Besides the few who truly mastered the four-year plan in Elon 101, April is known for more than just its showers. It’s one of the few times of the year when we log into OnTrack and actually look at “Degree Audit.” We grab a notebook and jot down the next courses to take and what sections and teachers are being offered.
Some prioritize by class time, and may even filter their search to only see classes that start after 10 a.m.. Others focus on the professor and browse through RateMyProfessor.com, even though the reviews tend to come from either the teacher’s pet or the kid who never did any of the readings but still attests his low grade to the teacher’s lack of knowledge and understanding.
The problem is that it’s just a piece of paper. Even after nervously watching the spots in the class slowly get filled as we anxiously await our registration time, the final schedule isn’t real yet. We like the sound of it, the way it looks in our calendars, but we don’t know how we’ll feel when fall comes around.
Will we be as content as we are with that schedule now, or will we look at it and wish we thought about how little time we’ve left ourselves outside of class? Will we fear that cumulatively the workload will be too much or, after a rejuvenating summer, will we wish we challenged ourselves more?
We are basing our fall semester on our spring semester mindset. As we sit in shorts and look at the blue skies out the window it might be exhilarating to imagine a Friday with no classes, but it’s still just a piece of paper. How are we to know if that day off will really be worth it — if the extra classes we added on other days of the week cause more stress than just going to class on Friday would induce.
The answer is simply, we don’t. Without knowing what new things we will try, who we will meet, or what we’ll overcome this summer, we won’t know exactly who we’ll be. It’s fair to assume our general interests and majors will remain the same, but every minor detail that we stress about now may not even matter by the time this piece of paper becomes reality.
So as we feel our hearts beating faster and faster with each spot that gets filled in our intended courses, we must remember that, as of now, it’s not real. If in the end we don’t change significantly, our schedules can. Letting lines on a piece of paper taint our last weeks here is just as silly as that kid’s grammatically incorrect review on a tentative teacher’s Rate My Professor page.