It’s a bummer that my first blog post comes to you shortly after the campus empties of student life. The last week of finals and the finals days themselves pass in such a blur that I find myself on the first day of break with a puzzled look on my face and the question "what just happened?" ringing in my head. Watching parents load up station wagons with my friends' belongings is always a bittersweet reminder of how much my friendships have shaped my great Carleton experience. And of how much stuff a station wagon can hold.
To help myself cope with my new-found winter break solitude I'm going to make two lists in the hope that the first is ultimately longer than the second.
Some things that make winter break cool: no wait for treadmills at the Rec Center, reading for pleasure, a reasonable bedtime, trips to the cities, exploring Northfield, meeting St. Olaf students, letters from friends, time to actually cook things, the refreshingly brisk shift in the weather, not having to fight anyone to get a table at Blue Monday's, catching up on correspondence and most other things in my life, time to think/breathe, and Carleton without the classes
Things that are less cool: moving into a new house (I hate hate hate packing), plenty of time to stress over job applications, standardized tests (and you thought you were done with those), comps, and fellowship applications, letters from friends in warmer climates, the library's early closing time, and Carleton without the classes.
Thankfully the first was a bit longer, but I guess this shows me that although winter break does afford its advantages, the biggest one is making me ready for another winter term. At the end of fall I always end up asking myself things like, "what am I doing here?" and "is this what I want to be doing?" but having this time to think about those questions quiets most doubts I might have. Without the friends, classes, professors, and stresses that make a Carleton term the amazing thing it is I find myself at something of a loss for things to do and people to see. Although I may not have a better idea of what I'm doing here some of the time, I think I can pretty solidly say that it's what I want.