Monday, May 16, 2011

Where to Begin

So much has happened in the last 5 months that it's hard to figure out where to begin. I'm not the same person that I was when I was all excited about going back to college. I didn't have a clue what I was getting into.

I have been pushed out of my comfort zone more times that I would have cared to have been. I have talked to strangers. I have defended myself and the hard work that I put into a group project that others in the group contributed very little too. I have remembered how much I love school. How much I love learning new things, and seeing them in actual action and understanding them in the outside world. I'm sure that my family isn't thrilled how often I share this knowledge with them. I've found my confidence in myself and in my abilities again.

I was worried about my age being a factor. And to a certain extent it has been. I know that these instructors look at me and realize that I'm not there to party and they expect a lot out of me, so I expect a lot out of me. Which has stressed me out. I always got good grades in high school, that it's hard to understand why my grades aren't that good now. They aren't bad now, but if I want to make an A on a test, it requires that I actually study. Which is different. I never had to do that in high school. I never had to put forth a lot of effort, and college has been vastly different. But instead of having those teachers care whether or not I passed or failed, these professors don't. If I'm not going to put forth the effort, then they aren't going to help me.

I have witnessed so many "adults" do and say things, blaming the instructors for their own failure. I whined, yes, but I never blamed them. The first test I had, that I got a 63 on in Biology was a real eye-opener for me. So what did I do? I sent an email to the professor, I explained to her that this was the first college class that I have had in 11 years, could she give me some advice to be better prepared for tests in the future. And she did. She gave me a lot of good suggestions and I took everyone of them to heart. 2nd test. 82. 3rd test. 96. Final 93. I put forth the effort. When she offered extra credit, I did it. I worked hard, and I'm very, very proud of myself. Yes, there were other classes that didn't fair so well. There are other classes that I'm sweating a passing grade in. Simply because I hate math. Could I have studied more? Absolutely? Will I make the same mistake in the fall? I hope not.

On the other hand, college has taught me, that as much as these instructors try to prepare you for "the real world", there is no actual preparation. These guys all think that they are going to graduate and get a job and everything is going to be just awesome. They don't realize that they are going to be laid off, be fired, or not even find a job at all. They aren't prepared for how an employer doesn't give extra credit when you screw up. Sometimes it's your butt on the line and it's sink or swim. They don't think that they are going to fail. Experience is a bad teacher, but she definitely gets her point across.

I'm thankful that I'm not going to summer school. The closer finals got the more exhausted I got and the more I realized how much of a break I needed. The fall is going to be bad. I have lots of classes that are going to require a lot more focus, and a lot more discipline than the previous ones have. Today, I feel like I can do anything. I feel like I can finish this. I feel like I have already done the hardest thing, which was make it through this semester. It's all downhill from here.

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