My first two semesters at my local community college were rather unpleasant, but in terms of the zen valedictorian philosophy, I’ve been doing a lot better than before. By eliminating extra-curriculars (I did so many in high school, it’s not worth listing out), I’ve let myself have time to do my school work, keep up with the stress of a part-time job, and dig into subjects that interest me. Now this is recent, but I’ve even started to read again! It’s mostly listening to CDs, but a whole lot better than nothing at all. I’ve all but stopped reading for pleasure in high school. I just finished Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond, which means I finally have something anthropological to maul over and talk to my prof about.
In the summer, I’m taking it easy. This is good because I’m prone to burning out and I need time to decompress. Also, I’ve been getting anywhere from 5-10 additional hours at work since it’s busier in the summer, so having just one class balances it out. It’s definitely a drag in class, but some of the things I’m learning could be useful for my major.
This coming fall, I’ve scheduled myself for 5 classes. I’m worried about how this will pan out, since in my Freshman year, I took 5 each semester too, but one was always an online 8-week (relatively easy) English course. Right now, I’m putting my Ethics course on the line, where if I’m too overwhelmed, I can drop it. The biggest problem with my schedule is that I decided to take a painting class, which is not added stress or homework, but a huge time commitment, as studio courses take up 3 hour blocks. Theoretically, I have 4 academic courses with homework, but which the amount of time I’ll be spending at the studio, and working my job, I’m not sure if I’ll have enough time for school work and relaxation. While this studio course is a bit of a problem, I maintain my belief that I’ve been miserable all of the semesters that I’ve tried to push art out of my life, and I will continue to take art courses throughout my academic career. Besides, it’s one of the courses I’m most excited about, because I’ll be in the building with yummy Caramel Macchiatos, bagels, and cinnamon twists.. and my teacher is a quirky Italian lady ;).
Overall, I’m taking courses I want to take, my grades are the highest they’ve ever been, I’m genuinely interested in anthropology and am reading material about things that interest me. I think the things I need to work on right now are:
- participate in a meaningful extracurricular/volunteer work (I’ve already began researching these opportunities at my transfer colleges)
- become extremely efficient (find better ways of doing things)
- spend more time becoming a star in my favorite courses (I was great in my anthropology class, but I wish I spent more time digging deeper)
- cut down on stress, pay attention to my health, and live simpler (this is a new idea that I’m still mauling over in my head) 3 years ago