A first-year’s take on Spring Term

Melinda Kauffman

It’s that time of year again when the Washington and Lee campus emerges from its long and gloomy winter term. It’s the time when the warm weather becomes a regular occurrence and the colonnade boasts its beauty day and night. Sleepy students rejuvenated from spring break come back ready to power through four, short weeks of spring term. What is spring term exactly? And why do W&L students wait all year for it to come?

  Of course everyone knows that tubing the Maury and day parties are must do’s of spring term, but surely there is more to expect out of these four weeks. And of course I was excited to have all of this free and unadulterated time. While I heard rumors of the legendary day parties and formals I had yet to actually experience them. I had a few expectations of my own, but I was curious to see how these events would actually play out.

  If I’m being honest, spring term is not as glamorous as I expected. Maybe it is because in my mind I saw myself tubing down the Maury, sun in my face with my favorite book and a pina colada in my hand just about every day. Some spring term classes actually require a lot of work and I know several of my friends spent their first couple nights of spring term in the library doing homework. All of this said I have not given up hope on the rest of the term.

  My friend and I created a spring term bucket list. We each wrote down at least 10 things that we would like to do by the time spring term is over. A few of the things on my list include the clichés of tubing the Maury and streaking the colonnade, but also writing a letter a day and stepping outside of my comfort zone at least once daily. I want to challenge myself to meet new people and have meaningful conversations with them since I feel as though I missed out on some of this interaction last term. Trying new things may allow you to discover a new passion or hobby.

  Spring term is the perfect time to try new things because, in contrast to fall and winter term, the focus is on one class. While some people choose one class that coincides with their major, most people take a class outside of their field of study. This is a chance to explore new passions or maybe a new hobby. At least for me I spent most of the year talking about the things I wanted to do rather than actually doing them. Now that I have more free time and less homework, I don’t have any excuses for not getting out and doing things.

  Spring term is a time to be spontaneous and to try things you normally wouldn’t. Take time to go to coffee with that girl you just met in your English class, or strike up a conversation with that guy you walked past in Dhall all year, but never said hi to. Don’t be afraid of what people think of you, because they are probably just as scared as you are to try new things. Be you. Be bold. Make moves. Your time at W&L is not infinite, and when you look back on your college years, it’d be a better feeling knowing that you tried new things rather than not at all.