As I sat on my last flight from Los Angeles to Philadelphia, I dramatically listened to “One Last Time” from Hamilton.
One last time
Let’s take a break tonight
And then we’ll teach them how to say goodbye
To say goodbye
I have a penchant for dramatics, but these lyrics really resonated with me. I have one more semester here at Swarthmore and I want to take advantage of every last possible opportunity, but I’m balancing this with finally winding down, getting my degree, and saying goodbye. This thought was truly overwhelming, so what did I do? I did what I do whenever I get overwhelmed: I made a list (which was written by hand on a plane, so excuse how informal it is). Without further ado, I present an unedited list of “Things I Want Out of My Last Semester.”
- Only take really exciting, compelling classes that I am nothing but excited for.
- Continue to build my existing friendships but don’t stop meeting new Swatties!
- Take advantage of all the resources Swarthmore has to offer—funding, research, etc.
- Explore Philadelphia more! Leave no stone unturned.
- Relax. Enjoy myself.
While there are only five things on this list, I’ve already found ways to make all of these wishes reality during my last few months on campus.
Last week was part of Swarthmore’s “Add/Drop” week where students are allowed to add or drop classes to settle on their final four or five courses they take during the semester. In previous semesters I haven’t necessarily taken full advantage of this opportunity, but this semester I sat in on seven classes before settling on the four credits I want to take. My biggest advice for the Class of 2020 when they came in was to really use that Add/Drop period to find professors and classes that were not only interesting but also exciting.
So I did just that. I sat in on courses in English literature, economics, film and media studies, psychology, classics, and theater before settling on my final schedule. I was hard pressed to narrow it down to four credits that I wanted to round out my college experience. I wanted to have a well-rounded semester with classes exploring disciplines I’ve never delved deeply into (economics!), while ensuring I got my fair share of the things I love (a film and media studies honors seminar!). I’ve realized that my schedule this semester gives me the room and freedom to, in the words of Lin-Manuel Miranda, “talk about what I have learned, the hard-won wisdom I have earned” during my almost four years at the College.
If there’s one thing I know I’ll miss about Swarthmore, it’s the fact that exploration and experimentation are so encouraged by students, faculty, and staff. It’s definitely one of the reasons why, even with one semester left, I’m so willing to branch out and take courses in subjects that feel less familiar and comfortable.
In the rest of my blog posts throughout the semester, I’m going to try and return to these points to see if I’m meeting my goals. On my list: Toronto! The film and media studies department and the Dean’s Office funded me to go to the Toronto International Film Festival and it was a jam-packed week. It’s experiences like these that allow me to practically apply all the knowledge I’ve gained in Swarthmore’s classrooms!