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Midterm Break

Lucas describes his midterm break habits and reflects on a few opportunities Spring Term brings to the table.

Lucas describes his midterm break habits and reflects on a few opportunities Spring Term brings to the table.

I’m nearing the end of my third midterm break (we get the Monday after fifth week, i.e. midterms week, off), and as I look back, I’ve realized I’ve fallen into a bit of pattern with how I spend these extra days off. Which isn’t surprising, I guess. Patterns are fun!

So after this Friday, during which I went on a fun (and exhausting, four-mile) Arb run with my friends Jack and Ty, my Spring midterm break began.

A controlled burn deep in the Arboretum
During our run, we smelled, then heard, then saw a controlled burn going down. It was pretty cool to witness!

What I’ve noticed is that the extra day in these breaks really changes the nature of the weekend. With three days, you get this one glorious day in the middle that’s sandwiched with more break time on either side (temporally speaking). With this extra time, I’ve ended up spending one day each break out in the cities, to get what I guess I’d call my urban fix.

This term, my city day (Saturday) was spent at a theater, and then the Mall of America. At the theater, I went with a handful of friends to see this movie you may have heard of called Avengers: Endgame. I’m not a huge Marvel fan, but I really enjoyed seeing Infinity War in a theater full of passionate fans, and the same went for this one.

While one day is apparently designated as my getting-out-of-Northfield day, I seem to have another as my appreciating-Northfield one. This Sunday, I got myself out of bed in time to have brunch at Hogan Brothers with my friends. Afterward, I went on a leisurely walk with them through town. I spent most of the rest of the day appreciating the Carleton campus, but without the usual worrying about when and where I’d be getting my work done. It’s a very different experience just soaking up life here, as opposed to spending most of it following a structured plan.

Today’s been my work day. Which has been really nice, honestly. After taking two days off as opposed to the usual half-day, I feel more recharged, and focusing is easier. I’ve also realized how different campus can be during springtime. During Fall Term, I was honestly still adjusting to non-California weather, so I spent most of my time thinking it was “cold.” Well, Winter Term cleared up that issue. And while I never found last trimester unbearably cold or particularly limiting (I honestly had so much fun getting acquainted with this “snow” thing), I’ve definitely felt my world open up a bit as the outside environment’s become more hospitable. I’ve realized how much I love spending quiet hours out in the Arb, so that’s where I’ve done most of my studying today. It’s been immensely peaceful.

A picture of Lucas' friends Sonya and Jack on blankets in the arb
Study frens ūüôā

It’s cool to realize the particular positives of different seasons here. Whereas winter was a new experience and visually spectacular, spring has brought a relieving gentleness from nature that’s allowed me to become a bit more of an outdoors person. I’m getting to continue discovering new, fun, pretty, or just plain calming spots on campus, which is an exciting thing to get to report considering my freshman year is now nearing its end. I hope I get to continue this exploration through the rest of my time here.

Lucas is finishing up his freshman year at Carleton, bringing with him a passion for all things nerdy and a talent for overthinking and awkwardness (and self-deprecation). He hails from Pasadena, California, and yes, he realizes it gets cold out here. Currently wildly undecided, he can see himself attempting a Physics and Cinema and Media Studies double major, although Chemistry, Economics, and Computer Science (among many other subjects) have been tempting him as well. He misses his bearded dragon.

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