Fall Semester Reflections!

Fall semester is done. That is crazy! I’m now halfway done with my senior year – only two papers and an exam stand in my way. I asked what blog post you all wanted to see today on Twitter, and a majority of you all said that you wanted to hear my fall reflections first. Don’t worry if you voted for the other three options, those are all coming soon! I love giving all of you a more in-depth look into how I’m feeling in a real-world context, so I’m excited to get into it.

Take time to hang out with friends during your entire college career.

This semester I really tried to start saying yes to more social things. I am that friend that you have who is always in the library for multiple hours on the weekend. I was insane, usually spending around 8-9 hours a day in the library on weekends. It was my very unhealthy routine. This year I decided it was time to loosen up and have a little bit more fun. I definitely feel like I was able to be more present and made deeper connections with a lot more people. These mems are definitely going to last a lifetime.

I appreciated the opportunity to travel.

New York City and Phoenix were the perfect opportunities to get away from Chapel Hill. While both of the trips had very different purposes, they were both so necessary. New York City basically cemented the idea of living in a big city for my graduate school years. If I can handle NYC, I feel like I can handle major city in the United States. I had a blast connecting with new and old friends; it was also a great time for me to work on some travel photography. One of the main reasons I gained enough confidence to start focusing on my creative work was because of how perceptive people were to my New York photos.

Phoenix was one of the first times I actually felt like a scientist.

I was able to network with some graduate school representatives and met a ton of undergraduates who were so similar to me. The conference I attended, ABRCMS, really inspired me to finish applying to graduate school and about the potential of having a professional career in research and the global impact that work could have. To cut to the point, I really felt like I ~finally~ found what I actually wanted to do and not what I thought I wanted to do.

My GPA wasn’t my number one priority for once.

For once. I’ve always been super focused on grades because I knew that my educational journey wouldn’t end straight after undergrad. I was either going to end up in medical school or graduate school. That was going to be a whole other application process where my GPA would be on display for an admissions committee to see. While I’m proud of my GPA, I’m more proud of the continued dedication and hard work that has gone into those grades. I can honestly say that I’ve worked my butt off trying to maintain a high grade point average. I think the most important thing is that I enjoyed what I was learning and saw a purpose to it.

Why am I so excited to finally take some interesting classes next semester?

For the first time at Carolina, I was disappointed in the majority of my classes. My semester just felt static. It seemed that I wasn’t actually learning anything new. I wasn’t feeling challenged and it was getting harder and harder to really dig into course material. I was procrastinating a lot and not feeling super connected to any class in particular. My favorite class this semester was Social and Political Thought; it was the only class that really pushed me outside of my comfort zone and forced me to think in new and different ways. Philosophical reasoning and writing are hard, y’all. But, I loved it. I can’t wait for next semester where I’ll be taking classes that I’ll actually be interested in {sorry pchem} and will actually find useful to the next steps of life.

Don’t be afraid to cut things out.

I’m honestly still wrestling with this realization because I haven’t actually acted on it yet. It is pretty apparent that when I am passionate about something, I tend to give it 110%. When I don’t feel useful in a situation, I become distant and don’t actually want to continue to participate. At the end of junior year, I signed up to do a lot of different things. I’m on a couple of exec boards and signed up to represent the senior class. While I ran and interviewed for these positions and really wanted to get them, the past semester has made me realize that I didn’t want all of these things for the right reasons initially. And, I’ve also come to terms that it’s okay to cut them out.

I love working with teams to create a great semester.

I love the impact that I have as an Initiate Advisor in my fraternity and I felt that our big event to Carowinds for my scholarship program was a huge success. Planning the events and coordinating with everyone to put on great programming for the semester was probably my favorite part. I felt needed and important in these situations. I think it’s about time I man up and get rid of those experiences and responsibilities that simply stress me out and don’t add any meaning or value. That’s my goal for the spring.

More updates are coming soon in my Blogmas chit chats that will randomly get published, but I feel like this gives you a deep enough look into the craziness that is the life of a senior who is halfway done with her last year of undergrad. WILD. Okay, how did your fall semester go? Did you hit all of your goals? No, how are you going to attack them differently in the spring? Sound off in the comments; I love hearing from you.

keep on keeping’ on,