Samantha Koconis is a Cardinal Stritch University graduate with a BA in Spanish Literature and Language. She also attended Law school in Ann Arbor, MI and has recently started freelance writing. She has packed and unpacked her car too many times to count.
Fall semester is just about to commence and before you know it the leaves will be turning. That is of course if you are lucky enough to be attending school in the northern half of the country. For all of you who decided to buck the seasons and sensibly chose a school in the southern half of the country, we will all be wishing there was a “grr” button on Facebook photos about mid-November.
To the rest of academia, who like me, thought “how bad could it get?” Take the time to soak up the rest of summer while you can. Yeah, everyone is about to get crazy busy with new classes and new jobs, but there are only a precious few weeks of awesome weather left. Spend it in the quad or diag or wherever students congregate on your campus. Embrace the inner hacky sack and Frisbee lover inside of you. Take this time to explore your campus and learn the buildings; even the ones you think are unimportant to you because I guarantee you will have a class either redistributed to there or a professor with an office in one of the most obscure buildings on campus.
Whether your school is in a small town or a larger city there will most likely be a handful of street or city festivals scheduled for the last few weeks of summer. GO TO THEM!! You never know what great vendors you’ll find there; what best kept secrets your new home has to offer. Also, I know this is almost anathema to college students, but dig deep and find the effort to actually wake up on Saturday morning and hit a farmers market. I know you have a food plan or a lifetime supply of ramen just waiting for you, but think of markets as how to do brunch on a budget. The recent wave of talented chefs starting up food trucks had spilled over into local restaurants setting up booths at markets. It is a tasty and inexpensive way to try out higher end restaurants. One of my personal favorites is the soup vendor. No matter what city I’ve ever lived in there was always a soup vendor at the farmers market. They will have frozen pints of their selections as well as samples or cups to buy. Generally they make their products with fresh-local and seasonal ingredients, and if you stay away from the cream based bisques are a great way to have a healthy meal.
Again, if you are fortunate enough to live where the sun shines and snow is only something that exists in decorative globes; still do all of this. Sooner rather than later before you get too bogged down in research, papers, and exams. I promise there will never again be a time when being considered good at hacky sack is socially acceptable.