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.
This month has been a whirlwind! I finished one class and started another. Made tons of trips back and forth from Mankato to the cities. Got an IPad (that I absolutely love) and gave a bunch of tours to high schoolers.
The first class I took this summer was concepts of fitness. I had somewhat of an idea of how out of shape I was and now that I’ve completed the class, I am no longer guessing. It is the absolute truth that you can be skinny and still out of shape. I am a living example of that. One of the assignments we had to do in the beginning of the class was an assignment of our physical fitness. We had to do as many of a particular exercise we could in a minute. When we got to push ups, I was able to do 12 and was somewhat proud of myself, because I generally struggle trying to get to 5. I looked at where I ranked based on my age range and gender. Anything 20 and under was considered low. I wasn’t even close to being good which is 44-54 push ups. Despite my lack of fitness, I still did very well overall in the class. I think I earned an A in the class but the final grade has yet to be posted.
I’ve just finished my first week of Human Physiology and start the second week tomorrow. We have our first lab exam tomorrow and first lecture exam on Tuesday. As of now, I am feeling pretty confident in my knowledge of the topics we’ve gone over. I am just hoping that I remain confident when taking the exams and don’t let my nerves get the best of me.
I bought an IPad just over a week and a half ago and I loveeeeee it! I use it to take notes fo Human Physiology and it is amazing. I can switch colors and utensils effortlessly so it makes note taking a breeze. Plus I can insert photos into my notes. For example we were going over the structure and function of the eye and I though there was no way I could possibly draw an eye and label it and be able to actually tell what is what. So instead, I went to google and downloaded and image of an unlabeled eye diagram, inserted it into my notes, labeled each part with different colors. Then boom, perfectly labeled eye in my notes.
Part of my job as an office assistant is occasionally giving tours to high school students. It is not something I enjoy doing and I get anxious about it every single time. I just never know how my group will be. I don’t know if they’ll be interested in the tour and asking questions, or just silent and staring at me blankly throughout the entirety of it. I have had one really amazing group that were so interested in everything and had so many great questions. They were just great to work with. On the other hand, I have had a group that didn’t ask any questions and some of them even stayed on their phones the entire times or had side conversations. Like with almost anything I do, I had to be okay with not being able to control everything and just work with it.
I’ve done so much in the month of May!. I finished the semester, went on a week long trip to Florida, starting working again and started my first summer class. I was able to finish all my classes with a B or higher with the exception of Biostatistics. In that class, I got a C-. That class was a struggle even with the extra help I got from other students and I am glad to have finished it instead of withdrawing from it. In Florida, I went to Universal Studios and Volcano Bay on separate days. I had a lot of fun and then it started pouring rain within hours of being there which dampened the mood. I was just glad to have been there early enough to enjoy it before it started to rain. I am working in the same offices I worked with during the academic year. Which is the Multicultural Center and Oasis Office. I am very grateful to be able to work there over the summer because they are very accommodating of my class schedule/course load.
The first class that I started this month is Concepts of Fitness. The class so far has been pretty easy a lot of the information is very relevant to me as a Community Health Education major, so I am actually interested when reading which is helpful in getting my assignments done. I will be taking another summer course second session. The second course I’ll be taking is Human physiology… again. I attempted it in the fall and then withdrew from it because I struggled a lot with doing well on lecture exams but was acing the exams in lab. Which makes sense because I am a hands on learner. I’m certain I will pass this time around, because 1. I don’t really have a choice, if I don’t I won’t graduate at the time planned 2. I know 6 or 7 other people taking the course and we all plan to study together which is a great way to help keep each other accountable. I don’t really have any other big plans for the summer other than working and taking classes.
This month has been a whirlwind. The whole semester has been a whirlwind. I am in disbelief that next week is already finals week. I have so much to do between now and Friday of finals. For the first time in my time at college I have a final on Friday of finals week . It would have been two but the class voted to have our final biostatistics exam this week Wednesday. Overall, my classes are going pretty well but I still have a bunch of major assignments due so I am unsure what to anticipate for my final grade.
Just a week ago was the student leadership award ceremony. I was awarded the diversity champion award. The award is awarded to a student that “has demonstrated extraordinary commitment to diversity and has worked to weave diversity into the fabric of the institution.” It felt amazing to be recognized for all the work I put in with my RSO.
In terms of extracurricular activities, I have just a few events left. Black Motivated Women will be cohosting a screening of Beyoncé’s Homecoming and serving food. We will also be cohosting an end of the year BBQ that will have tons of games, prizes and food with various registered student organizations on campus. Once the two events are done, I officially ended my first semester as President of Black Motivated Women.
This month has been such a busy yet rewarding month for me. I started off the month volunteering for a weekend as a camp counselor with Umoja MN. It’s a black heritage camp created to empower adoptive, kinship and foster families. There I helped wherever I was needed but for the majority of the weekend I was a camp counselor with the 3-4 year old’s. There was a total of 22 of them. It was quite a long day that day. I had forgotten how much energy young ones have and was sucked in by their cuteness, which is why I decided to work with them. It was a lot of work but honestly I’d probably volunteer with the 3-4 year old’s again. They’re just too cute!
March is also Women’s History Month so as President of Black Motivated Women, I of course had events to plan and execute. This month we (BMW) collaborated with the Women’s Center on campus and had two film showings and discussion. Both events were open to the public, the first film we showed was The Immortal life of Henrietta Lacks. It was a great movie that I wish was longer, nonetheless we had great conversation with those in attendance. The second film showing was of Say her Name: The life and Death of Sandra Bland. It was such a hard film to watch, it evoked so many different emotions in me and many of those watching. A few of us had a hard time staying quiet during it, but it sparked some much needed conversation among those in attendance. The last event we planned for Women’s history month was a Women’s Brunch. We had it just yesterday and it went very well. The ladies in attendance seemed to enjoy themselves, the food, music and gift bags we gave them. It was a great way to close Women’s history month.
This semester, this month and especially this week has gone by so incredibly fast. Time goes by so fast when you’re a busy bee. All my time has been occupied balancing school and the course load, my part-time work study job, my presidential duties of Black Motivated Women and my volunteering with Umoja MN. My planner has been a lifesaver and I have been able to stay on top of everything with very little error. As a result I am doing very well in all of my classes and have high hopes of continuing to do so. With all the kinds of work I do I’m walking back and forth on campus daily. I spend more time now in the various buildings on campus than I did when I actually lived on campus. While my days are often long and kind of rough, I feel so relieved when I final go home. I feel so accomplished when I get home to look at my planner and realize I did every single thing on my list of things to for for the day.
I’ve realized a common theme in my blog posts every month. I often express my disbelief with how fast the month has gone, this month is no different. I can’t believe it is the 24th of January. 23 days have come and gone already. I am very excited for today and this weekend. Today is the first Black Motivated Women meeting of the semester. To welcome our members back, we decided to host a game night. We wanted to be different and not play the traditional board and card games and go bigger and play games from minute to win it and Pinterest adult party games threads. I am very excited for this weekend because Friday, Saturday and Sunday I will be in the cities attending a birth doula workshop. Once the weekend is over, I’ll have completed the first step in becoming a certified birth doula. It’ll be a lot of learning condensed into three days but I’m excited for the knowledge.
This semester I am taking a jump rope course to complete my performance and participation goal area and man was I wrong to assume it’d be easy. I thought because I loved jumping rope as a child a class about it would be fun. Don’t get me wrong I enjoy the class, but I do not have the same endurance I did as child. I get tired after 5 minutes of jumping and the class is 50 minutes long and we learn 5 new tricks a day. All I can do is laugh at myself trying to get the tricks down.
I’ve noticed a reoccurring phenomenon. Time has been going by really fast! Is this what my mom meant when she said you blink and next thing you know you’re thirty? I always thought the people in my life saying life goes so fast were being dramatic but if the last few months is what they meant by fast, I totally understand! I saw a funny post on Facebook stating, “how is January next week, next month and next year?” I keep thinking about that, and just looking back on the year. It seems as though the year has been incredibly long but also incredibly fast at the same time. Not entirely sure how that works but that is how it feels.
I ended the semester much better than I anticipated! In my last post, I wrote that I expected grades no lower than a B. I was correct in that assumption, however I didn’t expect to get all A’s. For the first time in college I got a 4.0 for the semester. I was so surprised I gasped and stared for a second and then did a little dance to celebrate. Now I’m enjoying break by spending time with family and the many dogs my family has.