Smashing the 2nd semester slump

Getting back into a routine after a long break at home isn’t always easy. If you’re anything like me, you probably spent way too much time on Netflix and in your mom’s kitchen. However, now that I’m back at school, I’m trying to get back into the routine of classes and work and actually doing something with my life. Some days it sounds downright unappealing, but then I realize that I only have three semesters (minus a week and a half) and I better make the most of it while I still have the chance. And if you’re younger than me and are thinking that this doesn’t apply to you because you still have plenty of time at Loras… think again. Excuse the cliché, but it will flash right before your eyes, and before you know it you’ll be in my shoes, already missing the lights of the Rock Bowl, the strange but oddly comforting smell of Hoffmann, and going up for seconds (and thirds and fourths) in the caf, especially when they have that one amazing mac & cheese. So please, no matter how old you are, heed my message.

My roommates and I made a promise to ourselves the night that we returned from home back to good ‘ol Byrne Oaks. We decided that this semester we are actually going to emerge from the little comforting cocoons that we have created and re-enter civilization at Loras College. This means that we will return to our yesteryear selves: taking advantage of free sporting events, attending plays and musicals, going to CAB events (such as the Kel Mitchell comedy show we attended last Friday night in the ballrooms), eating in the ACC, etc. Last semester it was too tempting to go from apartment to class to work and back again, always in a rush and not being able to truly appreciate the life on Loras campus. And wow, is our campus pretty great.

I went on the J-Term trip to Italy this year, and it reopened my eyes to the amazingness that is Loras College and the community that inhabits it. As we get farther in our college education, most of us end up going to classes with the same small group of people that share our major. Not a bad thing whatsoever, especially if you’re an English major (English majors are pretty cool, not that I’m biased or anything). However, that also means that we can be pretty limited in our exposure to other students and faculty.

My J-Term was a philosophy course, and while I readily admit that philosophy is NOT my forte, I’d like to think that I gave it a pretty good shot. Even if the class wasn’t my usual interest, I did get to meet and get to know a lot of really cool people that I hadn’t previously spent a lot of time with from a variety of majors. Also, hanging out with Father Joensen and Mick (a Loras security guard), as well as Professor Kohlhaas and two members of the wider Dubuque community, was pretty fun too (but don’t tell them I said that. Gotta keep up that super cool, disinterested persona). This group of people reminded me how lucky I am to be at Loras, where J-Term trips to Italy, advanced gen eds mixing majors and disciplines, and a small enough campus to enjoy lots of friendly and familiar faces are not things that students from every school can enjoy. Therefore, I am going to do my best this semester to really show how grateful I am by taking advantage of the amazing (and often free or low-cost) opportunities that Loras offers, and bursting outside of my self-created junior bubble. And I think everyone could benefit from leaving their comfort zones and taking part in campus. If you do, you’ll end up with a lot more memories than just being able to remember the plotline to every episode of FRIENDS (although this is a great show and you should still totally watch it.) And so, get up, get out, and do things!

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