There are 14 weeks in a semester. At the beginning of those 14 weeks, you have goals. Sometimes you write them out in a detailed list and sometimes you get a verbal weekly reminder from your mom via phone, as she threatens to stop paying your rent if you don’t start behaving like a semi-functional adult. But not to worry, you’ve got almost four months ahead of you to take care of all of those bullet points on your to-do list. You have so much time!
The first half of the semester slips by in a blur of weeknights out, philanthropy events, football games, and skipped classes. Then midterms arrive. How has it already been seven weeks? You still can’t remember what time your classes start on Tuesdays or Thursdays or where your lab is. Your midterm grades aren’t the best, but no worries–you still have seven more weeks to pull those suckers up. You can worry about them after spring break.
The week after spring break, it feels like you’re waking up at the crack of dawn to take the SAT every single morning. You tweet things like, “Spring break was SUCH a tease…take me back!! #65DaysTilSummer.” The end of the semester still feels like a lifetime away. In the meantime, to cope with your post-spring break depression, you fill the hours you should use to study by tanning and finding any excuse to go out for margaritas. Well, not that there ever needs to be an excuse for margaritas.
It’s during one of these lovely spring afternoons that someone says there are only three weeks left in the semester. “What?” you think. No way. How can that be? Your formerly all-consuming desire for summer disappears as rapidly as your resolve to only go out on weekends. The semester is ending too quickly–you need to pump the breaks, but the only thing at your feet is the slightly ripped, dirty, crumpled list of goals you never achieved.
What happened to the hookup you were SO going to make your boyfriend? Now it’s almost summer and you’ll have to practically start from scratch next semester. You had big plans for amazing nights out with your girls, but somehow Saturday night Netflix and Nutella beat out looking like a put-together human being and talking to people most weekends. Your bank account is seriously depleted. How the hell did you rationalize that monthly fee for the hot yoga you only actually went to twice? That money could have been spent on plenty of better stuff, like food. Why didn’t you ever get a job? Or an internship? Or do anything of actual worth with your time that could make you even remotely hirable? More importantly, you never got that mountain weekend T-shirt from your date, dammit! The T-shirt was 82 percent of why you even agreed to go! You never even bought an iClicker–did that count for your attendance? AND you still haven’t applied for a study abroad trip.
What did you do all semester?? Oh, that’s right. You had the time of your life and made memories that will sustain you when you’re old and sad. Don’t get caught in a shame spiral just because you didn’t do everything you said you were going to do at the beginning of the year. You have the rest of your life to plan and check off to-do lists, but only four (or five) years to be in college.