7 Things I Learned My First Week at University

7 Things I Learned My First Week at University

Things are a lot different from Community College

My first week at a university college has been completed and wow! Compared to week one at a community college I have to say that there are some different things between the two. Not to mention there were some other lessons I learned this week not only about myself but also school.

1.I'm chugging iced coffee more than I ever thought I would.

2.It has increased my road rage

Guys, why can't we park in a nice and orderly fashion this isn't The Hunger Games.

3.So...much..walking

4. I've already done this upon returning home

5.Apparently we are ok with Wikipedia now?

Somehow the evil and forbidden website I was told never to use is now a source of information I have to read from for a couple of my classes.

6.I'm always dehydrated

7.I'm ready for the time of my life.

Sure there have been some ups and downs but I think things can only get better!


Cover Image Credit: Wallpaper Cave

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Communications Majors Are A Special Breed

Communication majors don't always have it easy.

The communication major is a broad subject.

Just because it is a broad major doesn't mean that COMM majors like myself have an easy ride. I have heard more times than I would like to admit that, "communication is an easy major." And that statement has some truth to it, but what I want to talk about is how we, as communication majors are a special breed of college students.

First, I want to address the phrase I used in just a few lines before. Communication is easy to those who have never taken a COMM class before. I think every COMM major or minor at the College of Charleston can attest to the Goliath that is COMM 215: Communication, Identity, and Community. Even having a great professor like Dr. Merissa Ferrara teach the class would leave you nearly pulling your hair out. I am just talking from personal experience. One thing that I consistently hear about the class is that this extremely difficult class got them hooked to the communication major here at the College of Charleston.

Back to the quote above that says communication is easy. It is not always because having to give a 15-20 minute presentation on top of a 15-page paper has not happened in any other class besides my COMM classes. And I know some of you overachievers are like, "just 15 minutes, just 15 pages, that's nothing." If you are in that boat of oh that is nothing, then you can't possibly be completely human.

I've taken a rather wide range of classes over my four years at the College of Charleston and the COMM classes are the ones that I love but hate at the same moment. I'm pretty sure that happens to a lot of college students.

Now, to the real reason that COMM majors are a special breed. With communication being a broad major, it leaves those who graduate in communication to experiment with a variety of careers. You can go into marketing, PR, be a news reporter/writer and even be a human resource officer. I didn't mention all of the possibilities because there are so many that I can't possibly list all of them.

There truly is no limit to what you can become with that degree in communications. With this variety in potential career paths, it can become annoying to figure out which fits best. That's why internships are so critical in picking out your future job. Trust me when I say that an internship shows you what you want to do and what you don't want to do.

COMM majors are a special breed because this world needs people who can communicate effectively. It's cool if you can do a certain job like scientific research or run a large international business. But, one false move and everything you have done can be discredited.

That is why companies are always seeking individuals who can effectively make their company, their product or their research look and sound great. We would all get bored rather quickly if a scientist went on and on about how this drug is the next big thing with them talking only about the scientific side of it. If you can't portray your new finding in a way that the average person can understand then you have failed in conveying your message to the masses.

That is why companies who don't know how to talk about themselves look to companies and individuals who make people look good as a profession.

COMM majors, at least here at the College of Charleston, are a special breed of college students. To all my fellow communication majors and minors, this stuff isn't always easy and at times it is. Let's be happy our major doesn't have extra long equations to figure out unless you take Statistics. Which we have to, unfortunately.

But, we have the unbelievable opportunity to choose from so many professions after graduation. We literally help others communicate the positives of themselves. Finally, we can crank out a speech and paper out in no time. These things make communication majors a special and sometimes unappreciated breed of college students.

Cover Image Credit: wikimedia

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I Love My Impractical Major

Science is the future, but I’ll be quite happy living in the past with my BA in English.

My whole life, I wanted to be a teacher. I had a huge box full of play teacher supplies, a chalkboard, a tiny globe, basically the works. I even used to write out “Student of the Month” certificates for whichever doll or teddy bear was my favorite at the moment. Teaching people was truly just second nature to me and was always my go-to play pretend scenario, no matter who I was with or where I was.

It wasn’t until my junior year of high school I figured out the subject and level I wanted to teach. Thanks to an infectiously passionate English teacher, a real-world Keating from “Dead Poets Society,” who will always have a special place in my heart. He flailed his arms, he yelled, he even turned me into a full-on Shakespearean actor a few times.

My confidence and then, dormant love of reading sprung to life that year and I decided I wanted to follow in my Keating’s footsteps and teach high school English with as much zeal as he did.

I applied to every college as an Education/English major, excited to crush my AP English exam and move on to St. John’s University. Until my last day of orientation, I made an impulse change to biology because I was told by others I was good at science and I ought to be a doctor. Yeah, I know, it was dumb. My hindsight is 20/20 everyone.

I spent my first year and a half of college stressed over biology and chemistry, like any other STEM major, but I was never able to see the end of the tunnel when I studied biology. I never saw myself getting my M.D. and working in a lab coat with sick people all day. I hated science. I realized I was only good at it because I was an overachiever.

On top of this, the large auditoriums and lecture halls my classes were in made me feel small and insignificant and my professors certainly didn’t help. When going to office hours to review exams, I was always asked my ID number first, as if those digits were permanently part of my identity. I hated the idea of professors putting numbers to faces rather than names to faces.

I started wondering if I was doing this for myself. I struggled during those three semesters for the fantasies I had of my parents bragging about their daughter who is a doctor, getting to one-up my cousin who also wanted to be a doctor, and being part of a power couple-- a successful wife who is a doctor with a husband who is an engineer. I was not in it for myself.

During that finals week, I changed my major to English, just a sliver too late to go to the School of Education.

My first semester as an English major was the greatest of my college career. I was challenged in ways I enjoyed. I was forced to think critically and defend my arguments about the works I read, rather than being forced to memorize and regurgitate facts and plot points or the theorems during my biology days. My professors know my face, and I’ve never felt more confident in a classroom than I do now.

Yes, this is a STEM world and science is the future, but I’ll be quite happy living in the past with my old tomes and my whiteboard (I never did like Smartboards) if it means I get to study and teach something I really love. I’d never want to clock in and clock out of a nine-to-five I’m not excited about.

Yeah, it might be harder for me to find a job with my B.A. in English, but it’s not the degree alone that gets you to the job: it’s your passion for the material. Be daring. Be rash and impractical.

Study what you love now, so work will feel like play when you reach the real world.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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