The best part about fall was probably how much more comfortable I’ve been on campus. I have a major now, friends, a routine, and some favorite haunts. But it also was a semester with some change. I feel I’ve had a bit of an overall in extracurricular activities. I left a few things behind (namely, swimming) and embraced one or two new ones.
This year Labor Day was legitimately the first weekend after school started. (UIUC schedule, what are you doing?) Labor Day almost always means my birthday. This year it fell on that Friday. Thankfully, my roommates family is way too kind, and instead of sitting alone in the empty dorms, they took me in for a few days. It was refreshing to spend some time in a part of Illinois I would probably never see otherwise, and again, they’re way too nice.
Classes this semester mainly taught me a few things: Even fun English classes are more reading than my schedule can accommodate, (beginning) political science is dreadfully boring, calculus 3 is harder than it looks, and I much prefer theoretical computer science to actual programming work. That last one has me thinking a lot about where I’m heading. I always knew that even the most prestigious programming job at somewhere like Google or Microsoft would not be the one for me, but now I’m thinking grad school and research or the like might be in my future. App making is cool, but pondering the next big theoretical breakthrough might be more my speed.
When I haven’t been studying, I’ve mainly been spending my time with my sorority. We started off the year strong with the largest amount of new members we’ve ever seen, and had a great semester of activities and spontaneous meme-making. I truly love them so much, and how close-knit we remain, even as we outgrow the chapter rooms and office that the school allows us to have. Some highlights: barndances, smores, study hours, halloween costume shopping, clue week, our homecoming float, and my two lovely littles.
Early October brought something I had been waiting on for a while: The Script’s concert right in Champaign, IL. Before this concert, I don’t think I realized just how many instantly-recognizable songs that band had written. It was a fun, ecstatic time. A week later, October 13th, was the University’s 150th anniversary, and they set up a ferris wheel right on
the quad. I can’t make this stuff up, y’all. I waited over an hour to ride that thing. Can’t say I regret it, though.
Despite looming assignments and final projects, I spent basically the entirety of Thanksgiving break intermittently watching Stranger Things and working my way through the newest 1200+ page book in a favorite series. I needed the break, even if my final weeks would have been less hectic had I spent more time on schoolwork.
At the end of the semester, (literally during finals week) I celebrated Hanukkah away from home for the first time. I didn’t realize until the day arrived that I’d never actually lit a menorah away from my parents. It wasn’t a particularly important moment, but it was a bit of a surprise. I do love that holiday, however (un)important. The biggest sadness was probably that I didn’t get to make our yearly latkes until I got back home.
That about wraps it all up. I’ll leave you with a (short) list of what I read during the semester. Next year’s goal is probably to waste time less, and read a bit more.
This Semester’s Reads:
Warcross by Marie Lu
I Hate Everything But You by Gaby Dunn and Allison Raskin
Turtles All the Way Down by John Green
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J. R. R. Tolkien
The Gormenghast Trilogy by Mearvyn Peake
Oathbringer (Stormlight #3) by Brandon Sanderson