Kicking off the spring semester


Mae Antar

Cache Merriweather, sophomore in LAS, studies at Caffé Bene off South Gregory Street. Merriweather began her first all-in-person semester this week.

By Mae Antar, Staff Writer

When all our favorite spots on campus get a little too crowded, we know the first week of a new semester is kicking off. 

When the lines at Caffe Paradiso get a little too long, when finding a place to study at Caffé Bene or Grainger gets a little too hard and when all the grocery stores clear out, that’s when you can almost smell that first-week stress, desperation and excitement in the air. 

For some, switching from a nearly free schedule to sometimes a full schedule with almost no free time can be an exciting and hectic experience. While the winter break is significantly shorter than summer break, it’s not any easier to settle back into a school routine after the time off.  

Winter break can create an awkward transition because it is full of different holidays, yet it only lasts a month. Once the routineless break lifestyle starts to settle, school starts up again, and a strict routine begins. 

Cache Merriweather, sophomore in LAS, is starting her first all-in-person back-to-back classes schedule this spring. 

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She prepared for the semester by coming to campus two weeks before the start of school, so the transition out of winter break has been easier for her, but still not without its difficulties.

“It’s kind of hectic,” Merriweather said while studying in Caffé Bene in Urbana. “I am a little tired. I have a lot of running around to do.”

She is working two jobs while juggling a full class schedule this semester. 

The challenges of transitioning into the spring semester are not just confined to students like Merriweather. The faculty have an adjustment to make as well.  

“I’ll be honest; it’s a little challenging to find a new rhythm … but within another week or two, I am sure we will all have settled into our routine, and I am eager for that moment,” said assistant professor in LAS Daniel Maroun. 

This is Maroun’s first year at the University, and although his transition into the first week of spring classes presented its challenges, the liveliness of the campus and Main Quad, specifically, lifted his spirits for the upcoming semester. 

For seniors like Kosh Raghavarapu, student in Information Sciences, the first week starts in high spirits. It’s a time full of excitement for the beginning of the end of her time here at the university. 

“I am really enjoying (the first week), like trying to take it in more and just like find enjoyment in like everything I hated before,” Raghavarapu said. 

Although Raghavarapu is sticking to looking at the bright side to get the most out of her final semester, she still has a lot of stress about what this semester signifies for her: the end of her student life. 

With her student life coming to a close, Raghavarapu now has to begin her search for a job and find her place in the workforce. While this can be very exciting, it is the source of most of her stress regarding her last semester at the University.


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