My First Semester
Well, It had officially been 121 days since I began college. That is approximately equivalent to one semester of college and about 2 weeks of break.
Before I started college, I was extremely nervous. Despite attending boarding school beforehand for three years, college was going to be a completely different ball game. I did a lot of research about the college that I was to attend and contacted as many people as I could find that go there, but really, it was not enough.
I initially chose the college that I now attend after my overnight the spring before my first semester. I am a softball player and I wanted to play in college, so I went to the college, attended a softball practice, met with the coach, had a meal with the team, and stayed overnight with a player. Despite the actual overnight being a little rocky, I liked the community feel of the school, the views of the mountains around the school, and the softball team.
During orientation in the first week, I was very quiet, only speaking if I was asked for the most part. I spoke much more in the dorm, than in my orientation group. In that week, I also decided if I wanted to join the soccer team. The year before I came to college, I was not able to play soccer because my school did not have enough interest and we could not field a team, so I did not play, so I was a little out of touch with the sport.
After orientation week and classes began, I had made a couple friends, most of them were on the soccer team, because I did decide to join the team. I also made a couple friends in my dorm, which was nice, but now that classes were to start and I did not know how much free time I would have.
I began the semester with six classes and by the end of the semester, I was only taking four. Since I am an Outdoor Education major, I have to take activity courses (rock climbing/backpacking/ropes courses, etc… ) but I realized that I would rather not take them this year, so I dropped them both. Then I added an art credit, but dropped that because my brain could not comprehend drawing class well. I did keep the “gen ed” classes and the intro class for my major though.
I did learn some good time management skills in high school, but those kind of went out the window when I came to college. I spent many late nights in the common room doing homework because I did not want to wake my roommate. Though, sometimes, those were the best nights because I could just sit alone and reflect in between assignments.
Soccer was not an extremely stressful add to my schedule. We only had a two hour practice each day and then games every weekend, but the coach was very understanding with academics, and my fellow players were (for the most part) pretty nice and approachable. I even made a few friends on the team, which is nice. The only thing I regret there is not going to pre season because that was where a lot of bonding happened, and that is where I did not have the upper hand with the rest of the new players.
Before college, I had only had one roommate and it was my sophomore year and we got along great. Having a roommate in college was something that was unavoidable and made me a little worried. At the beginning of the year, we did not have any issues, but slowly, she began to speak her mind and apparently our roommate relationship was not as peachy as I thought. I tried to make things as “normal” as possible, trying to talk to you from now and then when I walked in, but most of the time, she had headphones in and I realized that I was talking to nobody. So from then on, I tried not to spend much time in my room. I was pretty busy in the first place, but when we both did not have class, I did not spend time in our room. Most days, I would only go in if I needed something or I was sleeping. I even spent some nights sleeping in the common room.
Because I was only taking four classes, I decided to get a job. This was to work in the residential life/ dean of students office. Quite honestly, I think this was the best decision I made in my first semester. I like all of my colleagues, I am able to work first thing in the morning, and I like the tasks that I am given. It is a pretty good gig and I am happy to be going back next semester.
Free time was almost a foreign concept to me, but when I had a little bit of it, (during soccer season) I would go out to the field early and practice before the team practice, after that, most of my free time was spent with my friends. A friend mentioned to me the other day that one of their favorite memories of me was the first time that they heard me laugh. I thought this was funny because when I first meet people, I usually only speak in a monotone. So if I really laugh in front of you, it means I am comfortable around you. Other times when I had free time, I would take naps, and the rest of my free time was taken up by doing homework.
For some reason, I find a lot of liberation in helping and doing things for others. So I tried my best to do random, and some intended acts of kindness. For example, in high school, I was known as a birthday fairy. I carried this onto college because I know that can suck to be away from home for your birthday, so I celebrated and made homemade cards for my friends who’s birthdays passed throughout the semester. There is just something nice in making other people smile. Even if they would never do the same for me, the feeling of making them smile, makes me happier.
Now, before I started college, I had initially wanted to attend that college to be on an education track, but because of some logistics, I had to start my college education with a different major. This is where I chose Outdoor Education. It turns out, after taking introduction to Outdoor Ed, that I really like it, but not the specific concentration, which was Adventure Education. so I decided to switch my concentration and become a double major.
So… next semester, I will be a major in Outdoor Education with a concentration in Therapeutic Wilderness and Adventure Programming (T.W.A.P.) My second major will be Psychology. I chose Psychology as my second major because the classes that I have to take for TWAP intertwine with Psych quite well. I have always had an interest in observing people as well, which is basically what Psych is, so I thought it would be a good second major to go with. I will now have six classes (2 gen ed’s, 2 core classes for my psych major, and 2 elective classes). On top of that I have softball practice six days a week and my job, but I got it covered. Maybe there will be a bunch more late nights in the common room, but hey, it beats doing work early in the morning before school.