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ISSUE 118 VOL 3 PUBLISHED 10/1/2004

Back to Basics

By Executive Editors
Executive Editor

Friday, October 1, 2004

Our books have highlighting on the pages and notes in the margins. Our calendars are rapidly filling up and our blindingly-white back-to-school shoes have been sporting a few scuff marks lately. That first round of group projects, tests and papers are hitting us hard because weve reached the inevitable: the quarter-semester slump.

Unknown to some and unrealized by most, the quarter-semester slump is not quite as painful as the notorious week of mid-terms. But, lots of students get caught up in it and before they realize it, theyve already lost their Caf cards and skipped a few classes to finish up an assignment. The quarter-semester slump is when professors kick class into gear and students get knocked back into academic reality.

Already this year, weve heard complaints about the limited library hours, observed an eerie quietness in the dorms and spotted a disturbing number of students toting backpacks on Saturday nights. Before we get thrown into the whirlwind of academics looming in our immediate future, however, we have a couple of suggestions to improve our mental, academic and physical health as college students. Think of them as extra-credit. Get political. The College Democrats and the College Republicans have been perched outside the Caf for weeks, eagerly waiting to snatch up unregistered voters. Voting is your civic duty and if you forgo this opportunity, you cannot complain later. Go to a speaker on campus. It doesnt have to be a Nobel Laureate, it can be a book reading or a chapel talk. Every day of the week, someone is speaking and usually were too busy to stop and listen.

Attend an event you havent been to in awhile. We have eight fall sports teams spending, on average, 20-25 hours a week in the pursuit of Ole pride. Lets show those other teams that were more than just Norwegian sweater-wearing, collapsible chair-carrying alums. Go to a hall function. This idea especially applies to upperclassmen, whose RAs are working hard to bring us fun events and keep our dorms lively. Lets take advantage of the programs they plan for us and make our RAs smile.

Go to bed before midnight. Youll be surprised by how rested you feel the next day, especially if you have an upcoming test or a presentation. Try not to check your e-mail for a few hours. Resist the urge to plop down in Fireside and instead, go outside and breathe in the sweet scent of Malt-O-Meal. Its fall at St. Olaf  a fleeting season that will soon dissolve into harsh winds and snow piles. Take a moment to pause between classes and take in our idyllic surroundings.

We dont expect you to cut out this editorial, tack it on your wall and check off the things as you do them. We do expect you to think about taking alternative breaks from homework, not just to watch to TV or talk on AIM, but to absorb St. Olaf at its best. Were not saying dont study, were just saying, dont forget to take a break now and then.

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