Revved Up And Ready To Go (Home)

And just like that, the last break before summer has come and gone, leaving us with nothing but the oh-so-glorious remnants of March, April, and May. All throughout high school, this was always my least favorite time of the year. Daylight saving time allowing the days to be light out for longer only seemed to mock the fact that it was still too cold out to enjoy it, and summer was still too far away to really look forward to.
 
Despite this unfavorable view of early spring months, I had a temporary change of heart coming out of spring break this year. Like all breaks, I left it feeling ready to take on the world, fight the system, sign up for 5,000 new things that I won’t have time for (nothing like a break to make you go through all those starred emails and apply for any-and-everything), and completely reinvent every single aspect of myself. Call me Dylan “Reinvention-Positivity-Productivity” Clairmont, because I was ready to finish off the semester strong and avoid the aforementioned early spring slump.
 
Sadly, all it took were a couple of classes that went on for way too long on Monday and an impromptu snowstorm to reaffirm the fact that early spring is painful, high school and college alike. Somehow, within a 24-hour span my will to tackle the next two-ish months of Swat withered away like the flowers in the arboretum that had no idea winter part 37 was coming (R.I.P. to all the babies who didn’t survive the nor’easter!).
 
So, whether we like it or not, and for whatever reasons we do or don’t like it, we’re at Swat for a little under two months, and with snow still on the ground in places that the sun doesn’t reach and the 10-day forecast still showing highs in the 40s, it’s looking like it’s going to be a long two months…or will it?
 
Time works in mysterious ways at Swat, as I’m sure everyone will agree. As a first-year, trying to navigate this has been difficult to say the least. It simultaneously feels like days are too long, yet too short; months are never-ending, yet are flying by; the year is trudging on bit-by-bit, yet going by with the blink of an eye. I’m constantly in awe over the fact that I’ve only been at Swat for roughly seven months. First semester feels like it happened at least two years ago, and I most definitely moved into my dorm summer of ‘13. That girl I talked to once at a mixer during orientation and then never spoke to again? She most definitely could’ve had two kids since I last saw her, and I wouldn’t even blink. That one club I checked out early September only to never go to again despite the fact that my calendar would guilt me over it every week? Most definitely could’ve turned into a full blown communist commune in the probable years that it’s been since I checked it out.  
 
Admittedly, oddly specific metaphors aside, I’m just ready for this year to be over. As I said, I feel like it’s gone on for far too long, and a fresh start feels right just about now. Everyone says that you shouldn’t wait until New Years to start a resolution, and it is indeed very Swattie to reject the concept of using time, a social construct, to rule your life, but sometimes outside change is that necessary push we all need. I can continue to make Finsta posts outlining how I’m going to come back from break a new, improved version of myself – new break, new me? – but there’s something undeniably satisfying about having a set-in-stone transition that forces you to reexamine all of the awful decisions you’ve made.
 
This first year at Swat has been wrought with bad decision after bad decision, and the idea that a transition into sophomore year could allow me to dispel some of that first-year guilt sounds perfect right about now. The ability to say, “Oh that girl? Freshman year me? Ha! That was a time!” seems oh-so-sweet. Right now, all I can say is a muttered variation of, “Sorry for that. Um, I’ve changed. I know that was yesterday. But still.”
 
There’s this inherent desire within me to sort of give up and try again next year, as this year feels like it simply has too much dirty laundry associated with it and thus will never be a “good year,” even if March, April, and May somehow surprise me and are incredibly amazing. This is semi-sad to admit to myself, since two months can be an eternity, as established, but it is where I’m currently at whether I like it or not.
 
A sophomore recently told me that first years who generally didn’t enjoy their first year have a much better sophomore year, and I’m really placing my bets on that at this point as the poster child for hopefully-optimistic-and-in-love-with-Swat-although-it-has-not-panned-out-yet. Of course there will be the usual Swat BS, but the concept of being better prepared to handle it sounds inspiring and leaves me hopeful for the next three years.
 
From what I’ve heard from sophomore friends, sophomore year sounds triumphant. It could be a case of the grass simply being greener from the other side, but I honestly think that next year will be a good year. Sophomore year sounds like the perfect balance where you’ve managed to get some sort of footing in the school, but you’re not so deep in yet that you have to have everything figured out already.
 
As I write this, I fully anticipate sophomores who are currently thinking about how they can’t wait until junior year, and how they just have to get past the hump that is sophomore year. And juniors thinking the same about senior year. Truthfully, this could just be one big, neverending concept of needing to get to the next point in life, but as I am a first-year and therefore cannot be held accountable for any or all of my poor judgements, I’m gonna peg this as a freshman phenomenon and leave it at that.
 
April and May – please be kind to us!

Dylan Clairmont

Dylan Clairmont '21 edits for the Campus Journal. He is a DPA, a board member of SQU, and a board member of Swat Dems. He is interested in capturing the current climate of campus and including that in The Phoenix.

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