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Home Opinion May Term Survival Guide

By April Bayer


It’s that time of year again.The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and the semester is almost over. You know what that means…Time for more school!

May Term is a three-week period, usually beginning the Monday after graduation each year, when students can stay in Seward for one to three weeks and take classes to stay on track with credits. Let’s face it–finishing a degree in four or even five years can be challenging when there are so many classes college students are required to take, not to mention sports, clubs, activities and other responsibilities.

May Term can be a great way to jump ahead so you can take a lighter course load in the fall or simply get a couple of pesky credits out of the way so you can graduate on time. However, it also comes with its fair share of challenges. As a seasoned May Term veteran, here are a few things to keep in mind to help you stay afloat:


  1. The classes might not last that long, but you still have to put in the work.

If you’re already tired from finals, be sure to down a couple cups of coffee in the mornings because you’re going to have to jump right back into study mode. During the regular semester, we’re used to shorter 50-to-75-minute class periods, but during May Term, classes can last as long as three to four hours, which is a long time to sit in one room. Also, keep in mind that you’ll be doing the work of an entire semester crammed into three weeks, so be prepared for long readings and lots of homework.


  1. Take advantage of free time.

Once you do get through all your assignments, you’ll find that the campus can get eerily quiet and empty after everyone leaves. Take this opportunity to get to know your roommates, get out and enjoy the sunshine, explore a new part of Seward, or catch up on a good book or TV show you didn’t have time for during the semester. Whatever you do, don’t just stay holed up in your room. Stay active and take care of yourself.


  1. Prepare for the adjustment to apartment living.

If you’re used to living in a dorm room and are planning to stay on campus for May Term, chances are you’ll be housed in Jonathan. This can be exciting, but keep in mind that with your own bathroom and kitchen comes more responsibility. Make sure you have a shower curtain, a trash can, cleaning supplies, and everything you’ll need to cook for yourself. Keep in mind that Janzow is closed during May Term, which means you’ll have to take care of all your own meals.


  1. Be a considerate roommate.

Even if you’re only living with someone for three weeks or fewer, you should still be considerate of them and their space. May Term can be a stressful time because it’s a lot of work crammed into a short time, and that can make tensions run high. Whether you know the people you’ll be rooming with or not, do your best to be friendly and encouraging, and do your part in keeping the apartment clean. Who knows? You just might make a new friend.


In a lot of ways, May Term can be a good way to have fun and unwind on your own before heading home for the summer. In the midst of all the studying, cooking and cleaning, there are opportunities to relax, try new things, and meet new people. Through all of it, just be sure to keep the Boy Scout motto in mind: Be prepared.


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