End of Semester Nutties


 Okay, it's the end of the semester and everyone is tired. And stressed. And busy. And cranky.

And all those things at the same time are almost always a recipe for less than good stuff.

You know what I'm talking about, right? Your friends' and suitemates' sort of quirky, sort of annoying habits start grating on you in ways you never imagined possible.

After not picking up or cleaning your room for three months you embark on extensive nightly cleaning and
reorganization sprees to avoid starting any of the three papers that you have due in the next eight days.

You find yourself searching the internet for career opportunities with Cirque du Soleil because, let's face it,
college isn't really that important anyway.

Okay, maybe not the Cirque du Soleil thing.

All kidding aside, it's a hectic and demanding time of year. The tired we all feel is the accumulated fatigue of an entire semester of academic demands and dorm/apartment living and athletic practices and theatrical/musical rehearsals and community service work and organizational meetings, etc. It's a fatigue that's fed also by days that are getting way too short and temperatures that are getting pretty darn (or perhaps a different adjective of your choosing) cold.

And all of this - the work and the tired and the fast approaching winter -  make it a whole lot easier to get kind of irritable and snarky. And being irritable and snarky has a way of leading to, you know, poor judgment when it comes to studying and personal interactions and certain kinds of social decisions.

Hey, look in lots of ways it's okay. You're allowed to be tired and stressed and crabby. It's all part of the human condition.

But it's also good to be aware of it when we're tired and, you know, those other things. And at those times - which is to say these times - it's good to try extra hard to summon our best selves. To be more disciplined and thoughtful in approaching class assignments. To be more mindful about social choices and the potential implications associated with them. To be more deliberate about the ways we take care of ourselves and each other.

The end of the term tends to be all-nighter season. And cram-for-exams-and- push-out-12-page-papers-at-the-last-minute season. And live-off-cold-pizza-and-vending-machine-junk-food season. And there's-no-time-to-go-for-a-run-or-to-the-fitness-center season. But the truth is the end of the term is when getting enough sleep and approaching work in a balanced way and eating right and exercising are even more important than they usually are - and they're pretty important all of the time, right?

Yeah, it's crunch time. There's no getting around it. But it's not time to panic. You've got this. Be good to yourself and to your friends and to the people around you.

Remember too that there are lots of people here (advisors, deans, counselors, campus life and hall staff, etc.) available to help.

Anyway, take care, good luck, and let us know if we can help.


Jim Terhune
Dean of Students