On Sunday and Monday nights, I savor the silence. Because Tuesday through Saturday sound a lot like:

“I want something else

To get me through this

Semi-charmed kind of life, baby, baby

I want something else

I’m not listening when you say


It’s 1:40 AM on a Wednesday night and I creepily stare out my window at the partiers below, who are horribly singing along to the live band that is conveniently perched directly beneath the only window in my room that doesn’t close due to an AC unit.

I feel the same sense of deja-vu all the time. Is this just in my head? Am I imagining all of this? How in the world does the same song play at the same time every night? The bar below my window switches up the bands so it’s not like the same band is playing the same playlist. Yet somehow “Semi-Charmed Life” taunts me five days a week in the wee hours of the night. Oh Third I Blind, I will never look at you the same.

The noise ordinance is 1:45 AM so I know when the song starts playing, I will soon be able to sleep. I tried to fight the noise at first. I bought 3 industrial fans in the beginning of the school year and blasted them on high, but still, the 90s music and the out-of-tune screaming fans manage to win the battle every night.

So, I stopped trying to fight it; I don’t even try to lie down until the music is silenced at 1:45. While this does limit the amount of sleep I get each night, I try to take advantage of that time period from midnight to 1:45 when I usually would have been sleeping. I never do school work doing this time. I tried, and it’s such a strange feeling to be writing a paper or studying when there is a herd of people right below you audibly not worrying about their schoolwork.

Instead, I use that in between time to catch up on television shows, watch a classic movie, clean my room, or do yoga on my floor. It’s such a random time of the night, but it keeps me grounded during the week. Knowing that I have this time allocated for myself ensures that I’m not defined by and succumbed by schoolwork. This time, as abnormal as it may be, is the time I feel the most normal.

The approach of Thanksgiving means finals are just around the corner. Especially during finals season, it’s crucial to zoom out and remember to take care of yourself. For first generation college students, who are new to completely managing their own time, find what works for you. Adjust to your surroundings, but don’t lose yourself in the process. College can feel all-consuming at times, but it doesn’t have to consume you if you block out time for yourself. Sometimes an hour of watching Netflix is more beneficial to your mental health than an extra hour of sleep.

With that being said, I’m thankful to be able to go to my rural home this Thanksgiving break and have some silence—as long as the cornfields don’t bust out into that dreaded Third I Blind song somehow. Then I really might be going delirious.