This is the post excerpt.
I can’t believe I’ve been on my college campus for about a month and a half already. Move in Day was Thursday, August 17th and the entire first weekend was a blur. There were so many activities planned for the freshman here at Mankato, I was bone tired by the end of the day. I had no idea what to expect or do during my first weekend here so I was glad that there were so many activities already planned. It made is so that I would be out and about and not sulking in my room about being so far from home and out of my element. Being here at Mankato has been such a huge culture shock, just about everything here is different.
Back home in Minneapolis, I could hop on a Metro transit bus at any time of the day and ride for five minutes and reach Walmart or a Grocery store. Here the buses out of campus run once every hour and the ride is about 30 minutes to Walmart. I don’t mind the ride because it is free as a student here, I get a change of scenery and I get to see the layout of the town a bit. The bus schedule isn’t that big of a deal since I don’t have to use it often, so it’s only a minor struggle. My biggest struggles so far have been getting used to actually studying and doing hours of homework, in high school I did neither. All my classes in high school came pretty easily and didn’t require much outside of class work. It is the COMPLETE opposite here. I actually spend about two hours a day studying for each class I have that day. My hardest class has been Human Anatomy, I had no idea how hard it’d be to learn. I struggle the most with lecture exams because they are long and so technical whereas the labs are hands on learning so that makes the practical exams easier. I’ve learned now that I should use my resources wisely and use the room and tutors in the library dedicated to Human Anatomy to help me study. My other big struggle has been getting used to being the minority in classes and on campus again.
In high school at Patrick Henry, the minority was the majority. Everywhere you looked the students were people of color and even some of the staff. Here people of color are few and far in between, which is definitely taking some time to get used to. To better help me adjust I have joined two clubs. I joined for two reasons, one so that I will gain some friendships and spend time with people since I don’t have a roommate. Two, because I think it’s important that when doing something new you have something to remind you of home, a place of comfort so that you don’t constantly feel out of place. I think it helps me from being homesick and be more willing to go out and explore campus and what college life has to offer. The two clubs I’ve joined are Black Student Union (BSU) and Black Motivated Women (BMW). I really like that both groups aren’t totally separated, they overlap a lot. A lot of the members in BSU are also in BMW, and not just the women. The groups are not exclusive, in both there are non-black people who attend meetings and contribute to discussions and in BMW there are males who attend and actively participate which is great for both groups. Being in the groups has definitely gotten me more involved on campus. For instance, I would never ever in a million years participate in a choreographed lip-syncing contest, but because I joined the groups and had a little bit of positive peer pressure this upcoming weekend I will be in Mankato’s homecoming lip-syncing contest. My oh my what have I gotten myself into, I’m sure it’ll be a lot of fun mixed with some public embarrassment, but hey, I’ll live.
I’ve officially lost my sense of time, the days blur together into weeks and weeks into months. I’m no longer at my internship site because it had to close due to Covid-19. Now that I am unable to complete my internship, I was given two options to complete my degree. The first being to wait until fall to do another internship or complete 9 credits of upper division electives this summer. I chose the latter because I feel that it’s too risky to wait until fall because there’s a chance no one will be at the point of accepting interns due to the pandemic. The classes I’ve chosen to take are : holistic health and wellness, family life & sex education, and women’s health.
I have been quarantining alone and to pass time I’ve been reading, sitting in the sun, practicing my makeup skills (well lack thereof), and watching tons of tiny home videos on YouTube. I’ve also done tons of cleaning and getting rid of old things which tends to bring me peace and is relaxing.
Who would’ve thought we’d be where we are today? I remember first hearing about coronavirus in early January and not really thinking much of it or that it was that serious. Now look, it is everywhere, very serious and no matter where I turn it’s on every media outlet. Things have changed drastically in a matter of weeks, it’s hard to plan anything because you have no idea what is going to happen next. I’ve been quarantining since the first week of March and the days are so lost on me now that I’ve almost completely given up on what day of the week it is. Now there’s just yesterday, today and tomorrow. I am ever so grateful that the weather has warmed up and the sun has been showing itself. It makes the biggest difference in my mood and due to it I’ve been in really good spirits despite all the craziness going on and having to carry on like there isn’t a pandemic going on. Luckily for me there’s a nice pond and path down the street from my house so I use it to get some fresh air, a little exercise and sunlight when I’m in the mood for it.
March really did sneak up on me, I swear it should still be February. It’s crazy how fast time goes when you are actually busy. I’ve spent the month of February at my internship/job. I had to hit the ground running considering I had to make the transition from not working to working full time. I do really enjoy how heavily art focused the agency I work with is. I always enjoy seeing the clients partake in activities incorporating some form of art or art medium.
From time to time I still think about how not too long ago I was spending time in a classroom, preparing for an exam or paper and now I have neither of those to do. I often have to remind myself to still time manage despite not having any homework because its a skill I don’t want to lose. Having good time management skill is a great skill to possess and can serve well in just about any area of life.
It’s a new decade and I can’t believe it!! I don’t have much to write about for the month of January because my “normal” for January was completely different than how the last few January’s have been. Normally, January is the beginning of a new semester and I get back to working part-time, school full-time and all my additional extracurricular activities. But this January I spent the month reading recreationally, journaling and cuddling with my family’s dogs. Because I am not taking any traditional in class courses I had no reason to go to campus. I just had to wait out to start my internship, since it required a contract between the school and the agency. I now have the okay to start and am set to begin this upcoming Friday. I am so ready to begin, and finally have something to do. After so much time not doing anything everyday I’ve been itching to have some sort of schedule and activity throughout the day. I am used to being busy so sitting still for so long was hard to do without becoming impatient. After Friday I will be at my internship full time Monday-Friday, which will be a relatively big change considering I haven’t worked full-time in about two years. But it is a change I am welcoming with open arms.
The semester is officially over, all grades are in and I’m done. The semester was filled with so many twists, turns and new experiences I couldn’t have predicted any of it. I am still in shock that it is over. I was so used to having to go and go and go and go, that I struggled with relaxing once the semester ended. Even now I’ll have a random moment of panic thinking I have an assignment to turn in or a meeting I need to be at and that I’m missing it, which of course isn’t the case at all. I have to take a quick few deep breaths and remind myself that school is done and there is nothing I need to get done. This isn’t a new occurrence for me, as it normally happens the first few weeks after the end of every semester. However, I think the way this semester ended played a role in this going on for longer than usual. Typically there would be two weeks in between Thanksgiving break and finals but this semester there was only one. So there wasn’t a lot of “down time” to relax before the pressures of finals hit. Nonetheless, I am so glad to be done with the semester and looking forward to starting my full-time internship this upcoming Spring semester. It’s going to be so different than being a full time student which makes me excited for all the new experiences. All of which I can’t wait to share.
Just one more month before the beginning of a new decade!! Whew, hard to believe almost the entire year has gone by. I feel like I have done so much but also somehow so little at the same time. This year has felt so long yet so short at the same time. Funny how things tend to feel that way.
This month, after months of planning, MNSU’s first queer prom took place! As I mentioned in my last post I was soooo excited for it! It did not disappoint. People from all over campus told me how great of a time they had, how much it meant to them and that they can’t wait until next years’. I have never been so proud of myself and other student groups as I was the following days after the event. We ended up having a great turnout at the event. With about 80% of those who RSVP’d showing up and even a few just showing up at the door. It was an all around great night and the energy was great. I won’t be a part of the planning committee next year but I have high hopes they will do great.
Academically this semester has been a challenge. I still have managed to keep pretty good grades thus far, but it has not been easy but any mean. I have no writing intensive classes, but sure have been writing a lot in all of them. The most challenging part is the type of writing I am doing is new to me. This semester I’ve had to write a research grant, program grant, and a research article amongst other things I am more familiar with. I honestly just have to thank the internet for helping me figure how each of these things are supposed to look. I don’t know how I would have done them without it. These two weeks left in the semester are still packed with assignments and finals so there is no rest until after the semester is over.
This month has been a whirlwind of activity. Much like every other month for the past year, it came and went in a blink. We inch closer and closer with each second towards a new decade. Entering a new year is big but entering a new decade is huge! The last time we entered a new decade I was so young I didn’t realize how big of deal it is. But now I’m like mind blown that here I am existing and about to enter a new decade.
Balancing all my courses, work, and extracurricular activities has really been a struggle this semester, nonetheless I am doing very well in all my classes and my RSO is doing amazing. We’ve had consistent attendance at our weekly meetings at about 45 people each, which is significantly more than what we had in the spring. Just last Thursday we had our annual Black Girl Magic Dinner and had more people RSVP than we had space for the event. Luckily for us not all of those who RSVP’d showed up so we were able to accommodate all the extra people without a problem. The attendace at the event was double that of what we had at last years dinner. So this gives me the impression that we’re doing something right this semester.
Next weekend Black Motivated Women (BMW), Sexuality and Gender Equality (SAGE), Black Legendary and Queer (BLAQ), and Black Student Union (BSU) are collaborating to host MNSU’s first annual Queer Prom. I’m so happy that I could be a part of this history making moment, and also really proud of myself for making the first steps in planning it to bring it to reality. I hadn’t realized how much planning went into organizing an event of this size and sort, it truly has been eye opening but I am glad I embarked on the journey and will soon see the fruits of my and the other organizations labor.