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Welcome back, everyone! I hope you are all very well-rested, because in my opinion, the quarter system was designed to suck the life out of each and every one of us, so we should be prepared and energized enough to not drop the ball for the next 10 weeks. Winter break allowed me to just stop and think for the first time in a while, and what I realized caught me off guard.
You expect college to start a new chapter in your life. Things stay the same for years at a time and most people just feel that this new period will be their turning point. For me, it didn’t work that way, and now at the beginning of a new year, I look back on the second half of 2003 as a time that was unexpectedly different, exhilarating, life-changing. In fact, more change occurred in those six months alone than in my entire high school career.
The fall of 2002 marked the beginning of my exceedingly uneventful first year of college. The only physical proof that any activity even registered on the monitor are the units I accumulated and the 14,000 miles I put on my little sputtering Plymouth while driving back and forth from Anaheim every day.
Then summer came, and I was so bored and so accustomed to the way things were that I didn’t even notice the little ripples of change that were beginning to have a permanent effect on me. This change started small but gained momentum as the year came to a close, ending with a December that anyone in my position would remember. I don’t want to invite these clich

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