I photographed this Thirteen-lined Ground Squirrel as it emerged from hibernation at the end of April at the River Bend Nature Center at Faribault. These rodents are diurnal and eat seeds and a variety of small invertebrates. They can damage gardens but also consume weed seeds, harmful insects, and even mice and shrews.
Thirteen-lined Ground Squirrels become fat during the fall and store food in their shallow burrows. By October they enter a special, deep hibernation chamber. During hibernation, their respiration decreases from about 150 to one breath per minute (Wikipedia). Getting fat and sleeping are probably excellent strategies for surviving Minnesota winters, but are probably ill-advised for succeeding in one's university career.