The “Start of Term” Blues


It’s so pretty outside right now. In the last day, Naperville has been under siege from a consistent heavy snowfall. The evergreens outside of my dorm window are a picturesque view. It’s quite visually appealing. In fact, it looks like a Christmas card. While I hate navigating the streets of Naperville and the sidewalks of campus in the snow, I can’t deny how pristine the view is from my window. I even took a picture on my phone to capture this greeting card image.

It reminds me of childhood winters when we’d pull toboggans behind snowmobiles or tractors. Either way, it’s pretty, and brings back memories. It isn’t, however, very conducive to study. When you sit at your desk and stare outside at a winter wonderland that sits just below freezing, it’s hard to focus on much of anything. Even this blog post. It’s frustrating, because the best snow always seems to hit Illinois right at the start of my Winter term.

You see, North Central College operates on Trimesters instead of Semesters. We have three “full-length” ten-and-a-half week terms and one short optional term. From mid-September to Thanksgiving, we have one term. From Thanksgiving to Christmas, we have an optional long break/special short term during which people can take a single “jumbo” class or can do short internships, or even just hang out around campus. Then, from the first Monday in January up to mid-March, there’s another full-length term. Then, from the end of March until mid-June is the last term.

Our schedule is goofy, I know. However, I’ve come to like trimesters.

Regardless of how much I prefer trimesters to semesters, though, my mind is on a snowmobile ten years ago and 70 miles away. This sort of snow just isn’t good for focus. It’s especially poor for focus when it’s the start of the term and you want to get off on the right foot. It’s already hard enough to focus after coming back from break; the start of the term always seems stressful compared to whatever it was you were doing otherwise. This term seems to be especially intimidating for myself and my peers, for some unknown reason.

Either way, anyway you slice it, college students everywhere have the “Start of Term” Blues. Welcome back to school, guys. I hope the snow isn’t driving you mad, as well.

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