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Mid-Year Trials

Thomas Fitzpatrick, C'24

graphic of umbrellas

Ah, the mid-year trials of college – a time that often sneaks up on you just when you think you've got the hang of things. Reflecting on the journey through the first semester, it's like navigating a maze of new experiences, awkward interactions, and the occasional triumph. But once you emerge on the other side, there's a sense of relief and confidence that comes with having conquered those initial hurdles.

For many freshmen, me included, the second semester brings a welcome shift in atmosphere. The campus seems to exhale, shedding some of its initial tension as students settle into their routines and forge stronger connections. As a commuter, my perspective might differ slightly from those who live on campus, but I still relish every moment I spend in that vibrant collegiate environment.

Of course, navigating the intricacies of college life isn't without its challenges. One of the most daunting tasks for me was taking control of my class schedule. Gone were the days of a predetermined timetable; instead, I found myself poring over course catalogs, trying to balance my academic interests with practical considerations like time and workload. It was a process of trial and error, with plenty of advice-seeking and last-minute adjustments along the way.

And then there were the end-of-semester finals – the ultimate test of everything we'd learned and endured throughout those preceding months. As the days dwindled down and the pressure mounted, it was easy to feel overwhelmed. But with determination and a healthy dose of caffeine, I powered through, emerging on the other side with a newfound sense of accomplishment.

Yet, even as I reflect on these trials, I can't help but acknowledge the growth they've spurred within me. Each challenge, whether big or small, has shaped my college experience and helped me become more resilient, more adaptable. And as I gear up for the second half of the academic year, I know there will be more trials ahead. But armed with the lessons learned from the first semester, I'm ready to face them head-on, confident in my ability to navigate whatever lies ahead.

Thomas Fitzpatrick, C'24