As the fall semester ended, and I recovered from finals and the holidays, I began to reflect upon the fact that I’ve got quite a bit of free time this coming semester, due to the fact that a lot of my clubs are finishing up – or already have finished up. In particular, my involvement in the Milton S Eisenhower Symposium, JHUMUNC (the Model UN conference for high schoolers), and my leadership position in my sorority, Pi Beta Phi, are all ending.
For MSE, our series of speakers is only in the fall; we spend the spring and summer inviting all of these amazing people, and by December, it’s all done for the year! This fall, we had some amazing speakers come to campus: the four co-chairs of the Women’s March (which I attended last year), MSNBC anchor Joy Reid, Ohio Governor John Kaisich, and Hasan Minhaj – a writer for the Daily Show and last year’s host for the White House Correspondent’s Dinner!!! Honestly it was an absolutely wild semester, with amazing opportunities to chat with a sitting governor, have dinner with four leading feminists, and laugh – but also think about racial politics – with Hasan Minhaj. I’m so grateful for this opportunity from MSE, especially in my last series with them this past fall.
On the Model UN side (which I have written about before), I just completed my last JHUMUNC last weekend. This was, by far, the best conference I’ve ever been to. It was a little different that JHUMUNCs past because I was not actually in a committee this year, but rather working directly with our crisis staff (the people that make committees wild and fun by giving updates to crises at hand for the delegates to solve). I got to be a Death Eater (from Harry Potter), a Sudanese rebel, and a pro-union protester, all while wrangling props (literally) and making sure we don’t get too loud during our midnight crisis.
Finally, since Greek Life leadership positions are done by calendar year, rather than school year, I also finished my tenure as Vice President of Member Development of the Maryland Gamma chapter of Pi Beta Phi this December. Once more, it was a bittersweet moment, as I was so glad to serve on our Executive Board, organizing our weekly study and fitness hours and putting together Pi Phi’s annual Critical Conversations seminar. The good news is that, now, we have our new member class, which means I can devote my full attention to them!
All in all, this really means now that I have an unexpected amount of free time on my plate. I’m only in 16 credits this semester, leaving even more open space in my schedule. On the upside, I’m taking this time to go to the gym more (I started swimming 2-3 times per week!) and cooking for myself more. It’s been really heartening to spend more time with my roommates and have more time for myself. What’s also been nice so far is that, with the Winter Olympics on, I have no problem occasionally hanging around Brody all night to project figure skating on a big screen in a study room.
Some of my hopes for this last semester are to write more: I want to publish more frequently in the Politik (our weekly political op-ed magazine) and attend more on-campus events, as well as get out more in the city of Baltimore, hopefully now fully realizing the vibrant restaurant and bar scene. On one hand, it’s really wonderful to not go from club meeting to club meeting (as could occasionally be the case – though I did love my busy nights), but on the other hand, I’m really excited to soak up my last semester at Homewood for all it is worth. Especially because, stay tuned, I’m off to Washington for the summer this May!