Incoming Freshmen, I've Been In Your Shoes And I Understand You

Incoming Freshmen, I've Been In Your Shoes And I Understand You

The excitement, the joy, everything — I know how it feels.
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Last year, I was in the same position you are right now. I was still debating which college would be the one in my future. I was mourning the fact that I had not been accepted to my dream school. I was also celebrating that I was accepted to college when many people said I wouldn't make it.

Last year, just like you, I was excited to venture into this journey everybody has pumped into this big adventure you get only once in your life. Trust me. It is okay if you are nervous. It is okay if you are scared of the college experience. It is okay if you still don't know what to major in. It is all okay.

I'm almost done with my first year at UCLA, and I still don't have the barest idea of what I want to study. Sure, I tell people which major I am interested in, but in all honesty, sometimes I'm not feeling that anymore. I still don't know what I want to do with my life. One day, I want to be a news reporter; another, I want to be a journalist; another, I want to be a novelist or a poet; others, I want to be an actor. I feel so lost in this case.

Still, I shouldn't let this discourage me. Neither should your doubts about your future. They say that during these four years is when you find yourself. No need to haste when you don't know what to do at the age of eighteen. I mean, who really has their life figured out at this point? Nobody, right.

And neither should you let other people bring you down. A lot of people in my family questioned why I was applying to major colleges. I was just a punk from a different country who had come to the US in search of a bigger life. According to them, I wasn't going to get anywhere. On March last year, I got my acceptance letter to UCLA, and right now I am writing this article in one of the cafes on campus while drinking a smoothie. I flicked mental middle fingers at my entire family for days after I got my acceptance letter.

If I was able to get into the nation's top public school, I don't see why you can't do well too. Sure, my first quarter wasn't my best one. I got my first F ever here, but I am slowly bringing myself up. Supposedly, only the top of their classes attend this school. I decided that I should step up my game and become the student they accepted into their prestigious university.

And if I can do it, I'm sure you too.

But let me warn you: as cool as it may sound, college is a heavy place. There'll be a lot of sleepless nights, a lot of stress because of papers and homework and midterms and finals. Every day, it will be a constant between "Do I want to go to class or not?" It will not be easy, I can assure you that. You need to put more effort than you did back in high school. The quarter here barely started, and I already skipped a class and dropped another.

At college, many things can happen within the span of three days.

Cover Image Credit: Jared Godoy

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7 Truths About Being A Science Major

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Whether your major is Human Bio, Chemistry, Neuroscience or any other that deals with a lot of numbers, theories, experiments and impossibly memorizing facts, you know the pressures of pursuing a career in this field. So without further ado, here are seven truths about being a science major:

1. There is no “syllabus week.”

Coming back to college in the fall is one of the best times of the year. Welcome week has become most students' favorite on-campus holiday. But then you have syllabus week: another widely celebrated week of no responsibilities… Unless you’re a science major that is. While your other friends get to enjoy this week of getting to know their professors and class expectations, you get to learn about IUPAC nomenclature of alkanes on the first day of organic chem.

2. Your heart breaks every time you have to buy a new textbook.

Somehow every professor seems to have their own “special edition” textbook for class… And somehow it’s always a couple hundred bucks… And somehow, it's ALWAYS required.

3. Hearing "attendance is not mandatory," but knowing attendance is VERY mandatory.

Your professor will tell you that they don’t take attendance. Your professor will put all lecture slides online. Your professor will even record their lectures and make those available as well. Yet if you still don’t go to class, you’ll fail for sure. Coming into lecture after missing just one day feels like everyone has learned an entire new language.

4. You’re never the smartest person in your class anymore.

No matter what subject, what class or what concentration, there will always be someone who is just that much better at it than you.

5. You get totally geeked out when you learn an awesome new fact.

Today in genetics you learned about mosaicism. The fact that somebody can have a disease in part of their total body cells but normal throughout all others gets you so hype. Even though you know that your family, friends and neighbors don’t actually care about your science facts, you HAVE to tell them all anyways.

6. There is never enough time in a day.

You are always stuck choosing between studying, eating, sleeping and having fun. If you're lucky, you'll get three of these done in one day. But if you're a risk taker, you can try to do all of these at once.

7. You question your major (and your sanity) almost daily.

This is especially true when it’s on a Tuesday night and you’ve already consumed a gallon of Starbucks trying to learn everything possible before your . Or maybe this is more prevalent when you have only made it through about half of the BioChem chapter and you have to leave for your three hour lab before your exam this afternoon. Regardless, you constantly wonder if all the stress is actually worth it, but somehow always decide that it is.

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Teaching Children The Florida Curriculum: It's As Easy As A Coloring Page

We need to teach students in achievable strategies, and it can be done in the simplest of ways.

parek1
parek1
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As a pre-service teacher, I get to see everything that goes into lesson planning for students. I myself have even had to make lesson plans to teach in my internship, and I can tell you this, it's tougher than it seems because we focus in on what the children need, while also following the curriculum laid out for us. We also have to break it down so students can understand and really connect to the lessons we make for them.

This month, in our kindergarten science lessons, we are learning about the human body and ways to keep ourselves healthy. For kindergarteners, this can be really hard to break down because there are some really advanced subjects mixed into the curriculum. The lesson plan that I most recently wrote was on oral health. When I first approached it, I didn't know how I could break it down to their level. I myself don't understand all that goes into dental health, so how was I supposed to break it down for twenty 5 and 6-year-olds. I searched online, browsing through great resources that teachers use, like Cpalms.org and Teachers Pay Teachers, and I was still struggling to find a way to meet all the needs of my students. So I had to sit myself down and think through the mind of a 6-year-old to come up with my lesson.

What I found is that there are ways in which we can teach kids, and specifically this instance, their health, that are super simple, and yet we overlook them all the time.

What is one of the things you loved to do most in kindergarten? For most people you ask, coloring is a very popular answer. One of the most memorable things that I can recall from kindergarten was alphabet coloring pages. These are still used in teaching the alphabet in my own kindergarten practicum that I'm in right now. So why not use this style when I'm teaching them about their oral health?

It was so easy to create a plan based off of what the students would be excited about. I was easily able to create a coloring sheet of the human mouth and from there, I realized I could teach them about specific things within the mouth, like the different types of teeth, and I could do this by having them color coordinate the different teeth by color coordinating them with crayons. I also realized that I could demonstrate good hygiene to them on the baby dolls they love to play within centers. This could make them excited about things like brushing and flossing their teeth, which could benefit their own health in the long run.

As educators, we need to find ways to make tough learning subjects easier to break down to our students and make this learning fun. Once we make learning hard subjects more simple and fun, we can make education fun for the students, and they will hold onto our lessons much more effectively. So I challenge all teachers to do this: Look through the lens of your students, and find ways to bring subjects down to their level and make it enjoyable for them.

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parek1

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