You can see it in our eyes as we stumble around campus in a daze, both perpetually behind on our work and too tired to care. It’s senioritis, and, like the stomach bug that’s going around right now, it hits hard and without warning.
It got me last Monday. I knew I was in trouble when I realized I had been reading Perez Hilton for half an hour, and, even more alarmingly, that I had no memory of actively deciding to abandon my history homework in favor of celebrity gossip. Now, I’ve always given myself little breaks when studying, but lately these little breaks have caused studying to happen in short bursts. Having been a worrywart and perfectionist for most of the past 21 years, I hardly recognize myself these days.
And it seems that I’m in good company. Everywhere I look, seniors are finding ways to avoid work: going on insanely long runs to avoid the library; researching jobs we’ll never actually apply for; surreptitiously shopping for bathing suits online even though Hilton Head is still months away. 100 Days is easily the clearest manifestation of this sudden inability to concentrate on work. (It is also easily one of the most fun nights I’ve ever had at Williams.) As a senior, even if you’ve tried for an easy spring semester, chances are you are still in a senior seminar, writing a thesis, taking that last Division III class, or applying for jobs â€“ in other words, you are probably busier than you have ever been in your entire life. And yet 413 of us put our crazy lives on hold and showed up for 100 Days to celebrate what we love about Williams: each other.
Recent events have caused a lot of people, including me, to question if the sense of community we all value so dearly does exist here in the way we once thought it did. While I believe we must take a long, hard look at how we treat each other, I hope that we can do so without losing track of what we love about this place. I have been happier at Williams than I have ever been anywhere else, and I continue to be impressed on a daily basis by the incredible accomplishments of my peers. The past four years have been exhilarating, informative, stressful, silly, heartbreaking, frustrating and inspiring. Seniors, I know you already know all of this; underclassmen, I urge you to luxuriate in the opportunities this small school in the mountains has to offer you. Before you know it, you’ll be celebrating that you have fewer than 100 days left here. I think my JA, Eva, put it best: “The days are long, but the months and years are short.”
Elizabeth Kohout ’08