About a week ago, I made up my annual monthly schedule of due dates, tests and meetings. As soon as I realized I only had about 27 papers to go, it hit me: I had just a few weeks of school left. Up until that point, it didn’t seem like I’d ever make it to April. In fact, when I first transferred to UR in the fall, I never even thought I’d make it to the spring semester. After all, I spent the summer taking classes at a community college, where studying for 10 minutes could get you an A. I remember the feeling of realizing pulling an all-nighter at UR didn’t even guarantee you a C-. Yes, I panicked. Yes, I wanted to go back to community college. Yes, sometimes I would even take the six minute drive back to it and fantasize about research papers where two secondary sources were enough and math tests with upwards of 20 bonus questions actually existed. But, something kept pushing me here and I sucked it up.

UR is a smart school, no one can deny that. I’m usually in awe of many of my classmates, if not intimidated by them. With an average SAT score hovering around 1370, and 77 percent in the top decile of their high school class, it’s easy for an incoming student to feel inadequate. But this year has provided me with many more ups than downs and has turned out to be quite fulfilling. There was History of Jazz in the fall with Dean Burgett, which is, by far, one of the greatest classes with one of the greatest professors I’ve ever taken. Even if you don’t like jazz, do yourself a favor and take this class – he will make you love it. There was getting my first on-campus parking permit and my first single room, both of which I had never had before on a college campus. As for the permit, there was a downside to this, as UR security so kindly informed me in the form of a crisp, white ticket – just because you have a permit for one parking lot does not mean you can park anywhere on campus (insert awkward chuckle).

I also had to deal with cleaning and organizing my room because, sadly, no one was there to do it for me. But, knowing that I could snuggle with a stuffed animal in my single room if I wanted to and not feel embarrassed made up for it.

As soon as I got here, I realized there was no Phys Ed. requirement, which, at my last school, existed in a lovely two-semester format. Being the responsible student that I am, I took it onto myself to get my exercise in the form of walking to the shuttle stop and back from it, which I did for two semesters – my last college would be so proud. There was also the exhilaration of finally figuring out what I wanted to study. Of course, I’ve still neglected to actually “declare” it. Not having a class at all this year before 11 a.m. was a major accomplishment for me in the aspect of scheduling classes, which I’m proud to say, I’ve become somewhat of a pro at. And, of course, there was joining the staff of CT, which has provided me with working with some of the greatest people I know.

I’ve come to love the Mount Hope neighborhood and enjoy knowing that if I can’t find something that looks appetizing at the Pit or Douglass, I can go to the Distillery or Subway and simply flash my super cool UR ID and have a delectable meal right in front of me. I’ve also come to love the speed bumps all over campus. Well, kind of. Sometimes they’re fun, sometimes painful – but hey, it creates suspense, which is always cool. Then again – yeah, I guess they’re mostly painful. What can I say, though? With or without the speed bumps, it’s been a fun ride this year at UR.

Kraus is a member of the class of 2009.

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