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 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.
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.