Editor’s Column: Fighting the Fall Funk



Elisabeth Tone

With Thanksgiving only a week away, I find myself trapped in an academic and social lull akin to the “sophomore slump.” I am counting down the days until I will be able to recline on my couch at home in Connecticut, instead of hunching over in a cubicle at Case Library. Only a few more days now until I can trade in my pen and weary hand for the television remote and a hot mug of tea, lovingly supplied by my mother. I am a bit perplexed, though, that this melancholic mood has overtaken me. After all, I am a junior. Shouldn’t I have left the sophomore slump behind last year? Such an assumption would be logical, but alas, the pre-vacation blues have struck again.

Although I no longer have a meal plan that grants me daily access to Frank, I remember that it is during the week or so before vacation that they stop refilling the ketchup container, yet ironically serve nothing but hamburgers for every meal. Now that I am required to feed myself, I find that I have lost the motivation to restock my own food cabinet (I understand now, Frank).

When I simultaneously ran out of cereal and bread not too long ago, I waited a week to make the trip to Price Chopper. My diminished supplies indeed left a void in my stomach, one that I tried to fill with copious amounts of homework (unfortunately, hundreds of pages of reading does not offer the same nutritional value as food). I eventually gave in and picked up some essentials, but only enough to hold me over until my mom’s home cooking next Tuesday.

This slump has also been detrimental to my enjoyment of the social atmosphere that Colgate offers on weekend nights, and the occasional Wednesday evening. Even the Jug has lost its luster (hard to believe, I know). It is still too early to play Christmas carols, but at this point in the semester I have heard Miley’s “Party in the U.S.A.” just a few too many times. Instead of “moving my hips like yeah,” I tend to move my hips right out the door long before “New York, New York” signals the end of the night.

We are all simply at that point in the semester when there are countless obstacles standing between us and the respite that Thanksgiving Break promises. Just a few more papers to write. Just a few more books to read. Just a few more tests to take. All this work can make five days seem like five months. Hungry stomachs and too much Miley only compound such academic stress, and make the prospect of a vacation that much

more enticing.

I personally wish that I could have avoided my annual slump this year. Following Thanksgiving we will have only three arduous weeks left in the semester, after which I will be going abroad. The thought of not being able to see campus, my professors or my friends for an entire semester is almost enough to pull me out of this emotional mire in which I have become entrapped.

So, in the waning weeks of the semester I am determined to conquer my academic anxiety and social dissatisfaction by following a friend’s advice. Instead of focusing on the seemingly monolithic problems in life, she said, I must choose at least one positive aspect of each day that brings a smile to my face, calms me or makes me laugh. I suspect that I might not be the only student currently stuck in this first-year/sophomore/junior/senior slump, and it is to you that I pass along her advice.

You might grab a milkshake at Maxwell’s on a balmy November day, take off on a country drive with a best friend or order in from a downtown deli so that you don’t have to cook for yourself or subject yourself to the dining hall. The research papers will not write themselves, but the whole writing process can be much more enjoyable if you have a milkshake or a friend sitting by your side. It is these simple moments of contentment that will get me through the next five days. It is these moments that I will fondly remember and sincerely miss next semester.

So, so long “sophomore” slump. I will probably see you around this time senior year, but until then I plan savoring my remaining days in Hamilton.