I’m finally back home after taking a much needed post-finals (12/16-12/19) vacation to Seattle/Portland.
It always amazes me that essentially each semester is only a little less than four months long, when I think of it on a large scale that does not seem like a very long time. Nevertheless, so much happens in a semester. So here it goes- a wrap up of fall 2010, and the semester that will go on my book as the “living in the moment” semester.
First, I can say that joining the Longhorn Confidential blogger team has been one of the most rewarding experiences this semester. There is so much that happens on the UT community every day and I’m delighted to get to share some of my experiences with the rest of the Longhorn community. This semester I was fortunate to engender some very meaningful friendships and strengthen other friendships. My friends are an essential part of my daily life and as much as a cliché as it is, I really do have not only the best group of friends but the most talented, compassionate, and brilliantly fun ones (how is that for descriptive adjective use?). Another highlight of this semester, like always, was having the opportunity to continue to work with tirelessly dedicated administrators and staff that everyday inspire me to do more for this university, the community and the world. If you haven’t had the opportunity to find great mentors in these individuals I invite you to start these relationships their value is simply priceless. On an academic note, one of my highlights of this semester was putting both of my majors into perspective and enjoying the last courses; I can definitely say that I made the best choice to declare Sociology and Social Work as my majors.
Rather than going over some not so exciting parts of this semester, I want to reflect on the growth of my challenges over the semester. A pivotal ongoing challenge is to find balance, which many people take for granted. I am 21 years old and a senior in college and as much I want to live in the senioritis phenomenon (which believe me I did plenty of this semester) I’m also fully aware of my goals and aspirations. Therefore, I challenge you to think of your priorities and keep yourself on track with those priorities. However, do think of a list that has balance. Though academics should be a priority, also think of what is important to you. I’ll always have having fun, being a good friend, daughter, sister, and laughing like there is no tomorrow as some of my top priorities. You see, for me it all comes down to this… you can have a 4.0 or 3.0 or whatever your goal GPA is, but it doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice extracurricular activities or your best friend’s birthday dinner (by the way, birthdays are a big deal- take a mental note).
As I ended this semester, I can say that it was a wonderful, productive, challenging, and best way to spend my second to last semester as an undergrad. Do you want to know the secret? Well it’s really quite simple, all I did each day was exit my front door with the mentality that it was just a day, whatever would happen I would get to do it all over again the next day. Ultimately, I lived in the moment- unfortunately; they don’t come back so embrace them while you have them.
I wish you the best holiday season, enjoy your break, reflect on YOUR semester and I’ll welcome you back next year, can’t believe it’s actually here so soon.
“Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it” –Greg Anderson
The second semester of my sophomore year something unexpected occurred.
On Wednesday, December 1, I officially took my last test, finals, and turned in my last papers of course work for the semester. Next semester, I’ll have a course and my field practicum for social work so technically this was my last semester of a full course load.
As I turned in my last final I could taste freedom. Though I had a great academic semester and I enjoy learning in the fields I’m interested in, I feel relieved (for now) that the majority of my time next semester will not be spent studying for five or more classes. I remember when I graduated high school; I thought that taking only five classes or less would literally be a piece of cake, not having an eight hour schedule- oh what naïve thinking. Despite the stresses of college course work, I can say that for the most part I have had good academic experiences. Especially in my social work courses, where professors often times step out of the typical professor role and actually share their real life experiences on the field of practice. This semester I had the privilege to have three excellent professors in my social work classes. Similarly, I also had a great professor in my sociology course, The Family, which I greatly enjoyed (especially the freedom for discussion). Overall, I l feel that this semester was a good way to bring together all the things that I’ve learned throughout my college career. It represented the cumulative efforts of my whole college experience.
So to all the professors that have enriched my academic experience throughout the semester, I thank you. I truly thank you for your dedication to teaching and higher education. Even when I had to write that annoying works cited page or cram for an exam (yes, guilty of that) I truly embraced every academic lesson I had in my time here thus far.
On December 1, 2010 I ended my course work to complete both of my majors (apart from my field experience), no more summer school, winter break classes, or more than 15 hours of course work a semester… it’s all done, and for that I’m thankful.
I hope that finals went well for everyone, winter break is here and it’s time for a much needed relaxation time, temporary at least. Until next time!
As of yesterday afternoon, I officially know what I will be doing after graduation! It took a lot of thinking and an entire semester to figure things out, but I am so excited to share my plans with all of you.
As my semester drew to an end last week I admittedly felt very relieved. I managed to finish my first semester at UT with an A, a B and two Cs. While this is not a report card I would normally bring home or feel peaceful about, I have realized a few things about my first semester at this institution of higher learning.
First, I’ve heard through the grapevine that first semester students whether they be freshmen or transfer students like myself usually figure out what adjustments need to be made at the END of the semester when their grade reports arrive. This realization, from one just having experienced it, is a bit jarring. It reminds me of when I failed sophomore AP English in high school just after transferring to a new school where all of my friends were. (Again, I apologize Mrs. Morgan.)
I have also heard through the grapevine this semester that I chose the most difficult semester to transfer into nursing school. I would agree with this rumor had it not been my first semester and I’ve not yet established a basis of comparison.
Regardless of the rumors I have come across this semester which may allow me to justify my mediocre academic performance this last few months, I will in the spirit of the holidays summarize my semester to these three statements:
I am THANKFUL to have my first semester behind me and I look forward to conquering the next several with a different understanding of my brain and it’s idiosyncrasies.
I will MERRILY return to UT in January and resume my course of study.
I RESOLVE to take a different approach to my learning in the next few years and enjoy every moment of my quest in understanding myself and the world around me.
Happy Holidays y’all,
One of my favorite parts about UT’s campus culture is its diversity. On any given day one can experience diversity in the classroom, but more importantly outside the classroom by delving into the world of student life.
Composed of several UT alumni, The Biographers are an Austin-based band who utilize an eclectic assortment of instruments to produce a dreamy “Bossa Nova meets Neko Case” sound.
I’ve been a fan since the band was known by the lead singer’s name, Elisa Ferrari. I had the pleasure of working with Elisa at the Blanton Museum of Art, though I had no idea that her daytime administrative voice transformed into such a beautiful instrument by night.
Here are some video clips from a recent show at the Ghost Room. Enjoy!
Wow! The semester is finally over, sometimes I think it went by too fast and sometimes it just seemed to drag on, but it was an amazing experience.
…but she likes it when you sing. Now that the fall semester is over I will:
1. Get a new calendar and daily planner since my 2010 versions are kaput.
2. Take a look at the pile of books next to my computer and return them, lest they be recalled and I’m not around to drop them off.
3. File my notes and readings into the “fall 2010″ storage unit. This is one of the high points of my end-of-semester rituals.
4. Empty the contents of my backpack and shoulder bag. Return all writing utensils to my desk.
5. Respond to all the emails that have been on hold since late August.
6. Catch up on laundry, sew on all loose buttons, and watch Mad Men (seasons 2-3), though not in that order.
7. Read the news online everyday.
8. Make sure I remember to complete all the miscellaneous mini-tasks leading up to my wedding.
9. Write conference papers related to the abstracts that I’ve submitted over the past couple of months.
10. Wait a year to listen to The White Stripes’s We’re Going to Be Friends.