As I type this, I'm shedding dead skin flakes all over the keyboard. But actually, I'm molting all over this keyboard that wasn't built for my giant hands. My peeling inner elbows are a yummy reminder of spring break and all the fun memories it brought. Over break, I was diligent enough applying Mexican sunscreen to my arms, but I forgot to hit the crook of my elbow with some sweet SPF. Alas, I fell asleep with arms outstretched. I cooked my metaphorical goose. 

But there's no reason for tears. It's still sweater season in the godless permafrosty tundra that is the eastern seaboard. I can cover up my desquamating limbs with Uniqlo HEATTECH until my calico tan fades entirely.

So why am I talking about my sloughing epidermis? Not sure, but bear with me. Spring break—and all superficial injuries sustained therein—are reminders of the high–water mark that we're approaching. I'm a second semester junior on the downhill slump, second–guessing my entire college career and all the other paths I could've taken.

My sunburned elbow creases have helped me to see all the alternate–universe Nicholas Todd Joyners who went about Penn in a completely different way. I see the Nick who giddily skips into office hours every week for the sake of intellectual conversation. I see the Nick who actually makes use of academic advisors. I see the Nick who majored in classics or history or another field he pushed away. I see the Nick who doesn't float his entire weekly budget at Magic Carpet, the Nick who has stepped foot in Pottruck for an actual second time. 

But I also see the flaky Nick sitting here today, who still has an entire year to become all the alternate–universe Nicks. Call me Donnie Darko for the rest of this semester, because I'm about to enter into a vortex and meet a musty bunny who will help me to realize my fate and all of the improvements I can make in my remaining time at Penn. Going to the gym might be a nice and obvious start.