There is no doubt that spring semester is in many ways less exciting then fall semester. The whole idea of going back to college isn’t quite the same after your short winter break. Classes in Durham do not compare to your Christmas holidays (and if you were abroad neither does the drinking age). The spring semester is often stressful as well, but you can find a balance between your academics and social activities and enjoy the rest of the year.
One of the big events that will happen right when you get back to Duke is sorority and fraternity recruitment. Many of you may disagree and say that rush only affects those who are already part of Greek life or are freshmen/sophomores (in most cases) rushing. However, Rush 2013 will inevitably affect most of us throughout the first two weeks at Duke. Girls who are partaking in the process will have their first two weekends taken up by recruitment. If you are not planning on rushing then you probably have a guy friend who still has fraternity rush which will be filled with two weeks of craziness. There will be parties, date functions, and semi-formals you will have the opportunity to attend.
The first two weeks back can be fun as you meet loads of new people and go out. There is an increased social commitment, however, it is also a very important time for academics. Sophomores have to figure out their majors and juniors have interviews for internships. You need to stay on top of your work. If your weekends are taken up by rush events then make sure to make time during the week to get your work done. You do not want to start the semester off on the wrong foot. At Duke we’re lucky enough to get two weeks to drop and add classes so make sure to take advantage. Don’t just skip class thinking it does not matter since you’re still in drop/add period. You don’t want to start attending a class on the third week to find out you don’t like it and are now stuck in that class. So don’t be afraid to turn down a party invite to stay in and work – there will be many more.
Aside from the revitalization of Duke’s Greek life, spring semester marks the start of new beginnings. We, as a community, have learned from our successes and failures from the past fall. And we adapt, engage in new endeavors, or perhaps reconnect with those we once previously enjoyed. Much like deciding which friendships to rekindle following the return of over half of the junior class, spring allows us to determine what, as individuals makes us flourish and bloom into successful pupils. So, take advantage of everything spring semester has to offer and keep in mind that even if one thing does not work out as planned, that there are so many aspects to your life at Duke. You just need to get through these first two weeks of school and find a balance.