A new semester is upon us here at CUA and I personally couldn’t be more excited! The first day of January classes, although freezing, is always a thrill for students. Everyone is donning their new snow boots, sweaters, jackets, and scarves from Santa as we go from class to class. The Starbucks line is practically out the door with socializing, chipper students who are eagerly awaiting a nice hot cocoa or hot, fresh coffee to get them through their first classes.
Returning to CUA after break is always bittersweet. Part of you is ready to escape Mom’s meatloaf and your annoying younger siblings to return to your CUA friends. The other part is really sad because you know that deep down you’re going miss your friends from home, Mom’s delicious Chicken Parmesan, and laying on your couch watching TV all day. You know that a lot of hard work and dedication will be required of you immediately upon returning to campus, and sometimes you are not ready to face that fact. But it is incredibly relieving knowing you’ll be back into the swing of things in no time. I always have a hard time saying goodbye to my family in January, but I know CUA is a wonderful place to be and the transition is not so bad.
This semester will undoubtedly present its challenges. The way I look at it, though, is if you have a good attitude, virtually nothing can go wrong. As an upperclassman Civil Engineering major (I can’t believe I am an upperclassman! Time flies!), my classes have titles that even I don’t understand. That’s when you know you’ll be learning something new and exciting- when you literally have no clue what on earth “Hydraulics” entails. In addition to hydraulics, I will be taking a Soil Testing Lab. Yep, you read that right: a whole class once a week devoted to testing soils and their properties. As a Civil Engineer, you learn to love these things… Well at least I hope I’ll love it! I will also be taking an Introduction to Environmental Engineering which I am very excited about. Another highlight of my courses is an Engineering Ethics course which is very important to apply in the real world!
Besides academics, there are a lot of events to look forward to. First, since I am a Resident Assistant in Millennium South, I will be planning a ton of fun events for my residents and I am really looking forward to them. Some highlights include: free food, good company, and great memories. On a campus-wide scale, the spring is a very lively time. Though it starts out cold, which is kind of a bummer, it ends in warmth and plentiful sunshine. The major highlight of the spring semester happens to occur on the final day of classes: Luaupalooza. More fondly as Luau, the event formally begins at 5pm the Friday before finals begin. The t-shirt known for Luau is mostly the star of the event, as its design is always stunning. Students begin lining up for the shirts as early as 8am – now that is dedication. The event spans into the night with endless BBQ food, student performances, musical artists, and Red, the CUA mascot, there to pump up the crowd and pose for lots of pictures. Luau is probably the most favored event at CUA for any student because it is over the top, attended by everyone (students, faculty, staff and even their families), and ends with fireworks. Talk about a cool way to end the semester.
One of the reasons I love DC in the spring is the Cherry Blossom Festival. This historic time in DC is dedicated to the beautiful trees lining the Tidal Basin (right near the MLK Memorial and Abe Lincoln) which were dedicated in 1912 from the Mayor of Tokyo to the District of Columbia. There is a huge parade to kick off the three-week-long festival followed by daily events commemorating the beautiful trees and peace between cities. Through the festivals duration, millions of visitors partake in the events and observe the beauty of the blossoms. This is the main event that happens in the spring in DC but there is no shortage of good weather also perfect for walking tours of the nation’s capital. There is not a lack of things to do in the city, especially when the weather is gorgeous.
It is always an exciting time to be at CUA. I happen to love the spring because the weather goes from cold to warm, whereas in the fall it is opposite. I love knowing that although January 12th is here and I am wearing nine layers and a parka, in four short months I’ll be wearing a sundress and sandals. Spring is a beautiful time to be on campus and new opportunities await. If you haven’t visited CUA or DC in the spring, I highly recommend it! Here’s to a new year, the same dedication, and more fun!
– Lexie Mayewski