Dear Mr. Poe,
I was flipping through my planner yesterday and realized I have two midterms and a paper due in one day and two papers due the very next day! Not to mention, this all goes down the week after fall break! I’m already stressing about these two hellacious days and don’t know what to do. I’m a first year and am still not used to the rigor of undergraduate academics. How do I wade through all this midterm mayhem?
Tests out, stressed out
Dear Stressed Out,
Telling a first year not to worry is like telling an infant not to cry. But seriously, don’t fret. You have plenty of time to do what needs to be done. You just need to break your assignments down into manageable pieces so you won’t get overwhelmed by the back-to-back deadlines. Don’t focus so heavily on the days with big deadlines but instead set mini-deadlines for yourself — starting today. You want to chip away at each of your papers while fitting in midterm study time in between. Use that planner and break each day leading up to exams into blocks, giving yourself half as much time for each assignment as you think you might need — trust me, you’ll work more efficiently under a little extra time pressure instead of stretching out each task longer than it needs to be. Assess what you need to do and stick to your schedule. The worst thing you can do in this situation is become overwhelmed and allow yourself to be paralyzed by inaction. Just remember, it’ll all be over in a week.
I’m a second-year student defying the masses this weekend by staying in Charlottesville for fall break. The trip home would be across the ocean so that’s not going to happen — Mom and Pops wouldn’t pay for my flight home for just two days. So what is there to do in Charlottesville with my days off?
Stranded Second Year
Although you could be back home sleeping the weekend away, having a couple days to take in the sights and sounds of C-ville could be much better. Why not use this time to explore Charlottesville’s arts scene so you can impress your fellow Hoos when they get back? First Fridays from 5-9 p.m. on the Downtown Mall feature exciting new works from local artists and are free to the public. You’ll also want to make the trip to the Kluge-Ruhe Museum for a free tour of the largest Australian Aboriginal art collection in the United States. If you need a break from the art world, cheer on the women’s soccer team as they play Wake Forest Friday evening at Klöckner Stadium at 7 p.m. And finally, make sure you stop by the Helms to enjoy a treat from the Drama Department. This weekend they present Rhinoceros, Ionesco’s iconic work of absurdist theater. This schedule of events is sure to keep you busy and leave you cultured.
Have a great break,
I have a serious (first-world) problem. I’m out of Plus Dollars. First of all, I don’t even know how this happened. I only eat late night at the Castle every night it’s open. More importantly, I don’t know what to do now. I have Cav Advantage, but that only works for laundry and printing, right? What I am to do for the rest of the semester?
Thanks for your help,
Hungry in Hancock
Dear Hungry in Hancock,
That is definitely one of the more pressing (first-world) problems that University students are burdened with. Questionably themed meals, early closing times (do you really think 8 p.m. is an acceptable time to stop serving dinner, O-Hill?) and consistently below-average food usually drive students to use up Plus Dollars early in the semester. The plus side, however, is that University Dining recognizes that the lack of edible food can lead students into a downward spiral of overusing their Plus Dollars, so they offer you the option of buying more. It can be done easily online, but unless you know you will use all the additional Plus Dollars you would be better off just adding money to your Cav Advantage. Cav Advantage is for more than just laundry and printing. It can be used at any University dining site, and unlike Plus Dollars money on Cav Advantage carries over from year to year. And remember — no matter what Double-Swipe Dean or any enthusiastic dining hall student worker might tell you — friends don’t let friends get meal plans after first year.
Better days (without meal plans) will come,