Learning and Growing

I cannot believe we have already been in school for two months now! I’m truly astonished at how fast time has gone these past few months and it has finally put into perspective the whole, “time flies when you’re in college”, thing. Granted it’s only the first semester of my junior year, I have constantly been thinking about my next steps whether that means graduate school or finding a job. I know it’s early, but I’d rather have this somewhat planned out instead of having this sneak up on me when it’s a little late, and it never hurts to be two steps ahead.

Aside from being proactively paranoid for my future plans, I have been doing truly amazing this semester academically! For the most part I am enjoying all of my classes and have been proactive on staying and being ahead of my assignments, projects and studying so I’m not overwhelmed when midterms are coming, and assignments are due on the same day. I think this semester so far has been a learning experience in terms of finding and creating new habits that contribute to my growth. I have been pushing myself to make sure I am not limiting myself to my bare minimum and within my comfort zone because you only go how far as you take yourself. I know it sounds very cliché (and I really do hate being the cliché person), but I think it’s important that we never settle when we know we can do better regardless of where we are in life (another cliché… nice).

And We’re Back!

Already a month into my junior year of college and, *knocks on wood*, it’s a breeze. Just a quick recap of my previous semester and summer – I had one of the best semesters yet last spring making the dean’s list along with declaring a major that I actually enjoy. I also studied abroad during the summer spending a month in Copenhagen, Denmark and travelling to Sweden, London, and France. It was amazing, to say the least! But we’re back in school and I’ve never felt more ready!

I started my academic year off being intentional with what I wanted and that was mostly making the dean’s list again. With that in mind, I created a system and schedule for myself for study times, homework, extracurricular activities and a sleep schedule. I am currently a week and a half ahead of schedule for all my classes just because I started my year off with a plan that only took two trial years to figure out, so yes, I am pretty proud of myself.

Exciting, exciting.

I can’t believe the school year is just about over and soon I’ll be going into my junior year of college. That is ridiculous. It feels like I just started, and I was in my freshman year not that long ago! People were not lying when they said your four years in college really fly by!

Any who, finals are right around the corner (literally next week), and I am so relieved to be able to say that I am not worried about them. I mean, of course I am because they’re finals and I would like to do well, but my grades are not on the line for most of them. I only have one final and the rest are papers and projects which are due right around the same day of each other, so that’s probably the most stressful part as of now, but I am determined to power through and end this semester wonderfully!

As far as summer plans go, I will, once again, be interning with Boston Scientific working closely with their Close the Gap department that leads their health equity initiatives in which they aim to educate underrepresented communities of the different diseases prevalent to their communities along with accessing quality health care. Along with my internship, I have also made the decision to participate in a study abroad program in Denmark that focuses on the different experiences of African Americans in Europe. I am extremely grateful for both opportunities, especially the fact that my internship is able to work around my schedule, so I am able to study abroad. Does it really get better than that? I think not.

On that note, wish me luck to finish off the semester on a great note!

Back and Better!

As noticed, I have been a little MIA lately. I have been extremely determined to be proactive with my academics and opportunities this semester, in which I have been doing very well in both departments!

I have been given the opportunity to be a Lead AVID Tutor this semester for a group of middle school students here in Madison. AVID has been one of the most influential programs I have been a part of and it one of the biggest reasons I am in college today, so to be able to give back to the program meant a great deal to me, and I hope to be able to show the students how important and beneficial the program truly is, aside from the somewhat boring aspects of it. So far, the job has not interfered with my academics and really works around my schedule with my extracurriculars also.

As far as academics, I LOVE MY CLASSES! And bonus? I’M DOING GREAT, TOO! Two of my classes are really easy for the time being and are mostly reading and discussion-based with no exams, which I have no problem with. The other two I would say are a bit more challenging, but interesting and fun to learn about. One of them is Malnutrition and World Hunger, which initially was the focus I wanted within the Nutritional Sciences major. My other class is Community and Environmental Sociology, which is the most interesting class I have (and planning to declare the major soon!). With this class, and major, there is an aspect in which I would be able to incorporate malnutrition and even social and racial justice if I wanted to, which makes me feel really confident about declaring this major, along with really liking the classes I would need to take. The only thing I have doubts with are finding a job with this major, but I suppose I am trying not to worry about it too much because I do plan to go to graduate school for Public Health, so hopefully everything will play out.

With my work and school-life going well, I have even more great news! Off impulse, I decided to apply to two different summer opportunities for this upcoming summer. One of those opportunities being a TA through the Rosedale Freedom Project for a group of 9th graders in which I would not only be teaching math, but also educating them about social and racial justice and how to be leaders inside and outside of the classroom. Did I mention it’s in Mississippi? Well, it is… The next opportunity is a study abroad program in Denmark focusing on African Americans and why there is a small percentage of African Americans in Europe and how that has been changing within the past few years. Like I said, I applied for these opportunities off impulse and just the day or two before the deadline for the applications, so I didn’t really believe my application was competitive, but nonetheless I got accepted to both!! Exciting, yes, but the sad part is I will have to decide between the two since they overlap with each other. I am weighing my options since they are both wonderful opportunities, but it will definitely be hard to turn down either one.


Decisions, decisions…

To The New Ye… Semester!

As my first semester of my second year comes to an end, I keep thinking about what I could have done better and how I can have a better spring semester. I went into fall semester with an extremely positive attitude and I was very driven to do well in all my classes, but as the semester went on, I had a lack of motivation for my courses mostly because I was uninterested, but not just uninterested in my courses, uninterested in school, too. Most of that feeling came from the fact that I could not find a major that fits my interests and that I was not doing well in my courses either, but I was trying so hard. I would study endlessly, pull all-nighters to keep study, find tutors, form study groups, and still nothing was sticking in my head, but as I reflect on the semester I realize that it might have been because I felt like I was taking these classes without it taking me anywhere, and that was a constant thought I had daily that affected my performance in my academics. Knowing bits and pieces of that, I was actively on the hunt for a major that fit my interests and that I knew I would do well in.

Just for some background info, I had declared a Nutritional Sciences major near the beginning of the year and once it was time to enroll for second semester courses my advisor had planned the rest of my semesters for me and as I looked at how my semesters would go, I realized that I would have a miserable rest of my college experience and none of what I actually wanted to do would be accomplished with this major.

I decided to look into two majors: Community and Environmental Sociology and Life Sciences Communication, perhaps double majoring. Very broad majors, but with some help I would be able to have a focus and I could even tailor it some by adding some certificates. I’m taking a couple courses for both majors next semester and I am actually excited for the courses, but we’ll see how things go!

Running Against The Clock

Maybe it’s just me, but time has just been flying this entire year. It was just Halloween, Thanksgiving is already over, and within less than a month I will have already completed the first semester of my second year. I have always been told that my college years would go by extremely fast, but I did not believe it would be going by this fast!

On another note, we (the BSU) had one of our biggest programs of the semester right before Thanksgiving break and it turned out to be amazing! It was “A Seat at the Table: A Thankfull Gathering”. The purpose of the event is to try to get the Black/POC community together and celebrate Thanksgiving for ones who are not able to go home for break and have an empowering conversation with the topic coming from the general body. Our topic this year was how to build yourself while also rebuilding your community with our speaker being Dr. Kandice Sumner, a TedTalk speaker who holds a Doctorate of Urban Education Policy and a creator of Race, Achievement, Culture, and Equity (RACE), a professional development program focusing on bettering the youth. She was a wonderful speaker and the students really seemed to enjoy her, so we were happy with how everything turned out! Logistics and all!

I also declared my major this month; Nutritional Sciences. I was and still am extremely excited for and about it, but my advisor had planned the rest of my semesters for me and what classes I would be taking and I am not sure if I am completely happy with them. I decided on Nutritional Sciences because the classes I was taking were extremely interesting because not only was I learning about the chemistry, but I was also learning about nutrition in impoverished countries around the world and I do not see that being reflected on my class schedules which I am truly upset about. I have also been putting extra thought into my want to go to medical school and I am not sure if I would like to go anymore. I have been looking into more of the public health route and I understand I don’t need to major in anything specific to go into public health, but I would like a focus and I know my interests, but I am having a difficult time finding my interest in the majors that I must choose from. I have been a lot more proactive in finding whatever that major is though and I hope to figure out something soon, but I also feel like I am running against the clock and I don’t like the feeling.

Second Round of Exams and Future Plans

As the second round of exams come to an end, I would say that I am truly proud of the amount of work that I have put in this semester compared to my first semester of college. I do realize that I still have a long way to go, but I do believe that I have truly used all my resources and have taken multiple steps into bettering my college experience.

This past month has been extremely busy with both my course load and being treasurer for BSU. I was not sure what I was expecting for this position, but I was not expecting it to be THIS much work. Fortunately, it only gets intense when we’re having events of which we are having one of our biggest programs in just a couple of weeks! It is exciting, but there is a lot of paperwork involved just because we are bringing in a speaker, but I am excited to see how the events turns out! I will provide more details about the event and its outcome in the November blog!

It feels so soon to be talking about summer, but one thing that I have learned in college is that time moves quickly and positions for summer opportunities either fill up quickly or you need to prepare for them way in advance. With that being said, I have also been in search of research labs and potential internships in the medical field this summer. I am not sure whether I would like to stay in Madison for the summer, but if I do find a great internship or lab opportunity here then those will be my plans along with taking summer classes!