Give yourself a break

T minus 32 days until it starts all over again – the insanity of another school year. Prepare to welcome the year known as 2004-2005 and say farewell to another long year that passed too quickly.

While a great many college students spent their summer on the lake or inebriated – or on the lake and inebriated – a more impressive number sacrificed their summer for academia.

And, of course, the summer semester has not yet wrapped up. And students are surely studying doubly hard for next week’s final exams.

There is no trick to cramming eight weeks – or, in some cases, four weeks – of lectures and reading into one two-hour exam period.

Possibly the best way to overcome the end-of-summer finals anxiety is to look to a new semester. Remember that if a summer semester can be survived, a student can survive just about anything in his undergraduate collegiate career.

Regular semester finals? A piece of cake. University physical science? Definitely. The financial aid office? Hopefully, but the chances aren’t that high.

Some students are simply (this word is used lightly) finishing up that last general education requirement before they can receive their degrees. When July 30 ends, they will add to the long list of UCO alumni. And to them, The Vista wishes them luck.

Others are catching up where they have fallen behind, taking that stubborn college algebra again or picking up the slack they allowed themselves in the past.

Regardless of the reason, summer school is a sacrifice, although being at school all day does give good reason to turn up the thermostat at home and milk the school?s energy resources. Surely students already pay some kind of air conditioning fee.

So, 32 days left ? 22 after finals.

What will you do with it? Remember you have to buy books, so leave some room open for that.

And don’t forget to leave four or five whole days to deal with the financial aid office. You may even consider leaving a few extra back-up days for that. And don’t let your guard down – just when you do, you’ll realize it’s far from over.

Above all, don?t forget to let loose and have fun during the time that that leaves.

Come the first or second week of August, the newness of the break will have long worn off, and the time will have arrived to start packing that worn-out backpack. Sharpen those pencils and label those spiral-bounds. You might even make a checklist. You?ll probably even arrive 30 minutes early to all of your classes on the very first day.

But when the first of September rolls around, the free days in August will only be a pipedream, so make the most the time you have now.

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