Goodbye Second Year of College! (You Were a Tough One)

Guys! I can’t believe it! I finally made it through my second year of college! People really don’t lie, time flies by so fast. While I usually say my year has been “eh”, or “okay”, this year was definitely a roller coaster. (Is that term overused? Well I think this is the first time I can appropriately use it to describe my life).

My second year of college was in some ways really hard for me. I also had some of the best experiences I’ve had so far in my college life. I think it was the time where I really felt independent, and had to somehow push myself into doing things I would never have done or would have wanted to do.

I felt like it was truly a growing period, where I wasn’t at my full potential, but proof that I can set goals and achieve them. That all I need to do is truly push myself in the direction that I need to go and that I can be the person I want to be.

 

THE BAD Academics- Science classes

Ya’ll I’m not gonna lie, I think I do a great job in academics. I’m by no means a straight A student, but I don’t usually get B-‘s or C’s. This year was a B kind of year and I received my first ever C in my entire academic career (Ever. Not in middle school or high school did I ever get a C in a class).

It was because of chemistry. Now oddly enough, it wasn’t because of the first chem class I took, it was my second. My first quarter I was academically a mess. Chemistry really slapped me in the face that I had to put 120% percent effort, and that studying really hard a couple days before is not enough. I managed to get a B+ in chem my first quarter, although it really messed with my self esteem. It was the first class where the average would be a 50%, and I wasn’t used to that. I wanted a B right away. I would study really hard and still receive really low grades and I felt awful.

Every time my friends would complain about being scared for a class and not passing, or being worried about their gpa, I would sympathize with them and feel sorry that they felt bad. I never really knew what it felt like to have to genuinely worry about grades until that first quarter of second year.

Guys, struggling academically was never really a problem for me, and once chemistry hit me, it was a totally different story. There was a such a large gap between what grade I usually get and what grade I was earning in that class. Miraculously, I made it to a B+, but second quarter I slipped.

Second quarter, I was impressed with my B+ and relaxed. I thought I didn’t need to study that hard since I managed to get a B+ my first quarter in chem.

I was so so wrong. I didn’t do extra credit, did assignments last minute, and barely studied for quizzes (which weighed a lot in the class).

My lack of effort placed me at a C, which I completely deserved. I was pretty disappointed in myself, but I saw the C coming. It was really weird because I still didn’t really care about my C, which isn’t good. I think there was a level of exhaustion I was feeling where my grades didn’t really matter at that point.

I also started Biology my second year. Now biology was tough. I liked the material more than chem, but it didn’t make it any easier. The worst part is, the whole quarter I would be at a really really strong A, like 94-96%, and somehow bomb the final. Looking back, I realized it was because I didn’t really study for the final considering how well I did on my past midterms. I thought I already had a really great grasp on the material, and a day or two of studying would cut it.

Don’t do that. Even if you feel like you have a great grasp on the material, go over everything two more times just to make sure. In different ways.

So failing the bio final my first quarter really messed with me, especially since the final average was so high. I remember going to a Christmas party the weekend before thinking it would be fine but NOPE. Total mistake.

 

The Good  Academics

I’ve learned from my past mistakes in Fall and Winter quarter, and I really did my best to work hard and study more this quarter. Especially for finals. I refrained from going to the library with my friends and forced myself to stay at my apartment and study (since I usually found some way to distract myself and just talk to them 90% of the time).

In the end, while I didn’t get A’s for my science classes, I still got high B’s (I was 3 points away from an A- in biology, and .5% away from an A- in chemistry. Yeah, OUCH). Overall, I’m pretty satisfied with the grades I got, although I can definitely improve. The reason for that is because I’m not really engaged DURING class/lecture. Rather than having to study the week before tests, I think if I’m engaged during lecture and do assignments right away, it would take away the high stress I feel as the quarter ends.

I have gotten really great grades in my psychology classes though! All A’s! Seeing those A’s make me smile and I know that I am intelligent, I just need to put in more effort at times.

I’m really excited to try and improve myself academically next year! This year sent me on a roller coaster ride with my grades, but I’ve learned to accept myself and to learn from my mistakes rather than beating myself up for too long. And I’ve also learned that I really do have to put in 3x more effort in some classes, and accept that sometimes, I still won’t get the grade I want.

That’s life guys! It just means I need to try other ways of studying/improving!

 

The Bad  Loneliness & Feeling Inadequate

Fall quarter was the time where I felt super lonely and miserable.

As I’ve mentioned in another post, fall quarter was a time where I felt isolated from my campus and other people. Moving into an apartment setting was such a large change from the dorms. At least in the dorms, there were always people around me even if I didn’t know them personally. Living on campus also meant I had easy access to campus events because everything was a quick bike ride away. Plus, our RA would always bombard us with reminders and emails about different activities and events.

Going from a place where you were basically handed a social life, it was completely different with my apartment life. In my apartment, I only had my 3 other housemates, and there was no one reminding us about ice cream socials or campus events.

It was my responsibility to seek out events and other people, and since I was scared of leaving my apartment, I isolated myself from anything else besides lecture. And this extreme type of isolation led to me feeling inadequate.

I wasn’t doing anything else besides academics. I wasn’t in any clubs, I didn’t have an internship or job, all I did was go to class, go home and do homework. There wasn’t anything else productive that was supplementing my academics.

Not doing anything else besides academics can be extremely toxic. That quarter left me feeling a little dark, unhappy, and incredibly restless.

Now this is a problem with people who might not be as outgoing or social, and looking back, it was a problem that was so easy to fix. Since I attend such a large campus, it was easy to find different opportunities, I just had to put in some effort and take them!

I still have difficulty with feeling inadequate, since I tend to compare myself to other students who seem to be doing so much more, and having much more fun with their lives.

I just remind myself that we all have different paces and that we all have very different personalities and lifestyles. Comparing yourself to others is not going to make you feel better!!

The Good  My research & Internship

During winter break, I was like “you are not going through the same shit you went through fall quarter”, and so I applied to various internships and research places.

I ended up accepting a position as a research assistant in a lab, and a “therapy” internship.

Winter quarter was when I began started both positions. I also went out with friends more than I usually did. Not a lot mind you, but way more than I ever did.

Honestly, in terms of my social life and extracurriculars, winter quarter was bomb. Looking back in my journal, I felt so complete and hopeful winter quarter. I applied to a lot of things, and got rejected to a lot of things, but hey that’s life! Just the fact that I was actively looking for things to do made me feel great. I wrote down goals I wanted to achieve every month and tried my best to complete them.

I was on a high all quarter! It’s really important to go out and seek things that you might possibly be interested in. Investing your time in something that you think is worthwhile, or hell even if you don’t think it’s worthwhile, the journey to finding out your interests is an important one!

I wavered spring quarter and stopped my monthly goals but I’m ready to start again! Spring quarter is where I felt like I truly found a great balance between school work and my social life/extracurriculars.

In terms of feeling inadequate, it’s still really hard for me at times to stop comparing myself to others, but it’s a work in progress. Even today on the bus, I overheard some girls talking about how hard it was to get a great GPA because they were a part of clubs, had part time jobs, and were volunteering. I just kept thinking “oh my god I don’t even have a job/ is in a club/ volunteers??! what am I doing with my life???”.

But I stopped, calmed down, and reminded myself that everyone has different lives and to go on my own pace!

 

The Bad  Friendships

OHHHH BOYYYYYY. This one is a BAD one. There was one friendship that I just absolutely destroyed.  I wrecked it without hesitation. I already admit that it was my fault, and that it was very selfish and insensitive.

Looking back on an entire year’s worth of anxiety and pain, it totally wasn’t worth it. I’m telling y’all now, if there is a toxic friendship you guys are going through, either completely cut it off (as in straightforward say you don’t want to be friends. Straight to their face), or explain your terms as to how you guys can continue to be friends.

I’ve learned an awful habit of using the cold shoulder from my mother, and I took it to an extreme and cold shouldered my roommate hardcore. No words were spoken all year.

That sucked.

 

I would dive in a little more but due to privacy reasons (and the impossible fear of one of my friends finding my blog), I will just leave it at that.

 

The Good  FRIENDSHIP!!!!!!

You guys, just because I had one extremely terrible awful experience with one friend, does not mean all my friendships sucked. In fact, I felt like I opened up to more people, and allowed myself to truly connect and enjoy my friendships.

This year, I challenged myself to hang out with friends more. Whether it was a simple library run, going out to eat food, or sleeping over. (Guys this was a big deal I never, NEVER slept over friends houses). I did so many fun things with my friends this year, and I hope we will get even closer the next two years!

I really pushed myself to get closer to my friends during the last quarter. I think I really did. Especially my one friend who I will not name but I consider us to be forever homies and I hope she feels the same.

I just. I love my friends so much. Legit, they made me feel really great this year and I can’t wait to meet more people next year!

 

Overall:

My college experience was so… all over the place. It was good, it was bad, it was awful, it was fantastic, it was wholesome, it was pure, and it was…aHHH I can’t even explain it. I’ve learned some lessons that I need to write down, and I need to truly remember.

It was a year where I definitely grew, where I realized that it’s good to take care of myself, to speak up for myself, but also there is a limit. That while taking care of myself first is great, I need to take into account how my actions are affecting others.

I also realized that I can really push myself. That the sky really is the limit, and that I just need to gain more confidence with who I am.

There are so many things I want to mention in this post, but it’s already hitting over 2k, so I’ll stop it here. College is really about growth and learning, and while it can be a painful process, it’s also a very beautiful one.

PS I also realized I’m quiet?! Like when I verbally say something I’m super quiet. I honest to god thought I had a normal level of speech but I realized I’m super quiet because I’m hesitant about my answers and I’m scared to talk louder.

Guess what’s changing for next year?

YES THAT’S RIGHT I’M READY FOR YOU ALL TO HEAR MY VOICE EVEN MORE NEXT SCHOOL YEAR!!

Here’s to a great second year, and onto an even better third year!

 

-Kae 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

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