Monday, June 22, 2015

Lessons from a 19 Credit Quarter

Holy cow. It's done. I am officially finished with my first (and hopefully only) 19 credit quarter. On top of that, I managed to swing straight As in all four of my classes. If I ever had any doubt that I'm good at school, this past quarter cleared it right up.
Honestly, I've been trying to sit down and write this post for a week and a half. Even now, I'm thinking about which Netflix flick will claim the next part of my evening. But, after a week and a half of decompression time, it's time to blog.
To kick this off, let me just say that this quarter was crazy. I call it my 19 credit quarter because that's how many credits I was taking officially but, for about half the quarter, I was also taking 2 credits of volunteer training. 19 + 2 = 21. 21 credits...until I was cracking under the pressure and, unfortunately, had to remove my 2 volunteering credits from my schedule. Did you know that someone in the professional college world suggests that students should spend 2 hours doing homework/studying for every 1 hour they spend in the class? 21*2 = 42. While 42 is the answer to life, the universe, and everything, I was dumbfounded after I did that math. 40 hours a week of homework? Every single week? On top of spending time in class? I get that I'm a student and that school is important. But I am also a human. Humans need time to do other things--like eat and sleep. And, okay, I'll be honest. I wasn't spending 40 hours a week on homework. Nor (after mid-quarter) was I spending 21 hours a week in class. And, let me tell you, things felt much more sane after that.
Contributing to how crazy this quarter felt were all of the surprises that popped up. Whenever I told anyone that I was taking 19 credits, they offered sympathy and/or empathy. For perspective, 15 is the average course load. So 19 credits is a lot, both to those who haven't done it and to those that have. After this quarter, though, 19 credits doesn't feel like such a big deal. Surprise. Now, see above. I'm good at school. I have been since kindergarten. Back then, it was because I loved it. Now, however, I think it's more force of habit. School is what I know, so it's very easy to be good at it. That said, I am surprised that I managed to pull all As. Two 300 level classes, a 400 hundred level and a Spanish language class--not actually an easy combination. It feels like (and maybe sounds like) I'm bragging but I am seriously shocked at this quarter's grades. It makes me wonder what would happen if I enjoyed a higher percentage of the work and applied myself more. Not gonna lie, I did most of my reading for these classes with this or that TV show playing in the background. Except Spanish. Focusing on Spanish anything was too hard with an English audio soundtrack in the background.
But not all surprises were academic. Eventually (perhaps inevitably), most of these surprises became situations that had to be dealt with. For this or that reason, I'm sure that the others involved wouldn't super appreciate the details of those social situations appearing here but I will say that I learned a lot about my friends--both old-ish, brand new and every where in between. I learned a lot about who values me, how they value me, and who is just completely full of it. Pro-tip for anyone who is earnestly interested in being my friend: don't tell me you want to hang out and never pull through on it. It gets really boring to hear. 
On the flip side, however, I would like to say a thing or two to my baby dragon and my live-in cat:
I am dearly pleased to have met and become friends with both of you. It was a much livelier quarter with you two in it and I am grateful for all the cuddles in addition to the experiences. I hope that you are both enjoying your respective summers but, also, hurry back. I miss you.

I guess the concise way of expressing the feeling that this quarter has left me with is, when I look back on this quarter, I can see how much it inspired me to (and sometimes demanded that I) change. Scratch that, not change, but come more into my own. You know that joke "Give a girl the right pair of shoes and she'll conquer the world"? Well, I think I found the shoes. I'm just waiting to put them on. 
Why wait? Because, for the moment, my path is planned: finish college. After that, we'll see what happens :)
I'll tell you a secret, though...I bet I'll try them on a lot more often now. 
Look out, world. I am Robyn. Here me roar.

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