Orange Rhymes With: Preemptive optimism

ORANGE RHYMES WITHWhen we last left off I was having some sort of stress-induced breakdown in the business lab and undoubtedly alarming everyone within a 10-foot radius. Luckily I’ve had nearly a month to recuperate, which has made me lazier than a heavily medicated sloth. Between the Christmas food, the weeklong Doctor Who binge and the complete lack of motivation to complete anything remotely academic, I’ve somehow managed to become less prepared than ever for the upcoming semester.

I’m choosing to ignore my enrollment in unnecessarily difficult math and science courses and will instead focus on the positive — because, honestly, the reality is just a bit too unpleasant to deal with right now.

So in the spirit of starting fresh with a new semester, I’ll momentarily fake some optimism and highlight some of the moments I’m most looking forward to this semester — not because I want to parade the potential fun I’m going to have this semester, but so that written records of optimism exist when I’ve decided life is nothing but homework and pain in about three weeks.

Firstly, for every moment I spend hating the cold and darkness of the desolate fall semester, I spend an equal amount of time in frenzied anticipation of spring. As someone who is outdoorsy beyond reason, spring marks the part of the year when I’m finally able to go outside without immediately wanting to die.

So to make a preemptive strike against the eternal monotony of my coursework, I’ve preloaded an Alyeska gift card so I can spend every Friday (and most Tuesdays, considering I only have one class that day) on the slopes. Though after the card runs out, I’ll have to get creative with my outdoor activities and find some new ways to adventure without actually spending money.

For example, I’ve made the questionable decision to go camping in Homer in February. Is that a smart decision? Who knows. The best I can do is to avoid using the phrase “pry it from my cold, dead fingers” between now and then, just in case the universe has a morbid sense of humor.

In a similar vein, a friend has convinced me that we should drive to Canada for spring break. Never mind the fact that my car consists of foreign-made plastic, a great deal of luck and duct tape. Never mind the fact that the Alaska-adjacent portion of Canada is essentially a freakishly familiar-looking barren wasteland. I’ll even overlook the fact that we’re going to have nowhere to sleep, that the road conditions are going to be apocalyptic at best and the fact that my Kia can only play music via CDs — and only if you close your eyes and concentrate.

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Here’s the thing. When you have absolutely no expectations of anything going right, the results never tend to be disappointing. The worst that can happen is that the memory of the trip doesn’t become funny until years down the road.

Next, apparently I get to attend my first wedding in the next few weeks. Having never actually witnessed two people tie the knot, I have to piece together the details from various TV weddings I’ve seen. Judging by what I’ve seen, I’m anticipating an all-out brawl between in-laws, a luau-style pig roast and drunken relatives joyously stomping on wine glasses. And to be fully honest here, I’ll be highly disappointed if I don’t get to see at least one of those events happen.

(Note: Though I’ve definitely seen time travel factor in to at least three different wedding episodes of my favorite shows, I’ve been assured this does not happen frequently in real life.)

Finally, to finish my semester off with a bang — or at the very least a muffled thump — I’ll be attending Sasquatch Music Festival for the second year in a row. Granted, I don’t actually have a way to get there, and I’m traveling with a frighteningly bearded man who insists on being called “Mastodon Jackson.” But somehow I feel like it’s going to work out. Honestly the worst-case scenario is that we’re stranded in a cow pasture surrounded by 50,000 hipsters with no way to get home. Believe me, I’ve had worse summers.

So here we are, one last dying gasp of optimism before the cruel reality of college returns. No books ordered, no groceries purchased and not even a slight understanding of the courses I’m about to take. Somehow I get the feeling it’s going to be a memorable semester.