As I enter the second semester of my junior year of college, I am beginning to realize I am somehow less excited about this semester.
The first week of classes came as any other, and as I went through my usual routine of classes I recognized a few things as different.
For one thing I did a lot less walking. Despite my now owning a car and living off campus, all my classes are in Combs. The freshman and sophomore years of running back and forth to Trinkle and Jepson have ended as my Spanish major reaches its junior year level.
In fact I almost feel like I don’t see any other part of campus at all. If they only rented out rooms on the top floor of Combs, or even just let me pitch a tent, I think I could spend an entire semester never really needing to leave.
Except to eat, I suppose, which brings me to my next point.
This semester I have also forgone a meal plan, using the money on groceries instead and just paying for the occasional meal on campus. The food at Seacobeck and The Eagle’s Nest always seemed free to me in the past.
Granted, the hundreds of dollars spent on meal plans each semester were not lost on me. It was just so much easier to spend money that was already spent.
Prices didn’t really matter. The food was either a meal, or a over a meal, or less. Little did I know that a SoBe water at the Eagles Nest costs more than it does a little ways down campus walk at the bookstore, which makes no sense to me. Hasn’t anyone ever comparison shopped for SoBe waters on campus?
I’ve also found it pretty painful to shell out real money for an Eagle’s Nest wrap or a plate of Seacobeck food.
And just a sidebar, you can’t eat enough Seacobeck food for it to be worth $9.50.
However, when I really gave it some thought I decided that it wasn’t the absence of a change of scenery, or even the realization that all food costs money, rather my school woes actually had to do with something shockingly, academic.
I’ve always been kind of an academic catalog freak. Even before I was accepted to college I’d search the university websites for their online course cataloges and read course descriptions all night.
When I got to college, this obsession only got worse as I made list after llist of what I called “graduation plans” in which I would plan out every class I would take for all eight semesters.
Every time I made one, something would end up different, I’d change direction a little bit.
It was a hobby, a slightly obsessive one, but still a hobby. Now that I have reached my sixth semester at UMW, I no longer make graduation plans.
I have no need to. I only have one possible combination of classes to take for the rest of my college career. And as happy as I am to be near graduation, I miss my new-to-college academic fervor. I miss making my graduation plans.
I miss my idealistic view of the university with musty books, dark wood, and the smell of pencil shavings. In reality college today is a much less glamorous but highly efficient online community.
You can even buy some textbooks entirely on the computer.
I don’t have any dark wood, or even real wood for that matter. I don’t have any pencils that aren’t mechanical, or even one musty book either.
Let’s face it, they would never pass inspection at buyback. And in reality, I don’t need them to have a real college experience. And as difficult as it may be, I also don’t need my graduation plans.
I’m finally at the stage where I no longer need to plan; I just need to do. And I need to learn how to get excited about it