Trust Me, I Got This: The first last firsts

"Trust Me, I Got This" is a weekly column by staff writer and senior Christopher McDermott on surviving senior year, guided solely by this unconventional advice.

A lonely student walks to class during the beginning of the semester. (Jason Jiang/The Daily Campus)

The spring semester is supposed to start out kind of hazy. It’s scientifically proven that people are just more bummed out over winter, because of the shorter stretches of sunlight, grey skies and soggy ground. That’s the tradeoff for ending on the sunny days of May. It’s inevitable that we’ll rise again just like a phoenix – if, instead of bursting into flames, the rebirth followed a long period of napping.

And this is how I’m walking into my last semester. There are things that haven’t really sunk in yet, but I know this will be my last syllabus week. My last first week with all the beginning-of-the-semester experiences like tracking down my usual friends and traipsing through the usual hangouts. It’s my last first reacquaintance  with UC Bold, and my last last-minute scramble to make sure I’ve properly enrolled in all my classes punctuated by the knowledge that if I don’t pass my art class and a math class, I will not graduate.

And besides those long neglected general education requirements, I still have a few things to do. I don’t have many regrets about my college experience up to this point, or at least, the level of regret I have is healthy natural one that I feel pretty good about, but I want to stick the landing.

“Life is about minimizing regrets,” said “30 Rock’s” Jack Donaghy. “You never know when someone's going to slip into a coma and leave you regretting all the things you didn't say or get in writing from the company's lawyers. What I'm trying to say is you're young, and you still haven't blown it completely. So don't start now.”

It’s cliché to talk about experimenting with new things in a college setting, but for good reason. We all know the basics; the story goes that you challenge yourself in a new academic setting but what really made it a cohesive learning and growing experience was the people you met and new interests you explored.

You punctuate this with your own unique experiences: join a fighting robot club or a student newspaper, go through a slam poetry period, get really into Phish. But there’s still a solid base of clichés laying about that are common to every college experience.

The last semester is definitely a time period in its own right, but it’s easy to make it too much about looking back on the last four years or looking forward to the next 40. That can be overwhelming. A couple of clichés might not be a bad tradeoff to normalize that a little bit. And with that, I’m ready for the biggest cliché: building a bucket list.


Christopher McDermott is the news editor for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at christopher.mcdermott@uconn.edu