OLaura300h, summer. You felt like an eternity, but as soon as I stepped foot into a classroom in CASL, you felt like a mirage, a figment of my imagination that never happened. I felt like it was just yesterday that I was rushing to class, coffee and books in hand, mentally crossing off a checklist of items I had to do.  However, it’s been four months since I’ve actually step foot into a classroom, but I’m in that exact same position, as if nothing changed.

     But things HAVE changed. It’s now the first day of school of my junior year, and even though I have no assignments or homework to do yet (give it a few hours, after my first two classes), I still have that mental checklist of things I Have to Do…Or Else.

     I’m taking more upper-level classes, and have to participate in more organizations that I have joined (and kind-of, sort-of running). I took a second job (which adds proof that I’m turning into a workaholic). On top of that, I have to start thinking about internships, the GRE and grad school, and wow, that’s a lot.

     I do know that I’m not alone in my misery, or have to host my own pity party, blowing a noisemaker to myself in an empty room. It makes me feel a bit better that I’m not the only one perplexed at entering the new semester, and not the only one thinking that my life isn’t in order.

    Every one of us is going through the same issues and we all lead our chaotic lives in a myriad of different ways. We all think our life is a huge mess, but we all have to deal, no matter what.

    While beginning to write notes in my first class, I came to the thundering realization that I have a limited number of ‘first days of school’ left in my academic calendar. While I was busy freaking out over my mental checklist, I wasn’t really appreciating my first day a bit more. So I stopped freaking (at least for the day) and realized that it’s the little things that make the entry into the new semester a bit better.

    There’s nothing like walking in the warm weather and fresh sunshine to another building, in comparison to the haggard winter we experienced last semester. It’s awesome running into people I haven’t seen in fourth months, both of us exclaiming at the same time, “How have you BEEN? It’s been forever!” It’s nice knowing that I know exactly which building is which and not looking incredibly lost on the first day of classes.

     While it’s incredibly cheesy to admit, and even more difficult to write, it’s comforting to know that I have somehow found a place for myself on campus. While things look incredibly stressful and tense these next four months (and needless to say, the next four semesters!), I know that I’ll have this small, but dependable and lively community that can back me up.