07 December 2014

maturing and... not

I would love to be able to say that college makes you more mature, and more of an adult. I guess to a point, it does. I'm now living in a house off campus where I pay bills, cook my own food, and transport myself to my classes. I have a resume and have had a few jobs. I have learned a bit more about our vast world and all of its intricacies.

And yet, as I write this, I am sitting on my bed stripped of all of its sheets, because I noticed a spider crawling on my blankets and immediately stripped all my bedding and threw it across the room. Both my roommate and I are too afraid to look through the blankets to kill it. I feel like I define "adult" in my head as "someone who lives independently, and can kill any spiders they come across by themself," so I don't quite fit the bill yet.

Despite this, it is impressive to look back and see how I've grown in my two and a half years here. I've taken 22 classes, organized a symposium, applied to study abroad, made amazing friends, gotten scholarships, moved into a house, learned how much I took the dining hall for granted when I lived on campus, learned to play ukulele, tutored in some of the classes I've taken... the list goes on. Somewhere in the list, taking up a large portion of it, is "learned a lot about myself." That includes learning how I communicate with others (especially roommates), what kinds of social situations I like (and don't like), what I need to do to motivate myself, and how I best study.

How I study is on my mind right now, because finals are coming up in less than a week. My first final is for colonial Latin American history on Saturday. After four semesters of experience of finals, I know what I need to do to productively study:

1) be in a room with one or two other people, but don't talk with them
2) listen to music that doesn't have words. Scores work best, especially if they're from Lord of the Rings
3) create smallish, obtainable goals, and reward myself for completing them (eg: read through all your notes, then eat a chocolate. Write a rough draft, then watch an episode of Parks and Rec)
4) find time to relax. Save my evenings for watching movies or playing games- don't try to spend all of my time studying
5) remember to sleep, eat, and not stress too much
6) productivity browser add-ons help- they block websites like facebook and tumblr and force me to ignore them while I work

I haven't really started studying yet. I spent this weekend relaxing, because I knew that this upcoming week would be stressful and busy. We only have three days of classes, and then two reading days before finals start. I went downtown to get a new charger (lesson for you future students: don't leave your charger in your backpack when you bike through the rain. It will get soggy, and will stop working, and you will have to go buy a new one).

someone downtown has "knit-bombed" a bunch of the statues with winter sweaters
On Saturday, I went to my environmental education professor's house for dinner. He and his wife cooked us amazing vegetarian chili, cornbread, and brownies. We hung out with them, his dog, his cat, and each other in front of a fireplace. It was an amazing night. I felt really close to my classmates, and I felt a renewed love of Lewis & Clark.
we played this game where we had to balance these metal rods on each other- everyone got very into it
 I love the relationships students have with faculty here. Everyone really cares about each other, and I think it's so cool that these relationships can go outside of the classroom.

If you have any questions, they will be a welcome break from studying for finals! Email me at rekidder@lclark.edu.