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The beginning

| Thursday, January 15, 2015

Seven long semesters ago, I emerged from my nicely bunked bed, responded to my mom’s “Have a great first day!” text and bounded across campus to class. My first syllabus week had begun. The week that followed was full of unparalleled debauchery: books were purchased, homework was done, movies were watched, postcards were sent and on Friday we snuck a shot, ruining my relationship with rum ever since. I was kind of a badass.

As the semesters have come and gone, syllabus weeks have come with them. They bring forth a wave of energy, excitement and opportunity. As I reflected on past weeks, I decided to come up with a list of shenanigans to recommend before your syllabus weeks are over. As the intrepid journalist I am, I surveyed campus far and wide (I posted a question on Facebook) and interviewed countless subjects (my table at the dining hall). What follows is the collection of suggestions we have that might add to your syllabus week bucket list, whether this is your last or you have many more to come.

Take on the perfect week, which I think means study? Make a new friend. Go see an old one. Serenade a crush, ice the ego and move on to the next one. Take on trivia night, wing night and the Backer. Do something ridiculous, like going to class.

Take on a challenge, and maybe stop by the library.

Commit to doing all of your reading this semester. Forget that idea by the second day of class as you realize karaoke night sounds like a much better time. Wow the crowd at O’Rourkes with a rendition of “We’re Breaking Free” that would make Troy and Gabriela jealous. Make a few more High School Musical references than you should.

Two words: Feve.

Throw a snowball. Show up to a freshman organic chemistry class and tell everyone you’re in it because you failed it the first time. Explain with meticulous detail the horrific tests that await.

Make a fool of yourself. Defend yourself at your resulting Community Standards meeting with a diatribe on the role of civil disobedience in American society. Walk away unsuccessful.

Make the British exchange student your wingman. Watch as the raw seduction of his accent rapidly eclipses whatever mediocre qualities you possess.

Relive your 2002, 2007 or 2015 crush and go see Drake Bell. Don’t show up to a bar with McLovin’s Hawaii I.D. or a license as fake-looking as Maine’s real one.

Definitely show up to class early and introduce yourself to your professor. Your class will be jealous. Ask a lot of questions, like how best to study for the final. Remind your professor to assign the homework for Thursday. Be sure to impress the rest of your class with your breadth of knowledge by interjecting as the professor goes through the syllabus. The rest of the students may be silent, but they’re really thankful you did.

Call a sibling, or grandparent, or someone you haven’t talked to in a long time. Do your best to avoid calling a lawyer.

Volunteer. Join a new club. Explore a new hobby. Watch a movie. Send a post card. Sn … I’m not allowed to say sneak a shot. But do whatever it is that you want to in what will be a final week of opportunity and of unburdened freedom. And if you don’t knock everything off the bucket list? Don’t worry. The semester is just beginning.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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