29 April 2013

End of Freshman Year

Hey everyone,

Congratulations on making your college decisions! I know you technically still have a (very) little bit of time to figure it out, but most of you have probably decided. I'm sure you will all be wonderful wherever you decided to go! I'm excited to see a lot of you here next fall. Before you know it, it'll be the end of your first year here.

Naturally, I've been pretty reflective these last few weeks. As clich├ęd as it sounds, I cannot believe how quickly this year has gone. I not only feel like I just got here, but I feel like I was just in high school! I've been talking to my friends who are still in high school and are going through the application process and deciding where they're going and planning their grad parties and freaking out about mayterm (which is something my high school lets seniors do- the last few weeks of class after AP tests you can do a project instead of go to class), and I really can't believe that I now have a year of college under my belt.

In preparation for this post I went back and looked at all of my previous posts on this blog. I came into this school with a lot of general expectations but few specific expectations. I was expecting to enjoy it and hoping to make some friends and learn things, but I didn't know everything the year was going to hold. I came in wanting to double major in foreign languages and environmental studies, and now I've declared Hispanic studies and am on the path of declaring environmental studies next year. I came in hoping to explore the amazing wilderness that the pacific northwest has to offer, and as I go back home I can reflect on the trips during my NST to the coast, Mt. Hood, and the gorge, my yoga trip last fall at the coast, my birding trip in Washington, kayaking on a bay off of the Columbia, and my waterfall and wildflower hike in the gorge. I made some amazing friends my first week on my NST, and am leaving this year with those friends and many others I've made through my classes, ukulele orchestra, college outdoors, and all of the other wonderful activities LC has to offer. I came in never having thought about playing a ukulele, and now can play one and do often with an amazing group of people. I've made connections with faculty, kids at an elementary school in Northeast Portland, the families of my friends here, people who run volunteer events at Tryon, the people who work at the frozen yogurt place my friends always go to, and students of all different class standings at LC.

I had no idea what I was getting myself into by coming here, but neither does anyone. People like me who are here to answer your questions about the school can try really hard to get you to have a good sense of what it's like here, but until you come here and you live in the dorms and eat almost all of your meals in the Bon and experience planning your own schedule and taking classes, you won't know what it's like here. Same goes for any school. I definitely made the right choice in coming here, and I couldn't be happier. I'm going home this summer excited to spend some time with my family and friends in a familiar place, but I'm already looking forward to coming back to this familiar place in the fall. It's a weird thing about college: I feel at home both here and in Minnesota, and miss both when I'm not there. I suppose that's part of growing up; making connections with people and places all over, and it makes me eager to see where I'll be going in the future.

We are in our final week of classes, and finals are next week. I'm pretty busy studying, but a lot of my classes have final presentations or papers in addition to tests that I've already done. It's not as stressful as finals were last semester, but I think I'm kind of alone in that feeling- most of my friends are stressing pretty hard right now. All I have between now and going home is editing the rough draft of my E&D paper, a Spanish presentation on Huidobro, a written Spanish final, a French oral and written final, and an online final quiz for ENVS. I've already turned in my ENVS course project, and ENVS group final project, and I've done my E&D presentation. I can see the end! This weekend has Friday and Monday attached onto it as reading days, and I also have Tuesday off because I don't have my first final until Wednesday. I'm planning on going to the coast with some people for a day or two during reading days, and we will probably go downtown a fair amount too.

This is my final post for the semester, so I'll leave you with some photo-highlights of my year (conveniently comparing some befores and afters of things!). I look forward to talking with you next year! And please, if you have any "last-minute-I-still-haven't-decided-where-I'm-going" questions or any "I-already-decided-but-am-curious" questions, don't hesitate to email me at rekidder@lclark.edu. I am going to be checking my email over the summer, so really, email me anytime!
My NST cleared areas around campus for ivy research in Bio 141
I took Bio 141 and made a presentation about the relationship between ivy and mushroom abundance!
My friends and I went to Fall Ball
Instead of going to Spring Fling, Gaby and I did glow-in-the-dark mini golf
The first time we got Voodoo it was a normal amount
Somehow this last weekend we ended up with this huge bucket, for only $8... way more than a normal amount
The first time I saw uke orch I wasn't in them, but I enjoyed the show
Now I'm with them! This is only about half the group at a performance we had last Thursday
That one time it snowed on campus
Me in MN during spring break (note the snow)
Beautiful spring on campus! Right now!

I hope you all have lovely summers!