The Rude Awakening

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Dear Hayley,

Congratulations, you have been selected as one of our early registrants for Fall Semester registration! Please let us know if you want to take Senior Seminar in the Spring or Fall. Oh, and you have to decide when you’re taking Ethics, Religion, and International Politics. Can’t forget about that one! Also, it’s time to start thinking about a Fulbright. Here’s a list of 1,000+ program options. Unfortunately, Fulbright doesn’t offer English Teaching Assistant scholarships in Palau. Additionally, don’t forget to create your work schedule; we’ve been Eagle-eyeing your My Bill, and you might want to consider spending a few more hours squeegeeing the pool deck and picking up hairballs in the gutters next year. Hope you’re having fun in Poland!

xoxo, Boston College

Talk about a rude awakening. These past two weeks have been the needle to my balloon, the road grinder to my after-breakfast nap, and the absence of water to my Śmigus-Dyngus. So much for avoiding the stress of Boston College this year.

Don’t get me wrong, my experience in Poland has been far from stress-free, but the stress here usually comes from being escorted off the tram by impassioned Polish authorities, avoiding asphyxiation in Nawojka’s toxic showers, getting trampled by nuns on Independence Day, waiting in achingly long lines at Bank Zachodni, and avoiding confrontation with suspect machine-gun toters in abandoned quarries: all stressful enterprises that can easily be forgotten at the end of each day with the help of a Communist-era mattress and scratchy wool blanket.

The stress of Boston College falls under a different category: it is of the tortuous, no-end-in-sight genre. This type of stress doesn’t let you sleep at night because you have SO MUCH hanging over your head to the point where your poor lil’ noggin feels like antimatter waiting to explode.* It is stress that feeds off itself and becomes exponentially worse for you as you begin to question your mental sanity when hallucinations work their way into your daily routine after many consecutive nights of minimal sleep on your illegal foam mattress pad.

As much as I thought I could escape it, BC stress found me hiding, and now it is coercing me into making grownup decisions about my future. So here it goes, a list of my recent grownup decisions:

1) I will not do a Senior Year Thesis. For a long time, I wanted to do a political science international studies thesis, and I even had several well-developed proposals. However, I came to the conclusion that doing a thesis would severely limit a lot of other things I was hoping to do Senior Year. Since a thesis is optional for my major, I’m deciding to opt out of this one to leave room for work, a possible internship, and classes that won’t exactly be a walk in the park.

2) I am leaning towards applying for a Fulbright. I have to do a lot of research before I make my proposal, but this is one of the forefront stresses on my mind right now, which means I should probably do something about it. Applications are due in September. With no summer vacation to do this, I need to start making some difficult decisions pronto.

3) Classes are done and registered for! I’m actually quite excited about Fall’s lineup –

  1. Intelligence and International Security – Hooray, a Homeland class!
  2. Investigative Journalism
  3. Ethics, Religion, and International Politics
  4. The French and the Peoples of America – conducted in French
  5. Microeconomics – This class kills what would’ve been a great schedule. You know those classes that you avoid as long as possible? For me it’s econ. I took macro freshman year, and I swore never again. But now I have to take micro for my major, and this is comes to me as great sadness. It’ll be even worse now because I’m going to be with a bunch of eager beaver freshmen who will actually care about good impressions and doing the homework the day it’s assigned. Sigh.

So that’s been my week. I have a presentation tomorrow on Krzysztof Penderecki, a Polish composer who lives in Krakow, and the presentation’s in Polish, so that should be fun. I’ve actually been listening to his music for well over an hour now, and since I don’t want to leave you out of any cultural discoveries, I’m linking one of his pieces below. It gets really beautiful at 6:34. Music to my Ears!

*Blame any scientific inaccuracy on Dan Brown.

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