Street | Humor

New Semester, "New You"

The wonderful thing about being a Princeton student is that January 1 isn’t the kickoff day for the start of our new year. In actuality, since the 1st is still pre-finals period, our year is far from over. The lack of studying we have done over winter break usually heralds in a stressful reading period as a result of the required reading we blatantly did not do. So we ignore the idea of trying to go to yoga class more often or finally trying quinoa in the dining hall, instead to binge on late meal fries and coffee into the wee hours every day of reading period. However, we promise ourselves that with the new semester will come new commitments, better habits and the official beginning of our “fresh start.” So after an Intersession spent hibernating and reconnecting with Netflix, we come back to campus motivated to conquer a new semester. Well, that’s the intention. But it always seems to go a little something like this …

Day 1: You wake up a full hour before class and reflect on how much better your outfit is as a result. You get breakfast from the dining hall and applaud yourself for eating the most important meal of the day. You applaud yourself for actually saying “Good morning” to the card checker as opposed to mumbling incoherently. You literally pat yourself on the back. You arrive five minutes early for 10 a.m. lecture, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, laptop out, Word document ready to go.

You find a gym buddy and schedule a friendly dinner date. After classes, you actually follow through with both of those plans. Then, you do homework in Firestone before coming back to your room and going to sleep at a reasonable hour — for Princeton standards, at least.

Day 2: Second day of classes, let’s do this! You didn’t make it to breakfast, but who needs breakfast anyway? You opted for more casual classroom attire (read: yoga pants), but you’re still on time to lecture, sitting chipper with your laptop open. However, this time you allow your notes to mingle with some familiar friends, namely Facebook and your email. After all, you can still manage both taking notes while checking up on everyone’s Intersession albums. Detour to Frist after classes, but just to pick up grapes and a water (Food Gallery Grill, be gone!), and you successfully limit yourself to 30 minutes of chatting.

Week 2: Okay, so maybe you were a few minutes late to lecture, but nothing important really happens during that time besides general announcements, which you can clarify with any of your friends in the class. You look around the lecture hall for a friend but find no one. You wonder whether your friends have dropped the class. You wonder whether you have friends. You nervously scroll through your News Feed to gather the whereabouts of your friends, friendly acquaintances, OA group. You refresh Blackboard relentlessly to find the crucial class updates you have missed. Count on no one but the Internet.

You cycle through your Internet tabs which have now expanded to include whatshouldbetchescallme, Twitter and HuffPo (you’ll open a Word document if anything really important is said). You vaguely hear something mentioned about an essay. You open up your calendar to write down when said essay is due and feel satisfied about scheduling an electronic reminder one hour before it is due. You reward yourself with a bit more Facebook time for how proactive you are. You notice people moving and realize lecture is over. You debate going to office hours but somehow end up at late meal. You tear into a beautifully greasy chicken finger, vowing to go the gym tomorrow (or maybe the day after that).

Week 3: So, you only made it to 40 percent of your classes this week, but post-curve that has to be at least an 80 percent. Would have been a 90 percent at Harvard. You research transfer applications.

Lecture is probably not going to be that informative anyway. Plus, you now have an excuse to spam your residential college listserv for “new friends” who have hopefully started attending lecture more regularly than you. You haven’t seen the inside of Dillon for a while but your ever-tightening jeans say you have definitely seen the inside of Frist. Whatever, tomorrow (and every day from here on out) can be a sweatpants day. You get the calendar update that says there are 24 hours before your paper is due. You feel a little bit better when you realize that in reality it’s 25 because you were ambitious when you set that reminder. You look over at your desk to find the books you are researching, embarrassingly buried under your dirty yoga pants.

Week 4: Sigh. You’ve fallen back into the same routine. Oh well, there’s always next semester.

To see the rest of this week’s Street, click here.

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