What Gets My Goat

1. Winter Break being wasted away. Now that the anticipated week of finals is nigh, it is time to begin thinking about the activities you will partake in during your long awaited vacation. You will spend the first week watching “The Office,” the second week watching Christmas movies (except for Kirk Cameron’s “Saving Materialism Christmas,” of course), the third week watching the multi-day marathon of “The Walking Dead,” and the final week being bored out of your mind and upset that you have allowed your entire vacation to go to waste, despite the fact that you still have several days left of it (during which you will revert back to doing another mindless activity). Too often we mistake this break as a time for laziness and the consumption of brain twinkies. Now, Winter Break should be a time of refreshment and relaxation after a challenging semester. However, it is much more than that. Now that you have four weeks without the pressures of academia, you have time to renew your mind. Pick up a few books that you find interesting at the library before you leave (just not Flannery O’Connor’s short stories, because I want those). Visit local historical sites. Spend some time volunteering and help those who may not find the holiday season a particularly joyful one. Wake ^ the World. By the time you get wrapped up with schoolwork in the middle of the spring semester, you will be grateful that you had this refreshing time. And don’t worry – by that point, Kirk Cameron will be back trying to save Easter.

2. Complaints about final exams, projects, papers etc. Finals week can sometimes be a bit of a shock to students. ‘Wow! Final exams just came out of nowhere!’ Well, no, not really. You should have been expecting your final for about fourteen weeks now. ‘But, I don’t understand; I’m expected to write a twelve page research paper and turn it in three days from now?’ Yes. It’s been in your syllabus and you should have been preparing for it. ‘I’ve been so busy over the past few weeks that I’ve completely forgotten about my remaining academic obligations’ says the student who has spent the past few weeks browsing Netflix and Waking ^ The World instead of preparing for the end of the semester. They’ll never learn.

3. Purchasing textbooks for next semester and not enjoying it. About halfway through Winter Break (in the transition from Christmas movies to “The Walking Dead,” as stated above), you will make the foolish mistake of purchasing your textbooks when all other students are doing so. The procrastination in doing so is not surprising. What appalls me is that some students do not enjoy it. There you will sit, with the amazing opportunity to spend your year’s savings on textbooks that you will gently skim once or twice throughout the next semester. Maybe in order to appreciate this experience, you must think about it in a different light. You are not purchasing a collection of potential knowledge. You are purchasing an expensive backpack weight that you will bring to various classes in order to give the impression of learning, understanding, and academic dedication. If you cannot be excited about the idea of these wasted resources, then you can at least be motivated by the back problems that these textbooks will cause you later in life.

4. Leaving campus but forgetting to say goodbye to your friends/readers. Thank you all for your attention. I am excited to publicly complain about more things in the coming semester. You are next.

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