Goodbye For Now
I started off this season with a bucket list. I am pleased to report that I have accomplished everything with the exception of visiting all of the dorms. I guess that just leaves more exciting adventures for next year. This is my last post, and to be honest, my feelings are bittersweet. I left Clark on Wednesday after finishing my last final in Calculus Tuesday evening.
I came into Clark with few expectations. I really had no concepts of what college should be. For me college was the next logical step in my life, and Clark was the place where I would live out this next chapter of my life. I was excited to learn new things and eager to test the limits of my independence. After two semesters at Clark, I truly have learned new things and discovered my comfort zone. I have met some amazing people and have made some fantastic memories. Instead of droning on about my freshman year, I am going to give it to you short and sweet in a Best & Worst list. I think it’s best that I limit the lists to only 5 things… I wouldn’t want them to be too long.
The Best Parts of Freshman Year
- Independence – I love having the freedom to structure my time exactly the way I want it.
- Food – I know I have mentioned Clark’s Kosher Station in the past. It really is fantastic. The food is just made with love. Aside from the cafeteria, Clark is surrounded by a number of local restaurants featuring food from all over the world. My favorites so far include Hacienda Don Juan and Anh Thu. I can’t wait to go back and try more eateries.
- Classes – College is, after all, an institution of higher learning. The classes that stood out to me most this past year were Introduction to Sociology and Organic Chemistry I. The sociology class pushed me to look at the world through different lenses. We examined a variety of factors that culminate in social structures. I hope I have the opportunity to take more sociology classes in the future. In terms of the chemistry class the material was fascinating. Analyzing molecules and the reaction mechanisms used to build compounds was so exciting because it is so applicable. I’m taking Organic Chemistry II next semester, and I am looking forward to learning more of the various types of mechanisms.
- Dorm – For the past couple of months I have called Johnson-Sanford Center my name. My dorm was great. I really enjoyed the open space my dorm afforded me and the huge amount of closet space. Most of all, my dorm was home to many game nights and was really the central place for my friends to hang out.
- Events – Every week we get two e-mails telling us about all of the different things going on around campus. One of the e-mails is specifically for the weekend’s events while the other one details the different lectures and plays going on during the week. A great thing about college is that you really can find something to do every night, if you want to. I am going to miss being able to watch the latest plays in the Little Center, see a stand-up comedy routine, and listen to the latest and greatest guest lecturers. The best part is that all of these events are free and only a couple hundred feet from my door. The summer just won’t be the same in this respect.
The Worst Parts of Freshman Year
- Time – In the past year at Clark time has become my friend, but also my enemy. I don’t think I realized exactly how much free time I would have in college. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great. As I said, I love being able to do pretty much whatever I want. But my time simply goes by in blobs. One moment I am catching up on the latest cheerleading videos from weekend competitions, and the next minute I find that I have been sitting on my computer for two hours. Time is tricky, and I don’t think I’ve mastered juggling just yet.
- Friends – Finding the balance between your high school life and your newfound identity can be tricky. Personally, I knew that I really wanted to stay in touch with my high school friends. After going to a different high school and losing contact with my friends in middle school, I did not want to have a repeat. I made an effort to keep up with my friends. It was not the easiest, but definitely worth it. Being completely ripped from your social circle can truly be transformative.
- Grading – In my experience grading in college is completely up to the professor’s discretion. They could actually give you whatever they wanted. In reality the majority of my grades have come down to a couple of tests and the finals. I just find it unsettling how a single multiple choice question amounts to 2% of my final grade.
- LEEP – One of the primary things that attracted me to Clark was the opportunity to be a pioneering LEEP Scholar. I was excited to see how LEEP would play a hand in shaping my education. So far, for me, LEEP has amounted to a lot of freedom to make of it what I want. In some ways this was great, but coming into Clark not knowing the culture, or even how to be a college student for that matter, was a little overwhelming in relation to the freedom being handed to us (my fellow pioneering LEEP Scholars). However, we are working to structure LEEP into a program to be able to get more of what we want out of it. That actually constitutes one of my goals for this summer.
- ….. and I can’t think of anything else….
In sum, college is great, and I am proud to call Worcester my home. For the next couple of months I will be working at my internship and spending time with friends and family. I cannot wait to tell you about my summer in the fall. After all, it is already off to a great start with homemade coconut key lime cupcakes.