Monday, September 24, 2012

What I'm really paying for in College

No amount of love for learning can make endless days of studying desirable. This has made me appreciate my choice of a large university even more. There are clubs and organizations for just about everything, and though it was at first very overwhelming, I've managed to fall into a routine that incorporates a good variety of extracurriculars.

Marching Pre-game show.*
Music has been a part of my life since I started piano lessons in grade school and marching band has fulfilled that desire here at Georgia Tech. It takes up a good bit of time with band camp, practices, and many games and performances, but what I gain from that time commitment is worth it. It has been an instant network of people that I have for homework help, social activities, and sympathy after hard tests. The band is the center for all things school spirit and we have a blast being involved. I've learned to love football, and scream at all the right times. I also know the school cheers and traditions that make Tech the way it is.

Climbing wall in the CRC.*
Another activity I'm continuing from high school is climbing. The CRC has a small climbing wall that I've started going to 3 times a week for exercise and to make friends that climb. It has been working quite well and I'm planning to join the climbing club. The climbing club is a lot like my high school climbing team. I'm considering competing in the triple crown competition; the triple crown is three different competitions in different places. They make trips on the weekends to climb and do competitions in the spring. The climbing season is the opposite of the busy band season, so the two compliment each other nicely. The club also offeres opportunities for leadership in the future (secretary, etc.)

Not all of my activities are pure fun and games. I have joined the Society of Women Engineers (SWE for short) which meets once a week. Though I haven't become very involved yet, it seems like it will be good for networking and job finding much like the Student Alumni Association that I plan on joining.

Quite the opposite of SWE and SAA, HvZ (Humans versus Zombies) is PURE fun and games. It is a week long game of tag that occurs once a semester. I stunned zombies with balled up socks and made it until thursday evening as a human. I met a bunch of fun people (all designated with the required yellow bandana) and learned my way around campus. Despite having to check over my shoulder all week, it was also a huge stress reliever because it was just for fun.

The college life has a lot to offer and it's nice to know that I can get more out of my college tuition than just knowledge in class. I'm feeling a lot more confident now because I am doing both familiar things and new things. Extracurriculars, not reclusive studying at all hours, is how people like me make it through college.

*Band photo taken from Liz Sidlov and Climbing photo from GT Climbing Club via Facebook. Credit goes to them.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Life Chapter 2 - College

College is the midpoint between being on your own and being at home with your parents. Here you're on your own, but the college atmosphere helps place everything you could possibly need or want within reach if you're willing to reach out and grab it.

Studying hard with Hannah and Jeremy
The classes get harder, no doubt. Class time is for speedily jotting notes and meeting your future study buddies who you'll do the real learning with. I'm trying to get used to doing my learning on my own instead of in class, but it's a rough transition. Time management is a huge part of that. In high school, school was like an 8-3 job and once I left I did a little homework and was done with "school" for the day. Here, it's constant. Class is not even half of what constitutes the education of a college. Outside of class there are many extracurriculars, jobs, and social activities to choose from. This freedom and openness has been awesome. I get to choose what I want to do and when I want to do it. This week however, my classes are starting to be a bit more demanding, so the stress of the time management is about to set in. This stress put my creativity through the blender at some point this weekend, so the blog entry was a nice warm up to the English paper I have due Friday. On the plus side I like my professors. They have higher degrees than my high school teachers and therefore deserve higher respect. That, I admit, makes them seem a little more scary and a little less approachable, but I think it will work out.
Highschool State Climbing in CO

Though I do enjoy my classes (and some of the assignments seem useful), what I really am enjoying in college is outside of class. I admit I enjoy being a social butterfly. The availability of friends (because we're all living here) is a great thing for me. I can study with my friends, or take opportunities to dress up pretty and go socialize with friends on weekends. Also, as a climber I've gotten into the habit of climbing 3 or 4 times a week. It's stress relieving and let's my body work for a while instead of my brain.

The overall atmosphere of college is welcoming. I'm settling into a routine and enjoying the perks of college. I love how intelligent the conversations are and how diverse the faces are. The stories and personalities I've heard and seen are exciting and new, and I feel like I finally fit in.