Midterm Mantra: Socks, Food and ‘Doctor Who’
Pardon My French
Published: Friday, October 12, 2012
Updated: Thursday, October 11, 2012 17:10
Fall is a weird time of year here at Georgetown. The weather gods can’t quite decide if it’s autumn or not, Columbus Day has come and gone and the stress of midterms has even the most balanced and level-headed students twitching over their Red Eye in the Lau cubes at 3 a.m.
It’s the time of year when everything I have going on starts to get to me. I get bogged down and distracted by the little things and lose almost any semblance of the mental and social stability I had in August. I start to navigate under the assumption that I am Chicken Little — and that the sky is falling down around me — while everyone else remains calm, cool and collected in the face of our impending doom.
This is all hyperbole, of course, because I know most other students feel the same way. Georgetown students always strive to be the best, and that kind of pressure manifests itself differently for different people. Personally, as I have dealt with this attitude every season, I have developed a series of foolproof methods for bringing myself back to reality and generally improving my health, morale and ability to hold a coherent conversation.
The first — and easiest — way I improve my day is by wearing some article of clothing that makes me happy. I find it really hard to have a bad day when I know I have knee-high socks decorated to look like Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” hidden under my boots. I only wear them because they make me happy and nobody else knows about them — until I inevitably get really excited and start showing them off. Wear something that makes you look fabulous, and it will help make you feel fabulous.
Another easy way to turn around a lousy streak is to take an hour or two and dedicate that time to something other than worrying about homework. As soon as you decide that you aren’t obligated to focus, you can catch up, guilt-free, on those new episodes of “Downton Abbey” you’ve been meaning to watch. You don’t even have to watch something new. Make some popcorn and kick back with your favorite movie or your favorite television episodes. For me, every time I re-watch Rent, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off or season five of “Doctor Who,” I feel like I’m visiting with an old friend. There are the inside jokes, the familiar scenery and just enough of a break with reality to make the hours of studying afterwards a bit more bearable.
Finally, for Hoyas like me who just need to be alone sometimes, nothing refocuses my energy like a solo adventure outside the Georgetown bubble. It doesn’t need to be particularly far, but moving out of our incredibly tight-knit comfort zone allows me to relax and breathe without comparing myself to that girl I can still see around the corner of my cube who is somehow breathing normally and finishing our 30-page political theory assignment.
My advice is to find something you love and seek it out. I have always loved art museums, and Mark Rothko is my favorite artist. For me, it’s a no-brainer to hop on the GUTS bus to Dupont Circle and visit the Phillips Collection and its world-class Rothko Room when I’m feeling in over my head. It might sound a little crazy, but that room always helps me “find my Zen.” I can leave feeling confident that no matter what stressful situation I may be in, I can and will get through it — and I will kick its ass.
This season is hard for everyone.Your classmates may look like they’ve got it all figured out, but appearances can be deceiving. For all you know, they are looking at you wondering how you pull it all off. We are all in the same blue and gray boat careening toward the deadly waterfall of December, and we all need a break. Don’t worry, though. There are just six more weeks until Thanksgiving break.
Nicole Jarvis is a sophomore in the College. PARDON MY FRENCH appears every Friday in the guide.