fbpx En Route #14 — PCA

En Route #14


‘Tis The Season

This week has been both the craziest and the most straightforward thus far in the haze of finals season. If you haven’t reached your limit already, this next week is where you find out what you’re truly made of. While I’m sure there are students out there somewhere who are ahead of the curve in terms of finals prep, I’m almost certain they don’t go to art school. The one nice thing about having a bunch of projects that need to be brought from carefully laid plans and into the 3rd dimension is that there’s very little room for dilly-dallying. Your week suddenly solidifies into a set schedule of what needs to get done and when. It’s an almost exciting time and there’s certainly a sense of camaraderie in the air as we students bustle about the gallery, exchanging tight smiles that probably betray our stress more than anything.

No one is immune to finals season. My working theory is that it’s actually contagious as my peers and I aren’t able to discuss anything but school these past few weeks. Conversations that start with “how are you?” are almost always answered with a status of their project to-do list. The craze sets in early but comes out at the oddest of times. We were in Thesis class doing peer edits when our professor was called out of the room. I was almost done with my friend’s when I got to a sentence in her paper that just struck my funny bone. In a matter of seconds I had dissolved into a fit of hysterical laughter and my friend was duty bound to follow suit. As stressed and sleep deprived as we were, it just felt nice to laugh. In fact, most of my classes this week have been entirely enjoyable as it’s almost a break from the relentless pursuit of completed assignments.

The sheer variety of projects we tackle also begins to look funny when you think about it. We go from printing a book one day to coding a website the next and then designing four dresses after that. You don’t realize how crazy Art school sounds until you try to explain it to your parents over the phone. While the average person can grasp a lot of concepts, understanding why I need to print on a very specific type of paper in a certain shade of off-white is just a bridge too far for most. Between cultivating very strong opinions on paper weights and trying to charm my way into the hearts of the local Parisian printers, I have had my hands full with final projects. I’ve said many times that finals is less about stressing over any one project and more a matter of juggling them all when they’re due in the same week. After almost four years of college finals, I find that it’s become a rewarding, if stressful, talent.

Aside from what Netflix reruns I’m currently watching (Gilmore Girls), I have trouble conjuring any non-school related activities in my week, which is why I’d been looking forward to the PCA Holiday party. In this time of academic obligations it was a relief to get to focus on something else. Cook Club was in fine form, each member of the team providing a homemade dish. I made pomegranate and brie crostini and it was quite fabulous if I do say so myself. The party itself was a joy and I’m pleased to say that all the homemade food was gone after an hour. After the party, I made a brief cameo as a guest critic in a friend’s class to give some feedback on their project. The whole class was rather giggly as nearly everyone had been sipping on the mulled wine from the party minutes before. All in all, it was one of the best nights I’ve had during this finals season.

It’s crazy to me that this semester is almost over. In just a few months I’ve come to think of Paris as home again, and I realize just how much I’ve missed it during my time away. As loose ends are tied up and the semester comes to a close, I’m really looking forward to a day or two of being free to run around the city before I fly home. As students we have a unique view of Paris but don’t often have a lot of time to explore it. It’s a big goal of mine to venture out into the city more next semester and discover new places out of my normal routine. I am beyond excited for winter break, not just for the blissful freedom it offers but the time to appreciate how far I’ve come in just one semester and get ready for the next one. I hope that however hard you’re working now, you remember that it’s all going to be worth it in just a handful of days.

You’ve got this!

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