WEBER & MORRIS: Reflect on College Whirlwind
Published: Friday, November 2, 2012
Updated: Friday, November 2, 2012 01:11
It’s that time of year again: midterms season. The soul-crushing, never-ending, middle-to-latter half of the semester crunch is in full force, and Lau is as packed as ever.
Our hurricane holiday could have been used to do homework, but instead, we caught up on some Netflix with the roomies. (“The League,” Season 3? Finally!)
Now that we have to get back to studying among all the stresses and hiding out in the dungeon known as “Lower Level,” we can’t overlook one important fact: There’s only one full month left in the semester. Now, before you start yelling, “Where did all the time go?” stop a minute and think about what you did with your September and October. We’ll bet the first thing that comes to mind is not studying for that upcoming statistics midterm.
If you’re a freshman, you’ve hopefully finally started to settle into your home. You’ve clicked with kids on your floor, and maybe you now feel comfortable going to Leo’s on your own, confident that there will be someone there you know (or you’re just no longer afraid of being Steven Glansberg). You’ve made it this far in the semester and definitely aren’t getting lost on campus anymore, and just last week, you had one of those 3 a.m. conversations that everyone had been telling you would happen in college.
Sophomores: Yeah, everyone said it was going to suck living in LXR, but you know better now — only suckers think that. If you live in Southwest Quad, you’ve discovered the wonders of Hoya Snaxa. And if you’re one of those lucky few to live in Village A or Henle, then you’re simply living the dream — even if F102 of Village A is on the ground floor and has a beautiful view of, well, nothing. Classes are getting harder, but you haven’t noticed. You’re now rising through the leadership ranks in your organization, and it couldn’t feel better.
Juniors: The whole summer internship thing is just beginning to show up on your radar, but you’re living large. You’re an upperclassman. You’ve probably burned a half-dozen dinners — whether they’re microwavable or not. Oh, and it definitely doesn’t hurt that your friends are starting to turn 21. In time, you will, too.
Seniors — gulp. Getting to see all of your alumni friends at Homecoming was amazing, but reality hit you like a ton of bricks: As a senior at Georgetown, you might as well be living in a dream. Life will never be this good again. On the plus side, the bouncers at Tombs finally seem to recognize you, and you’re beginning to master the art of going to Safeway. But if one more person asks you what you’re doing next year, you’re going to absolutely lose it. And while the prospect of never having to do homework ever again is appealing, you’re beginning to hold on tighter to those around you as you see the pages of the calendar continue to turn.
None of the things listed above have to do with midterms, in case you didn’t notice. That’s because someday you’ll figure out that while midterms season is prime time to reflect on what you’ve learned in the classroom, it’s an even better opportunity to reflect on what you’ve done outside of it.
Even though reflection is a word that’s thrown around pretty freely at Georgetown, we still never seem to make the time. You have an extracurricular commitment one day and a friend’s birthday the next, and all of a sudden, it’s midterms.
For the two of us, one thing we learned in a class taught by Fr. Kevin O’Brien, S.J., “The Church in the 21st Century” (which you all should take, no matter what) is something he also eloquently articulated in The Hoya (A3, Sept. 16, 2011): “We are at risk of becoming superficial human beings, spreading ourselves so thin that we never go deep enough. What is secondary becomes primary; what is a distraction becomes paramount. Our thinking and feeling — and thus our commitments — become shallow, and our mind, heart and soul risk atrophy.”
Now, before you say, “I knew Lau would literally suck out my soul,” hold up. Throwing yourself into academics and getting that A? Completely worth it. After all, we didn’t all come to Georgetown for the picturesque library.
But when you spend your time worrying about the current crisis on your plate — whether it’s a paper or a job application — you forget to look back and see how far you’ve come. Without that reflection, you never go deeper into your experiences, and you lose track of the reasons that motivated you in the first place.
So, take a minute. It’s November. You only have one November of your freshman, sophomore, junior or senior year at Georgetown. Make it count.
Lauren Weber is a senior in the College. She is chair of the Board of Directors for The Hoya. John Morris is a senior in the College. He is chair of the Board of Directors for Students of Georgetown, Inc. TO OUR FRESHMAN SELVES appears every other Friday.