I come to you, not from a Level A cubicle (my get-stuff-done study spot of choice) nor the Gilman Atrium (my mess-around-and-not-really-study spot of choice), but from a plush, reclining chair of my living room! Yes, dear reader, it is, indeed, Fall Break. The time of year when hundreds of Jays leave the nest to go back to…the OG nest? Never mind that, the details aren’t important.
After sleeping for 15 hours (not a joke; evidence pictured below) and shirking nearly all my responsibilities (re: 75+ pages of chem catch-up, an essay draft, and an independent research project outline), I (and many others) have left the bustle of college life to return to the familiarity of our now seemingly sedentary hometowns. Nothing could have prepared high school-me for the complete and utter lifestyle shift I would undergo in just a few short months (oh how clueless high school-me was).
And as jarring as it will inevitably be, it is so so much more rewarding. Waking up to my alarm on the first try? Actually eating breakfast? Much more satisfying (when you do it on your own, that is) than you could ever imagine. All jokes aside, college has been one heck of a ride. In the short month that I’ve been here, I’ve learned many valuable lessons (bring socks to the library; it gets cold) and taken many risks (moving to Baltimore without an umbrella). I’m taking classes that I (actually!) enjoy and am part of extracurriculars that I truly find fulfillment in.
Classes I’m taking this semester:
Intro Chem 1 – A 300-person class that I didn’t think I’d enjoy but (surprisingly) do! I can’t quite describe it, but it’s especially satisfying to know that everything fits?? Just how it’s supposed to?? A line from my chem textbook that I can’t seem to get out of my mind; “even on an apparently calm day, we are in the midst of a molecular tempest.” Ugh, the subtle alliteration. Atkins et al., y’all know the way to my heart.
Calc 1 – I meannnnn, math is math. (*shrugs shoulders*)
Foundations of Brain, Behavior, and Cognition – This is essentially a crash course on the brain (or rather, the nervous system as Dr. Gorman would likely correct me in saying); it’s extremely fast paced, yes, but also extremely interesting. The other day, we learned that the olfactory system works by actually picking up molecules of stuff around you that then bind to the receptors in your nose so you can perceive its smell. The example used was (unfortunately) that of dog poop and how when we smell it, there are actually molecules of, yknow, the poop, in our noses. I don’t think I’ve been the same since.
Expository Writing: Family Matters – Easily my favorite class this semester. We look at narratives that explore family and identity and everything in between. I’m currently writing an essay on (the genius that is) Maxine Hong Kingston and her narrative, “No Name Woman,” an autobiographical account of her late aunt’s life and later, untimely death. Given that this was my first foray into the world of undergraduate-level academic writing, I was more than a little nervous about taking this class but I’m so glad I did; it’s one of those classes you can really feel your writing improve.
And finally; one last update worthy of a mention—
I’ve done absolutely everything humanly possible to avoid the Freshman Plague and, up until now, have prevailed. And yet, there is currently a suspicious and unassuming itch right at the base of my throat. An itch that I know will progress into the hacking cough that seems to ring through every single lecture hall these days. Wish me good luck and godspeed as I brave these murky (and very congested) waters.