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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Fifth week: Oh, #@*&$!

<on us. That means we’ve gone through five weeks of life at Carleton, and if you’re like me, you’ve gone through these five weeks in a largely unsustainable way. And fifth week is the punisher. It’s the reminder that getting 5 hours of sleep a night turns us into zombies after a while. It’s the cruel reminder that school can be hard. It’s the reminder of how much energy it can take to interact with people. Its the reminder of how different we can become after five weeks of school, that in order to be ourselves sometimes we have to try.

Carleton just moves too fast at times. It’s constant, relentless input. It demands of us a more efficient type of person and makes it difficult to find the time, energy and focus to do the things that make us who we are in the way that we need to do them. If you’re anything like me, you’re pretty much a different person now than you were a month ago. Yes, I am still Charlie Cross, but my mental state is that of someone else entirely, a much more restless, impatient, and impulsive Charlie. First week Charlie > Fifth week Charlie.

I struggle to stay focused when reading for pleasure, choose to eat substantially more pizza and am generally harsher on myself than I need to be, frustrating myself easily. The incredible energy I had to spend on people at the beginning of the year is now fleeting, resulting in moments painfully reminiscent of last year. Post-office workers and acquaintances I never quite became friends with get the tired half-smiles that they don’t deserve, and it’s way, way too easy to forget to treat the people around us with any consideration.

The sense of calm leftover from summer break and the excitement to get back to school has left us. We have become the awkward, Carleton-induced version of ourselves, and we’re left with five more weeks of this before the cycle starts again. But we still have to do our best.

I’ll admit that part of this is my apology to the people that may read this article; I know I haven’t given people the consideration they deserve, but it’s also a request for people to give each other more of a chance, to interact with each other with more of an awareness of what life at Carleton can mean. It’s knowing that if that person you know didn’t make eye contact with you he might have just not seen you or that he had something really urgent to attend to, not that he’s a jerk. It’s knowing that the person sitting next to you in Bio could be breaking up with his girlfriend, or could be at risk of having to drop the class, or whatever. And no matter how little thought we give him, we have to assume something else is going on that deserves a little more sympathy.

We have five weeks left in the term. Soon, the cold will come and the freshmen will get excited. Eventually there will be Halloween and Screw Dates. A new boy or girl might come along. But in the mean time, we can give our fellow Carls a little more of a chance.

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