January 2014
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Idle Times Over Jan Term

Taking a Jan(uary) Term class is a requirement for all McDaniel students to graduate.  It’s a great opportunity for students to take a course outside of their area of study to broaden their educational experience.  Since most students are only taking one course each day, Jan Term forces us to develop our skills in the art of killing time.

Dealing with little responsibility and large amounts of time is an essential life skill.  For the next month, I have class from 10am to noon Monday through Thursday with few out-of-class assignments.  That leaves me with 22 hours a day of free time plus three day weekends to do whatever.  The purpose of this blog entry is to give some advice on how to handle all this time without succumbing to boredom or insanity.

Tip 1: Become obsessed with a TV series.

This applies primarily to those of you with a Netflix account.  There are tons of on-demand TV shows on Netflix that provide hours of entertainment.  You’re sure to find a good comedy, drama, action, or romance series that suits your interests.  Be forewarned though, some of these can be downright addicting.  I’ve already watched countless episodes of Breaking Bad in these first few days of Jan Term, and I’ve come to the realization that I will not fully be able to move on with my life until I finish the series.  If you do not have a Netflix account, see “Tip 2.”

Tip 2: Make friends with someone with a Netflix account.

This could be problematic because of how few students are on campus during Jan Term, but don’t be discouraged!  Try striking up a conversation with a stranger in class or at Glar (the dining hall).  An example of a good ice-breaker: “Hi I’m (enter name), do you have a Netflix account?”

Tip 3: Read a book.

LOL yeah right…unless you’re into that.

Tip 4: Learn to play an instrument.

Santa got me a guitar for Christmas, so I’ve been fooling around with it in my spare time.  It’s fun to try and listen to songs then pick them out on the guitar.  At this point I’m less than mediocre at playing guitar, but everyone has to start somewhere, right?

Tip 5: Sleep more.

This is one of the few times in life where you aren’t bogged down with tons of normal college responsibilities, so rest up.  If you’re feeling especially motivated you could even try to your sleep cycle back to normal—this is really helpful for when the spring semester rolls around.

Hopefully this advice helps in occupying your life during Jan Term.  It works decently well for me.  We’ll see how the next few weeks go…


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