Thursday, January 2, 2014

First semester is in the books

The first semester has quickly drawl to a close. The library was recently crowded with people studying (cramming) for final exams and people holding their breath praying that they were able to obtain the grade that they so desired.

An update from the last blog: I finally visited the burrito shop and it did not disappoint! I have been to ready go burrito more than once and it may be my favorite restaurant in downtown Bloomsburg. I also ate at Steph’s Subs and Balzano’s. Both were enjoyable but so different. Steph’s Subs is more laid back and on the lower priced side where as Balzano’s has a more mature crowd and is on the pricier end. The food is worth the price though, as it is Italian food that will remind you of your grandmother’s home cooked meals.

Taking Advantage of Opportunities

As soon as you step foot onto campus, many opportunities become available. It is simply finding the opportunities that are of your interest. The activities allow you to meet new people and aid in adjusting to campus. I have participated in a variety of activities on campus including the Color Run, Bocce Bash, Best Buddies, and the Penn State Hershey Primary Care Day. The color run was a morning run where dye colored your clothes. It raised money for cancer while providing a fun outing with friends.

Both Bocce Bash and Best Buddies are opportunities to interact with special needs adults. They are rewarding experiences and provide friendships with not only the other students on campus who participate but the special needs buddies as well. At Penn State Hershey Primary Care Day, pre medical students were exposed to the lives of medical students and what it is like to be in the field of primary care. All the opportunities allow for you to meet people with like interests and make the transition to college smoother as you begin to form a family and support system on campus.

Adjusting College Classes

College classes are different than high school classes, but they are not scary or unmanageable. College classes are about time management above all else. Classes only meet about three hours a week, which means that there is less time in class than high school, but the same amount of material still needs to covered. A person must be ready to learn at a more rapid pace and devote some time outside of class to developing a deeper understanding. This time is available though, as the classes do not meet as often. A person is able to succeed as long as you manage time well and devote time in between classes to completing work. You can still have free time on nights and weekends as long as during the day you treat the day as a normal school day that lasts eight hours.

Dorm Life and Roommate(s)

It is an adjustment to move into a place with so many people close together and not know the people. At first it is strange to walk to the shower in a robe or towel with people all around, but soon the fears disappear and it becomes routine. The key is to leave your room and meet the people in your hall. They are your support system, neighbors and family for the next year if you get to know them.

Most people in the halls want to get to know you, you just have to give them the opportunity! You may not be best friends with everyone, but someone one the floor most likely can be that best friend. Do not be afraid to sit in the lounge, stop by and talk to the person with their door open, or participate in dorm events. These people are adjusting to college just like you and there is no better way to adjust than to form a family.

Reflecting Back and Looking Forward

My first semester was a success to me and more than anything a learning experience. College is about learning, but there are also times that one needs to take a break and have fun. Grades are important, but one needs to focus on being well rounded: get good grades, volunteer and engage in clubs. I feel that I have started a good balance and hope to continue to maintain the balance in the future. I think that college can only get better as now I feel fully adapted to college life.

    — Morgan Lewis is a biochemistry major with a pre-medical studies concentration.

#FutureHusky #HuskyUnleashed

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