of drinks. This past weekend my roommates and I hosted a birthday party for a friend and the next morning we woke up to cake embedded in the carpet, toilet paper streamed across a bathroom and into the hall, and a couple broken dishes. It didn't bother a single one of us. Even when we found out that the culprits was the guest of honor and her friend, we just laughed it off. It didn't bother us because we threw an awesome party and everyone had a blast. We were all able to clear our minds from the stress of final projects and exams for a few hours and enjoyed college for what it is.
It is now approaching one a.m. now and I'll be up in a few hours to finish a project, but I am completely fine with that. Maybe I'm crazy for not stressing out over that type of stuff, but the way I see it is that my grades have improved every semester of college and every semester has been more fun then the last. That is not because I now spend more time studying in the library or revising papers, it is because I am more relaxed. I used to stress out over how much work I had to do in so little time, but now I take one thing at a time and just plugging away. Enjoy yourself, UNH; find your balance and live, because college will only be the best four years of your life if you allow it to be.
Stay classy, not UMassy.