OxyButNotaMoron

Contradiction is my style

Archive for the tag “college”

Searching For A Job Search

I started planning this a few hours ago when I wasn’t near any type of paper or anything that I could use to write, so it might feel a bit choppy. But I will say that no, I am not currently looking for a job. I enjoy working in the theater. This is about my future.

Yo yo yo yo! (No, I don’t know why I feel the need to start off these posts with some sort of greeting; I just do)

Something that has bothered me for a while is the fact that whenever I think of a potential career option my parents aren’t very supportive of it.

Back in junior and senior year of high school I was going through the normal internal panic that many students face when thinking about college. I had no idea what I was going to study or where I would go to college. My dream since eighth grade has been to be a sound engineer in a recording studio. My parents got it drilled into my mind that a job within the music industry would not be very lucrative and I wouldn’t be happy. So I started looking into different things. But time and time again my parents would shoot down any of my suggestions. Basically, if I wasn’t going into accounting (because I was supposedly decent at math in high school?) my dad wouldn’t be happy and if I wasn’t going into nursing my mom wouldn’t be happy (because I was good at science–or pretended I was–in high school and I liked helping people). The librarian at my high school suggested I study funeral planning because she knew I like horror movies and heavy metal and such. Of course my parents shot this down as well, saying it was too weird despite me trying to tell them I would always have business (kinda scary thought but it’s true). From there I looked up majors similar to funeral planning and somehow found forensic science. Again, my parents weren’t supportive of this but senior year and college applications were rapidly approaching and I needed something. I figured I would do forensic science as my main job and recording on the side. I do remember though filling out some “find a college now” type website and putting audio engineering like I wanted and they called my house a few months after I submitted all my applications and chose my current school and my mom wondered why people we calling me about that. Anyway, that part in italics was a sidenote. I needed something to chose and so I kept pestering my parents to let me study forensic science. It took a long time but they caved. This decision even disappointed my guidance counselor in a meeting to talk about colleges; she knew I wanted to study audio engineering and had already looked into schools for me to apply for that. When I told her I was going to study forensic science she, in her normal fashion where she didn’t actually mean it, scolded me for having her do all that work for nothing.

When I was applying to schools they told me to apply to the local community college and start there incase forensic science didn’t work out. Because I appeased their wishes I couldn’t apply to the Macaulay Honors Program (not too disappointed in that but if I had the same success getting into that as I did getting into all 9 schools I applied to, I’d be going to college for free). When I got into John Jay (the very last school to send their acceptance letter) I told them that I was going there. They still tried to convince me to start at the community college but I wasn’t having it.

Incase you’re new here or you forgot, forensic science lasted about two months and then I switched to my current major, criminology (but I still had to finish my first semester science classes).

Imma stop talking about me for a second and talk about my brother. When he was in college, he switched majors twice. He went into SUNY Cortland to study exercise science to be a physical therapist. That didn’t pan out well. He did horribly in his science classes (worse than I did) but I believe he stayed in it for a full year because my dad would not let him change his major. They had a discussion (where my dad was extremely angry and disappointed in my brother) where my dad eventually agreed to let him change his major. My brother apparently wanted to switch to Fitness Development but my dad wasn’t having any of that. He made my brother switch to business; the major my dad studied in college. He assumed that my brother would have no problem finding a job post college in that major–he was probably completely unaware of the fact that business is the most common major for college students. My brother stayed in the major for a bit but in junior year he pretty much fell into a depression. That year my dad made him become an RA (where my brother got stuck in a freshman dorm). That was an extremely stressful job and topping it with a major that he hated, he had no motivation to do anything. His girlfriend told me that he would just lay on his bed in his room for hours in darkness and wouldn’t want to go out. He even got below a 2.0 GPA for a semester (like the semester GPA, not his overall) during this time. He eventually switched his major to communications, almost causing World War III when my dad found out my brother turned his back on him with business. My brother was able to finish communications very fast and graduated on time. My dad gave my brother some time after college to relax but when he decided it was time, he immediately started forcing my brother to find a job and take all the civil service exams that came up. My brother eventually got a retail job at Under Armor in the city. My brother hates the city. My brother hates commuting. My brother hates the people of New York. My brother hates New York in general. He worked at this job for almost two years. During that time he wanted to sign up for the Army Rangers and was going to until his girlfriend talked him out of it. He never gave up his dream of the military though. Apparently one day, almost a year and a half later, my dad and him had a talk where my dad finally apologized for not letting my brother study what he wanted in college. During this discussion my brother said he was thinking of going back to get a masters in the fitness development program (or something extremely similar). This was good news to my dad. However, that plan didn’t go through because my brother instead went to a Marine recruiter and signed up. He is now in bootcamp (and I really gotta write him a letter). My parents weren’t thrilled at all to hear this but there was nothing they could do. Now they are proud of him and claim to have always supported his dreams and goals. Good thing they were already patriotic, or else who knows what would have happened.

Anyway, back to me (wooo narcissism!) I don’t remember what I wrote in my first post about switching my major (cause that was over two years ago or something and I am sure none of you really remember my exact wording either). But when I first told my dad I wasn’t enjoying forensic science and wanted to switch he got beyond pissed off. After making me cry and telling me I was to stay in science, I didn’t have the guts to tell him that I had already put in the paperwork to officially switch earlier that week. I didn’t tell him until after the semester ended and I told him through a four page long letter with very little emotion but tons of straight up facts as to why this was the best decision for me. He accepted it and finally after months of unbearable tension and silence the house was calm again.

Because of what happened with my brother I knew that criminology had to be the major I graduated with. (Also sidenote, one of my friends in the honors program switched from forensic psychology to fire science and the director of the program told him not to switch again so that also added to my fear that has kept me trapped in my major). In the beginning I thought I was going to be part of the FBI and eventually become a special agent. Well during this past election I saw just how easily the FBI could be corrupted and I also realized that the high stress of law enforcement–or the dull, mind-numbing idea of working a desk job as some analyst or some shit–did not excite me. I lost all interest in working for the FBI; I didn’t even apply to the FBI summer internship for a second time and this of course angered my dad when he found out. So for the past few months I have been in limbo, struggling to think of a career path. To top it off, my 300 level classes in my major made me realize I actually do not give a shit about what I am studying. So basically, college has become what my religion teacher in high said it was for some people, prolonged adolescence. I am basically taking a seat away from someone else who actually (for some reason) wants to study criminology at John Jay.

A couple of months ago I was thinking and I considered social work as a career path. I looked into it and saw that there are some social workers who focus in military families and veterans. I would like that. I have yet to meet a veteran or military personal who I do not like and if I could give back to those people in anyway, I would. However, social work requires you to have a masters degree and take a test to become licensed. I never had any desire in continuing my education past a bachelors (hell, if I am being honest I didn’t even want to do THAT in the first place). Everyone who I have told about this idea, including my parents, have said that social work is a thankless job, very high stress, and low pay. Thanks. Back to the chopping block.

The other day I was thinking security. And I even brought it a step further and thought if I become a security guard in a public school I will technically be working a salary job for the state. Therefore, I should get the benefits from the federal government that my parents oh so want me to get. However, when I told my mom this in the car this morning, she said that it is not a safe job and I should look elsewhere. She suggested being a crossing guard because according to her the job is easy. Thanks.

My piano teacher suggested I go to Baruch for a masters in arts management. I looked at the courses that I would have to take for that and by the names they just sound so much more interesting than anything in criminology (then again, I chose criminology because the course names of like 5-6 classes sounded cool, not that I got a chance to take all of them because I had to take different classes to fill the same requirements of the cool classes due to certain restraints). However, I just know my parents would say “what could you ever do with that?” so I am not even going to bother with this because if they don’t support it, I doubt they will want to support my financial costs.

Thinking further, basically any job that I would get if I were to actually work in something related to my godforsaken major will be unsafe and/or underpaid. If not, then it’s some federal job with high security checks and hoops to go through in applying and extremely competitive. I am at a loss.

Despite all the friends I made and things I have achieved at my college, if I were given the chance to go back to senior year and apply to different schools I am 90% sure I would take it. I would say fuck my parents’ thoughts, I am studying music. It took almost three years for my dad to even understand and accept that I am minoring in music. But honestly, I think I would be so much happier academic-wise if I were majoring in my dream. I just found a YouTube channel today by some guy who has a masters in music composition and just hearing him talk about music theory made me ecstatic. I wish I could understand it more but I never had any advanced classes in music theory (thanks to my school solely focusing on criminal justice, which is cool but still very limiting). I really want to make the time to teach myself this stuff–music theory, audio programs, and new instruments. But of course I gotta focus on my career, which I don’t know if I’ll ever have.

I have to start working on my senior thesis and I am dreading it. Not because it is a big project (although that is a big portion of it), but because I cannot stand my major and I don’t care about sociological stuff (criminology is basically sociology but with a focus in crime, criminals, and the criminal justice system). My project isn’t focusing on those three things because you cannot pay to me pretend to care about prisons and prisoners at this point, but instead it is going to be about the struggled veterans face on returning home from being deployed. I only realized after making that my project that I might have a difficult time doing research because why would veterans want to talk to an undergrad about their personal issues? From what I’ve read so far they don’t always even want to talk to profession psychologists and such about that. But hopefully my capstone mentor (who I gotta email :/) can help with that. No this little rant isn’t important to the overall point of the post but it is right there with my current struggles and stressors.

So back to jobs. WTF am I going to do? Everyone always suggests ideas for me, many of which I have little-to-no interest in even researching, never mind actually doing. My parents want me in some government base where I go to work in a dress suit ever day and work in some air conditioned cubical, earning a salary and benefits from a job I care little about. Sure that’s what my dad has done for almost 30 years and even though I see how much it has helped financially, I see how miserable it makes him and how much he hates working for the court system. I never wanted to work in the courts, after all the countless time I attended Bring Your Daughter To Work Day (the judge in charge of it was a huge feminist and apparently didn’t want to deal with the sons but eventually they had to add the boys in the following day because god-forbid little boys and girls socialize together.) My dad wants me to start looking into the same civil service and court tests that he made my brother take. I’ll go through the motions but I really have no interest in getting a job as a court assistant or anything.

Another thing I want to mention is if you enjoy your major I am both so proud and envious of you. I see all my friends who are actively pursuing their dreams and I love seeing their joy when talking about classes, internships, and (for some) job opportunities they have taken. I really do hope that all of my friends (and everyone in general) end up working in a job that they love. I just wish I could do the same. Keep on building that résumé friends! I want to see you succeed in your dreams because I am pretty sure I’ll never be able to do mine.

With graduation rapidly approaching I am already experiencing the “what’s after college” questions and I honestly don’t know how to answer them anymore. I usually joke when people ask “What are you going to do after graduation?” by saying “cry” but I have a feeling that soon I won’t really be joking about that anymore. I haven’t done internships (because I always end up putting my eggs in one basket and hoping I get the one or two summer internships I apply for, but never have), I don’t know what kind of job I could do related to my major that I won’t hate everyday, I don’t know what other fields to look into that could be lucrative but also enjoyable for me, and I don’t know what kind of job I can pick that will get my parents approval. And I know that in this economy (of what little I know about economics) that I can’t just get married and move to the midwest as I also commonly joke. Maybe one day I’ll figure something out.

Your friend,
Lost in a pile of cutout classifieds

Going The Distance

Hello again folks!

The past few days all I have done is sit on my bed and refresh Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Memebase while simultaneously playing Tetris so I figured it is time to do something productive. As I promised several times before I am going to write a blog post on cross country. Well here it is!

For me my interest in running started in eighth grade. At that age gym became my favorite class and I was part of the small handful of girls who actually did participate. At the start of every gym class we would have to run two laps around the gym, or two laps around the tennis courts if we were outside. I would go full out sprinting right behind a girl who did track outside of school. I didn’t move my arms correctly which resulted in the boys of my gym class calling me Sausage Fingers. I never understood that logic but I embraced the name. In eighth grade I went through my angsty-I-hate-everyone phase that most tweens/teens go through and yet in gym I felt pure joy. Also in this year we had to choose which high school we would be attending. I wasn’t happy at this time that I would be attending the high school I did (re-read my spirit week post and you’ll see it took me time to love it there) but on an orientation day that my high school held for the newly accepted students they gave out booklets with all the clubs and sports that they had. The three that popped out to me were track club, volleyball, and cross country. At this time I was really interested in volleyball but because of gym I considered cross country and track club. One of the current students informed me that track club didn’t interfere with volleyball and that you don’t have to run as far as you do in cross country, which I thought was good because at that time running 1.5 miles seemed impossible. I wasn’t even ready for the end of the year mile we had to run in gym class! So I decided that I would do volleyball in the fall and track club in the spring.

When freshman year came along I tried out for the volleyball team along with my cousin who was a year older than me and already on the team. After the second day of try-outs I was cut but a week later my cousin informed me I was on the team. I didn’t realize it until years later that she must have talked to the coaches and got me on the roster. I was not good at competitive volleyball. Not at all. I did very good back in middle school when the rest of the girls didn’t move on the court at all so it was all up to me. But in high school I bombed at it. I wasn’t even put on the court for the first two games! I don’t blame the coach, she wanted to try to break our eight year losing streak (not joking, it took until the year after for the JV team to finally when a game) and having me on the court would not let that happen. The team was fun but there seemed to be tension and such between players. It didn’t help that we weren’t the best and couldn’t win more than a single set. All in all it was just not the greatest of experiences. Then comes spring time and track club finally starts. The amount of fun I had in this club cannot be put into words. Around the middle of the season I finally started getting used to the running and finally started to get to know other people in the club. People from other sports tried to convince me to join their sport. I had a friend who was on the soccer team (who did cross country with me for one season before going back) try to get me to join that. I had another friend who was captain of the bowling team try to convince me that it would be a good idea to join that, little did she know I was worse at bowling than at volleyball. I don’t remember if any basketball people tried to get me to join that but it would have been a laugh considering I can never get the ball into the basket. Then one of my now closest friends, who was captain of the cross country team, told me to consider joining that. And I did consider it. After a couple of weeks I finally went to see my guidance councilor who was also the cross country coach at my school to tell her that I will be joining cross country in the fall season and she was happy to hear that. I continued to do track club for the rest of my time in high school and it was the only extracurricular activity that I did for all four years. As the time moved it it became a lot easier and I would always laugh when my non-runner friends who joined the club would complain to me in school about how sore they were.

That summer my coach sent out emails to everyone interested in joining the team. These weekly emails listed out how far she wanted us to run and how many times in that week we should do so. I followed those emails almost religiously with my dad. We used Google Maps Pedometer to track out the course we’d run and out the door we went. The whole summer I agonized over the thought of “What did I get myself into?” and I always hoped I would trip on one of the cracks on the sidewalk and that would be the end of my running days. But I never tripped and even though it hurt, I pushed through. The first day of practice I found out there were no cuts, if you wanted to stay on the team you just had to put the effort in. It was really tough at first. Hell, it still is. But I kept going. My friend Michelle, who I spoke of in my previous post, was on the team and at practice we would always run side by side and when it came time for walking we had to keep on a look out because our coach always seemed to pop out from bushes to tell us to keep running. The friends I made from this season I kept throughout the years and the memories we shared were countless. My coach put me in charge of leading the stretches everyday and this lasted for the rest of the time I was on the team because, according to her, I had super memory and a loud enough voice to keep everyone in line. I tried to mix them up by counting in various languages like Spanish, Finnish, and German which always got laughs. During every season as the months progressed we would run outside of the park and in the streets of the neighborhood where my school was located. We would always end up in the next area over with really nice houses and all of us picked out where we will eventually live when we were all rich. One of my friends from the team sat behind me in Spanish class and since we never really learned in that class, it was more of a party with quizzes every now and then, we made a list of everything we wanted to accomplish in our future seasons of cross country. I do not remember everything on that list but I do remember Number 1, “Get a medal at every race.” Sadly to this day that has not happened but I still have that as a goal. Another thing on that list was to go off on people who called cross country “track” because that is one of my biggest pet peeves. THEY. ARE. DIFFERENT. SPORTS. My most memorable race this season was a sophomore only race that took place after the PSATs. During the race I was doing my usual thing, struggling and walking at some parts. Suddenly that girl from gym class in 8th grade who ran track was next to me, and she was from my rival school. I was nice and said hello and she remembered me and we continued in silence because we were both tired. When we were out of the woods but not yet at the end of the race I was starting to slow down and was about to walk when a couple of her teammates shouted “Good job, Diana! You can beat her, she is slowing down!” And then they started chanting their school’s name. That was all the boost I needed to push me on and I left that girl in the dust. I just looked at the results of that meet, I finished in 24:31 and she finished in 25:08. That was one of my proudest moments that season and in my time of being on the sport in general. Plenty of other races had memorable moments, like my second meet when there was a tree blocking the way and a big group of us didn’t know that we had to climb through it to continue on. Or one other meet sometime in October when out of nowhere it started snowing and we were stuck on our bus for hours as the public schools did their race and we waited to see if ours was cancelled or not, and eventually it was.

This right here was my team in sophomore year. I am the 6th girl in from the right, pale and with the bangs covering my eyes.

This right here was my team in sophomore year. I am the 6th girl in from the right standing up, pale and with the bangs covering my eyes.

 

In junior year I became one of the team captains which, out of all the leadership roles I had in high school (which is a pretty long list) is still my most favorite of them all. I made it a goal this year to not walk in a race again and I have kept to that goal, despite injuries and all. This was the last season that I had with a big amount of my teammates because they were all graduating but we made the most of it. However, there was a group of girls who were on the team that really did not put in the effort and used practice more as a time to socialize than exercise. The phrase “keep running” was used far too often at practice. Something else that was used way too often at practice was Bengay. So many of my teammates used Bengay like a drug. The moment they felt anything in their legs they would lather themselves with it to the point where I am sure the entire park smelled of peppermint or whatever it was supposed to smell like. Some of my favorite memories from this season were… One day at practice in this season out of nowhere a swarm of dragonflies came into the park and like the tough beasts that we all were, we rushed back to school only to be followed by the harmless little insects. Throughout this season Michelle and I would always pet a cat that lived in one of the houses on the way to the park. This cat would even run up to us when we were coming just to get it’s daily ear scratches in. We called the cat Mr. Kitty but one day the cat was wearing a collar and turns out her name was Foxy. I still have photos of Mr. Kitty/Foxy on my phone. I will post one of them below. From then on my coach made it a rule at the beginning of every track club and cross country season that we were not allowed to pet the “stray cats” of the neighborhood. I always broke that rule. Also this season our coach signed for a 5k, which none of us had ever run before. This race took place on the ginormous grounds of a high school out in Long Island. At this race my coach saw someone she once knew and I don’t remember what he did but apparently he was rude to us or something. When my coach went to go get our bibs the person at the tent asked her “Where’s your coach?” because my coach looks like she could pass as one of us and she had to inform them that she was the coach. Later on at this race when I was doing a warm up jog with my teammates some of the officials yelled at us to get off the course, not that we knew where the course was because there were no lines and when we actually started the race we had to run in circles and past the same areas I don’t know how many times. Apparently in this race a few of my teammates got yelled at for breaking other rules that we didn’t know were in place and at the end of the day we all decided that we are never going back to Great Neck for a race ever again. Another meet we had this season was called the Reebok Manhattan HS Invitational. My teammates and I were at Van Cortlandt Park for over six hours because of all the events that took place between the race our freshmen were signed up for and the race that the rest of us were signed up for. Apparently the female captain of my college cross country team, who is now one of my good friends, was at this meet too, but we were in different events. She still beat me by a lot, 5 minutes and 32 seconds to be exact. At the sophomore only race for this season two of the seniors and I went hiking through VCP and discovered that the park was much bigger than we thought. Somehow we managed to find our way back to cheer on our teammates. All in all this was a fun season.

Foxy AKA Mr. Kitty

Foxy AKA Mr. Kitty

 

In senior year we had basically a brand new team since a majority of the members from the previous season either graduated or quit. This season, since the other two captains graduated, I had to step up my leadership game. Especially since the new captain, who is the first ever four year runner my high school had (also the fastest runner my high school has had so far), always manages to get lost. Even if we were running the stairs inside of school she would still manage to lose her way and it was up to me to keep her in place. I had to push myself to run along side her at practice so she would know where she was going and this helped me because my times kept improving for each meet. But the fun stuff wouldn’t happen when I raced, it would be after I and most of my teammates finished and there was still one person left. During this season we had to run the course in reverse as a search party more times than not for that one lone girl who was still running. Every time without fail it would turn out that they ran to the public school side of the course instead of the Catholic school finish line. But as in every season we had our fun and made memories and became that close family that seemed to happen in every season. I even used running a cross country race as a metaphor to my experience in high school for my personal essay to use when I was applying to colleges. I compared the different parts of the race to each year in high school and it worked out beautifully.

Going into college I found out to get onto my school’s cross country team I would actually have to try out and this included running 3.6 miles in 32 minutes or less. From the day after my high school graduation until the end of August when tryouts took place I woke up at 8am every weekday morning to have a protein bar and go run in my neighborhood to try to get the mileage under my belt. I started out fine but in the middle of July at the end of one of my runs I fell and hit my knee hard. It hurt like hell to walk on it, never mind run. This pushed me back a whole week in my training and I was unable to practice speed, only distance. As it got closer to tryouts time I noticed that I was constantly four minutes slower than I needed to be. At that time I started to question whether I really wanted to continue doing cross country but I kept going, not letting anyone know I was having doubts. Then one of the senior members of the team held a few unofficial practices before tryouts. I went to all but one to see how it was running as a collegiate athlete. After the first of these practices I really started having doubts as to whether I would be able to make it on the team. I even needed to take my first ever ice bath because my legs were killing me from running to Central Park, around the Reservoir, and back and then running up and down the stairs of my school. When I went back a few days later I told the teammate in charge of these practices that I was having doubts as to whether I’ll make it and he told me that since I am a freshman and I hadn’t been on the team before the coaches would be a little more lenient with the time trial results if I didn’t finish in the 32 minutes. This gave me confidence and hope. Which was ultimately crushed when tryouts did come along and on the very first day we ran about 7 miles and the next day we did 8 miles. I had never run further than 4 miles before that and I felt absolutely dead. I was the slowest out of everyone and I doubted that I would be able to get on the team. When my mom was driving me to the train station one of these days she said that she could turn around and I could stay home if I really wanted to. But I decided I came this far, I might as well continue on. The next two days of tryouts we were indoors in the fitness center doing either machine circuits or calisthenics. I had never used any machine in a gym before except for the stationary bike so this was not easy to do and the calisthenics were tough, but more manageable. Then after that we had to run up and down the stairs, all 193 steps (I counted), for 15 minutes with a 15 pound vest on and 15 minutes without. This was absolute torture for me. Then we got a day rest and after that it was time for the time trials. Just like the previous days of tryouts I was the slowest person in the group that I went out with. I finished in 35:59. I was so disappointed in myself and I was so upset that I wasn’t going to make it on the team at that point that I walked far ahead of the other four people and my coach so they wouldn’t have to fake kindness to me and so they wouldn’t see how I felt. That night I waited in my room for hours for the email with the roster list. When it finally came in I couldn’t believe it, I actually made it on the team! One of my coaches later told me that they saw my determination to not quit and felt that my attitude towards the sport would get me further and that is why they put me on the roster.

For the next two months I ran further distances and more often than I had ever in my life. I also actually fell in love with the sport when before I just simply ran. Even though I suffered through Runner’s Toes, an Achilles Heel injury, possible shin splints, and just general fatigue all over, I really enjoyed what I was doing. Three times a week I ran during the midday practice and the coach in charge of that time pushed us further than I thought we could possibly go. Twice a week I would run at the evening practices and it was always interesting being in The City that late at night; I wouldn’t get home until around 9pm. We had meets not only at VCP but also upstate, Long Island, and even one in Delaware. During the middle of the season we had a Bye-week where we didn’t have to run, but we did have practice in the school’s pool and the fitness center. It was like try-outs all over again and it sucked but it made me appreciate running even more. During that week I visited my high school team at practice and at their meet that weekend. I tried hard to not scare the girls away from joining cross country in college but it was hard because they did not like hearing about how far I was running every day. It was only a month into the season but what seemed impossible to them, and even me at the time, I was able to accomplish with ease. Unlike the nice, happy, friendly family that the cross country team was back in high school, on this team we were all assholes who loved to mess with each other, but we supported our teammates through thick and thin. Sadly the season ended early for all but one member of the women’s team because we did not perform excellently at CUNYAC Champs. The rest of the team was able to compete in two more races. When this season finished I didn’t have much time to run, but I somehow managed to squeeze a few runs in and as a new member to the New York Road Runners I even did two races to try to stay in the running shape. I plan to continue running throughout this year instead of only starting again in the summer like how I did in previous years because I want to close the gap between me and the fastest girl on the team and I also just want a damn medal. Just one will make me happy, more than that would be even better.

 

And this here is my teammates and I after CUNYAC Champs. I am the second person from the left in the bottom row.

And this here is my teammates and I after CUNYAC Champs. I am the second person from the left in the bottom row.

Cross country is no longer just a hobby for me, it is my life. It has shaped me into a better person physically and mentally. Even though at the start, middle, and even the very end before I cross the finish line of every race I question why I do this, I will not give it up. I will always be good friends with my teammates from both my high school and my college team. I think at the start of this I had more to say about how cross country has affected me but I forget, but I think you get the point by now so I shall end it here.

Your friend,
The running fiend

A Look Back And A Look Ahead

Well well well… It seems my fan base is growing. I guess this means I should post on here a little more often. I’ll start with right now and (maybe) continue to post somewhat regularly as time goes on.

I am stealing the idea for this post from one of my good friend’s, also named Michelle, blog post from a little earlier today.

2014 was a pretty eventful year, as are most other 12 month spans of time but a few big things happened this year for me.
-I started off with a New Years Resolution to drink milk and that lasted until the end of August.
-I made this blog. Kinda cool.
-I got accepted to every college I applied to and chose to attend my first choice.
-I was asked to apply to the Honors Program at my college and I got in.
-I graduated high school and earned many awards at my last sports awards, my graduation mass, and graduation itself, the biggest one being Woman Of The Year because apparently it was a 100% consensus among the faculty at my school that I encompassed all the qualities that they hope to see in all of their students.
-I went hang-gliding for my 18th birthday. That was fun.
-I put in months of hard work running to try to get onto the cross country team at my college and when I lost all hope that was ever going to happen, I made it. Cross Country blog post coming eventually I promise!
-I changed my major after weeks of struggle to find a reason to stick with it.
-And there are so many other things that happened but it is time to move on and into new adventures!!

Every year people make new years resolutions. I have done so a couple of times. I tend to accomplish them to some extent but then I, like everyone else, give up. I also tend to make summer resolutions when school ends and I find myself with an overwhelming amount of free time. Those always last for a week before I give up and spend the rest of my time on the computer looking at the same exact websites over and over again. Well I am going to copy what Michelle did and post 20 10 things that I want to accomplish. These are the same things I have been trying to do every year and give up or fall short so if even one (I just want to cut in right here to tell you that Michelle just tweeted me to keep blogging and that she just finished reading all my posts, great minds think alike huh) or two are accomplished I will be very happy. Our lists have some things in common because we have some similar goals, but enjoy both anyway! Here we go.

1. Get a medal at one or more cross country meets this season.
-I have been wanting a medal ever since I joined this sport back in my sophomore year of high school and many times I have been close. I have only received medals at those races where everyone gets one for participation and those do not count in my mind.

2. To accomplish #1 I have to exercise more, improve my running techniques, and never give up. I’d say eat healthier but all runner know that doesn’t happen.

3. Improve my drumming skills.
-By this I mean learn more songs, restrict myself less, build up my stamina for double bass drumming, stop criticizing myself over every mistake, and learn how I can fix things that go wrong.

4. Learn to play the harmonica.
-I have had one of these little instruments since I was a sophomore in high school and every summer I plan on learning how to become a badass harmonica player, but that never happens.

5. Learn to speak Finnish.
-This has been on my list for years and I try but it is hard to motivate myself especially since it is such a difficult language and I don’t know anyone in person who speaks it.

6. Leave my comfort zone more often.
-I have to eat more foods I never tried, go to more places, try things on my own, and so much more.

7. Socialize more.
-I am an introvert so I tire easily when spending time with people and it is hard for me to initiate social contact, even with friends I have known for years. All my socializing seems to happen either during cross country season with my team or during off times in school waiting for class. Anything besides that rarely happens.

8. Improve my grades.
-This should have been number 1 but eh, it doesn’t really matter the order that this goes in. My GPA this semester, to me, is shit and I want to stay in the Honors Program at my school. I am on academic probation for the Honors Program and I will have to work my ass off to get the minimum 3.3 average needed to stay in the program.

9. Read more.
-I have a super long list of books that I want to read and it is always growing, which is good, but rarely do I ever knock books off of that list.

10. Write, and improve the way I do so.
-Just like my friend Michelle always blogs about wanting to write a book, I have always wanted to do so myself. I have had ideas before and I would write a little bit but after a few pages I would give up and discard the idea. I also need to improve my writing style because I feel it isn’t adequate enough.

I feel like there is so much more I want to do but right now I am drawing a blank. Ending my list at a nice even number seems like a good idea. I have more goals when it comes to running or just improving myself as a person and I guess it is all up to myself and how motivated I am to achieve all of these goals to actually be able to accomplish them. I don’t expect any of that “New year, New me” stuff where everything on my list is magically achieved before this time next year, but like I said earlier, even if something on my list gets a little check-mark that will be good enough for me.

Your friend,
That is wishing you all the best for the future

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.

Classes:

Schedule

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.

Work
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.

Social life
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].

Spring Schedule

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.

Your friend,
The college student

 

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