Towards the end of this last spring semester, I noticed that I had fewer hairs on my head and a large pile of papers, research, in addition to library books on the floor. At one point, I was working on three large papers for three different classes and probably researching for another class. The stress was looming over me like a cloud and I even started all of my assignments early. I can only imagine what the picture would have looked like had I taken the road of procrastination. After all the writing, research, and hours in the library were completed, I still had to take finals. Unlike the spring of my freshman year where I only had to take one final while my roommate had one or two almost every day, I didn’t come upon such luck this spring. As I recall, most days had either early or multiple finals.
In the spirit of academic progress, as soon as I turned in my term papers, it was time to begin studying for the tests. As an English major enrolled in English classes, my finals were writing based. So I began re-reading/reviewing the pieces that were studied in class in order to accurately describe, compare, contrast, and do whatever I needed to do on the tests. Needless to say, I’m blaming this past finals week for my realization that I need to wear my glasses at all times and for the carpal tunnel I may have developed.
However, at 5p on the Wednesday (the last day) of finals week, when I handed over my last blue test book of the academic year, I felt relieved. I was finished with my second year and could take a month-long nap and eat popsicles all summer if I wanted. As I walked back to my dorm, I thought the air had the faint smell of freedom in it (which smells like leaves, if you were wondering).
Now let’s fast forward to this moment in time. We’re well into the summer, and here, camp kids are running around like kittens while straggling college students take classes or work. As for myself, I have a sweet job as a campus dispatcher which allows for reading, thinking, and blogging when I’m not speaking in 10-codes over the radio or helping campus visitors locate buildings. Also, I get my country on working at Cracker Barrel as a hostess at nights which is rewarding as well. When I’m not working, I’m taking naps, exercising, and going to the public library. Quite frankly, this is the life.
Then why do I get annoyed with summer break so much?
I have boss jobs and fun hobbies. Without classes and deadlines hovering over me like a thundercloud, why on earth would I want to end summer vacation? The only answer I have and can conjure up is that I like learning a little too much. Sure, I like breaks and spontaneous napping, but there is something about going to class that gets me excited. Maybe it’s the anticipation of seeing what textbooks I’ll need, wondering how many notebooks $5 can buy, or the simple fact that I’ll be learning something new. Sometimes, I find myself reading the curriculum contract given to me by the education department to see what classes I need to take to finish my major or looking at applications to graduate schools. During the summer, I’m like a fish out of water. Sure, I like the break, naps, and endless amount of fiction reading, but there’s something about hand cramps, researching, and class discussions about literature that’s much more exciting and rewarding. Call me crazy, weird, or just bored, but when Fall 2010 comes around looking for a place to stay, she’ll have a place right beside that expensive stack of textbooks.