J-term, which lasts the entire month of January, is a magical time for many colleges and universities across the nation.

During this month, students take one class which usually lasts about three hours a day, every day.

My first semester here at Augustana College was not an extremely challenging one, but it wasn’t a walk in the park either. Taking a full-time schedule of 15 credits was a change from my high school classes.

Each class presented an entirely new set of issues to confront, which meant more stress and anxiety.

Next semester will be similarly challenging, and the only thing separating the two semesters is the month of January.

I chose to take “Improvisation for Everybody!” which counts as a theater credit.

The main reason I chose a simpler class is that it is a great time to take a break between semesters, a time to recover from the stress of first semester and a time to prepare for the stress of next semester.

Now, this isn’t to say that “Improvisation For Everybody!” is easy. It presents an array of challenges.

Although the problems in the class might not be the most conventional or easily identifiable issues they are there. Don’t be fooled.

Another common characteristic of J-term is that it can be used to quickly pick up three credits for a more challenging requirement. Although that is a good point, it requires being challenged physically and mentally every day for an entire month.

Depending on the class that is taken, that might be worth the trouble of being psychologically challenged daily, but in my opinion there’s no reason to be quite so busy during J-term.

My J-term so far has been great: a perfect combination of being challenged and having time off.

I have spent a lot of time with some of my best friends and made new ones. I have learned a lot of great lessons about improvisation and life in general and I’ve had time to get my sleep schedule back on track.

All of these things not only help me cool down after first semester, but they are also helping me prepare for the challenges that lie ahead.