Finishing Freshman Year

The school year is winding down, and it’s finally starting to feel that way.  The last week was basically THE WEEK for end-of-the-year projects and events, but fortunately there are still a few ways to relax.  My highlights were definitely karaoke and French pastries – unfortunately not at the same time.  And though this weekend has been spent finishing projects and studying for finals, last weekend was an absolute blast at Chiricahua National Monument.  As I’ve been volunteering with Parks in Focus, one of the events I went to was the first of the year’s camping trips, and it was really a perfect weekend.  The kids were actually really well-behaved for a group of ten-year-olds released into a National Wilderness Area.  Sure, there was some complaining on the hikes, but I think by the end of it, the important thing wasn’t that anyone’s legs hurt but that the area is really scenic.  I, for one, would not mind going back and exploring a few more of the trails.  And it didn’t hurt that there was a meteor shower Sunday morning, so a few of us chaperones got up around three to see the stars, and I am always up for stargazing.

Since the year is basically over, I’m going to be taking a small hiatus for most of May (planning to post again on May 27).  That means this is my last post for the academic year of 2017/18, and since it’s my freshman year, here are my Top Five tips/lessons learned.

  1. Go to stuff

It’s not always the most fun, especially for an introvert like me, but it tends to be worth it – particularly if there are professors at the event because they like it when students show up.  And I know this because showing up to events with my dorm’s faculty fellow actually got me a bit of paid work over spring break and a letter of recommendation.  As a college student, these are two very good things.

Performing at the Arabic Talent Show

2. Talk in class

This is one where sometimes I’m good at it and sometimes I’m not.  I’m good at it when I know the answer and less so when I don’t.  But, as my French professor (in a class called French Conversation) said, teachers like students who talk.  It lets them get to know you, and particularly in language classes, it helps you improve (and I should know considering that 21/40 of my credit hours this year have been language classes).

Tripod on head
I don’t know what to say about this.

3. Develop a routine for studying

I do a lot of studying, and I find that it’s much easier to do that when I’m doing it at a set time rather than trying to force myself to do it at random times or especially right before a deadline.  My favorite thing to do is to take Sunday afternoons and just sit at the library Starbucks for a few hours preparing for the week, writing scholarship essays, and occasionally blogging.  In fact, can you guess where I’m writing this from?

Go adventuring too!

4. Eat good food

Before college I’d always heard about the “Freshman 15,” but for me it worked negatively.  A lot of that is probably the amount of walking I do, but another part of it was that I found it a little difficult to figure out where to get my food and when to eat it.   So, for any incoming freshmen, I would recommend stocking up on tasty but healthy snacks and keeping a few in your backpack and at the very least trying to have a set time to eat dinner.  Whether you lose or gain weight, the important thing is to be healthy about it so you aren’t over- or under-eating.

I absolutely love going to The Fix on Monday evenings

5. Remember that no one actually cares what you wear

I’ve always had this thing where I think people are looking at me or questioning my apparel, but the thing is, no one really does.  In my experience, people don’t tend to wear pajamas to class, but you will see people who live in vintage dresses and button down shirts and people who live in gym clothes.  Every Saturday since February, I’ve seen people just walking around in bathing suits as they go to and from the pool.  So, even if I’m not comfortable wearing my swimsuit to the student union, it’s nice to switch from baggy cargo shorts to a sundress and have no one bat an eye.

Karaoke Night (“Holding Out for a Hero” Shrek 2 version)

And that’s about it!  My first year of college has been pretty great, and I’m really looking forward to everything that’s coming in the future – the next time I post will be from Italy!  I’m certainly excited for that, so

Until next time ~

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