I could use a good joke right now. You too? Thought so.
What did the buffalo dad say when his son left for college?
And now that you have stopped rolling on the floor with laughter, I will let you in on a little secret: we have reached the halfway point in this semester. So, those quizzes that you thought were “just five points”? Yeah, they actually count towards your final grade now. Also, the walk down to the Caf is now easily a five-mile hike. Or at least it seems that way. And we don’t even have to talk about the countless stairs…by the way, complaining about the amount of stairs on campus is an instant bonding-point among all students at Pepperdine. Stairs and Sonia Sorrell (freshman humanities memories, anyone?)
Besides the daily gluteus maximus workout (stairs again, I now, I know), school has been piling on. And I mean piling on. This is not a complaint, this is just reality as every week brings a new something(s) to study for. Everyone is “so stressed”. We huddle in corners of the Sandbar or Payson, flipping through flashcards and furiously memorizing facts or flowcharts. Midterms, papers, quizzes, lab reports for days. The list really doesn’t seem to end. And everyone feels it. From five midterms in one week to 2000-word papers to seven-hour organic chemistry labs, we all feel it. Sleep deprived, caffeine stimulated, or just purely and completely exhausted. And even if you don’t have tests on tests on tests, I’m sure you can throw a rock and hit a science major like yours truly who lives by the grade-book.
This is how a typical conversation goes:
“Hi [insert pretend friend’s name because I don’t have friends]”
After I recover from the initial shock of someone actually knowing who I am: “How are you?”
“I’m good, but so tired.”
“Me too. School?”
“School. And [insert a million extra curricular activities].”
Then we wave, wish each other good luck, and run to whatever is next on the to-do list.
Some call this slightly manic rush of responsibilities Life. Some call it Midterms. Some call it a Bad Case of Thursdays (which are the worst days, even worse than Mondays). No matter what you call it, everyone feels it. The glow of the first weeks of school has worn off. It can be easy to feel as if the “good parts” of school have come and gone and now it’s just work, work, work our little Malibu lives away. Yes, it can be easy to feel that way. Too easy. And you know why? Because it is wrong and here’s why:
Currently, if you are a student here at Pepperdine, you attend one of the most amazing schools in the world with some of the brightest and best of humanity. The more I think about it, the more I don’t like what I have observed as a mid-semester low point mixed with an unhealthy amount of stress. I don’t want it to exist. So get out of the library or your dorm or the Caf for a few hours, it’s time for a little break. Drive to Santa Monica and ride the Ferris Wheel. Drink an Oreo shake from the burger shack on the pier. Shop like a tourist. Ride the Ferris Wheel again. If that does not appeal to you, then the beach is our backyard so it’s hard to go wrong there. Or what about the Malibu Bluffs? Or the Venice Food Trucks every First Friday? Or, let’s be honest here, what if you walked a different route to class, just to mix it up a little? Just to have a little adventure every day. It is a scientific fact that adventure improves grades and lifestyle overall.
If all else fails, take a five-minute excursion to Alumni Park, climb a tree, and enjoy the view that we should never, ever, ever get over.
I guess my point is: don’t get so caught up in crossing those important items off of your to-do list that you forget where you live, who you share life with, and why you are really here. It is not my place to say how you should be doing what you should be doing or with whom. But I do think we need to fight the slump…and devour a delicious veggie burrito with a side of guacamole from the brand spankin’ new Chipotle down at the Lumberyard along the way.
Don’t let grades get you down. Don’t let boredom bring you to tears. Don’t let the slump slap your spirit. Get up off of your nicely toned behind (thanks to those stairs) to go have an adventure. And ayo waves.