Our Take

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Over the past week, which for me is the third week of school, I have already had to miss classes. I have missed homework and fallen behind. I thought, as it is my last semester at Western Carolina University, that I would be able to finish off strong. So far, not so good.

As the seasons are changing and the weather is acting as if it is on a trampoline, everyone’s bodies are reacting. It is that dreadful time when students start to complain of the “Cullowhee Crud.” Now, for the past three years, I have experienced this sickness, and it is brutal. Contagious properties encourage students to stay home, not like they would feel like attending lectures in this sickly state anyway. Important class projects and initial presentations force students to come to class regardless, usually spreading the crud to their peers. It becomes a never-ending cycle, and you are lucky if you have never been sucked in.

However, I am not truly mad that I have gotten the crud for the third year in a row. I may not be able to use the few absences I am allowed later in the semester, but that will push me to commit myself to every class rather than figure out what days to skip later. I appreciate the challenge.

There were times this week that I felt useless, like I would have to give up on my education altogether. Then, my senses began clearing, I could attend class again and for the first time this semester I felt incredibly empowered. There was a lot of stress in that, too, but knowing that I was able to overcome the crud and make the commitment to come back to class made me energized for the rest of the semester.

While I don’t wish the crud on anyone, as it is truly awful and it can greatly hinder your coursework, I do not want to dwell on the misfortune I experienced this week. Rather, I would like to embrace it. Most of us only have one chance at experiencing college and I feel like we are often told to make the best of it by traveling, finding longtime-friends, trying new things and learning how to live on your own. Of course, education is also a large part but it sometimes gets left behind. It is the true reason we are here, yet it is hard to fully commit to. I admit that I have had my priorities wrong multiple times during the last few years. I am simply thankful that, during this last semester, I can realize what is truly important in this entire experience. I am ready to reflect on the challenges that my college experience has thrown at me, the crud included.

As we get further into the semester and the weather continues to change, I hope everyone is able to continue committing to their own college experience here at Western Carolina, especially those that get sick during this time. Don’t let things such as the crud mess with your goals. Overcome the challenges you face this semester and hopefully grow because of them. I believe that this will be an amazing semester, as long as we make it one! Best of luck to all in the upcoming months!