It seemed the entire campus had fallen asleep. I walked around and saw a few faces here and there but the area was virtually empty. The answer to all this stillness… a little thing we like to call Jan Term! This term is a bit different from the rest. One takes a course but instead of having it over several months, it is compressed into solely the month of January. With a course where every day is equivalent to a week, it quickly becomes a lot of information thrown at you at once. While it sounds a bit daunting it is a great way for students to get an extra credit done towards their major, get a required class out of the way, or for some lucky kids, even travel abroad! For me Jan Term resulted as a great opportunity. I took the class Interpersonal Communication which challenged me to think of what it truly means to be an effective communicator. I left every class having learned something applicable to my everyday conversations and with a great desire to learn more. The course its self left homework for me every night. The class’s battle against time grew evident throughout the month. The work was assigned one day and due the following day, the information came fast and was supposed to be absorbed in its entirety. While the pace and amount of information the course delivered was a bit stressful at times, that was overshadowed by how interesting I found the class and its activities to be.
While my schedule was completely changed during Jan Term, the change that took me the most by surprise was the few people left on campus. My hall was different, it became quiet. There was no one’s laundry on top of the washers and no one doing their hair in the bathroom. Dillian was different, you could now count the students eating their meals and there were never any lines for the food. As a whole, calm had settled over the entire campus. I had little down time throughout the term due to homework, meetings and work but when I did, it allowed me to get closer to some of my peers. Jan Term limited our activities and so my friends and I would have to get creative about things to keep us entertained. A balloon volleyball match, for example, was a game we came to master. Yes, at times Jan Term left me with too much to do with not enough time; however, it also allowed me to get to know friends on a more intimate level as well as the opportunity to make new friends.