Senior Year Bucket List
You know how you and your friends always say you need to try that new place, or you should totally one day go do that really cool thing that somehow you’ve never managed to do? (No? Just me?)
My friends and I do that a lot. A lot of my really close friends here at St. Mary’s are out-of-towners, like me, and we find ourselves talking a lot about how we should actually go somewhere new, and then we just end up eating at Chipotle or Chik-Fil-A for the seventeen thousandth time and hanging around Howl at the Moon with all the other StMU upperclassmen.
I’ve never actually seen the movie The Bucket List, but I feel like the premise is fairly simple: come up with a wishlist of things you want to accomplish before you die. I’m not terminally ill, like the guys in the movie, but I am about to graduate and move out of San Antonio, and I feel like there are so many awesome things to do here that I just never got around to.
So, without further ado, I bring you “Melinda’s List of Things to do Before Leaving San Antonio:”
1. Numero Uno- attend a Rattler baseball game. I know, I know. It’s shocking. I’ve never been to a school baseball game. What kind of school spirit is that? I don’t know anyone on the baseball team, but I hear they’re really good.
2. Go to a Missions game. I like baseball as much as any red-blooded American, and what better opportunity to hang out with my friends and eat hot dogs until we’re sick?
3. Try a new restaurant. Typically when trying to decide on where to go for lunch or dinner, the top five responses (in no particular order) are: Pei Wei, IHOP, Chipotle, Lisa’s, and Olive Garden. Depending on the friend group, Sushi Zushi might get thrown out there too. What can I say? We’re creatures of habit.
4. Japanese Tea Gardens. I’ve been to Brackenridge Park before for service projects, but I’ve never just gone to hang out. The Japanese Tea Gardens are supposed to be really pretty, so that sounds like a fun Saturday afternoon excursion, right?
5. River Walk Boat Dinner. I can never decide if hanging out at the River Walk is something people who are from San Antonio love to do, or if it’s one of those tourist-y things that only visitors do. Since my freshman year, I’ve only ever been there when I’ve had friends visiting. I did a boat tour with my parents probably about 8 years ago just for fun, so I wouldn’t have thought about doing it again, but my friend Bryan suggested going on one where you can have dinner on the boat, and that sounds new and exciting, so why not?
6. NIOSA. A Night in Old San Antonio is a four day cultural celebration that takes place during Fiesta. I haven’t taken part in a lot of the Fiesta events since I’ve been here, other than Oyster Bake, obviously, and I’d like to check out some of those cool things before I leave.
7. Battle of Flowers Parade. Ready for a little bit of history? The Battle of Flowers Parade is the only parade in the United States produced entirely by women! To be honest, I don’t even know what the Battle of Flowers is (but thanks to the internet I now know it has something to do with commemorating the Alamo), but I do know that St. Mary’s gives us half a day off for it every year. And that seems like reason enough to me.
8. Go to La Cantera. How have I lived here for four years and only managed to go to La Cantera one time for dinner? It’s a really nice area, even though it’s a little farther from campus than I’d like.
9. Big Lou’s Pizza. They serve you an impossibly large pizza that feeds more friends than anyone realistically has. Oh yeah.
10. Visit the Missions. When I was in sixth or seventh grade, my middle school took a whole day field trip from Fort Worth to San Antonio (about a 4.5 hour drive) so we could tour the missions. At that point I was more excited about being on a field trip than I was about learning about Spanish conquistadors, and I had to wear my Catholic school uniform, but I still remember it being a really fun time. Now that I’m older and I appreciate history a little more, going to the missions would be a fun, cheap way to pass some time.
1 inch of snow/ice mix?
Back in the Groove of Things
When a new semester starts, it always takes me awhile to get settled in. There’s the stress of the first week—finalizing my schedule, buying my books, running all my last minute errands, finding all my classes, and doing some actual studying.
And now here we are, in week 4 of school (12 to go!), and I’ve finally got a routine going.
A typical day in my life:
- 9:00 AM: Alarm goes off. I press snooze.
- 9:10 AM: Alarm goes off. I press snooze.
- 9:20 AM: Drag myself out of bed and prepare for my day.
- 10:00 AM- 5:00 PM: With a smidge of variation, depending on the day…
- Class, work-study, break for lunch, class, class again, and back to work-study.
- 5:00 PM- 8:00 PM: Dinner and
- 8:00 PM- 11:00 PM: Attempt (or at least pretend) to do homework, work on stuff for meetings, email professors, and other general things associated with school, work, or APO.
- 11:00 PM- 12:30 AM: Get serious about working on homework, especially if something is due the next day.
- 12:30 AM- Whenever: Read at least 25 pages of a non-school book, just for fun, to unwind and relax before bed.
After 5 PM comes the easy part of my day. I got lucky this semester and didn’t have to sign up for any night classes, so my evenings are basically completely free. When I have a lot of free time, it’s easy for me to get really lazy about my homework, because it feels like I just have this endless amount of time to do everything.. and then suddenly it’s 11:30 PM and I still haven’t cracked open my Psychology book.
So I find that the best way to get a solid routine going is to actually make a solid routine and stick to it. It seems kind of weird, but I like having a little bit of stress. The pressure motivates me to get stuff done, and forces me to actually manage my time well, which is a skill I’ve spent years perfecting. I know myself as a student well enough to know exactly how long I’ll need to work on certain assignments or tasks in order to get the grades I want, so I try to make sure I don’t waste too much time watching The Vampire Diaries or playing tetris on Facebook.
Now that it’s week 4, I have a pretty good schedule that keeps me on track but is also flexible enough to allow for times when I need to study more or for when I have a lot of meetings to get ready for. My roommate and I are good about working around each other too, which is something you wouldn’t really think about unless it was causing problems, but a good living situation goes a long way.
For the most part, everything seems to be smooth sailing from here on out. I have some challenging classes and some really fun classes, I have my work-study job to fill my daytime hours, plus dealing with making sure things are running smoothly with APO. In between all of that, I have my friends to occupy the rest of my time.
Let’s just hope the rest of this semester plays out the same way. :)
The Beginning of the End!
Spring of senior year is full of “last times.” I checked into my dorm for the last time. I bought my textbooks for the last time. I went to the first day of school for the last time.
These are the kind of bittersweet moments I experienced during my senior year of high school (last Homecoming! Senior dance! Senior overnight!), but it seems that these moments now are all the more powerful. In high school, I knew what was coming next—I knew I’d be in college come next fall, and no matter where it was, I’d still have the school routine to follow and help me adjust. Not so this time around. This time around, I don’t have a summer vacation to be followed by the beginning of a new school year.
As graduation looms ever closer, I find myself alternating between being relieved and being panicked. Am I excited to begin a new chapter in my life? Absolutely. College graduation is something I’ve been working toward for a long time. Am I also a tiny bit terrified at not having a road map to follow? You bet.
Anxiety aside, I’m super excited to see what not only this semester, but the future as well, will bring me. It’s taken a lot of hard work to get here, and I’m not naive enough to think the work ends here just because school does.
Bring it on, Spring Semester.