Spring Fever

Remember how I had major issues writing my first post? I sat staring at my screen for half an hour not knowing how to introduce myself and worried that people wouldn’t even read this. Since then it’s gotten increasingly easier, but this week I hit a roadblock.

It was like all the creative parts of my brain had taken a permanent holiday. All the negative, doubtful thoughts swarmed in and made it difficult to trust myself and my abilities.

After a very long time of chasing around possible topics in my head, I decided to make a list, and finally experienced enough confidence to start writing. So here I sit, or lie, rather, on my bed, surrounded by pillows, snuggled up in my hoodie, and listening to movie scores, telling myself I will dazzle you all with my …

Top 15 Reasons to Look Forward to Spring Semester at Loyola

New Classes
A fresh start, a clean slate, call it what you will, but it’s so nice to come back to school with limitless possibilities. Personally, I’m looking forward most to my Printmaking class and Major Writers Lit class.

Roommates’ Birthdays
Two of my roommates are celebrating their birthdays this semester! Everyone loves the opportunity to go out for dinner, relax for a bit, and enjoy each others’ company.

Winter Formal
Ok, so I didn’t go last year, and I don’t know if I’ll go this year, but the Winter Formal sponsored by the RHA is pretty cool. Every year Loyola students line up for tickets to go to the Aquarium to dance the night away.

Poetry Club’s Valentine’s Day Celebrations
I think one of my favorite memories from freshman year was experiencing the chaos of Valentine’s Week in Poetry Club. There’s an Erotic Poetry Night, in which students read poetry geared towards the day of love (laughter guaranteed). The club also makes, sells, and delivers Valentine candy-grams as a fundraiser (I promise I will go into detail closer to the date! No spoilers!).

Waking Up to the Sun
No more stumbling around in the dark when you get up for class! Now I’ll actually get up when my alarm goes off!

Titus Andronicus
This year’s symposium play is Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus, made up of an all female cast (including my roommate!) and is scheduled for February 21-24.

Flowers Blooming
You can’t deny it. Spring flowers smell fantastic. Despite the allergies that come along with it.

Picnics on the Quad
I don’t care if it’s a cliche. You have to. It’s so much fun, just sitting with friends, chatting, eating a packed lunch, and later lying on the quad watching the clouds go by.

Knitting Club’s Trip to Lovely Yarns
I am determined to get the Knifty Knitters over to the local knitting shop in Hampden. I’ve never been there, but Lovely Yarns seems to be a beautiful and interesting place.

Finger/Splatter Painting Outside
My roommates and I have decided to get a large roll of paper, spread it out on the lawn, and finger or splatter paint it. Just for kicks. Having fun with paint isn’t just for kindergarten!

Soaking Up the Sun on Humanities Porch
By far one of the student body’s favorite activities. As soon as it gets warm everyone vies for a coveted rocking chair on the sunlit porch of Humanities. It’s perfect for people watching, doing homework, and, in my case, starting to sunburn early.

Spring Movie Releases
I don’t know which I should be more excited for: Iron Man 3, Star Trek Into Darkness or Wait…Wait…Don’t Tell Me!

Barbecues
Or at least the smell of them! One of the few times I get homesick is when I smell charcoal cooking something delicious out on the quad or by the dorms. Always reminds me of the street fairs back home!

Strolling Around Sherwood Gardens
There’s a public block by Loyola that has wonderful gardens and is full of families and wedding parties in the spring. It’s a good way to get off campus and experience multitudes of tulips.

Loyolapalooza
If you don’t go to this music/food/friend fest, you are missing out on a LOT. Every year Loyola students pack the quad to listen to good music, eat great food, and share a few more memories with friends before the semester ends. Last year Jack’s Mannequin and The Palace at 4 AM rocked the stage, but I can’t wait to see what’s in store for this year!

As you can see, springtime at Loyola is pretty sweet and goes by surprisingly fast! Even if I don’t get to do everything on this list, I’m still looking froward to a spectacular semester.

The Omniscient Fortune Cookies

Loyola administrators are smart. At least, whoever decides when to have breaks and special weekends is. It’s like they’ve figured out a formula to keep students at a tug of war with their parents over college’s newfound freedom.

Think about it this way:
Week of Fun Without Major Homework + Week of Intro Activities + Week of First Club Meetings & More Homework + Week of First Papers & Exams = Perfect Build Up to Family Weekend.

By the time 4 weeks has gone by, most students want a little bit of “home” back in their lives.

And then by Sunday they want their Loyola back.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my parents, but I also love my independence. This school is so much like a home to me I don’t always need the reassurance of my parental units to know there’s someone who cares about my existence. But it was still nice to spend the weekend with them, even if it was a short visit.

*Insert cheesy but heartfelt call out to Mom and Dad here*

For those of you who are wondering what this whole Family Weekend thing is about, I’ll give you the low down:

It begins on Friday with the Honors Convocation, during which all the students who received academic achievement awards, summer programs, or are in an honor society, are recognized. The first years who are in the Honors Program or received academic scholarships are also recognized. Of course, before the awards are given out, there are speeches and one of the faculty is honored for “outstanding achievement in scholarship or creative work,” (The Nachbahr Award).

The rest of the weekend passes in a blur of sports games, food (provided by the university and your parents’ ability to drive you to the Inner Harbor), a “big” event on Saturday night, and mass on Sunday (always packed).

The school keeps everyone busy, even if families don’t attend every event.
For example, I spent my Saturday morning drawing

and enjoying the quad with my parents

before working on homework while they chilled out in my common room.

We also went out to the Towson Mall; I needed some more “mature” clothing.
(I’m really more of a t-shirt & jeans girl, and have recently found myself lacking in the
“job interview” and “nice occasions” clothes department)

After asking my dad if there was an equation to determine the yield of clothes purchased from clothes chosen (in vain), we decided it was time to eat dinner.

Little did we know of the fates that awaited us at P. F. Chang’s.

It sounds crazy, but I’m pretty sure the fortune cookie writers have had workshops and focus groups to determine which phrases resonate most with customers, because my own and my parents’ fortunes were eerily relevant or accurate to our lifestyles.

Mine: Keep your feet on the ground even though friends flatter you.
My mom’s: Learning is a treasure which accompanies us everywhere.
My dad’s: Patience is a key to joy.

How could I apply these indispensable pieces of wisdom to my life?

Patience is truly the key to completing homework, as I try to reassure myself that my History paper is a treasure, and in the end a joyful experience when my professor will (hopefully) flatter me with a good grade.

Maybe fortune cookies and parents teach you more than you expect after all.