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Spring Term Disillusionments

It’s the beginning of a new term; you feel the promise, the anticipation really, of starting again with a clean slate. The new agenda’s ready for freshly made assignments — you tell yourself, “This is my time. I’ll be better!” The schedule seems encouraging, it holds a few classes you really wanted, and those you’ve been putting off for years. Still, you’re ready for whatever comes your way.

Morning of, the alarm shakes you awake. You pour yourself a glass of almond milk, toast the bread – cut and spread the avocado. Oh, the avocado! Clothing on, headphones in. Walking out the door, each step feels familiar yet exciting. Today’s the day you rebrand yourself to be swifter, wiser with school work. You walk to your class (a few minutes early, too) and everything holds potential for your best term yet.

And because it’s late September, the start of Fall term, Drexel work actually seems doable. Fall term is almost inspiring as a student — the academic version of the saying “New Year, New Me!” Whether you’re coming back from Co-Op, Summer Term courses, or even vacation, Fall term can somehow soothe the senses into the usually crippling workload. It invites you to become your greatest self.

But then we have Spring term. One of my communication professors once told our class, Drexel terms are the best representation of the Greek mythology of Sisyphus. The man pushes a giant boulder to the top of the mountain just for it to roll back down for eternity. Meanwhile, after sleep deprivation for the whole month of March, and two mental snaps from finals and papers and everything in between, how am I back here doing more work?

Someone explain to me how any of us are expected to function at 100 percent after a week — just seven or so days — of Spring Break. This past week, whenever a professor asked me how my spring break went, I responded the same way: “Too short.” Frank, but fair. Except for certain cases, Drexel students get three weeks off before the start of Winter term, and two weeks or more off before the start of Fall term. But Spring term’s one week off is a bit too ambitious.

If Drexel gave us even just two weeks of Spring Break, I’m sure our brains would calibrate better and we’d function with higher energy. Sure, the break between Spring and Summer term is a bit more than a week, too. But still, Summer term is more calming. Fewer people on campus, chill professors. And it’s the Summer. Spring term lacks any of those precious amenities.

Fall term gives me hope; Spring term reminds me that I’m just a tired mortal, doing their best in the hopes that my Summer will bring me back to life. Funny enough, here we are again: the beginning of Spring term. While it might take all your brain power to read that one chapter or write that one online discussion post, have hope that it’ll soon be over. Even if you don’t feel as shiny as you did in September, and the healthy breakfast is more of a microwaved hot pocket these days, you take that bolder and push it to the top. Watch it roll down once again with strange delight, knowing that Summer is waiting for you at the bottom of your mountain.

Jorge Fortin

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