The end of the semester: Time to reflect on change

The spring semester of 2004 has ever so tritely flown past us at the speed of something too quick to judge, sucking breathlessly short days out of even shorter months. It was while we were so busy doing what we weren’t supposed to do – drinking too much, eating too much, sleeping too much, talking too much – that Father Time pressed change upon us. For flourishing freshmen and stumbling seniors alike, it’s the completion of the year that allows one the time and space for individual reflection.

I spent the last week of my freshman year of college in a half-empty room, a desolate room left so by a roommate with whom I had shared too many laughs and arguments, with whom I had shared the greater amount of my tiring days and amazing nights. Sitting on my dirty, Hawaiian-print sheets, the very same sheets I had picked out with the aid of a discerning mother nine months earlier, I remember looking at my former roommate’s side of the room; the walls, once laden with a year’s worth of memories, stared back in blank contention, while the essence of lonely silence, a feeling so unknown to me, blanketed what used to be our boisterous space. I was angry. I knew that the room would never be how it had been again because it no longer belonged to my roommate, our friends and me; the room had changed, and with a chilling uneasiness, I had paralleled its transformation, gritty step for gritty step.

College, in the most generic sense, is heralded as the only place in this universe that can provide the perfect environment for personal change, hopefully for better in the long run, more or less likely for worse, temporarily, at least. Though any human being with an iota of intelligence realizes that he or she or life changes at every blink of the eye, the college experience facilitates the vague notion that one will find him or herself while spending sleep-deprived afternoons in lecture halls and energetic evenings in flimsy debauchery. Quoting Longfellow, the famous American poet, “All things must change to something new, something strange,” for it’s only natural to be bombarded with unwanted adjustments. Perchance change really is this exceedingly sought-out essence of life that brings meaning to mornings and midnights and presses one to delve into the daily musings and ruminations that are maintained within. Do not fret, the seasons change, as will you during the bright summer months, but sunny September patiently awaits your renewal.

Speaking of change, I have been graciously invited to host my own weekly column in The Hurricane. Beginning during the fall semester, “V’s Voice” will combine the elements of an advice column – just think of me as a really precocious younger sister – with those of a traditional opinion column on – what else? – all of the guilty, fluffy stuff that beckons our priceless attention like cultural trends, college issues and social phenomena; no topic is too tired, nor is any problem out of bounds. Please, please, please direct all burning questions, pitiful problems, and helpful comments to See you next semester!

Vanessa Cutler can be contacted at