Bigger Pictures: Senior Unease

Thursday, November 23, 2017
“The pessimist complains about the wind;
the optimist expects it to change;
the realist adjusts the sails.”
     ~  William Arthur Ward


Hello, Seniors.
Welcome to the beginning of the end.
First, there’s no need to freak out.
Not that you would.
I mean, whoever heard of a Penn student freaking out over school.
I know, I know, that was a bit of a cheap shot. 
So, please, allow me to beg forgiveness.
Thank you.

Now that we’re friends again, let me just say that you Senior Year Unease is typical.  It happens to lots of people.  It happened to me.

The first way Senior Unease manifested itself in me was with classic Senioritis:  ditching classes.  I messed more classes in my last semester of Senior year than all my other semesters combined.  I suddenly lost the will to stay up all night to finish a paper (okay, fine, stay up all night to start and finish a paper) and make it to 8:00 class.  And besides, the weather was really nice that spring, and I caught more than a few naps under a sugar maple on the quiet side of campus.  Those naps represent my fondest memories of my Alma Mater.

And then there was my recurring nightmare, the one where I find out at the last minute that I’m one course shy of graduation.  I got two words for you, friends:  cold sweat.

What I’m trying to get at here is that your Senior Unease is not atypical, and is not unique to your generation of soon-to-be graduates.  Change comes whether we want it to or not, whether we are ready for it or not, and change is at the heart of Senior Unease.  What is unique – what will be unique – is how you will experience it.  In other words, you probably won’t take to sleeping on campus lawns like a vagrant, or develop night terrors.  So, bonus for you.

On the other hand, there is no sense in deliberately courting Senior Unease.  So try to be mindful of a couple things.

  1. First, treat your job search like a class [UPENN CAREER SERVICES].  And get started early in first semester.  The longer you put it off, the larger it will loom in your head. If you need help working your job search into your schedule, we’re here to help in that regard.
  2. The other thing:  Plan to have fun.  Don’t forget to enjoy your final lap.  Formals, semi-formals, Feb Club – you don’t have to do everything, but you need to allow yourself to do some things that are fun, to be with your Penn people one more time.FranklinField
So take it easy. 
Change is the constant.

Staff Writer: Pete Kimchuk, Senior Learning Instructor

Time Management: Make the Most of Your Thanksgiving Break!

Thursday, November 23, 2017

It’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving break is almost here! Whether you are staying on campus or traveling to be with friends or loved ones, Thanksgiving break is a wonderful time to relax, reflect, and recharge. While the Thanksgiving tradition is a willful, historical misrepresentation (that’s for another blog post), the holiday can still be a beautiful reminder to take a step back from our busy schedules to appreciate what we have and to show gratitude for those we love, something I personally know I should do more often.

While the break can be a wonderful time, it also can feel stressful for students.

When we return from Thanksgiving break there are only two short weeks of classes left before reading days and final exams begin!

It can be difficult to figure out how to balance school demands with obligations to family and friends. So that you can feel more balanced next week, we have some tips on how you can make the most out of your time off:

  1. Before you leave for break, make sure you have written down ALL of your remaining assignments and exams. You don’t want any surprises when you return from break! (Use one of WLRC’s semester long calendars to help you do so)
  1. Make a study schedule or calendar! Planning backwards from your major papers and exams can help stay on track. Breaking down larger assignments into smaller chunks can help them feel less daunting. WLRC has some helpful calendars for this!Picture4
  2. Look ahead. Can you spend some extra time the week before break completing any of these assignments? Getting ahead will help make your break less stressful. Knowing that a break is coming up can be great motivation to get an assignment completed.
  3. Decide what work you must do over Thanksgiving break. If possible, don’t plan on working every day. Try to spend about three to four hours a day on Friday and Saturday either studying for exams, writing rough drafts of essays, working on math problems, or reviewing notes. Make sure you have a plan for what you are going to complete during those times so that you can be as productive as possible.
  4. Whatever you do, don’t push all your work off until Sunday! That will just make you feel more stressed and will ruin all the relaxation you got over your break.
  5. Get ahead of the game! Register to attend some of the Weingarten’s study sessions to help you succeed on your final exams.
    1. Study Hacks for Reading Days on Wednesday, 12/6, 4:00-5:00 p.m. or Thursday, 12/7, 5:00-6:00 p.m. @ the Weingarten Center
    2. Unpack and Prepare for Finals in Math & Science – Friday, 12/8, 12:00-1:30 p.m. @ the Weingarten Center

These are some tips to help make sure you can enjoy your break without falling behind in school! If you want to work on a study schedule for the rest of the semester, stop by the Weingarten Learning Resources Center. We have walk-in hours Monday-Friday from 12pm to 3pm and on Tuesday and Wednesday nights from 4pm to 7pm (Keep in mind- we are closing for Thanksgiving on Wednesday, November 22nd at 2pm.).

However you decide to spend your Thanksgiving break,

all of us at the Weingarten Learning Resources Center

hope that it’s a relaxing time with friends and loved ones!


By Staff Writer: Kelcey Grogan, Learning Instructor