Advice for Awkward People: Carnival Edition

Ruth Scherr, India Price Apr 16, 2017

Dear Ruth,

IT'S FINALLY CARNIVAL. Carnival is the only thing I have to look forward to after Spring Break, so I've been patiently waiting for this moment ever since we got back. It's less than a week away now and I'm. So. Ready. Or so I thought. My professors might be out to get me, because I somehow have to execute a group project during the greatest weekend of the year! It's really not fair, but I guess we could've started sooner (but I mean we all knew that wasn't going to happen).

I don't know what to do. There's so much I want to see and experience! The buggy races are so exciting, and I even have friends to cheer for this year! And the booth theme is great. I heard there's going to be Taco Bell booth... and I really, really love Taco Bell. I also bought a Carnegie State fanny pack to go with my outfit for the block party! If I'm stuck inside working on a group project all weekend, what do I even do with my fanny pack? Wear it in the library? And what do I do with my line-up of cute-but-confortable block party looks? Wear them to Au Bon Pain? That's ridiculous.

Part of me just really wants to throw in the towel, forget about my group project, forgot about the inevitable doom that is finals week, and party with my friends until I forget my Numerical Methods exam ever happened. But the more responsible and less self-destructive part of me knows I should probably do my assignments. And, to make matters worse, I'll feel really bad if I let my entire group down. I don't want to be that one group member that brings the team down because I bailed last minute on the group meeting. I'd feel way too guilty to even enjoy the parties I went to. Should I just make all of them ditch the project, too? Should I convince the entire class to boycott the project? You know what they say, "He can't fail all of us, right?"

What do I do? I'm really feeling the convince the whole class to boycott the class method, but let me know what you think. Think about the fanny pack!

Sincerely,
Panicking And Really Tense #YOLO"

Dear PARTY,

You do the assignment. (Sorry not sorry! You can wear the fanny pack while you do it, if that helps.)

For some reason, whenever a professor assigns something to be due right after Carnival, it's always worth way too much of your grade. (Is it a conspiracy...?) And I'm going to assume here that you do actually want to pass your classes, because if you don't then.... I dunno, drop out and have Carnival 24/365? But assuming you don't want that, then you're going to have to do the project. Especially because it's a group project. You don't want to be that guy that gets way too lit over Carnival and doesn't do any work on the project. (And if someone else in your group is that? See the March 27 edition of this column.)

The key is in how you schedule.

Basically everything that isn't a university organized meet-and-greet happens 5 p.m. or later. Even if you were out until 4 a.m. the night before, you can probably drag yourself up and out of bed by noon. Over four days, that's about 20 hours of "work" time available to you. Even if your group members aren't working on the same schedule as you, I presume they also want a decent grade on the project and that they'll put in the necessary time as well. (Group project tip to end all group project tips: If you don't absolutely need to meet in person, Google Drive is your new best friend. Call up whoever used to emotionally support you and tell them you're dropping them for that sweet, sweet multi-user functionality.) Basically, it's your time to become a CMU superhero — student by day, party animal by night.

It's going to maybe suck a little, and I know we all wish we had planned ahead enough that we could just sleep, Netflix, and party all of Carnival, but you're in the same boat as a lot of the rest of us. And, worst comes to worst and you have to work while midway is open, well. You can always pop out for a funnel cake to reenergize.

You get the best of both worlds,
Ruth