I am in week six of my last year of college. Phew! I feel like I am going, going, going every minute, but in a very good way -- not the kind of endless onslaught of homework like last semester. (I swear I am traumatized.) I'm not sure how the weeks have passed so quickly, but a brief review of my handy-dandy (and jam-packed) dayplanner suggests that I have been engaged in the following seven types of activities:
I'm taking four classes, each of which is both enjoyable and absolutely necessary for me to fulfill my graduation requirements. They are: Concepts of Chemistry; History of the American West; Agriculture, Natural Resources and Sustainability; and Gender and Sexuality in American Politics. These semester is tough enough to be interesting and fun, but not as ridiculously challenging as last semester was. The hardest part is understanding Dr. Pollini's French accent, which, I admit, I actually enjoy.
These activities run the gamut from weekly Project Runway viewings to the (delicious!) monthly Friday dinners hosted by the Jewish Cultural Center. I saw adorable Landon Pigg perform in the Burrow and listened to the poets at the first Word Garden reading of the year. I ate a "corn-free" grass-fed hamburger, compliments of the ECC (Environmental Concerns Committee), and watched my best friends compete at an intra-squad swim meet. My newly-21 friends and I have also been making a slow tour of Conway's bars. Last week: a pitcher of BudLight at the smoky VFW. This week: margaritas at La Huerta.
I enjoy five delicious lunches in the cafeteria each week. For dinner Monday-Thursday, I eat in the Spanish House and speak en español with my roommates. On the weekends I have dinner parties with my friends, where we cook such delicacies as chicken paprikash and dumplings, and friend chicken and biscuits. I sense a trend here.
Having been off-campus for most of the last two years, I have dived back into campus involvement this year! I led an Orientation trip to Memphis, organized a reggaeton dance party in the Burrow for SLIC (Students for Latin and Iberian Cultures), and brought a group of students to Little Rock to celebrate the Mexican Independence Day. I've attended meetings for UNITY, ECC, International Club, and the Volunteer Action Committee. I'm also signing up to volunteer as a tutor at a local school. And I sit on the Media Committee and the Engaged Learning Committee. And I give campus walks. Thank goodness my classes are calm!
The best parties of the year happen early fall semester, when the weather is nice and people aren't yet consumed by homework. And I have missed them for the past two years! So I celebrated my last Shirttails and Foam Party with great gusto (but limited amounts of alcohol). Shirttails, a rowdy inter-dorm dance competition, takes place the first Saturday of the school year. The freshmen perform in white button-down shirts and boxers, but the upperclassmen dress to the nines. It's really the only time besides formal that you see the majority of Hendrix students in dresses and heels.
Foam Party is a dress-up occasion of another sort. Everyone puts on their swimmy-suits and parties under a big foam-producing machine. This year, because of weather concerns, it took place indoors, in an enormous inflatable pool. Awesome? Totally. When the party ended at 1 a.m. my friend Emily and I followed a group of people to the Hendrix fountain, where we swam until we washed all the bubbles off. (I was totally sober, I swear. This is the simple beauty of Hendrix fun!) When I admitted that I had never been thrown into the fountain on my birthday, since it's in June, four people pulled me out of the fountain, grabbed me by my wrists and ankles, and tossed me in again. I feel like a real Hendrix student now! And then some guys started a tiny impromptu dance party in the gazebo. Seriously, best night ever.
Eight hours a night, baby. Priority numero uno. No more massive sleep deprivation.
Trying to Figure Out My Future!
On the nights when there aren't crazy campus-wide parties, my weekends have been very calm. Britt Murphy, a Hendrix librarian, has organized informational meetings for the past two Saturdays, giving seniors tips they need to apply for prestigious fellowships. I am applying for a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in Uruguay, so I've spent the past two weeks trying to write an awesome personal statement. No such luck so far.
I'm planning to take a gap year (or three...) after graduation, since I'm not sure yet what I'd like to study in graduate school -- or if it's even advantageous for me to go. If I don't get a Fulbright I will apply for AmeriCorps. I am also looking at job possibilities, with the help of a particularly well connected Hendrix alumnus. He put me in touch with some journalist friends of his, whom I've been calling for informational interviews. They've been exceedingly helpful, offering me tips about newspapers that may be hiring this spring. I also met Esquire magazine editor-in-chief David Granger -- the father of two Hendrix students -- this weekend, who offered me the following, succint career advice: "Move to a big city and get a job."