Sunday, May 8, 2016

Impressions of My First Year of College

  I started college at Charleston Southern University this past fall, and I've most definitely enjoyed it. I'm happy to say, I think homeschooling prepared me really well for college. For pretty much all of my classes, I was told that the majority of learning was to take place outside of the classroom by studying the books for myself. As that was basically how I went through high school, I felt I was more easily able to get into the swing of things. At first, the hardest part was being around so many new people. I can get painfully shy around strangers and struggle with getting to know new people.
  "I certainly have not the talent which some people possess,'' said Darcy, "of conversing easily with those I have never seen before. I cannot catch their tone of conversation, or appear interested in their concerns, as I often see done.''
  "My fingers,'' said Elizabeth, "do not move over this instrument in the masterly manner which I see so many women's do. They have not the same force or rapidity, and do not produce the same expression. But then I have always supposed it to be my own fault -- because I would not take the trouble of practising" (Pride and Prejudice).
  Like Elizabeth Bennet said, the best way to remedy that is by practice, however, the hardest part with practicing something you've neglected for so long is knowing where to begin. God was extremely gracious, as He always is, and my first day everyone was so friendly and I had a few people introduce themselves to me as soon as I sat down in class. Once you've met a few people, it seems like you're constantly getting introduced to someone new and before you know it, you're getting in some of that practice everyday. I've made a lot of new friends this year and have become so much more comfortable meeting new people!
  Even though it's usually hard for me to meet strangers, I love getting to know and study people. And before you ask, yes, I do like to eavesdrop on strangers' conversations. What's really fun is hearing just the odd bits here and there as you walk by. Some of the snippets Hayden and I would catch were so strange and funny that we ended up writing a few down such as, "I don't care if you sprinkle a baby, but don't call it baptism!" or "I LIVE on peanut butter." or "Oh, this is the part where they sacrifice the chicken." Not sure what was going on with that last one. Seriously though, there were so many times Hayden and I would tell each other some random thing we'd heard and end up giggling.

  Things I was unprepared for: 
  • The amount of studying necessary to make good grades
  • The majority of people, even at a Christian college, have no problem using foul language and are surprised when they realize you do not feel the same way
  • The amount of walking one gets by changing classrooms
  • The fact that I could have made a down payment on a small house with the amount of money the school bookstore expected me to pay for books (If you can, ALWAYS buy your books somewhere else!)
  Schoolwork? Yes, it's hard. But it's so rewarding! The harder the work, the more satisfaction you get from doing well and even if you don't do well, the challenge of conquering that subject keeps you going with more diligence than if it had come easily. Of course, if the the pleasure of vanquishing your schoolwork isn't enough to get you through, the Bible will. 
"Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people" (Ephesians 6:7). "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving" (Colossians 3:23). 
  Another thing I found really encouraging was a book I had to read on Influenza this semester. The beginning started by introducing different men interested in medicine in the early 1900s and their struggle to find instruction on the subject (During that time in America, most medical schools did not require any previous college and not even one taught students how to use a microscope [The Great Influenza].). Reading about how hard it was for them really convicted me on taking my schooling for granted, especially as a biology major. Compared to these past scientists, the knowledge I have access to is incredible. As I was reading the book, I couldn't help but think how much more they could have accomplished with the same information being taught to me and compare their work ethic to my own. It made me feel like a real slacker. Glad I read it just before finals to give me that extra push I needed.
  So, yes, I thoroughly enjoyed my first year of college and I'm so glad God has made a way for me to attend CSU! Now, that isn't to say I'm not looking forward to summer break. Nope, I NEED this break! But I know half-way through I'm going to start missing school and I'm already really looking forward to taking anatomy and physiology this fall.

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Ashley said...

This is great! I'm getting ready to go to college in a few months so this post was really interesting. Oh boy, I actually have to study :/ Joy. I'm so not looking forward to buying books! Have a great summer!

Phoebe said...

Emily: By the way, I tagged you over at my blog! I do hope you will participate! :D I love reading your blog, btw. :)
Here's the tag:

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