Many people have been asking me about how school is going, and I just want to say THANK YOU! I really appreciate everyone acknowledging and asking about how everything is going so far. That shows that I have support and it makes me feel stronger than ever!
School has been.. interesting to say the least. Honestly this week has been a whirlwind! I have been inundated with realizations and flashbacks to my college years that are both positive and negative. I thought I would share some of the silly, simple ones with you guys and then hit you with some of the larger, deeper realizations I have had this week.
Things I have realized this week:
1. I still love school supplies. Especially ones that are bright colored.
2. Buying the nicer school supplies IS worth the money (I realized this after I spent $12 on my spirals for the semester).
3. I am still very OCD about my school materials. Every class has a binder (with divider for each lab/chapter) and a spiral and they are color coordinated. I also do NOT want my books getting written in or pages crumbled (Already had to scold Matt a few times with my chem book.. just sayin').
4. I still like to snack when I study.
5. I still need something going on in the background (TV, music, snacking) while I'm studying - otherwise I fall asleep.
6. Community College is glorified high school.
7. Community College is NOT for me.
8. I would rather pay 3X the tuition to take a class at a 4 year university rather than a Community College.
9. I have already had a major fight with a Community College professor, which has probably skewed my view of Community College.
10. Everyone IN community college has a kid. WTF?
11. My Type A personality comes out to the extreme when I am involved in something I really care about.
12. I miss my old university and wish I was back there :(
13. I have to buy a parking permit even though I take online classes at my 4 year school, which is LAME.
14. I have thought, "No wonder I gained so much weight during college" about 15 times since Tuesday.
15. Going to my job is a complete waste of time now. I have better things to be doing.
16. I wish my job would fire me.
17. I'm not going to exercise unless I do it as soon as I get home from work. Studying, then exercising, then more studying isn't working.
18. I still like to take starbucks teas to class.
19. No wonder I went to starbucks twice a day during college.
20. I haven't been in a chemistry class in 8 years (imagine a subsequent breakdown after this realization).
21. My preferred attire for class is STILL a hoodie, flip flops and athletic pants.
As you can see, there have been some MAJOR adjustments this week. Here are a few of these in detail:
1. I have really felt at home with school. Granted, I am going to two different schools than my Alma Mater, but just being in the school setting is comforting to me. I feel my best and my most productive when it comes to school. I have also realized how much (and for how long) I have really hated my job based on how much effort I have put into school this week. My type A personality DEFINITELY is the strongest when I truly want or care about something. When I don't care, I put forth minimum to no effort.
2. I also have been relatively shell shocked by Community College (could you tell??). I knew that most of my instructors had the chance of being an adjunct and they would not all be a "Dr." But I was not prepared to be treated like I am in high school. I haven't been in high school for 8-9 years, and I like it that way. Perhaps the greatest shock was the lack of a course schedule on the first day. I got into a fight (via email) with one of my distance learning professors because she would not send us a schedule of due dates for the course. [The first day of school is my absolute favorite because you receive a syllabus with your entire semester laid out for you - right? I spend the rest of the class writing all these deadlines in my planner and color coding with a highlighter all the assignments, quizzes, papers and tests (dude, you wish I was kidding).] She accused me of being "stressed out" (LADY.. we are not even shaking the tail of stress right now.. just send me the schedule) and sent me the first "UNIT"'s (again high school?) schedule before she released it to the rest of the class. This schedule gets me through February.. great.
There also were two different policies stated on tests in the class. Since it's an online class, the tests should be online - right? Well in one area she said that, but in our class orientation she said that we had to go to campus to take them in the testing center. You should know, I don't care either way.. but I need to know ahead of time so I can take off work to go take the tests. When I emailed her about which one was correct, she replied with a very snide comment about how I needed to read the schedule she emailed me. So I replied right back with both policies she had stated and she later apologized and FINALLY answered my question. Also she asked the entire class to make note of any mistakes in the lessons and let her know. Really!?
It's been a world of difference between what I am used to (and what level of care I am currently receiving in my 4 year university classes) and what's going on at the good ole' CC. I do not like it. I have one more class I could take at a CC, but I am seriously going to try to take it at my 4 year school because I just can't handle it. In college, you should have the expectations of the class laid out on the first day, regardless of who your professor is and how organized they are. Perhaps I am spoiled, but this is simply my experience so far and maybe I've just been unlucky?
3. Other than that, I have been pleasantly surprised to feel alive again inside and to feel like my days have a purpose. Each class has a purpose as well and I really have to soak up the information, because it's a stepping stone for my future classes. This has been a very different experience than business school. Business school classes all teach you theories and the theories apply to ONE aspect of a business. But now, I'm in science classes. And we have labs, and we have to learn everything in this class before going to the next level and that's been a little weird for me. Perhaps the greatest example of this is my Chemistry class. I knew, going into this semester, that Chemistry would be my hardest class and I would have to study the most for it. But I never really considered the fact that I haven't been in Chemistry for 8 years and that the classes I took 8 years ago were a prerequisite for the class I'm in now. I spent the first 5-10 minutes of our night class this week having a panic attack in my head because I had NO idea what the guy was talking about. Let's just say, I forgot the periodic table even existed - let alone what everything on it means. Since I am taking O-Chem this summer and BioChem in the fall, I HAVE to do well in this class.
Luckily for me, my boyfriend is a Chem genius (read: he had a fantastic Chem teacher in high school and remembers everything from the class), so we spent about 2 hours the other night reviewing what I learned 8 years ago. I'm feeling much better now and I have to keep remembering myself that I can do ANYTHING I put my mind to. Also, I'm hoping to find a gigantic periodic table poster and hang it on my wall in my living room. My theory is the more I look at it, the more sense it will make? (again, you WISH I was kidding).
4. Everyone thinks I am crazy and I think those people are stupid. Seriously. I've had almost everyone in my life (except Matt) tell me at some point the past few weeks/months that I've put too much on my plate. People have questioned my sanity and I've just wanted to stick my middle finger in their face. I WILL make it out of this semester alive, and well, and knowledgeable and successful. And if you aren't capable of what I'm doing, don't do it. But I AM capable of it and if you don't believe me - sit back, shut your mouth and watch me. The past few weeks I have been so busy doubting myself because everyone's comments have blown up in my face and I'm so sick and tired of it. I put more thought into the decision to go back to school than I have anything else in my life. I used a rational head and I spent weeks planning everything, keeping in mind my own abilities. I know myself better than anyone else and therefore, no one else can tell me what I am capable or not capable of doing other than myself. So I just wanted to let it be known that I'm not entertaining anyone else's doubt about my schedule right now. Also, I'm clearly NOT bitter about this (right?).
I keep thinking of this quote that says (roughly): "If you want to accomplish what you've never accomplished, you have to do what you've never done." I keep remembering that before I decided to go back to school, I had never made a decision for myself without taking into considerations someone else's opinion. If I decided I wanted to really do something, I wouldn't do it without the support of my family and my friends. I have been living a life that was designed by the people around me rather than by myself. Sure, I had a part in the decision but I've only done things that are "approved". Do you know how many opportunities I've missed out on because of this?? So even if I hate Community College and I'm busy and I can't go out every weekend with my friends, I know these things because I found them out MYSELF. I didn't listen to anyone else when I made this decision so why would I listen to them now???
(Clearly this is a pep talk for myself that I thought you all would enjoy!)
That's really about it. I spend my days sitting at my desk thinking about school and all the stuff I have to do - and I spend my nights reading, doing assignments/labs and actually going to my Chemistry class and lab. It's definitely going to be a busy semester, but it's certainly do-able (no matter what anyone says to me). And most of all, it's worth it. Because I'm worth it and my dreams are attainable and I want it badly enough that I'll make the "impossible" sacrifices to make it happen!