Reminiscing On Freshman Year Of College

Reminiscing On Freshman Year Of College

My last thoughts before I walk the stage...

Five years ago, when I was barely starting college, I did not think I would ever get to where I am now. The major I chose, the lifestyle I had/have, and all the hard work I put into it. It was not something I would have thought possible. In 2011, I was barely getting to college with my mom's help (she was driving me every day) -- hardly knowing what the heck I was even doing there, and had no clue what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I was carrying the dead weight I had from high school; relationships, lack of confidence, and worries.

For this first year of college, I was merely focused on finding the close friends that followed me to my college. I was also trying to keep my head low, and not even worry about making any new friends. I was too busy trying to not look like a lost puppy on campus every time I had to go to a new class.

At the time, I was a double science major (Biology & Chemistry) and minoring in Forensic Science. I was very far from what I am now. I was trying to become a Forensic Scientist, and while I still do love that field, math is not for me. If you know me, you know math is not for me. However, I did not realize at the time, but science is about 99.99999% math. Who would have known? I was in remedial math at the time, so I knew math was not my strong suit. I quickly changed majors to Criminology.

I do not know why I ever did that, either. I dislike the major Criminology. I never really knew what I wanted to do with that. It never provided me with anything new and exciting. Nothing that I could take away and be excited about learning. So, thankfully, I have never taken any classes for any of these majors or I would have been so behind schedule.

Later, I got into Mass Communications and Journalism. Okay, now, we are getting closer to what I actually wanted to do. While I liked the MCJ field, I just felt like the half-assed writing aspect was not for me. I wanted something that was more and challenged me more. I wanted to be in something that was entirely focused on written form; fiction, poetry, and the telling of stories. That is what I wanted. Journalism is like that, but it is a different kind of storytelling for me.

The writing for MCJ does not focus on grammar and Shakespeare or reading and fiction. I am not saying MCJ is not a good major, but for what I was looking for -- it was not for me. It is the major for some, but I did not want to do journalism or newspaper writing (and, secret, I have done plenty of journalism with the major I have now). I wanted more focus on writing and getting further in that. Making sure I knew what a comma was, where a semicolon went, and how not to have a sentence fragment.

Soooooo, I changed to English Literature, and no, I am not becoming a teacher. Just plain ol' English Literature major -- a background in Fiction and Poetry and that is about it. English challenges me to be better with my writing and with English I assumed "Hey, I can get any writing job even without the MCJ background." And, boy, was I right. I have gotten freelance journalism options, newspaper options, and so on.

Luckily, I realized early on I did not need the MCJ major to actually write for journalism. Most places look for either an MCJ or English background. I guess I just wanted more Shakespeare (which is entirely accurate). Sorry, MCJ major, I still love you (most of my friends are MCJ majors). However, it was not for me and thankfully so because I am so happy with where I landed.

Why am I telling you this? Well, when I first started college -- as you know -- I did not know what the heck I was doing. Still don't, to be honest. I found something I wanted to do and went with it. Everyone told me, "English? What are you going to do with that?" I always felt bad for myself because I felt like "Okay, well, what am I going to do with this."

I learned early on to do what I wanted to do, and I did. I have written for comics, culture, PR, social media, and so much more with just this one major. I am proud I chose English. I do not think there is anything I would rather be doing than telling people their grammar is terrible. (I am kidding, I only do it to my mom.)

I guess what I am trying to say is that -- college has helped me pick what I wanted to be and what I wanted to do with my life. I am forever grateful and forever happy about that. If anyone ever asks me, "should they go to college," I will say yes.

It is the best experience of your life, and if you feel lost in life, it is a good way to get you back on track. I think college is something everyone should try, at least once. It teaches you so much more than just "extra" knowledge.

With graduation in about four days, I wanted to reminisce about 2011 when I first started college as a deer in the headlights. It is now 2017, and I am graduating -- still a deer in the headlights, but with a BA. I cannot wait to walk across that stage and sigh in relief to know all that hard work and 93$ for a parking pass every semester paid off.

Thank you, Fresno State, you have made me a college graduate.

Cover Image Credit: huffingtonpost

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Procrastination - The Universal College Experience

My Complicated Relationship with Deadlines

Though it's a fantastic quote, I've never really been able to relate to Douglas Adam's line: "I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by."

The truth is, no part of me likes deadlines, not even a little. Yet, here I am in academia, living a life that's constantly governed by deadlines. Assignments, readings, quizzes, Odyssey articles - there's a lot to juggle.

However, I also fear the time in my life when I don't have deadlines hanging over me. As much as I dislike deadlines, they force me to do the things I need to do. There's a threat of external punishment for a lack of performance, and while it isn't exactly fun, it does result in things getting done. And having things done is really nice. However, I've noticed myself pushing closer to the wire with deadlines. This is especially noteworthy because I used to pride myself on planning ahead and avoiding last-minute panic. (There's a brilliant TED talk by Tim Urban that I'd highly recommend to anyone who's interested in learning more about how procrastination works and you can find it here).

I wonder how I'm going to get anything done when there isn't an immediate consequence for not doing things, especially when they're things I actually want to do. Writing stories, creating paintings, reading the long list of books that are on my list - the things that get shoved off when my plate is too full. There's no deadline for any of these, and so I have to figure out some push for doing them. Theoretically, that push would be innate and the hobby would be the reward itself, and it used to be - but somehow that changed over the years, and I'm left wondering how it happened. When my academic career is done (which is quite a ways off for me), I'll likely still have deadlines for work, but not quite as many. I need to figure out how to harness the last-minute energy before the panic sets in - and that's a task easier said than done.

The truth is, we all share one final deadline - death itself. There will eventually come a time when "I'll do it tomorrow" simply isn't possible. The exact time of the deadline varies among every single individual, but it will come.

There are various ways to react to this information. Most of us try to forget about it and manage to distract ourselves with the comparatively mundane deadlines within life itself, like students who've lost their syllabi and simply hope for the best. As a Christian, I look at the deadline of death and see it as the final assignment before vacation. However, there's a lot of work to be done before then, a race to run, and faithfulness to maintain.

Cover Image Credit: pxhere

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I'm A Creative Writing Minor But I've Struggled With Overwhelming Writer's Block For Years

Considering this started at the end of high school and is still an issue today, I've actually been going through this for about six years.

Yeah, I know. Believe me, it feels just as bad as it sounds.

How can I call myself a writer if I don't write outside of class assignments? Where is my motivation? Seriously, do you know, and can you tell me where it's hiding?!

When I was in my young teens, I was overflowing with creativity. I'd write pages of prose with my own characters and those from TV shows or movies; I had ideas and I wanted to bring them to life.

It was as simple as that. At least, for a while.

I'm not sure what happened. Maybe it was my schedule getting busier with the end of high school and my introduction into the world of college and all the adjustment that comes along with that dramatic change. Maybe it had to do with a sudden change in my brain as I grew up in an area that impacts creativity.

Whatever the case, I've been struggling to write even one paragraph of creative prose for a long time. Considering this started at the end of high school and is still an issue today, I've actually been going through this for about six years.

That's an incredibly long time for me, an English major and Creative Writing minor, to be pushing against the wall of writer's block.

Thankfully, college has kept me more or less active, especially with the creative writing workshops I've taken over the semesters (poetry, fiction, and nonfiction). I just wish they could've cured me of this blight, because I'm tired of having no motivation to write!

I still have ideas I want to bring to life through writing. I have characters that are dying to speak and worlds that are waiting to be built. If I'd like to become a published writer (which I do), I have to write first!

Maybe post-undergrad will be a kinder time for me and I'll actually recover from my writer's block. Or, more realistically, power right through it and come out on the other side with a considerable number of pages to show for my work.

If any of you knows a golden ticket to getting through this, hit a girl up, because I'm done with writer's block!

Cover Image Credit: 4striptechnicolor on Instagram

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