There is an inside joke that goes on here at CCBC among students. It is that you don’t realize how much of an actual college student you are until you are well into your second semester.

Once upon a foggy late night at the deserted CCBC Catonsville parking lot… boo!

Why? you ask.

Because the second semester is when it all comes crashing down on you.
“Oh, I should have gone easy on my semester schedule.”
“Ohh, why didn’t I forgo that leadership role?”
“Ohhh, I really should have gone easy on these volunteering opportunities.”

With mid-term examinations hardly one week away, I am going through bouts of confusion, uncertainty, distress, hopelessness, despair. OK OK, it’s not that bad or dark. But the words sound like a natural sequence of one burdensome continuum.

Don’t empathize yet? Well… I have to study for my CCENT certification exam that is hardly a month away. I have to catch up on this week’s reading for my accelerated course, DCOM 219 – Cisco III: Scaling Networks. I have to come up with a way to make a Tic Tac Toe game for my CSIT 216 – Python Programming class. Oh, that reminds me I have to write a research paper on computational thinking as part of the Honors contract. Brb.

Okay, I finally got that research paper done last night. So, besides the above, yesterday I also finished interviewing screenwriter Shruti Saran and stand-up comedian Nikita Redkar of Gym Buddies comedy web series for a story just published on AsAmNews. Check out the Episode 1 below! This series by Indian Americans is an amazing parody of the gym culture and explores feminism and friendship. (But if you still want to pump yourself up, did you know CCBC has fitness centers at all of its campuses?)

Two days earlier, I also finished writing a story on the success of humanitarian aid to Kyrgyz Republic for The Borgen Project. I can go on and on.

Got a lot done, didn’t I? Well, honestly it all comes at an expense. And the expense is free time. But at least I get the satisfaction of getting things done — and for the better! I’m of the mindset that we can make a difference in the world while sitting in the comforts of our home. Helping in the fight against poverty or raising awareness of South Asian Americans are just two of the causes I feel strongly about.

Feeling overwhelmed like me? I always tell others: don’t be me! Be smart! CCBC offers a variety of tutoring services at its Student Success Centers. Maybe you can head over to the International Student Services or amble over to the resourceful advisors at Academic Advisement. There are resources available on campus. But sometimes, the best resources are right before our eyes and by our sides. And we tend to forget they are there.

Helping raise awareness of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society (ΦΘΚ) with friends!

When I feel that there is so much on the plate, I confide in others. I share with friends and family and listen to their similar complaints. It’s all about balance and management in the end. College life can be busy and classes can get harder and harder. What would I advise a new student on their way to the second semester? Don’t take more than you can bear. Do not take more than 18 credits if you can help it because work and homework can pile up. Unless you want your college experience to be boringly studious or dull, try to stick with the bare essentials. 12 credits are required to be a full-time student. (Hey, that’s why it’s called being a “full-time student”). But if you feel capable enough to handle it all, go for it! Just make sure you balance educational life with the rest.

Sometimes laziness is warranted.

Yes, despite having the discipline to get things done and usually on-time, I do have a predilection for wasting hours out doing…umm… nothing. I may be on YouTube watching documentaries or I may be headed to reading the analysis of that latest decision out of the Supreme Court. I may just be relaxing on the couch musing about the meaning of life.

Maybe all I need is to heed the insightful words of Nikita (who plays “Aparna” in Gym Buddies — see above) said during the interview:

Having something like a ‘larger purpose’ sounds very daunting. You don’t need something grand as a ‘larger purpose.’ Just have something that excites you.”

Got it! Be a workhorse on something that excites you. Then be lazy. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

Is that Julius Caesar’s bust? Next week, I will be covering the CCBC Honors Program’s 30-year-anniversary. Stay tuned!