Forty eight hours ago, I was on the third floor of Swem, with only a semester of political theory notes keeping me company. Now, I’m writing this from the comfort of my kitchen table, which can only mean one thing: Winter Break has begun! The semester was so fast that I’m still a little dizzy. To help organize my thoughts, I’ve decided to make a few lists (of three things, to keep it simple) to finish up this semester of blogging, starting with…
Cool Personal Things That Happened This Fall
- I put myself out there more and got involved on campus! In between auditioning for ensembles and rushing at the very beginning of the semester, I definitely started out strong. As the semester progressed, I also realized I really like interviewing. That sentence looks so strange, but when I’m in an interview, I feel free to express myself, and always end up having a good time. Some interviews ended on a bittersweet note, since scheduling conflicts meant I had to decline two amazing opportunities, but there is always next year! Being involved on campus is such a self-fulfilling prophecy; if you say you want to be involved and decide you will be, you will be, and that’s been the highlight of the semester.
- I realized I don’t have to have everything set in stone! For me, this is a huge deal; I used to have a Word document entitled “Life Planning” and spent ages trying to find the exact right combination of majors, extracurricular activities, and grad programs to get to my perfect future, which (spoiler alert) doesn’t exist. I deleted that document around Fall Break, and haven’t looked back. Instead of trying to tailor everything I do now to some specific end point, I can submit applications to anything that looks interesting, attend whatever organization meeting catches my eye, and spend more time on fun hobbies I’d been neglecting. Being a student is important to me, but that doesn’t interfere with being an interesting person anymore, which I’m so happy about.
- My classes all began to connect, and I started to see the beauty of an undergraduate education here. There are too many connections to list, but I can try: I read Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes in political theory around the same time that we discussed Leviathan and the Air-Pump–a study on the controversy between Hobbes and Robert Boyle about the nature of experimental science–in my Historical Perspectives on Science class. In Research Methods, we discussed the importance of triangulation, or cross-checking the reliability of data and information from one potentially biased source with other sources from various disciplines and methods, while discussing the historical accuracy of The Pharsalia, a Roman epic poem about Julius Caesar written by a close friend of Emperor Nero’s. At some point this semester, I can guarantee that at least one concept from each course overlapped with another course, which makes me really look forward to the rest of my time at W&M.
To Do over Winter Break
- Write! I’m trying to balance creative writing, with the goal of sending in a few pieces to online literary magazines by the New Year, and academic writing, since there are so many undergraduate journals out there and I love seeing my name in print.
- Find some new favorite recipes. I’m trying to come up with some go-to meals for the middle of the week when I have papers due — better to have some recipes prepared than wander around Food Lion and walk out with a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos for dinner!
- Travel (when/where/how/why to be determined).
Favorite Holiday Songs to Play in the Background
- Coventry Carol. We performed it in Women’s Chorus this semester, and it’s breathtaking and intense: the Biblical story of King Herod and his response to the birth of Christ as it appears in Matthew. It’s hard to say it’s my favorite, because it isn’t festive or upbeat like better-known holiday carols are, but I appreciate that it gives a different and important perspective on this time of year.
- White Christmas. The 1954 movie is one of my favorites, and no matter how Grinchy I’m feeling, the song makes everything better.
- O Come, All Ye Faithful. The descant is inexplicably one of my favorite things that we sang all semester, and overall I think this song is more active and involved than others: less narration, more instruction, which I like. It also sounds too good on an organ, which is honestly my main criterion for a good holiday song.
Things I’ll Miss About Williamsburg
- 24 oz of Wawa coffee for $1.75. Enough said.
- Having all of my favorite people in the same place.
- Never having an excuse to be bored, lazy, or uninspired.
Why Spring 2015 Is Going to Be the Best Semester Yet
- I’m going to declare my major!
- I get to finalize, outline, and start on my upperclassman Monroe Scholar project (fingers crossed!).
- The opportunities I haven’t considered yet and the surprises I can’t see coming. I’m already looking forward to getting back on campus and seeing what W&M has in store for me next.
Until then, Happy Holidays!