One afternoon last week, there was a moment after class where I was walking down the middle of College Avenue, completely mesmerized by the blue skies and blossoming trees that still seemed alien to me, after months of cold weather.
There was a light breeze, there were birds chirping, and it all seemed completely perfect — if there is truly ideal weather for the planet Earth, this was surely it. This was all heightened by the symmetry of the trees and grass leading directly to the School of Music, Theater and Dance as I walked in that direction.
My classes were done for the day and I could not have asked for a more beautiful afternoon. And as I walked home through this lovely scene, it dawned on me that I was really, truly miserable — as in, more so than I had been in several months. I looked around at the faces of students who walked around me in all directions — struggling to keep their eyes open, trudging along slowly to their next class, worriedly hunching over from the weight of the books they carried — and realized that I was in no way alone.
Even if you are not a college student, spring can be a maddeningly conflicting season in this part of the country.
One would think that after months of cold weather and dead trees, the warm weather and blooming flowers would be a joyous sight, and it is. But spring tends to come with so much unwanted baggage that the beautiful weather almost seems like a sick taunt. By the time I get around to appreciating the newfound warmth, I am already practically choking on pollen.
It seems like every year, someone inevitably says to me, “My allergies are killing me! The pollen must be really bad this year.” News flash — it’s bad every year, because spring is a terrible, treacherous season, that leaves even the most productive individuals zombified and self-medicating, with every expectorant, decongestant and nasal spray they can get their hands on.
So, we have established that spring is a bad time for a lot of people, but for college students spring, and the month of April in particular, brings a uniquely unpleasant set of problems.
After months of doing work, or not doing it — different strokes, of course, and putting up with the cold and the rain, you now have roughly three weeks to do more than you’ve done all semester, and for goodness sake, all you want to do is go outside! But you can’t, unless you’re hustling to the library for a grueling eight-hour cram session that will more than likely be repeated the very next day.
When I was in high school, spring did not faze me. I have year-round allergies, so when I saw my puffy-eyed peers carrying around personal boxes of Kleenex, I simply felt like I was among my own kind.
High schoolers have their spring break in April — which is actually spring because early/mid-March is still winter in my book — and they still have several months before end-of-year tests kick in and the perspiration commences.
Maybe this is why, as college students, spring always catches us off guard; for thirteen years, we stayed in the same classes for ten months — plenty of time to settle into the workload and the personality of a particular teacher. But suddenly, it’s all over in three and a half months.
After four years of college, I am still not used to it, though I have gotten very used to the subsequent three and a half-month long summer break, which I will sorely miss after I graduate. Still, the only thing that is bound to get me through the next two weeks are those lovely but fleeting walks through the sunshine on the way to class or the library, which I’ve finally learned to really appreciate.