Till Next Year!

by Nicole Crashell on June 5, 2017

Okay, we’ve reached that point: it’s the final weekend. If you’re like most students, you still have a few days left to go; if you’re like me, you’ve already left campus! It’s a great feeling, knowing that you’ve completed three more terms and that summer’s almost here. But there are a few things you need to do before you go!

1. Turn in those last few assignments. As tempting as it is to just let everything go and embrace the warm weather, music festivals, and water-balloon fights, your future self will thank you for not forgetting that you’re still in school. Honestly, no one—not even your professors—want to be in a classroom right now, but it’ll pay off. And if you’re lucky, you can have class outside!

2. Study for your finals (and then show up for the tests)! This goes along with the last one, but don’t forget to set your alarm for test day, eat breakfast, and wear comfortable clothes! And then just relax. You’ve been studying this stuff for ten weeks; you’ve got this, and no amount of stress will make you more prepared on test day. So calm down, sharpen your pencils, and just do it! It’ll be over before you know it.

3. Pack. This is my favorite method of procrastination. I tend to get started early and then, still with a whole week left to go, I reach a point where if I pack any more I might as well just move into a hotel room. It’s great to get organized, though, and it helps me reconsider whether or not I really need all of my clothes (and after a certain amount of packing, there’s not much left to do, so it makes me more productive with my schoolwork too).

4. Clean (after you pack)! One of the requirements of leaving your dorm room is making sure everything’s the way it was when you got it. That means de-lofting your bed, sweeping the floor (or vacuuming if you have carpet), and making sure there’s not a ton of dust on the surfaces. If you have a sink, clean that too. It sounds like a lot, but it comes in handy when you don’t want to write your final papers! And it’s pretty satisfying to look around in the last day or two and see everything looking nice.

5. Hang out with your friends before you go! Don’t miss this last chance before everyone goes their separate ways for the summer (or, if you’re friends with seniors, before they graduate). The perfect way to relax amid the stress of finals is, like I mentioned, a water-balloon fight, or maybe going to the canine therapy sessions that crop up as the term winds down.

There’s more, too, like shoving everything into a car (or into storage if you live farther away), but the important part is to finish the year on a strong note and get to enjoying the summer! For all the stress the school year can cause, there’s no better feeling than looking back and seeing how far you’ve come, and looking ahead and seeing how far you’ll be able to go.

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The Home Stretch!

by Nicole Crashell on May 21, 2017

I just counted, and there are eighteen days left in spring term—only thirteen until classes are over. That’s not even two weeks! Every term I have a moment like this, when I realize that it really is crunch time, but it always feels the most urgent in the spring, maybe because it’s so nice outside that it feels weird to not be as easygoing as the weather.

Taking that tally of the days, though, puts it all into perspective. We’re less than a fortnight away from summer and I’m still looking at three presentations (one for each class) as well as two essays, a project description, and one or two readings. When I first realized that, I’ll admit, I got a little worried. I still have to attend classes—I have to physically show up—and I have to eat, sleep, and do things other than sequester myself in the library. It’s a point that many Lawrentians reach at one point or another. How are we to cope?

Well, first step: deep breath. One thing that Lawrence teaches its students is that you’re not alone in dealing with heavy loads of coursework. I’ve written a post about the CAS before, and I honestly do believe that seeing tutors and academic counselors is a great way to gain a little composure before getting started on the end-of-term challenges. This term, when things get to be a little much, I’ve personally opted to go to the library (another place I’ve already written about) in order to do some research and remind myself that things are manageable after all.

That’s another one—cut your work into chunks. A great thing about Lawrence’s trimester schedule is that most students are only taking three classes every term, making it a lot easier to break down what can seem like a scary amount of work into smaller, very doable pieces. With a little thought, those three presentations became just a matter of making an outline, some slides, and practicing, and the essays are based off of the presentations anyways—all I really have to do is write out some coherent sentences, but I’ll already have done most of the work. The project description is just that. And the readings—well, I’ve been reading for weeks already, how hard can it be?

One of the best resources, though, is the community at Lawrence. Taking a break feels like the last thing I want to do when I have so much going on, but everyone’s telling the truth when they say that friends can help you get through tough times (it’s crazy how easy it can be to forget that). Luckily, on a small campus, you can’t really avoid your friends! Some of my best memories from these past few weeks have been going to plays, getting an after-class snack, and playing games with my friends. Sure, I still have lots to do, but it’s amazing to just take a few hours off and breathe. You don’t get anything done if you never take your foot off the gas pedal!

Don’t get me wrong—I still have a lot of work left to finish! But I don’t want to scare anyone, and I’d be lying if I said I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to finish it all. I know I can! And this post isn’t applicable to just my schedule and school life, either—it’s something we all tell each other a lot at Lawrence: keep your chin up, you can do it. This year, I’ve already completed the term (all ten weeks) two times, so I know I can do it again. It’s awesome to think how much I’ve learned since September, and how all this hard work will pay off in the future.

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I <3 Luke… and you can too!

May 12, 2017

Who is Luhc? And why isn’t his named spelled Luke? And why does all of Lawrence seem to love him so much? Okay okay, the joke is over. No there is no Luke, or Luhc, but “I heart Luke” is a common phrase around here, and one of the best parts of being a Lawrentian–the […]

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A Breath of Fresh Air

May 8, 2017

A while back, I wrote a post for this blog about how to survive—and more importantly, enjoy—attending Lawrence in the winter, when it’s cold and there’s snow as far as the eye can see. Now that it’s May, it’s my pleasure to finally be able to write about the many ways to enjoy yourself—and maybe […]

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Hallelujah!!! -Handel’s Messiah

April 24, 2017

1 stage, 3 directors, 3 rehearsal pianists, 12 soloists, 16 scenes, 3 parts, 32 instrumentalists, 3 choirs, 155 singers… these are the numbers of Lawrence’s production of Handel’s oratorio: The Messiah.  On Friday night Lawrence’s three choirs and Symphony Orchestra came together to perform the classic work under the direction of Mark Dupere. However, this was certainly not the first time the […]

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