Sunshine Disrupts Senior Hibernation

Melina Hughes

Illustration by Lya Hernandez

I am a senior. It is second semester. This means long days and longer nights of sitting in my room, the library or the basement of Reid, drinking too much coffee and pouring over notes for writtens, orals and the most dreaded thesis. It being February, I was prepared for the dark and cold days to help drive and keep me inside, focused and studying in productive senior hibernation––like a bear, except with school work instead of sleep.

But the weather has betrayed me. This sunshine, these breezy blue-skied days, what do they mean? Coffee is no longer necessary to keep my fingers warm as I type away page after page of thesis, and I no longer need the light of my laptop to illuminate my 30 notebooks of carefully-scrawled information. It is time to go outside and play frisbee, pretend to read for class but really just lie in the sun and attempt to tan. It feels as if graduation is almost here, I am sure of it. This is what the weather is telling me, and I want to go frolic across Ankeny and through the wheat fields.

Yet, it is still winter. The exams are not finished, and the thesis not yet turned in. I…I do not understand. The sunshine makes it impossible to see my computer screen, and writing anything is now impossible, so how am I meant to complete my thesis? I have been awoken from my hibernation too soon, and now work is futile. I now wander campus in a daze, like being awoken much too early from a deep, deep sleep, not knowing what is real and what is a fragment of a dream I can no longer remember. I try to force myself inside, to study, to learn, but the sunshine keeps calling to me, calling me outside and away from the cold winter of senior exams. I am so confused; I have left my cave and no longer wish to return, but I know I must, and my heart is breaking in two. How can I go on studying when I see that there is a life out there to be lived? Yet I must study on, in hopes that even more beautiful blue skies lie around the corner.