Keeping a sunny outlook, cursing in foreign languages help in early days

It’s easy to get lost around here at the beginning of a school year. Things can get pretty hectic between buying books, dropping and adding classes, and just trying to memorize your new class schedules.

You’re also trying to find your way to new classrooms, in buildings you’ve never been to, and whose abbreviations you’ve never seen in your life, and which every so often make no sense at all. In sum, you’re trying to get your brain to shift from summer-mode to fall-mode.

And, on top of it all, you still have to find your way through the many on-going campus constructions. After all, that good old shortcut you used to take last May might not be there anymore.

It might be hard to keep a smile on your face, especially on those first days when you wake up with that dreadful sound you’ve tried so hard to forget for the last few weeks: your alarm clock. Even the best Springsteen song doesn’t make you happy then.

But it’s important, at all times, to remember why we’re here, and what we have in here – and I don’t mean just the “really hot women and really cute men around” part.

If you ever find a moment in your crazy schedule to actually lay back and enjoy the show, you might actually see how much there is to admire (this is where you can include the little tank tops walking around here…). Many seasons ago, when my schedule was less hectic and days did feel like they had 24 hours, I used to take one afternoon during the week to just walk around U.M., looking for details I’ve never seen before, places I didn’t know exist, greeting people I knew, and smiling at people I didn’t (at least not until that very moment).

Still, if you feel like shouting out something at some point, because you’re too happy or just too damn irritated with something, then just do it; doesn’t matter if it’s in the middle of the U.C. Patio. If you know a good curse word in a distant foreign language (in other words, not Spanish), just put it to use.

The first few weeks can be a pain sometimes, when you’re feeling lost or misplaced, or just not in the mood to be back on Cane soil. And it’s not good at all to just swallow it down all the time. I’ve been there, done that, and definitely don’t recommend it.

But these same weeks can also be a blast, depending on how you look at it. If you’re a returning student, you have old friends to see, old burgers to eat, and old professors and classes to forget about.

If you’re new here, as a freshman or transfer student, it’s a whole new world, one you should be excited to discover; one that will give you more sweet dreams than headaches, I’m sure. Also, remember there are lots of people that have been around U.M. for a while now (sometimes, more than they should, but that’s a whole other story), and they can always give some good insights.

And if you’re not a freshman or transfer, just make sure you go back to the previous paragraph and actually read it this time.

Either way, remember it helps to stop every once in a while in your hectic life and remind yourself of what this is all about. If not, just smile at the next person, man or woman, and maybe they’ll help you out. You never know.

Have a great year, everyone!
~Daniel Paskin