The end of October on campus is both one of the most stressful and most exciting times of Fall semester. How, you might ask, can it possibly be both? Well, the stressful aspect is Midterm exams/assignments and the exciting part is the school’s first official break, Fall Break (really original name, huh?)
Monday through Thursday consists of normal class times and activities, but then there are no classes on Friday. It’s amazing how much stress can be packed into a short week. I had an English midterm exam on Tuesday (three essays, eight short answers), a Communication Theory exam and a Theology quiz on Wednesday, and finally an informative speech presentation for Public Communication on Thursday. As if my week wasn’t packed enough, I had to work on Monday night and Tuesday night which eliminated a good portion of study time from the schedule. I am so incredibly glad that I have a good memory because I ended up not needing to study at all for my English test, which was really nice. However, my Communication Theory exam was another question. I had so many terms and concepts to memorize! I ended up making a whole bunch of ridiculous acronyms and phrases to help me remember, like “Gnomes Create Super Snowy Mountains” for the five types of theories (general, contextual, special, symbiotic, and micro). I memorized and studied terms in between classes and on breaks at work. I actually think I did extremely well on that exam in the end, but oh man, studying for it was horrible. For my informative speech in Public Communication, I talked about homeless chilren in the U.S. In this case, that little thing called procrastination struck again. Because of my other tests earlier in the week that I had to study for, I waited until the day before the speech to do my research, write my outline, and practice. This was not a smart plan at all because I ended up giving my speech on only three hours of sleep and little confidence in my work. Moral of the story: Do not procrastinate during midterm week (or finals week for that matter, but that comes later).
When Thursday afternoon came around, it was a miracle! I was done for the week. Some people don’t consider one day off a break, but trust me, any amount of time off is the most amazing thing in the world to a student. Even more amazing is that Fall Break is usually the weekend of Halloween so a lot of people take advantage of that fact and go somewhere for festivities. For example, a lot of people go to the University of Wisconsin-Madison and other out-of-state locations to celebrate the spooky three-day weekend.
However, this year, I was not one of those people. I didn’t travel anywhere or even go home for the weekend; I chose to stay on campus and take the opportunity to make some money. Since leaving campus over the break is popular, my on-campus job had a lot of open shifts needing coverage for employees that were leaving. I normally work Night Access in John Paul II (JPII), a female dorm on cmapus, on Thursdays, but this weekend I am working the Night Access shift on Friday and Saturday, as well as a shift at the JPII Desk on Sunday morning. That’s a total of 24 hours over a span of four days (Thurs-Sun) in the dorm. On top of that, I ended up taking advantage of some open shifts at my off-campus job at CVS. So you could say that I was one of the boring people this weekend by not leaving campus, but I will not regret it when I get my paycheck next week. College is a balancing act. You have to learn what your priorities are and how to divide time between school, a social life, work, and personal “me-time.” This weekend, I guess I picked work over everything else, and I am ok with that.