Looking back on freshman year

Hello! My name is Morgan, and I’m a sophomore biology major. I have just recently started using they/them pronouns for myself. Since I am not a freshman, it is simple to compare my first few weeks at Geneseo this year with last year. Coming to Geneseo last year was the first time since March of 2020 that I had spent a significant amount of time with people that were not part of my immediate family. This sharp contrast with what reality had been for me for the past six months was startling (to say the least). In an instant, I was in an unfamiliar place and had to figure out how to survive on my own. I had let my anxiety get the best of me for the time being and rarely wanted to go outside of my dorm to do even simple tasks like take out the trash. I never ended up doing my laundry until the literal last day of the first semester because I was afraid, as ridiculous as it sounds, someone might see me fiddling with the controls and judge me for not knowing what I was doing.

I’m generally not a very talkative person, however, over lockdown, the frequency of my speaking had significantly decreased. My sister had started watching TV with the closed captioning on, which got me in the habit of doing it too, plus I frequently watch things on the internet with subtitles, so I had become extremely reliant on them. It got to the point where I was talking so little to other people, and solely reading captions that I could no longer understand what people were saying to me because my listening skills had gotten so bad. So, when I arrived on campus, I was very overwhelmed with the strain on my abilities. I tried avoiding human interaction as much as possible, and ultimately didn’t make any friends. I was also not mentally prepared to go back to classes and start doing a lot of work, resulting in giving up going to class about two weeks into the semester. As you can imagine, I did not do particularly well in terms of grades. That’s why comparing that disaster with the beginning of this year shows a vast improvement.

In contrast with last year, I’ve actually been feeling happy for the past couple of weeks. Now, this doesn’t mean that all my problems have been solved since last year, but they are definitely improving. As previously mentioned, my grades and GPA are a dumpster fire, which means that I am on academic probation. If I do not pass all my classes to improve my GPA this year, the college will ever so lovingly ask me to skedaddle. I have gone to all my classes with that extra motivation and attempted to stay up to date on my homework. This will continue to be a struggle, but I am persevering.

I originally thought this class might be my most difficult because I have never particularly liked writing. However, after going to class and getting to know what it’s about and the people in it, I can see myself succeeding. When it comes to homework, normally, the worst part is starting. After finally deciding I’d start reading the textbook, I came to realize I really enjoyed the book. Not only was it informative, but it was written in an easily consumable way that makes me wish I had had this book earlier. It even makes me excited to continue reading and participating in class. I have also started talking to people more often, including to events and club meetings. Since I have had such an improvement during these few weeks, I have a very positive outlook on the rest of the semester and the distant future.

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