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En Route #12


The Pressure to Print

Home sweet home! After a lovely time in jolly old England, complete with plenty of trips on the tube (don’t worry, the Paris metro still reigns supreme in my book), a frightful lack of reckless spending, and possibly the best Indian food I’ve had in a long time, I was ready to come home. Despite the thrill that was being on vacation, being a student was still my full-time occupation. Homework doesn’t need a passport to follow you across international borders, trust me I checked. Of the things I did in London, sleep was not one of them, as when we weren’t out exploring, I was working on my thesis paper. Still, it was a relief to sink back into the comforts of home, and once I’d showered off the Eurostar, I felt much more like myself instead of the poor imitation of a person I tend to be on 2 hours of sleep.

In my absence however, projects had gone from being a stubborn house guest to a full-on squatter, living in my mind rent free from now until Finals. Gone were the days of icebreaker questionnaires and making mood boards, now was the time to produce. My professors all seem anxious to have us print as early as possible, which pushes both deadlines and heart rates up just looking at the calendar. The rational part of my brain knows that this is actually a good thing, but the irrational part of my brain, the one that buys the slightly more expensive milk because the logo is prettier, isn’t exactly thrilled. Alas, whether we like it or not, only three weeks stand between us and Finals.The countdown begins.

I find that the true test of a student’s work ethic comes when you find yourself with too many assignments and too little time. In order to cope with the stress, I’ve reverted back to my time-honored pre-finals routine. Like a squirrel readying for winter, I scurry about my apartment getting things in order. I give my apartment a top to bottom cleaning, go through old receipts, investigate the odd smell coming from my sink, and then finally sit down to make a proper to-do list. Right now, our only goal is to make finals week as easy for our future selves as we can, the last thing you want to do is crash land into Final. Even if it turns out alright, it’s never a very pleasant experience.

If you feel overwhelmed, you are not alone. The one good thing about Finals is that everyone is working towards a common goal: survival and sleep. Everyone is feeling the fatigue of the semester and it’s no coincidence that the general mood about campus starts to chill with the weather. I find myself turning into a recluse over weekends and only emerging from my apartment for class and groceries, fear of finals makes hermits of us all. Make sure to keep yourself warm and healthy as we hunker down for the weeks to come. One thing I did this week to get myself out of the house was an expedition to Père Lachaise for Paris Inside/Out. We walked for an hour or so in the cemetery, it was almost empty on a rainy Tuesday morning. Nature has a way of instantly calming me so this visit couldn’t have come at a better time.

On the slightly lighter side of things, class registration already has me looking forward to next semester. I know, I know, we’ve got our hands full with this one, but it always helps to have something to look forward to in order to keep morale up. Nothing puts me in a good mood quite like picking classes, and since next semester will be my last at PCA, I’ve taken the time to pour over my course options. There’s quite a few new classes next semester so don’t be afraid to try something new! Some of my favorite classes I’ve ever taken have been the ones I tried out on a whim. Along those lines, in order to lift my spirits between homework marathons, I’ve taken to phoning a friend from home. It’s not quite the same as hanging out with them, but even just 10 minutes of not-school related conversation is a balm to the hyper-fixated mind. Instead of getting sucked into an hour-long scroll through Instagram, I get to enjoy some organically sourced human interaction. As we begin our march to Finals, don’t let yourself get tunnel vision and make sure to come up for air once in a while.

Deep breaths!

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