I just started my final semester of college, and I’m feeling a lot of feelings. Since May last year, I’ve been thinking a lot about my time here at Bryn Mawr. What would I do differently, or the same? What did I enjoy the most, or enjoy the least? Who or what made my time here fun?
I noticed a general pattern: my Spring semesters have been more enjoyable than the Fall ones, for the most part (maybe it’s the flowers in bloom, or maybe it’s Hell Week or May Day?) I think this is because the classes I took in the Fall were more difficult and time-consuming. In the Fall (most of the time), I said “no” to fun things more often than I said “yes” in order to prioritize academics. I felt FOMO (fear of missing out.) I felt guilty for doing things for me, knowing that I could be using that “me” time to focus on classes I was struggling with. These are common sentiments both on campus as well as off of it–I’ve heard friends at other colleges agree here.
This past Fall, however, I did more things for me. For pleasure. I watched more TV than I had since middle school, went out on both weekend days, and weekday nights, made the trek across campus to Brecon to see friends guilt-free, got enough sleep (for the most part), and had an off-campus activity I looked forward to every few weeks: it was those events that I looked forward to the most. This continued over my winter break: previous winter breaks were spent applying to internships, reading ahead to prepare for upcoming coursework, trying to develop new technical skills, etc. This break, I caught up with people from my internships, people from high school, people from travels, and hiked, ran, and tried aerial yoga for the first time. I watched so many movies and shows (of course I had to see the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel!) and read a lot too–and I still made sure to dedicate some time to my senior project and other projects related to my future job.
Last semester was my favorite semester (so far) because I truly enjoyed myself. No, classes weren’t easy, but for some reason, they weren’t as emotionally-draining as they had been in the past, but I also found that what I had considered wasting time before was not actually wasting time. Taking breaks and having fun made me not just happier, but also more productive. Now, that change of mindset that’s personal growth!
As I focus on my senior project this semester (developing web and mobile apps to compare which apps are better suited to teach people with autism emotions and social skills), I aim to also remember to breathe. To soak in the beautiful flowers come springtime. To not feel guilty for doing something not related to school. To make memories. To live.
What would you do in your final semester, or what did you do?