So you made it to Stanford, huh? Eighteen long years of work have finally culminated in your arrival at this little slice of heaven. I was in your shoes just three years ago, but it seems like a lifetime since then.
May 23 must be a day connected with loss in my life. Just a year ago, I gathered with a group in Yost to watch the final episode of “Lost,” arguably the greatest television series of all time. And it was also the day that I finished writing this final edition of “This Column Is Ironic.”
On Wednesday morning, I woke up here in Oxford to a Facebook feed filled with friends excitedly discussing their housing assignments for next year. Super thrilling, right? With time differences, I had figured I probably wouldn’t see my housing assignment until Wednesday night — at best. Thank God for technical glitches from the Housing department.
Everybody lied to me, guys. For years, I had heard about how going abroad was supposed to be an easy GPA boost, no work and partying every night. Problem is, I’m here in Oxford and I’ve probably done more work in four weeks than a usual quarter back on the Farm. A wise, wise man once wrote, “Nobody said it was easy, no one ever said it would be this hard.” I think that certainly holds true in this case.
Wolfram Alpha tells me that I’m currently 3,457 miles from my home in Scranton, Pennsylvania and that I’m 5,335 miles from that glorious Farm that you all inhabit right now. Needless to say, I should be living the Oxford life. And in a way, I definitely am. I think I had a pretty quintessential English weekend — or at least I tried to.
When people ask me why I wanted to study abroad in Oxford, I can give them a variety of reasons — namely, the incredible academics, the perfect setting and the multitude of extracurricular opportunities here. Or maybe because Oxford was founded in 1167, making it something like seven times older than good ol’ Stanny U. Or maybe it’s the fantastic architecture and incredible scenery. Obviously, I came here for all those things, but that’s not really why I came here. Stanford likes to tout the academics of its study abroad programs and whatnot (especially Oxford), but forget that. Those aspects aren’t that important in the grand scheme of things.
Spring break is finally over for me, guys! Yesterday was my return to the humdrum life of class. Granted, my class was on British rock music and I’m in Oxford, so I think things are pretty good. (Let’s talk next week when I have to read three books and write a paper for my tutorial, okay?) Plus, the weather in Oxford this week is warmer than at Stanford. I need to enjoy this while I can. I kind of think this first week is something like vacation for me. I need it. Even with jaunts to Denmark and a lot of Netflix in my life, my extended break was pretty stressful. You see, April of my junior year has rolled around and I still don’t have a great job for the summer.
Will this spring break never end? I never thought I’d say it, but I might be ready to write papers again. I’m told I’ll be doing plenty of that in Oxford. I can only take so many days of lounging around and catching up on 30 Rock on Netflix before the days start to blur together. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the ability to jet off to Europe this weekend to stave off boredom. However, I had something even better than excessive travel to keep me busy: the Masters.