Break has been great. I have literally sat around playing Pac-Man for hours at a time, stuffed my face with delicious, non-Sharples food, and managed to sleep an average of ten hours a night. (I slept for 21 hours consecutively at one point early in break, which cured my cold entirely.) I’ve indulged in my guilty VH1 Celebreality pleasures, and had an all around great time.

But once Swarthmore has its hooks in you, it doesn’t let go. Like a Catholic skipping church, at first the time is freeing. As time goes on, however, you become uncomfortable with your free time, you have to repent and all of that…etc, etc.

This post is my repentance. I need to do something with my time! And, besides that, I had a record number of hits yesterday. And ALSO, it’s December 30th, which means the deadline for regular decision applicants for the class of 2013 have all submitted their applications. This means that the only people that have yet to make up their minds about whether or not they’re applying to Swat next year are…the transfer students!

So in order to convince you to apply to this incredibly fantastic school, despite its sometimes frustrating flaws, I’m going to do an end of semester/year photo look-back on my adventures as a transfer student.

ORIENTATION
Definitely one of the most fun times I’ve had at Swat…I’m close friends with pretty much everyone I hung out with at Orientation, and had a really fantastic time.

My first day in Willets

My first day in Willets

The ampitheater during First Collection

The ampitheater during First Collection

The original Cabal at First Collection

The original Cabal at First Collection - Charlotte, Jeanie, Erick, Rayan, and me

Incurring an alleged $500 fine

Incurring an alleged $500 fine

The silly hat dance - Jeanie, Rayan, Charlotte, and me

The silly hat dance - Jeanie, Rayan, Charlotte, and me

FALL SEMESTER BEGINS
The start to fall semester was, due in large part to my poor time management skills, virtually stress free! I built a fort in my dorm room, went to some great parties, and experienced Swat and Philly to their fullest.

My friend Jess came to visit me and we went to the swim party - Erick, Jeanie, Rayan, me, Ted, Jess

My friend Jess came to visit me and we went to the swim party - Erick, Jeanie, Rayan, me, Ted, Jess

If you dance like this...you should probably transfer to Swarthmore - Erick, Jeanie, Rayan

If you dance like this...you should probably transfer to Swarthmore - Erick, Jeanie, Rayan

Then I had dinner with Michael Dukakis!

Then I had dinner with Michael Dukakis!

And then I hosted some prospective students for Discovery Weekend! - Kayla, Victoria, me, Sudie, Marielle

And then I hosted some prospective students for Discovery Weekend! - Kayla, Victoria, me, Sudie, Marielle

I was sad when I scalded my arm in the library

I was sad when I scalded my arm in the library

But then I was happy because it was fall break!

But then I was happy because it was fall break!

And I got a tattoo!

And I got a tattoo!

HALLOWEEN AND CABIRTHDAYS

When we returned from fall break, Halloween and two birthdays were right around the corner. Having lived through the stress of midterms and a few Philly adventures, the Cabal put its collective thinking cap on and thought up the perfect group costume – the Seven Deadly Sins!

By this time, Pub Nite was a given - Robert, Rich, Anagha, Rayan, me, Jasper, and Ted

By this time, Pub Nite was a given - Robert, Rich, Anagha, Rayan, me, Jasper, and Ted

If you dance like Rayan and I, youre probably a little too cool to transfer to Swat, but do so anyway.

If you dance like Rayan and I, you're probably a little too cool to transfer to Swat, but do so anyway.

We ate at this restaurant multiple times

We ate at this restaurant multiple times

Philly public transport does kind of suck.

Philly public transport does kind of suck.

Then it was Halloween! Rich, me, and Erick as Sloth, Wrath, and Pride

Then it was Halloween! Rich, me, and Erick as Sloth, Wrath, and Pride

Me, Greg, and Rayan as Wrath, Gluttony, and Lust

Me, Greg, and Rayan as Wrath, Gluttony, and Lust

Me and Jeanie, Wrath and Greed

Me and Jeanie, Wrath and Greed

All the sins!

All the sins!

The Sharples party was insane!

The Sharples party was insane!

This is me, being one of the boys at Pub Nite - Ted, Robert, me, Erick, Rayan, and Rich

This is me, being one of the boys at Pub Nite - Ted, Robert, me, Erick, Rayan, and Rich

And then what happened…oh yeah:


BARACK OBAMA ELECTED PRESIDENT.  (There is video of the Swarthmore reaction, I can’t post it at this time, but I will try in the future.]

In other news, Greg turned 21! Me, Chloe, Greg

In other news, Greg turned 21! Me, Chloe, Greg

And then it was Thanksgiving. After Thanksgiving…things got crazy.

THE CABAL STUDIES, SWEARS, AND SAVES CHRISTMAS

So as I mentioned earlier, I was much more carefree before Thanksgiving. But after I returned from Thanksgiving…it was major crunch time. I spent pretty much all of my time in McCabe, with the exception of a few Pub Nites, the times when Rich and I were kicking debater ass all up and down the APDA circuit, and of course, the Cabal Christmas Party. But first…I had to get everyone in the Christmas spirit.

Showing Erick the Scrooge the joys of Christmas.

Showing Erick the Scrooge the joys of Christmas.

My holiday chandelier, crafted by Rayan, Robert, and Ted

My holiday chandelier, crafted by Rayan, Robert, and Ted

Let there be lights!

Let there be lights!

Lights everywhere!

Lights everywhere!

This was my view from McCabe when I went in...

This was my view from McCabe when I went in...

...and this was my view from McCabe when I left.

...and this was my view from McCabe when I left.

I studied...

I studied...

...and studied...

...and studied...

...and...rocked out at Pub Nite...

...and...rocked out at Pub Nite...

...and pondered some of lifes mysteries with Rich and Erick at Pub Nite...

...and pondered some of life's mysteries with Rich and Erick at Pub Nite...

...and STUDIED.

...and STUDIED.

But it all paid off and then it was time for Christmas!

We gathered the presents under the tree!

We gathered the presents under the tree!

Erick got Richs textbooks...

Erick got Rich's textbooks...

...I got kitty things!!

...I got kitty things!!

Rayan got Twilight things!

Rayan got Twilight things!

n1321260424_206294_3349So that’s that. That’s my first semester as a transfer student. I had a blast, worked hard, got good grades, and even better friends.

Enjoy the last few hours of 2008, and if you haven’t already, give some thought to transferring to Swat.

Yours in 2009,
The Transfer Student

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So after a crazy end to the semester, I have settled back into my parents’ home in Bel Air, MD. I’ve seen my three closest friends here, I’ve seen my mom’s side of the family in PA, and I’m looking forward to everything else I’ll be doing over break, especially seeing my little cousin Toren from Seattle in a few days.

But what REALLY excited me today was getting two of my four grades for the semester. In economics (drumroll please…) I got a B-! I was so excited to see that, I got a special email in my inbox because I took it pass-fail. I didn’t know that it would be sent as an email, so my heart pretty much stopped because I thought I was getting a notification that I did not, in fact, pass. But I did! I got a B! So I can still declare a major in econ if I want to! VERY exciting. I feel a little silly for wasting a pass-fail, but oh well.

I also got my grade in Philosophy, a B. By my calculations on the grades I got on the papers, I figured I had a B in the class, but I thought it may have dropped after my abysmal final paper, and my lame answers on the final.

So yay! As long as nothing drastically awful and unexpected happens with poli sci and soc/anth, I could have straight B’s this semester! Not too shabby for the first semester of Swat.

The econ grade was hands down my best Christmas present thus far. It could be overshadowed by a replacement for my stolen iPod…fingers crossed. 😉

Jubilantly yours,
The Transfer Student

The End.

December 15, 2008

It’s 12:01 PM, Monday, and I’m in McCabe, yet again. My first semester at Swarthmore is all done but the crying.

And by crying, I of course mean my in class exams in economics and philosophy.

I’m feeling a weird combination of relief and trepidation…relief because I finished my sociology/anthropology crap (sorry, I mean super valuable material that I definitely read…not) yesterday, and finished my poli sci final Saturday night. I actually just hit “print” on my final.

I actually wasn’t too overwhelmed with finals, to my surprise. Sure, it was a little stressful to, for the last four days, wake up, shower, and immediately head into the library and not leave until after dark, but I dealt with it, and now I’m almost completely done.

The reason I’m in McCabe today is that I was meeting with my econ tutor Melinda one last time. She is seriously one of the most patient people I’ve ever encountered, and if I pass intro to econ, it’s entirely because of her. I’m going to head to Tarble and pick up a thank you card for her at the bookstore.

My best friend from high school Kayla is supposed to come up today as long as she has car access…I’m so excited. After the econ final tonight, I am going to go totally crazy and have so much fun. It will be a little sad, because I have to say goodbye to everyone tonight. Rayan already left for Pakistan on Saturday, that was rough.

But I will be extremely happy to be home. I can’t believe the first semester came to a close so fast!

As Melinda said, one down, five to go.

Yours,
The Transfer Student

The Finals Crunch.

December 12, 2008

Well, I’m down to three days until my first final (including today), and in those three days, here’s what I’m going to do:

1. 10 pages of essays for my American Elections final
2. A 10 page paper for my Our Therapeutic Culture class that I completely forgot about
3. 5-10 pages in essays for my OTC final
4. Copious amounts of econ studying on my own and with my incredible tutor
5. A WA conference for the absolutely awful 5 page paper I wrote for Philosophy yesterday

Hmm. Well, it could be a lot worse.

Technically I have until the end of next week for all my AE and OTC stuff, but I really want to get it all out of the way before my econ final. That way I have absolutely nothing hanging over my head after I take my exams, and I can go home happy and free! Plus, Kayla is coming up to see me Monday! American is done with finals already, and she’s taking her sister (and hopefully me) home on Tuesday. So she decided to come have a sleepover with me on Monday! I am SO excited for it.

Last night was a ton of fun, it was the Cabal Christmas! We went into Philly around 3 so people could get their Secret Santa gifts, etc., and then Greg, Chloe and I hailed a cab to the state store. Oh, did I mention it was pissing down rain the entire time? Because it was. It was basically a very cold, very unpleasant mini-monsoon. So we picked out all the ingredients for mixing holiday drinks, and while Greg made the purchase, Chloe and I ran down the street to Whole Foods to pick some stuff up. By the time we got out, it was raining even harder, and thanks to Whole Foods’ dedication to saving the planet, our shopping bags began disintegrating. It was awful. Finally, a nice guy came running out to ask if we needed a ride, he happened to be a really nice cabbie. We finished off the Philly adventure by meeting Erick, Rich, Robert, and Ted for dinner at Moriarty’s, then went back to Hallowell.

Secret Santa turned out amazingly well. Rayan loved the Edward Cullen imitation jewelry that I bought him. It really showed that everyone did know their people pretty well…”Santa” (Ted) left the Cabal a gallon of PCP under the tree, Jeanie bought Charlotte a Morrissey shirt, and Charlotte bought Jeanie Whole Foods gift cards. Rich got Erick a bunch of books, and Erick got me a stuffed kitty, a gigantic cat poster, and a book about cats! Greg got Rich the Sarah Silverman show on DVD, Greg got a blacklight from Robert, Robert got Sinbad and Flavor Flav DVDs from Ted, and Ted got a “Sarcasm: One of my many talents” shirt from Rayan.

It was a really fantastic night, but as all fantastic nights at Swarthmore go, I now have to work twice as hard today to make up for it. No distractions today! Other than seeing Rayan, of course. He’s leaving for Pakistan tonight, I can’t believe it’ll be over a month before I see him again. Tonight is definitely going to be full of sad goodbyes.

And with that, it’s time for some essays.

Yours,
The Transfer Student

The Frustration Resurfaces.

December 11, 2008

As the semester draws to a close, I’m finding it harder and harder to capture an accurate snapshot of my transfer experience on this blog without swearing. I know that vulgarity is the last refuge of the unclever, but I am not feeling very clever at the moment.

I kid…mostly.

So the end is near, but not near enough. Or maybe too near? In the last week I have done four separate econ practice finals (two tonight alone), read over all of the semester’s poli sci assignments in one night, and outlined three papers. Before Tuesday, I have to write thirty-seven pages in papers.

How did this happen?!

I’m about to write three papers, a five page one for philosophy, two two and a half page ones for my American Elections final. Last night was the final Pub Nite of the semester, and it was incredibly fun. It was nostalgic, grabbing everyone’s shoulders singing “American Pie” and “Closing Time”, especially since the only closing time left for me now is McCabe. Somehow the horrendously shrill buzzer doesn’t compare to a beer soaked night of friends ending in wrestling matches in the ampitheater.

But even though it’s three AM, I will write all my papers, and get up early in the morning to trek back into McCabe and do another practice exam. I’ll also outline another paper, and then I’m going into Philly with everyone. We’re having dinner, then coming back and having a Secret Santa party. I can’t wait, it’s going to be fantastic.

Time to get cracking on those papers.

Yours,
The Transfer Student