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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Editorial: End of Comps means beginning of Spring

<ny senses, the season of spring is the season of renewal. The cold has passed and the snow has melted and the weather has begun to warm, if only by daily increments (though every year it seems to take longer and longer). With the warming of the weather comes the return of birds, bees, and Frisbees. At Carleton the return of spring is even more pronounced with the end of Comps – Carleton’s often-dreaded Comprehensive Senior Projects.

While some majors finish their Comps in the fall, winter and spring are the common ending dates for most majors. English and American Studies finished their Comps Tests just this past weekend and Religion completed their essays two days ago, just to name three of the many. Many others finished their papers during the final weeks of Winter Term, as well.

Comps at Carleton are a love-hate experience, though many students would say mostly hate. The exercise, whether the paper, presentation, poster or test, is billed by advisors and departments as the culmination of one’s educational experience at Carleton. This can certainly be seen in the process requiring the skills, abilities or knowledge that students have learned or acquired over the past three years.

The results of Comps are varied. Some students will leave the experience feeling as if they are nearly an expert on the subject (like baseball stadiums, for example), while others might feel as if it were nothing more than another hoop (albeit a long, stressful one) that they had to jump through to fulfill graduation requirements.

Whatever one’s experience with Comps is, though, there is no question that the end of Comps brings a sense of clarity. Being cooped up in the libe or in one’s room working on a 40 page paper, or studying for a three-day long test, one might forget about life before Comps, and what one did for fun. Though the horror stories are often just that – fiction – the experience can be a trying one. And this is why Spring Term at Carleton feels, especially for seniors, like a rebirth, and like a new beginning. The dark days of comps are gone, and the promise of a new day is around the bend.

Of course, the significance of Spring Term is also true for the average student, whether first-year, sophomore, or junior. The short days of winter inevitably wear on one’s psyche and one’s health, even without Comps to worry about. Spring Term holds the promise of sun, longer days, Spring Concert, and Rotblatt. Frisbees abound, and for the first time in a long time, one can wear short-sleeved t-shirts outside.

Springtime is a good time to be at Carleton.

-The editorial represents the views of The Carletonian Editor

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