- You get campus all to yourself
This one is fairly obvious, but there are some nuances that must be explored here. Yes, the lines at the printer are shorter (just in case you desperately need a hard copy of your holiday wish list to mail to Santa/Mom/the Hanukkah Fairy), but with so few people here, the wifi runs faster than a bunny rabbit on caffeine. And the buffering wait-time isn’t the only thing that’s shorter–for the first time in history, the line at the library cafe doesn’t extend halfway into the stacks. Now is the time to order that non-fat-no-foam-two-pump-vanilla-one-pump-mocha-extra-hot latte, my friends. In your pajamas. Because if you walk through the library rocking the PJs-and-fuzzy-Christmas-socks-with-no-shoes look when there’s no one here to see you, did it actually ever happen?
- You get more 1-on-1 time with profs
You’re inevitably going to run into your professors, so make the most out of it! Ask how his/her day is going. Ask what plans s/he might have for winter break. Ask the prof that taught that interesting class on Native American identity to coffee. Professors are real people too (I know, crazy!), and many of them love getting to know their students.
- You’re bound to make some new friends
Among all 10 undergraduates that have chosen to torture themselves by staying on campus over interim, there are 1 or 2 that will become your Interim BFF (IBFF). Like ingredients in a pressure cooker, your relationship is going to develop hot and fast. You’re going to do everything (and I mean everything) with your IBFFs–decide between Novack and the Hop for lunch, play Cards Against Humanity at 10am out of sheer boredom, watch all the Star Wars movies back-to-back, try to “borrow” chairs from the library at 2am, realize that there are security cameras in the library at 2:03am…the list goes on. Just be careful–pressure cookers sometimes explode if they aren’t regulated. Don’t spend so much time with your new IBFFs that they become WTANs–Winter Term Arch Nemeses.
- You appreciate what Hanover has to offer…
Who has time to stop and smell the roses when you have two papers to write today, four meetings tonight, and no one has responded to your group’s survey–and the project’s due tomorrow. Luckily, deadlines cease to exist over interim, so you can finally stop and appreciate those roses–er, bare branches and snow. With all the free time you have, you can do all those things that you’ve been meaning to do since freshman fall: sit in Nathan’s Garden and admire how the frost turns everything into a Narnian grotto. Go to the Howe Library and snuggle down in front of their (real!) fireplace with a trashy novel. Watch the sun set over the River, then head back up to Dirt Cowboy Cafe for some seasonal eggnog.
- …and you appreciate what you already have
It’s true–absence really does make the heart grow fonder. Whether it’s sleep or your favorite TV show, interim is the perfect time to catch up on what you’ve been missing. It’s like rediscovering Lost/Game of Thrones/Real World (shh don’t judge)/naps, all over again! And when/if you finally do go home for Christmas after cursing yourself for staying in Hanover for 2-3-4-5 weeks longer than everyone else, you’ll appreciate your family, too!
Originally published in The Dartmouth‘s Winterim print issue.