You never really realize how much you went through in one semester until its gone. Semesters never last long in the great span of time. One minute its here, the next minute its gone. However, even in that short amount of time you never know how far you have come, how low you have sunk, and how many memories you made. It's crazy to see how much you can go through in just a few months. Now when I started my spring semester I was excited to participate in classes more geared towards my major. Furthermore, I was looking forward to continuing leadership roles in clubs that had already been delegated to me the semester before. However, I would come to find that my classes would challenge me in ways I had never been tested in before and so would my clubs. I had no idea what awaited me.
The first things that began to make my head rattle were some of the ways my classes structured classwork. Most notably, my British literature class. The content we covered spanned centuries. First starting with "Beowulf" written just before the Medieval era. Then ending with "Paradise Lost" at the beginning of the enlightenment era. In total that is a span of 700-800 years! As a history major I did not think I would have many issues. I was so interested in evaluating what the stories meant in the time periods they were written in. But the way things were interpreted were not always what I had expected. While we often evaluated historical context, we also had to dive into literary themes (it was an English class after all). There were so many times that I never understood the literary questions. I had such a hard time wrapping my head around whatever deeper themes my professor had in mind. To be honest I usually felt so stupid in that class. Most of the time I either did not understand the questions or I never gave enough detail. I always ended up spending so much extra time to just do the classwork and my professor would just rush me to get it done. He demanded a lot of detail in his assignments but hardly gave us enough time to write enough down. Suffice to say, I had to learn just to shorthand my writing style just to get it done.
In another class, I had to be put into a group for a presentation project. Typically group projects mean less work for everyone as it gets divided easily. Which to most people sounds great. But I never liked group projects. I always feel powerless over my grade because I have to rely on others to do the work too. I am always afraid of getting poor grades in case someone does not do their share. Now I'm not implying that this particular group didn't pull their own weight. I'm just saying that that just being put in a group is stressful enough. Making sure everyone did their share and that things turned out right made me feel like a parent. At times it made me feel sick. I did not want a bad grade. I wouldn't be able to live with myself if I did. Luckily we ended up doing pretty well. But I don't think I want to do group projects anymore. Not for a grade.
As the semester progressed clubs began eating up my time like crazy. I realized how hectic things can get and my clubs faced so many challenges. Administration was always so difficult to work with. We had some events get canceled because administrators did not want to work with my clubs and sometimes just put blocks in our way without any real reasons. It was not easy having to tell my club members that administration cancelled our event after we worked so hard to prepare for it and get the word out there. It was a harsh blow to our morale and made me question how much administration even cared for students. The dissapointed often painted a bleak view of campus activities.
Looking back I realize how many sleepless nights I had just to keep up with classes and clubs. Things got harder as the semester went on. The pressure to turn in papers, balance events, and all of the little things in between made me fall in and out of depression. Yet this was not something that happened in my case. Many of my friends dealt with on and off depression, anxiety and struggles throughout the semester. We all had our struggles with professors, other students and clubs. Some of us, including me, struggled with the idea as to whether or not our major was worth it.
But we made it. We survived the semester and now I'm writing this from home eagerly awaiting final grades. I learned that I had to be flexible. My English class challenged me in ways I was never challenged before. I had to think from the perspective of fictional characters, not historical ones. My other classes provided challenges too like the group projects. Things got stressful at times. I had to pull all nighters to finish papers. But I had to suck it up and get through them. I had to get over my club's challenges and keep going. I couldn't stay focused on feeling depressed or anxious; I had assignments to turn in. No matter how far behind or stressed I felt, I could not succumb to feeling like an unworthy student. Now I got through it. My friends got through it. For some friends it was their first year, some their last. For me it was my second year. Now I'm halfway through my undergraduate degree. So far I have learned how to persevere, work hard, and stay strong despite challenges ahead of me. Even the challenges I do not see at first. For now I get to relax. But when I get back in the fall I know things will only get more challenging. But that's okay because I know I will make it. I have so far...