Break is officially over

It has (finally) arrived: The last week of freedom before I again immerse myself in college's mosaic of tedious textbooks, meal plan munchies, long-winded lectures, and noisy dorm-inhabiting neighbors.

It has (finally) arrived: The last week of freedom before I again immerse myself in college's mosaic of tedious textbooks, meal plan munchies, long-winded lectures, and noisy dorm-inhabiting neighbors.

The giddy anticipation makes it hard to sit still.

After a full six weeks away from the post-secondary scene, as a friend in the same situation aptly stated, "I forget I'm in college."

She was right; I've forgotten what it feels like to have an endless flow of homework, to discuss symbolism with a professor who -- literally and literarily -- wrote the book on it, or to spend an evening running between the laundry room, Latin tests and essay-writing.

Somehow, however, it doesn't seem all bad.


Anyhow, now that "Desperate Housewives" has begun recycling plotlines -- twice the same woman has lied to the police in attempts to save her male family members from being convicted for acts of arson they didn't commit -- I began to wonder how best I can use this last week to ease into the readjustment to college life.

I considered getting up early, skulking silently around my bedroom so as to not awake my imaginary roommate, and capping my coveted shower time at three-and-a-third minutes in order to keep an illusory hallway's worth of teenage girls clean and content.

And then I laughed at how silly I can be and took a nice long shower while working up a new plan.

I read a couple of thought-provoking novels, thinking maybe I could glean some wisdom from them and rehearse the critical thinking skills I've had in neutral since finals were finished.

I know Dan Brown's latest, "The Lost Symbol," and "Nineteen Eighty-Four," my latest shot at conquering classic literature, both made terrifically insightful points about the overwhelmingly untapped power of the human mind, but I stopped short of drawing parallels, cross-referencing relatable works, creating a complex thesis statement, or formatting a bibliography, so I'm pretty sure the exercise doesn't count by collegiate standards.

Next I tried visualization. After chatting up my friends, all of whom are actively grinding away at the good ole college student stone, I sat down and tried to commiserate, pretending I had essays to write and chapters to read and research to do and classes to force me out of bed.

However, my biggest success was in discovering that I don't envy my pals, and I'm quite happy to read books that aren't required, sleep in five days a week, limit research to learning how to make the latest DQ Blizzard (come try the Cookie Jar, wink wink!), and have nothing beyond this column that I'm responsible for writing each week.

Behold the life of a displaced undergrad.


And then my ever-insightful boyfriend donned his detective cap, put down his violin, paused between puffs of a pipe, and gave me a direction: "Simple pleasures. Just think on that, Thressa. Simple pleasures."

Why, it's elementary, my dear reader!

Going to college is all about appreciating those daily delights that make the chaos palatable -- that, and not being too sleep-deprived, homework-laden and financially paranoid to notice and enjoy them.

I played Wii basketball with my brother, went to "The Blind Side" with Mom, beat Jake at cribbage about 27 times, alternately laughed/cried at Concordia's production of "Elegies" so hard my abs now boast a six-pack and I had to take sodium tablets replenish my body's salt content, babysat some kids whose dinosaur impressions easily rivaled "Jurassic Park," and ate leftover brownie batter right out of the bowl.

I think this is one of the "real world" applications that college helps prepare you for. These simple pleasures never lose their value, but they are certainly all too easily forgotten.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got some college prep work to do.

Thressa Johnson graduated from Detroit Lakes High School and attends Hamline University in St. Paul.

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