You thought you'd seen the last of me but oh no no no. I'm back and better than ever.
It's the second day of Winter Break and I'm sitting in Maplewood Coffee & Tea, forcing myself to write. One matcha green tea latte down and the caffeine is propelling me toward writing fame. Or it's causing me to uncontrollably spew the random words that come into my head. That could be it. Either way, you're along for the ride.
So I'm sure you're wondering how I'm doing after my first term of college at the University of Oregon. Well, I'm here to tell you that I'm splendid with a capital S. I made it through my first set of midterms and finals without shedding a single tear. Did I break down once because my four-year college plan began falling apart before my eyes? Yes. But that's just because I'm an obsessive planner that needs to take a chill pill sometimes and just let things happen. Did I ever consider dropping out? Nope. Well maybe once. But just because I considered moving to Germany and going to school for free. I mean who wouldn't consider that?
I discovered that when you first start college you don't really know what the difference between taking 12 credits, 15 credits, and 18 credits is. You just choose some classes that count toward graduation, interest you and maybe relate to what you're going to do for the rest of your life (wow, way to stress us out I mean jeez) and hope for the best. I settled on 15 credits which is somewhat below average since the recommended amount is 16. I figured I'd go easy on myself since it was my first term after all. On the one hand, this truly was a smart decision but on the other, I WAS SO BORED.
15 credits is a decent amount of work that should be substantially difficult but the types of classes also matter. Only one out of my five courses actually ended up being challenging and that was my honors ethics class which I loved. I mean how was I, a first-time college student supposed to know that Business 101 is a total bore? Let me tell you, I sure learned.
Incase you were wondering, the other classes I took were German 201, Media Professions, and Media Representations of Sexuality. You'll have to wait for another post to get a full review of each course.
So back to being bored...as you may or may not know I'm a major busy body and I don't do well with sitting around. I make to-do lists and if my lists aren't an acceptable length, I begin to worry what I'm forgetting and what I should be doing and what I should add because there just isn't enough going on. Am I a stressful person? Yes, probably.
Since my time wasn't constantly filled with studying and homework I began to...write emails! How exciting I know. I paid close attention to the UO weekly bulletin and constantly reached out to professors who were leading or hosting things I was interested in. I sat in on an upper division marketing class, met with some of the German department staff to practice my German, and even applied to be a UO Ambassador, something I've always wanted to do. I'm still waiting to hear back on that.
Overall, not being constantly occupied by my classes ended up being good because it forced me out of my comfort zone. I met new, interesting people and tried to get involved in things I'd never done before. Being unsuccessful in finding activities to occupy all my time was one of the most frustrating parts of my first term. I've had to focus on settling down and realize things take time to develop and relationships need more than 10 weeks to form.
It's tiring to always be on the move but it's something I've become accustomed to doing specifically since my exchange. I'm trying to remember that I don't always need to be moving toward the next thing. It's a constant work in progress for me but something I'm really trying to accomplish as I move forward in college and life. I think feeling the pressure to be productive is something that most people feel at one time or another which is why I felt called to share my experience with it.
A final note to take away from all this is something my dad just happened to mention tonight (fate amiright). He said that sometimes there are more valuable things in life than being productive. Wow, just take a moment. Read it again maybe? So simple yet so...deep. What I got from his point is that stopping and sharing an experience with someone can be worth so much more than a professional advancement. The pressure is always on to make the next great thing happen but sometimes we should direct our attention to other things. The sooner we stop and realize productivity isn't everything, the sooner we'll start making the most out life.
Thanks for getting deep with me.
Catch you next time,
Lotta truth to what your dad said. In my current bible study None Like Him, I am learning about 10 ways God is different from us and why that is a good thing. (BTW, I think you would love this little book by Jen Wilken.) One of the questions to ponder in Ch 5, Eternal, the God of Infinite days was “Which is the greater temptation for you: laziness or busyness?” A really good read. Love you, KK! Grandma