First Year Review: Spring 2019

Before starting my first year at Ohio State, I thought college was going to be a lot of memorizing facts to pass classes in order to graduate. I thought college was simply a continuation of high school, just with a more flexible schedule and semester-long classes. However, after starting my first semester, I realized my original ideas about college were very wrong. Unlike high school, simply memorizing facts in college will get you nowhere. After my first few midterms that did not go as planned, I realized that professors cared a lot more about how you think about the information taught in class instead of if you memorized the material or not. This was a huge shock. I spent my entire K-12 education memorizing facts and procedures that I knew would show up on tests, so I had to completely change my study habits and mindset towards classes. Although this was a difficult change to make, it has helped me grow intellectually. I no longer worry about memorizing every little detail about a subject, but rather I focus on the thought process behind everything. In the real world, you can look up various information when you need it, but you cannot look up how to think critically about a challenging problem. This has really helped me understand the purpose of college: learning how to think.

Along with a new idea of what college is about, I also developed different academic expectations for myself. In high school, I maintained a 4.0 without much of an issue, and I thought I would be able to continue this in college if I put in the extra work. However, this year really taught me that getting a 4.0 is not necessarily the most important thing. Getting a 4.0 as an engineering student would require countless hours of extra work, stress, and pressure. Instead of using my extra time to perfect my grades, I could use this extra time to grow as a person. Although my grades are still a priority, I have also been able to be a part of a scholar’s program, work on campus, meet new people, and attend various campus events. These out of the classroom experiences have helped me determine my likes, dislikes, and goals for my life beyond college. Discovering these things about myself would not have been possible if I allowed myself to be consumed by my course work.

Overall, I believe this past year has been extremely beneficial to me not only academically, but personally. I have learned how to better manage my time, how to prioritize what matters to me, and how to take care of myself like an actual adult. I’ve met new people with different cultures and lifestyles, and I’ve had countless new experiences and opportunities. This year has changed me for the better, and I look forward what other changes the next three years will bring.

Semester Review: Fall 2018

During my first semester of college, I have learned many new things both in and outside of the classroom. However, the most valuable thing I have learned this semester is how to deal with failure. Since starting college, I have been challenged in new and unexpected ways; I am enrolled in difficult courses, I am away from my friends and family for the first time, and I am still trying to figure out what being an adult truly entails.

During high school, I completed several Advanced Placement and College Credit Plus courses, but none of those classes compare to the courses I am enrolled in now. Adjusting to the pace of college courses has been harder for me than I anticipated. I have to put a lot more time into studying outside of classes than I did before, and I also have to learn how to fit taking care of myself into my study schedule. These adjustments, which I am still learning how to make, have affected how well I have been able to perform on exams. With poor performance on my exams, I have earned grades that I am not particularly proud of.

Although I wish I could be doing better in a few of my classes, I am thankful for the lesson I have learned throughout this semester: no one can be perfect at everything. I may be having a difficult time in some of my classes, such as physics, but I am still excelling in other classes. Two of my classes, Introduction to Java and Introduction to Engineering, involve programming. My ability to learn programming concepts and syntax quickly has allowed me to excel in these classes.

Not performing as well as I would like in some of my classes has helped me understand that adversity is inevitable in some situations. However, how I react to this adversity is entirely up to me. I have chosen to learn from my mistakes rather than to dwell on them. I have developed new study habits, attended more office hours, and improved my ability to adapt to new situations. These new skills will not only help me perform better in future semesters, but they will also help me adjust more quickly to different teaching styles that I encounter. Hopefully, with these skills and the skills I learn in upcoming semesters, the transition to college and adulthood will be more manageable.