College: Changes and Growth
What’s this? A new blog post? YIPPEE!!!!
That is what I expect each and everyone one of you to be thinking right now.
Hello folks, did you miss me? I have not been able to blog or do much recently because I have started the chapter in my life known to most as college. Even though it is a little past midway through the semester I feel it is time to go into how my experience has been so far. That, and I am pretty sure there is some assignment that I am procrastinating on that I just don’t wanna start.
Well to begin I want to tell you that I started my school with a major in forensic science. This field is absolutely nothing like what you see on CSI, NCIS, and whatever other shows I don’t watch that have people supposedly doing forensic work. Now that you know my major, or now former major (keep reading to find out) I can tell you all my stories that have happened so far and how I have grown in a little more than two months.
That right there is what my schedule for this semester looks like, ignore the orange bits because it just repeats the green above and below it. As you can see I am booked with a bunch of different classes in a confusing mesh without much consistency. I am taking four classes but because two of those are sciences with lab, lecture, and recitation, it is more like eight. I’ll start off the easy ones though. English is only once a week and everyone in my class is either in the Honors Program at my school or part of the Macaulay Honors College branch at my school. Yeah, I am supposed to be a nerd. It was a mandatory class for all freshman Honors students to take. So far this is my best class. My teacher is great, she even brings snacks for us every week because she understands nobody wants a three hour class on a Friday. There is a lot of work but it is doable. Next I’ll mention Imperialism, which is my history class. I had to take a freshman year seminar and many of the options were either feminist or minority related. I just didn’t want to take those types classes and I do want to rule the world as dictator one day so I figured, if history repeats itself, I gotta learn it to do it (Joking… sorta…). This is my second best class and again I have a cool professor. He even gave me cookies on two occasions. The only issue that I have with him is the distracting amount of times he says “uh” or “um.” On one of the first days of class my friend from the Honors Program and I took a tally of how many times he said those words, the final number was 245 in an hour and 15 minute period. Other than that he is really cool and so is the course. I am doing pretty good in this class, I keep getting a point off here or there but nothing to worry about. I just wish I knew what the hell our final is on because that is the only test we take in this class.
Now that the fun ones are over lets enter what makes me miserable on a day to day basic. My science classes. “Wait, but didn’t you open up with you’re a forensic science major?” Yes I did. But boy are these classes rough. I am doing terribly in both bio and chem. I received a 66 and 78 on my two bio tests, the latter of which I almost went through the roof with joy when I saw it despite how low of a grade it is. I received an 84 and a 56 on my two chem tests. The first one was an absolute fluke and all the stars and planets in the Milky Way were aligned in the right order for that to happen because as I was taking the test I had no idea what was going on and I guessed on a majority of the questions. Sadly it seems that the professors must have planned to have all the tests within days of each other and with all of the other work that I have to do for labs and recitations as well as my two other classes, studying time is impossible to find and I cannot give the course work the dignity it deserves. For biology I have a cool professor for lecture, but the pace we are going at is insanely fast. We learn a chapter in a class or two and move on to the next and the tests are full of info from 5-6 chapters of difficult information. I am not too fond of my recitation or lab teachers because they tend to just make things more complicated than it already was. In chemistry I dislike my lecture teacher very much. I feel that he is not properly teaching the material which is already too difficult to understand. However my recitation and lab teachers are cool and I wish they taught lecture instead.
Extra school stuff
Back in high school I was involved in everything it seemed. I went from club meeting to club meeting and yet I actually had time to do my work. This year there are only two things I am part of: The Honors Program and the Cross Country team.
I got into the Honors Program before I started my classes and I am so glad that I did. Mainly for the perks it comes with, some are more obvious and some are more appreciative. The obvious perks I enjoy are: the free laptop, the exclusive lounges, (there are two but I mainly use the big one because that is where socializing happens), the scholarship, and the priority registration. Some other perks that I have learned are going to make a difference in the long run are: I have four different faculty members to help guide me (well, two are Macaulay specific but they will lend a helping hand to the regular Honors Program folks) through my four years, one of those is my academic adviser who actually gets to know me instead of just meet me once or twice a year, there is also the opportunity to learn of fellowships and internships that the upperclassmen have done as well as get their guidance in academic success, I also am guaranteed to be able to find people of intellect to have conversations with instead of the ignoramus population that seems to fill my grade (this is based off of a Facebook group for my graduating class where people post the dumbest of things), and finally I get to make [hopefully] lasting friendships. However, due to what I told you about in my paragraph on my science classes, I am worried about my ability to stay in this program because I have to maintain a GPA of 3.3 or higher. Luckily since I am a freshman I get a little bit of forgiveness if I don’t do well this semester, only if next semester I am able to boost my GPA average to the 3.3 or higher.
On cross country I could write an entire blog post in itself. I might actually do that soon. For now just know that I was worried at first of whether I would be able to get on the team and once I did I fell in love with the sport more than I ever did back in high school. I always enjoyed it for the three years I ran but now I truly love the sport and would not give it up. I also love the team, despite the fact that we are all assholes to each other. Cross country, when it was in season for me, did take up a lot of my time and even though I have absolutely no regrets of joining the team I do wonder how my grades would be doing if I didn’t make it or try out because I would have been able to dedicate more of that time to studying. I attended midday practice (12:15-2:50pm) practice three times a week, evening practice (5:45-7:45pm) once a week, and Fridays I also went to practice at 4:15-6:00ish. And I should mention that it takes about an hour and a half to get home from school.
Because of my schedule and cross country I did not work at the library for the past two months, only today did I finally go back. Because I am the only one at the library who actually organizes the books it was a complete mess when I got there.
After looking at my schedule and reading how time consuming cross country was I am sure you have gotten a sense that I have not gone out much this semester. If you didn’t figure that out then there you go, my social life is even more nonexistent than ever before. If it wasn’t for cross country and the honors program I would have made no new friends, or very little to be optimistic. My best friend does also attend the same school (and I hope you’re reading this, I know you’re subscribed…) and we planned at first to try to meet weekly but that flopped and I am going to put the blame on myself because I choose forensic science and cross country and the honors program. I have seen her a few times very briefly but I have no clue how she is handling all of her work and how things just in general are going for her because I am that type of person who doesn’t contact people unless I have a specific reason and because of the lack of time. I have barely spoken to my other two closest friends, and I have no idea how all but one of my classmates from high school is doing besides what any of them post on Facebook, and even my parents have barely seen me despite the fact that I live at home. I am trapped inside my room doing work until 1am almost every morning, only to wake up at 6ish to get to school. I have had no time to watch all the shows that I have talked about in previous blog posts, I have no time to read leisurely, and I have barely practiced the drums all semester. And I wanted to join two other student clubs (newspaper and the music club).
Now that cross country is over the team is planning to hang out from time to time which I am looking forward to because, as I said earlier, I don’t contact people and I don’t want to lose those friendships. In the honors program I have to do some sort of volunteer work which, even though it is only for a short amount of time, cuts into study time or hanging out time, or even just relaxing alone time. I also have to attend boring workshops every now and then and also some cultural events, the latter of which are generally fun. I went to the Halloween parade in The Village and that was a blast. But I just want to be able to see my friends, old and new, and enjoy myself.
After reading all of that stuff that I just talked about from classes to extra school stuff to social life it probably seems like I am balancing a lot on my plate. And I am. Too much in fact. Which brings me to the final point of this post. I am not getting any enjoyment out of my major. At all. In fact I currently hate my science classes because of how stressed out I am. For the past two months I have kept this in, aside from rants on Twitter. But a couple of weeks ago I found myself looking at other majors that my college has to offer, because I do love my school. After a long internal battle and many life questioning tweets I finally talked to my mom and broke down in tears. I don’t remember the last time I legitimately cried (I say that because I tend to shed a tear when fictional characters I care about die in shows/books I like, not to mention the ending of Terminator 2 gets me almost every time) but the waterworks were going. All the bottled up stress just came out and my mom comforted me and, in a nutshell, said that if I really feel this way I should switch majors. The next day I immediately saw one of the Honors Program advisers and I was almost in tears again. After talking to her we picked out what courses I will be taking next semester because I am now a criminology major with a music minor. After my talk with her I felt like the weight of the world was lifted off of my shoulders and for the first time in weeks I felt excited and happy for my classes, well my next semester classes at least. The day after that I went to one of the offices at school and declared my new major. The next day was the tough part, telling my dad. He is a great guy, both of my parents truly are amazing, but I fear him when he is mad because he puts you down and makes you feel small. Like a little kid in trouble with the principal small. And guess what, he wasn’t happy to hear that I am struggling with science. He made me feel even worse about myself than I ever possibly thought I could. I know he means well, but he only cares about the end point and that is me finding a good paying job. He doesn’t care what it takes to get there or how much enjoyment is made in the process. As long as the bills are paid that is all that matters. Because of the way he spoke I was unable to tell him I officially switched my major but he does know that I am considering it. He will learn the truth soon enough. [Edit: I waited until I got all of my grades and then I wrote my father a four page letter explaining that I changed my major and all the reason why. When he finished reading it he told me that I should be a write and that he is not upset with me for my decision [:End edit].
This is my schedule for spring. I am so excited for it to start because the classes are more evenly spaced and even though it is 5 different subjects, it will be nowhere near as hard as what I would have had to do if I continued with forensic science. I don’t even remember how I chose that. I really wanted to do a music related career but I am smart enough to realize that I don’t have a chance in being successful with that and I would have never been able to convince my parents of it. I actually had to fight for forensic science in the first place because neither of my parents were for it. Oh well. The Criminology major, I have heard, will lead to some good opportunities. I can actually have internships and maybe even a life. The music minor will fulfill my dreams of at least learning what I should know if opportunity ever does knock in my favor. As of now I have no idea what my long term goals are but I am so much happier than I have been now that I know I won’t be suffering in science for the next four or more years.
When I started typing this I am sure I had a lot more to say but as usual I babbled, lost trains of thought, gained others, and it is midnight so I just want to go to bed. I hope what I said has made sense and thank you for reading my journey through college so far.
The college student