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 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.
I can’t believe this month is over, I blinked and it was here blinked again and it’s over. This month was full of so many important events. I spent a weekend in Lincolnshire, Illinois with 16 other Black Student Union members from my school at the National Black Student Union conference. The whole weekend was filled with workshops in various fields led by people from all over the nation. There was so much opportunity to learn and to network with other schools, graduate schools, and even internships. The trip overall was well worth the drive. I also finally reached the big 20! I didn’t do anything to celebrate but have chipotle and eat some cake. I love both so I’m not complaining.
I am glad it is the end of November, I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel that is the end of the semester. This semester has definitely been a learning experience. I had to withdraw from my human physiology course because I wouldn’t have gotten the grade I wanted. That was a bit hard for me because I have never had to withdraw from a class. However, it did free up a bunch of time for me, as a result I have done well in all my other courses and am expecting high grades in all of them. Another upside of the semester is that I have transitioned from being the Treasurer of Black Motivated Women to the Vice President. As a group we are figuring out how to become a better BMW and how to better serve our members and community.
This month has been a lot easier in terms of academics. I have gotten a handle on balancing my course load. I am still struggling with human physiology but only the lecture part of the class. I am acing the lab portion of the class thus far. So far my favorite class has been emotional health and stress, it has been my favorite because I use what I learn immediately after learning it. The information I learn is so very relevant with college life that it helps me better cope with daily hassles and keep control of my emotions.
Black Motivated Women just had its first event of the year. We had a Black Girl Magic dinner and it was a formal event. It was so nice to see everyone all dressed up for a change. We had an amazing speaker; Tiffany Jackson who spoke on how to become the best version of ourselves. We had great food and the best cheesecake I’ve ever had. It was a pleasant surprise because I normally don’t like any cheesecake. We gave a few awards to members who attend our meetings, a few of the awards include most engaged, community outreach and most hardworking.
The month of September has gone by so fast, it was a blur. This semester started off so fast there was no getting used to being a full time student, I had to hit the ground running. This semester I am taking 17 credits and I am the treasurer of Black Motivated Women. I am also an active member of Black Student Union and Black Intelligent Gentlemen. I have been having a hard time balancing everything but my planner has been a lifesaver and I have stayed on track thus far. My biggest difficulty so far this semester is my Human Physiology course. I struggled A LOT with human anatomy last year so I expected difficulties with this class and I was definitely right to expect them. On the first day of labs we were told ” a lot of people retake this course two or three times”. I really hope I will not be one of those who have to retake the course. I plan to begin getting tutored in the course if I do not do well on the next exam.
On another note, my involvement in RSO’s has given me more of a social life which is necessary because I live off campus this year. I participated in the homecoming lip sync competition again this year. Unfortunately, we did not place but a member of our group won homecoming royalty so there was some good with the bad.
It is the now the end of May and I’ve been home for almost one whole month. This month at home has been such a drastic change in the pace of my everyday life. For the first week I was home, I kept panicking thinking I had forgot to submit an assignment or take a survey. I had to keep reminding myself that I completed it all and I am done for the semester. I finished off the semester pretty strong. I ended up with two A’s and two B+’s. I was shooting for all A’s of course but didn’t quite make it there in Chemistry and Math. Which I am okay with, I know that I tried and did everything I could. Spring semester overall was great. I did well academically, made new friends and also received the news that I’ll be on the executive board of the Black Motivated Women group at my school. Starting in the fall I will be the Treasurer and co-event coordinator. I am definitely looking forward to it! This Summer I will be working full time and will be taking two courses online, so I’ll be one busy bee.
It is already the end of April! Meaning it is almost the end of the academic school year! I can’t believe how quickly not only this month but the school year has gone. In just eight days I’ll be all done with finals and be moving out of my dorm and back home for the summer. Luckily for me, I only have three finals and will be done with them all on Wednesday. I have friends who have more and a friend who has just one and it’s not until Friday of finals week. I’m so excited for the semester to be over and to be able to have a bit of a break from academics before I start my summer classes. I am also really glad the sun decided to show its face instead of snow for a change. The sun shining really does help give me motivation to get everything I need to done.
This month has felt so slow in comparison to February. February had events back to back and all kinds of assignments due around the same time. Where as this month has been smooth slow sailing. Which is great because it has given me time to recover from the blur that was last month. Not much at all has gone on this month so far. However, I am very excited to for the two events hosted by the school this weekend. Tomorrow night is Ebony Ball thrown by the Black Student Union on campus. They have been talking about it since the beginning of February so hopefully it’s as fun and glamorous as everyone has made it sound. Saturday night is the “event of the year” which is African Night. No one on campus does “go big or go home” like the African Student Association. They are known campus wide for their good food, entertainment, and of course their attire. It’s a night filled with African food, music, dancing, theatre, a fashion show and more. I can’t wait to see what they have in store.