summer students

What tastes better — the first delicious bite of a hot fudge sundae or the last? Choosing one over the other is virtually impossible because they both taste so sweet.

The same is true when deciding whether the first or last eight weeks of the school year are better. However, just as the last bite of the sundae satiates all your desires and brightens up your life, so do the last eight weeks of the school year.

The first eight weeks of school definitely have their perks. Juniors celebrate making it halfway through their college career. Sophomores relish the fact that they get another year of eating at the finest establishment in Spokane — the COG. First-years bombard campus bringing a fresh spirit that fires everyone up for the year. Even seniors can hardly contain their excitement for making it to their final year as a Zag.

Still, there is a key difference between the first and last eight weeks of the semester — the proximity of summer break. Throughout the trials and tribulations of the spring semester, students can always find comfort in the thought that summer break is right around the corner. Fall semester, on the other hand, is tainted by the painful reminder that summer is over and an ominous school year lies ahead.

Once students survive the grueling winter months and arrive at the last eight weeks of the school year, the worst is arguably behind them. What lies ahead is the highlight of being a Zag.

March brings great fortune to students with a generous spring break and steadily improving weather. They also get to celebrate the best time of year at GU — March Madness. For many zealous Zags, cheering on the basketball team during March Madness is the reason they came to GU. This riveting tournament helps alleviate stress for students as they approach their final weeks of school.

As the tournament comes to an end in April, students are graced by Easter festivities. As a Jesuit institution, GU awards its students with two extra days off from school to celebrate the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Students essentially get a second spring break to boost their morale before they are burdened by finals.

Even with two breaks, March Madness and summer break quickly approaching, many Zags would still argue that the beginning of the school year is far more pleasant than the end. After nearly three months of enjoying summer break, they argue that students are eager to return to campus. Their fresh tans and unforgettable summer memories give them the motivation needed to survive another grueling year of school.

However, the warm Spokane weather that greets students returning to campus in the fall cannot keep them from worrying about the impending tests, parking citations and dark winter months that lie ahead. Even the most ambitious students know deep down that it will be many months until they see the brightest gleams of the Spokane sun and are back on summer break.

Like all things in life, the last eight weeks of the school year are far from perfect. The final week itself is more of a marathon than a sprint. Students are expected to pack up their entire lives, say goodbye to all their beloved friends and somehow manage to ace all their tests. The COG starts rationing its food, your workload in school starts to ramp up and all the memories made during the semester start to fade.

Nevertheless, the last eight weeks of the school year are better even for the sole reason of that final week. Through all its faults, the final week means one thing — you made it! Say goodbye to stringent deadlines, sleepless nights  and tireless demands. Instead, say hello to freedom, sunshine and a summer full of endless opportunities.

For senior Zags, these final eight weeks mean even more. They get to reminisce about the amazing or mediocre college experience they just had. Either way, they get to bid farewell to their college years and eagerly welcome the next chapter of their lives, whatever it may hold.

Just like the delicious final bite of a hot fudge sundae, the final eight weeks of the school year are full of sweetness and excitement. It's the best time of year to be a Zag.