This first semester of college was filled with a whole set of new experiences, as the first semester of college typically is for any first year student. My class load was filled with mostly general education credits, which means I am taking classes that push my outside of my typical comfort zone of energy levels and osmosis labs. I am taking two art classes, one of which is a history of art course. These classes are very different than anything I was ever exposed to before because I am encouraged to think outside of the box and create my own projects, rather than following a strict rubric. I had to memorize a hundread works of art, where they are from, and analyze the works based on my own knowledge of the topic and culture rather than based on what my teacher told me to remember. My photography professor regularly gives us a broad idea to follow for our projects and expects us to come p with a good idea to express the idea through our art. This past project was to create an imitation of another photographer’s work and then make it our own. Other than that little bit of direction, the project was up to me. I love being able to take my education in the direction that I want. If i put little effort into my work, I will get little out, and vice versa. I am given the freedom to think critically on my own and discover what I like to learn about. Also, I have been pushed to think in a completely different way than I would have to in my science and math courses.
Another personal development I have made in the past four and a half months involves my ability to cope with less privacy, being exposed to more diversity, and a much faster pace of day to day living. I was use to having a room to myself, a cat that would sleep next to me, food in a fridge with a kitchen to cook, and the ability to take time to myself on a daily basis. Now, everyday is fast paced and something is always happening. Whether that be drama with a roommate, a residence hall activity, or a new test to study for. I have to actively search for a time in which I slow down and relax, something I never had to actively do before. I have found that at times I need to say no to going out with friends and instead spend time just relaxing, or I will get burnt out very quickly. It was especially hard around my firt midterms because I never wanted to say no to spending time with friends to study, but quickly found that I had to do so in order to save my grades. In all, I have found that I must take more control of what I am doing on a day to day basis in order to spend my time on what is needed in the moment.
Biological Sciences Scholars has really encouraged me to continue pushing towards my goals in the future. In high school I found it fairly easy to concentrate on preparing for college and gaining the experience I needed to become a good candidate for vet school. I always knew what I needed to do and how to find the resources to get me there. Beginning college was a whole new set of obstacles though. There are so many more opportunities and people whom are smarter and more qualified than I am, so it was very easy for me to slack off at the beginning of the semester. Going to class and learning about all of the opportunities I have for the future, gaining ideas on how to make myself tad out and survive some of the more difficult classes I will eventually have to face, kept me looking forward. My scholars seminar encouraged me to begin looking for internships and thinking about how I may want to spend these next four years in preparation of grad school. While I still feel overwhelmed and underprepared for the future, it has given me a place to ground myself and begin to look for ways to become more prepared. Also, it was given me a fairly solid support system of students in the exact same place I am, just as overwhelmed and nervous for the net four years and beyond. So, while I may feel stressed at times, I have a network of friends who feel the same way and that we can both lean on.