Blog Archives

Junior Year Fall Update

Well, things have certainly changed since I last updated this blog; I believe it was in sophomore year. I am wrapping up the Fall 2015 semester, and would like to just share a few things I’ve learned.

This semester, I took:

  • Junior Field
  • Advanced Elementary Spanish
  • Introduction to Sociology
  • Intergenerational Justice
  • Quantitative Research in Social Work
  • Human Behavior and the Social Environment

I love most of my classes. I have learned a lot this semester. But I have also come to understand a lot about the world surrounding me, and that people don’t and won’t always live up to my exceedingly high expectations of them. This is a good and a bad thing. For one, I have this new understanding of people, and as I am going into a “people field,” this will help inform me on my journey. On the other hand, I find myself changing in ways I swore I wouldn’t. I realize that I now expect less of people. This saddens me, because my sense of empathy and care for others (even complete strangers) is a personal value that I hold of the utmost importance. I swore I wouldn’t change this, and yet I am finding that more and more often I need to make a conscious choice between caring for others and caring for myself.

Through counseling, meditation, and internal reflection, I have also learned about myself and my response to external forces in my life. I am beginning to understand the role procrastination (ugh) has played in my education and academic performance, and the best ways to combat that. I’m procrastinating many things by writing this right now, but I realize that if I don’t express my feelings in some way that I will lose focus later on, and in turn, lose my ability to perform as well as I can. Prior to this year, I didn’t understand the “why” behind my procrastination and saw it as a personal fault. Now, I can celebrate that I’m a creative being with so many ideas and thoughts in my brain. I no longer have an intense desire to do destructive things (I’ll leave it at that). I have realized how much I offer to the world, and how much of an impact I can have on others.

love sweater

This semester has been the hardest semester. I’m 5/8 through my undergraduate degree and now that we have all been formally admitted into the Social Work program, we’re getting smacked in the face with theory and data analysis. Like I said before, I’m learning so much. I’m watching my friends grow and blossom into super-human world-changers and I’m making lifelong friendships that I value even now.

I can respect myself for my feelings and my intentions, and I love that! I know that if I want to do something, it’s for a good reason. Maybe this is what’s it’s like to be an adult? Many people my age believe that being an adult means independence, but I think it means being able to admit to yourself that you don’t know everything and that your friends and family are there to support you on your journey of not-knowing.

I have enjoyed the process of learning to love myself first. It’s pretty awesome, I highly recommend it to everyone! I surround myself with things and people that I love, and I have been taking time to myself to plan for my future. This can be scary. But I have always had thoughts floating around about what I want in my life, but I haven’t been able to decide because I (like everyone) am a multifaceted being. I am not just one thing. I am many great things, and to truly be happy I need to honor all parts of my being.

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One of my regrets so far is that I haven’t been regularly updating here. I planned this space to be a log of my time in college so I would remember as much as possible. I have a terrible memory. So far, it hasn’t happened, and that’s a goal I will have in the coming months. 

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DECLARED MAJOR!!!

I’m pretty damn excited! I met with the director of the Social Work program today who handled the paperwork and double checked the classes I signed up for next semester – they’re all good, so I’m on track. That means I can graduate in another 4 years with a master’s degree, how cool is that? The time will fly by, and I only have two more semesters of gen eds before it’s all social work, all the time. Hopefully more cool stuff to come!

New Computer Adventures

I’ve had many a computer in my day. It’s not that I’m picky, I just haven’t found the setup that works for me, you know? I first came to school armed with an ancient Mac desktop and the laptop I’m typing on now, an Asus 15″ that’s seen better days. After being shuffled around to 2 different dorm rooms, I decided that the stationary desktop just wasn’t working – it was too slow, and took up too much desk space. Home it went! Now all I had was my somewhat monstrous laptop, but ironically it’s the closest I’ve gotten to finding the right computing style for me. I’ve noticed that I have a ton of electronics around me, and I’m usually staring at some sort of screen for 90% of my day – better try and condense that number down, and make those hours less frustrating.

Now my dad (an angel) told me that he would buy me a new one, with everything I wanted and needed for school. I took a leap, and asked for a MacBook Pro, 13″. After some deliberation, dad said that he thinks he can buy it for me! That’s awesome news, because if this all happens according to plan I’ll have a computer that I can carry with me for the rest of college and grad school, and maybe even longer!

Feeling Good!

This week has been a turnaround of sorts for me. After slacking off for quite a while, I got my act together last night and majorly cleaned my room. I always consider that to be the first step in anything you can do — if you don’t have a clean room, you can’t have a clean life. So I picked up everything off the floor, threw out 3 bags of trash (3 whole bags!), and wiped out my fridge, sink, and desk.

I woke up today with a better perspective, and promised myself I’d buckle down. After dragging myself to church (I made a commitment, I have to keep it) and having brunch with some friends, I came back to my nice clean room to do some work. I printed out the 20 page scholarly article on the zoot-suit riots in LA, and got reading. An hour later, it was done, with highlighting and notes in the margins so I could formulate some awesome discussion questions for class. Then, I picked up my “textbook” — it’s basically some guy’s dissertation — and began reading the huge chunk that was assigned for tomorrow.

Although I’m still not completely done, I only have 16 pages left. I plan on getting up well before it’s time for class tomorrow to finish it and write up my discussion questions. Progress! It is possible, my friends. I may be in another rut soon, but I can always look back at this post and remind myself of how a few easy changes can bring about a positive attitude.

Winter Break and Starting the New Semester

Well, my first semester is over, and I’ve mostly survived my first break back home for long periods of time. Things are pretty different, as you’d imagine. I had grown accustomed to having free reign over my surroundings and not having adults questioning me. I’m not used to having to ask my dad if I can go somewhere, and for the most part he’s been pretty good about not asking me those types of questions.

I’ve been doing lots of work on my old room – since I’m not living there full time anymore, I’ve begun to rifle through my life’s worth of “stuff” that I’ve accumulated into the trash, transport to Goodwill, or a box (destination: attic).  The end result will hopefully be a nice, functioning, welcoming guest bedroom. That requires some extra work, like painting. The room currently is pink and blue/green. Not good colors for a guest bedroom. Also, the carpet is covered in makeup and stains from my adventurous younger days. However, this requires a lot of work.

This Christmas, I asked for a Kindle. In addition to using it for playing games and watching Netflix, I can use it to order digital copies of my textbooks so it’s much lighter to go to class. I can just chuck it into my bag and have a way to take notes and a textbook all in one! Unfortunately, I think I was given the smaller version with less storage, but we’ll see what technology magic I can work to make it the most useful. I’m really grateful, as this was gifted by my aunt, younger brother, and my dad’s best friend!

It’s time to order more textbooks, and gather up some spring clothing to take back to school with me. Scranton is rather chilly, though, so there will be coat and glove weather for a while to come.

Dining Hall Probs

WOW I ate way too much for lunch. Our dining hall is buffet style for only $5, so we all go crazy. There is a pizza station, a sandwich bar, an ethnic food station, an American food station, a vegan and gluten-free station, desserts, drinks, and a salad bar. With all of those choices, it’s sometimes hard to decide what you want. For instance, today I had two slices of deep dish pizza, General Tso’s chicken, veggie lo mein, sweet potato fries, iced tea, and a raspberry cheesecake tart. Like I said, too much.

 

I don’t really know why I eat too much when I’m there — maybe because it’s just there and so I eat it. I may just take a nap to sleep off some of the food haha! (And to catch up on my sleep, I only got 6 and a half hours last night).

 

I have lots of homework to do, papers to write, and laundry to fold now, so adios!

First 3 Weeks!

Wow, I thought I’d have time to do stuff! Boy, was I wrong. The only reason this is getting typed right now is because I left my English book in my friend’s dorm and can’t do my homework in it. It’s also 1:30am. I barely have any time to do ANYTHING. That includes watching my favorite beauty gurus on YouTube, painting my nails, shopping, listening to music, cleaning, going on facebook, and definitely not posting on a blog that no one reads.

Quite a lot has happened since I got here, including a fight between my roommates and I (yes, already!), coming home at 1am and not having anyone look at you strangely, took my first few college quizzes, wrote a few papers, read A LOT, broke A LOT of stuff, smoked A LOT of cigarettes, and still haven’t gone to bed before 1am ever.

It’s SO DIFFICULT living with 3 other girls. We all came from very different places and backgrounds, so we have a lot to learn from each other and we all have our own problems to deal with. I wish that I could just be acquaintances with my roommates, and that sounds awful, but it would be better than where we are now: I’m shy, and they’re condescending. J suggested that I complete roommate mediationx (a fancy term for arguing it out with your roommates with the RA there), but I’m just not comfortable doing that just yet. I don’t want to room with them anymore, but as long as I make my own friends it won’t be that bad, right?

Unfortunately, since I don’t have a major, I don’t really have that many good friends yet. I made friends with a lovely girl named Aria who lives in the quad right next to us with a girl named Polina, but I don’t want to be solely in her room and overwhelm her or seem like I’m clingy. I can go to Jess’s, but she’s all the way in Madonna and I don’t always want to walk all the way down there when I need to talk to her face to face (as much as I love her to death).

 

Well, that’s it for now because I have a lot of stuff to do like sleep and never wake up again. That would be heavenly. As it is, I’m only going to get 6 hours of sleep.

~L

Tomorrow is the Day!

Technically, move-in day. The beginning of my college journey-  the beginning of Fall Welcome. I’m mostly packed. Knowing me, I’ll forget something absolutely huge and be sorely missing it – probably this laptop. I should get used to emailing people. I hope I’ll be able to keep up this blog – even if it’s only weekly or bi-weekly updates. With pictures, though, because of my lovely camera. Speaking of pictures – enjoy this red solo cup shot glass that I nearly forgot to pack. I hope I’ll be having some good nights with this sucker.

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Post more tomorrow when I’m all moved in! 

~L

College is Almost Here!

I’m stoked, nervous, stressed, hyped, and excited all in one these days haha. I move into my dorm in 13 days! I still have much to do in these upcoming two weeks, but I think I’ll be ready. I finished purchasing almost everything that I need for the upcoming year. All that’s really left to do is organize everything and pack it away.

I’ll write more when it actually comes time to move in and such!

Orientation – What Happened?!

Orientation is over. It’s taken me quite a few days to even think about posting a recap – I’ve been telling the story to so many people! My orientation lasted two days, July 12 and 13. I’ll divide my recap into two days to make it easier to think about.

Friday, July 12, 2013

I woke up at 6:30 in my comfortable bed. This morning was the first morning all summer that I had woken up before 11am. I was not a happy camper. It took me about an hour to get ready and double check that I had everything with me, and then I set off on the hour and fifteen minute drive to Marywood. When I got there, I had to check in. I got a lanyard with my nametag and photo ID slip in it and a drawstring backpack with a bunch of goodies. Since I got there at 9am and registration ended at 10:45, I had another hour to kill. So I walked around and talked to some kids. I also waived my insurance – an option my school offers because every student must have health insurance. We all trekked over to the Performing Arts Center (similar to an auditorium) and crammed in all the students, parents, faculty, and orientation leaders. The President of the University (who just happens to be a nun) spoke to us about being fabulous students and finding our way in the world.

We then gathered into small groups. This was kind of to force us to meet new people and become acquaintances with them. We had to play terrifyingly awkward games and engage in “group activities”. I warn you all – think of a creative adjective for yourself that begins with the same first letter as your name, and find a motion to go along with it just for good measure. Then there was lunch. It was kind of intense trying to figure out who to eat lunch with, but I managed by just plopping down at a table full of kids and starting a conversation. There was then a presentation on the different academic services offered at the college, like Diversity Efforts and Disability Services. An hour and a half of “free time” followed. There were scheduled sessions that we could go to that covered topics like Leadership and Athletics and Study Abroad. After that, we all marched over to our second small group meeting where we endured more embarrassing games. Dinner followed.

The real terror happened next. The… duh duh duh… Student Life Theater Presentations. These were god awful. The students put work into them, but I still think that they weren’t the best, were somewhat overdone, and were a bit too crude for the visiting parents. They were skits based off of popular TV shows or movies that surrounded topics like calling campus safety if you want someone to walk you home, binge drinking, deceiving the RA’s, and rape. I sat next to some friends I had made. There was another small group meeting. Then, the evening entertainment began. It was this old guy named Dave Binder who sang songs about all the sex you’ll have in college and that there should be some sort of college island that you all have to swim to.

After all of that, it was time for bed. I ended up hitting the sack around midnight, but I know a bunch of other people were in bed much later than me.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Not much happened on Saturday.  I was up at 7:15 to shower and move all of my stuff out of the dorm. I chose to eat breakfast before shuffling everything out into my waiting car. I was getting a bit sick of walking around with my knee brace on, so I ended up leaving early – but not before saying goodbye to my new friends!