1) Social Diversity: I feel like I spent the last couple years in a sort of social bubble. Between MA and debate I had a fairly close-knit group of friends, but I also didn’t have a lot of intersection with other social circles. This term most of that core group is studying abroad, and as a result I’ve met a ton of new people. The number of people I feel comfortable saying hi to on campus is way up. Not that I don’t miss my friends–I do–but it’s fun to have breathing room.

2)  My Schedule: Alright, 8AM classes every day of the week isn’t something I actually love, but I do get a sense of accomplishment every time I make it to one. Last year I wondered how I was ever going to hold down a job, because I seemed to have absolutely no control over my sleeping habits. This semester I’ve proven that theory at least partly wrong. I think I can get up reliably enough to hold down a job for at least 6 months, provided I have a relaxed boss.  So 8AM gives me confidence and a feeling of accomplishment, but it also makes me feel uber-productive. It’s amazing how long days last when you start them at 7:30.

3) Debate: Yeah, MA’s out for the fall, but I’m still enjoying myself. Debating with BD really is making me stronger, if more controlling,  and it’s really fun to pick over topic areas and plot impossible cases. I can do it during the summer, but the season feels much more intense.