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Winter Recovery, Spring Renewal

I seemed to have blinked and my well-needed Spring Break was over, but now that I’m settled into my newly organized room with an overview (in syllabus form) of what the rest of the term will look like and a taste of my work load, I am genuinely excited to be here. Winter Term was a bit of a rough one academically (some, including myself, might call that an understatement) but somehow I’m ready for some more good old learning. Why, you ask? Good question. Maybe it’s the general positive vibe on campus that’s hard to ignore. I suppose it snowed on campus the first day of classes, but a bit of snow won’t get me down. Besides, every other day has been sunny or at least easily warm enough to go for a jog in shorts and a tee shirt. Maybe that overall positive vibe is due to the fact that everyone has a whole new set of classes, and that mine in particular are subjects that I know I will really enjoy. Maybe it’s the fact that by now, I have figured out the area around campus enough to have a solid list of favorite restaurants, markets, and places to visit. Maybe it’s all of the on-campus events that have built up from Winter Term when student organizations said “we’ll do this event in the spring since the weather will be better”. Maybe it’s because I found a volunteering organization last term that involves me spending time this term applying my skills to the “real world”. In the end, I suppose it’s not that much of a mystery why I’m ready-to-go this term after not having too long to recover.

Compared to our Winter Break which was almost 7 weeks long, Spring Break seemed almost nonexistent to me, especially since it was full of activity. Now that I think about it though, it definitely gave me a sufficient time to recover from Winter Term and get excited about new classes. It is also important to note that if my Winter Term had been as doable as many other students’’ Winter Terms, a little less than two weeks of break would have felt like a long time to be away from my friends. Now, after having sufficient time to catch up on sleep, things are looking good. Really engaging with and thinking about my last couple of reading assignments for different classes, I have made many strong connections to what I learned/am learning in most of my other classes. While reading for my art class, for example, I used my knowledge from a past history class and a current psychology class to add significance to what I absorbed. While reading for my French class, I automatically used information from past history classes and past experiences to think about current issues related to my reading. Work for class can’t be rewarding all of the time, but when it is, it feels very empowering. Although there are many factors behind my excitement for this term (and although this whole post is becoming very cliché), that sense of empowerment through knowledge is probably the number one reason why I am excited about being here.

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About Alexandra Smith ʼ16

Alexandra is a Junior from Corvallis, Oregon who is currently studying abroad in Clermont-Ferrand, France. She is a double major in French and International Studies with a minor in Economics. Sophomore year, Alexandra led a program for the Center for Civic Engagement at K and was a Co-President of the club Zookeepers. She loves dancing, painting, writing, eating, and travelling.