The pace of students walking to and from the library seems to have quickened as of late. Less seem to mill about outside the library and more are inside working feverishly on papers or group projects. Clearly Spring Break is a distant memory and finals are quickly approaching.
Where did all the time go? It’s an inevitable question we all end up asking as each semester winds to a close. For a great many of us, we have gone from being well-organized and feeling in control to wondering when the week is going to end. While some of the pressure can be attributed to self-inflicted procrastination, that explanation doesn’t help much when we have to turn in that big paper or present our work to peers and professors alike.
But alas, all these pressures will soon end, and we will find ourselves in a multitude of different places, exploring many different pursuits.
For some, this semester marks the end of the collegiate experience. While I am envious, believing I may end up as a “career student,” those of you who are graduating will be recognized and will enter the job market, graduate school or some other endeavor. Perhaps this dreaded end-of-semester express ride, something to which we are accustomed, will be a bittersweet reminder of the goal you have attained.
For the rest of us it isn’t the end of the journey, but our summers will no doubt be quite different. The choices seem to be endless, but for many the goal is to come back to campus more well-rounded and, at the very least, with a better tan. Some may enjoy a study-abroad experience that will be invaluable in learning firsthand about another culture and realizing that there is more to the world than Tampa. We can only hope that you bring back stories of your experiences for the rest of us to enjoy. Barring that, how about a T-shirt?
Another good way to spend the summer months is by participating in a summer internship. These allow us to explore interests and provide a balance point between the theoretical classroom environment and the ill-defined “real world.”
In addition, while we may be skeptical of some statistics, a recent study by the National Association of Colleges and Employers indicated that, “Employers extended full-time job offers to 58 percent of interns and offered higher starting salaries to graduates with internship experience.”
Other students may choose to lounge the summer away. Admittedly, the last few weeks have provided some great weather and I cannot blame anyone just wanting to get away from campus and enjoy a few months at the beach. Lounging around and catching up on sleep actually doesn’t sound bad at all right now. Some people say it’s not possible to really “catch up on sleep,” but I sure enjoy trying.
Working part-time always seems high on the list of summer activities. If recent tuition increases are any indication, saving money during the summer might mean avoiding the Ramen noodle diet or being able to afford gas. Especially beneficial, working part-time with a youth camp, charity or other worthy program allows us to contribute to the community without thinking solely of ourselves.
While this is by no means an all-inclusive list, I would be remiss if I did not point out that some will attend classes this summer. This may not be the most entertaining or relaxing choice available, but summer classes are needed to graduate in Florida. From personal experience, I have found summer classes to be a great time to finish those exit requirements. Let’s face it, while understanding the value of a broad educational experience, some of these courses are more palatable during a compressed semester.
Whatever your plan for the summer, don’t forget to have some fun. We have all heard the clichÃ© about life being too short. Not everyone gets to enjoy the college experience, and before you know it, it will be over. So enjoy it while you can, no matter what your plans. As for me, now that I’m done with this column, I have a paper to write, books to read and am in need of some caffeine. Summer can’t come soon enough.
Aaron Hill is a juniormajoring in firstname.lastname@example.org