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An Unexpected Semester

December 10th, 2012 apcook15

As any of you who’ve ever met me know all too well, I’m a little obsessed with all things J.R.R. Tolkien. I grew up reverently watching Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings movies, and it’s no understatement to say I’ve been anticipating the upcoming Hobbit film literally since  the announcement trailer dropped LAST December. I certainly think there’s a hobbit-y streak in all of us, myself especially. I’m very relaxed, enjoy a nice quiet lifestyle, and the grocery stores and restaurants of the Greater Lowell Area all rejoice when their greatest patron returns come home for breaks.

Many of you more sane folks are undoubtedly rolling your eyes right now at the latest in my long line of Middle Earth rants. There’s a point to this one, though, I swear, else I wouldn’t let all of you in on how truly strange I actually am. As any of you heading off to this movie will soon find out, the eponymous hobbit, Bilbo Baggins, is pretty ironclad in his routines and habits when first we meet him. Rule #1 with him is comfort; nothing strange, intimidating, frightening, new. Adventures of any sort are, “nasty, disturbing things. Make one late for dinner!”

While I’ve already established what a willing and able citizen of the Shire I’d become, contracting this mindset was my greatest fear entering sophomore year here at HC. Falling into the dreaded, “sophomore slump,” and becoming the latest victim of its fatal tendencies was a danger I was constantly wary of at summer’s end. I can honestly and happily say I’ve entirely avoided it – if maybe not in the way I would’ve expected to.

As spectacular as last year was for me, I made conscious efforts in avoiding a repeat performance of it. It’s actually kinda funny to me now looking at my biography page and seeing how much of it has changed in just such a short time. Just off the cuff:

  • I’m no longer running as a Crusader, but I’m training pretty rigorously on my own to run 2013’s Boston Marathon. The training so far has been phenomenal, and I actually managed to notch my first half marathon in my belt a few weeks ago with my dad and all his “E-Streeter” running buds.
  • I’m involved in the Admissions Outreach program now, where I greet families here on campus who’ve come for tours or interviews. It’s a fantastic department and a great way to pass on some Purple Pride to hopeful future Crusaders.
  • I started working shifts at Kimball Dining Hall. Feeling I’d mooched enough without giving anything back, I signed onto Kimball’s payroll, and I’ve had an incredible time working behind the scenes in the kitchens alongside some phenomeal people whom I’m privileged to have worked with. The shift captain, actually, is one of the biggest Springsteen nuts I’ve ever met besides myself, and he managed to catch the Boss on tour this year in Barcelona – Barcelona!!
  • I’m just a straight English major now. It was a long, soul-searching, meandering way to get there, but for my entire life multiple sources near and dear to my heart have always told me to find what I’m good at and then run with it. Some solid advice, no?


So that’s about it! Adjusting to a lot of these new changes, along with just working through that everyday thing called life, the blog here has been a little neglected, and I apologize for that to my faithful readers (the millions of you out there). Since I have a lull in studying for finals this week though (or maybe to distract me from it) I just figured I’d throw this one together and clue you all in. And worry not: if it seems like everything’s gone wayward out into left field, the important things are all the same. Campus remains one of the most scenic locations I’ve ever been to, even after an entire year and a half of living here – ESPECIALLY at Christmas time. O’Kane, Kimball and the rest leave no flabber un-gasted in showing their holiday spirit with an enthusiasm that makes finals season almost bearable!

I still hold onto my bucket list dream of sliding down Freshman Field hill by the time I graduate, an opportunity I plan to seize at the first possible chance. If only we had some old-style New England snow!!!
And most importantly, I still have the most unbelievable friend group I could have imagined here in the dorms. If anything, it’s grown and expanded, due largely to my involvement in different groups and new workplaces. I can only wish everyone entering into their college years the same luck.

So hopefully I’ve been able to pass on a few pearls of wisdom to you through my own experiences here this semester. Life’s too short to be boring or complacent! With New Years’ resolutions and such soon approaching, get yourself out of any rutts you find yourself in. If, say, thirteen dwarves and a wizard coming knocking on your door… get out there with them!! You’ll forever regret it if you don’t!!

One Response to “An Unexpected Semester”

  1. JP says:

    Nice post, Andrew… 4 months until Boston!

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