About this blog
First-year Park Scholars share their experiences with the transition to collegiate life at IC
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
By Alec Belmore '16
Simply stated, I love the holidays. It’s a time filled with good cheer, good intentions, and good fun. If I had things my way, I would live in a holiday fantasy world all the time. Unfortunately, as a college student, there’s a real Grinch who is determined to ruin the holidays for all.
His name is finals.
Yes, finals are trying to ruin the holidays by plaguing innocent college students with sleepless nights, a mild disregard for hygiene, and extreme bouts of over-eating. By all standards, finals week is an extremely stressful time for students. For a person who tries to find joy in the season, finals week can seem extremely bleak and disheartening. Fortunately, the freshman Park Scholars are an extremely close-knit group of people and we supported each other through this challenging week.
It comes with the territory: Park Scholars take their work extremely seriously. Together, we chug along, doing what needs to be done. Thankfully, as a group, we set aside some time to relax and enjoy the holidays. We organized a Secret Santa gift exchange and set aside a time to exchange gifts, eat cookies, and watch a movie together. It was a much-needed stress relief to say the least, even if it really only lasted for a few hours. For my Secret Santa gift, I received exactly what I asked for: a rock. You might think I’m kidding, but I’m not.
I’ll be the first to admit, I was a little bummed being away from home so close to the holidays, but just one small get-together with a group of friends was able to rectify that. It made me realize how truly blessed I am in so many different ways. First, I’m blessed that I go to such a prestigious school in such a fun, vibrant area. Add on top that I’m a Park Scholar, given an innumerable amount of opportunities. Most important to me, I think, is that the Park Scholar Program is truly like a family. Everyone cares and is always willing to act as a crutch for someone to lean on, even if that simply means getting someone else a rock as a gift. (It’s a long story. I’m not crazy, trust me.)
As finals week is drawing to a close, I have mixed emotions. I’m preparing to go back “home,” while simultaneously preparing to leave a place I’ve grown to call home. Call me crazy, call me conflicted, but I’ll call it like I see it. I’m lucky.