Time has been flying by as far as college is concerned. At the beginning of entering the figurative Geneseo gates, I worried time would drag on and that I would struggle to find my niche; though, as I reflect in this final blog, I can say I am proud of myself for enhancing my ability to adapt. The road hasn’t all been smooth, but it’s gratifying to now have a sense of accomplishment. Nearing the end of this first semester and seeing the grades that follow hard work, and applying myself to the material is an incredible feeling. Figuring out college life has gotten easier through making friends, taking up new hobbies, and diving into my possible future that I may want to pursue. There are no limits, and I believe Geneseo has given me that mindset.

Midterms are over, finals are starting next week, and Christmas break is two weeks away; I think it went pretty smoothly. Going into my first college midterms was highly intimidating as I discovered new study strategies that worked best for me and decided what material I deemed essential. I had no idea what worked for me starting this year regarding studying. There was definitely a rocky period where I felt discouraged when I didn’t get the results I was hoping for. However, through trial and error (along with the understanding that the sun would still rise the next day if I didn’t get the grade I wanted) while understanding my study habits better, I got to know how my brain works. This Theatre Therapy for Veterans class focused on reading plays and the real-life events that molded them. After each act, we read and discussed as a class what we believe the key points are, which has been one of the exercises that aided me in realizing how I learn the material best. Having open talks about how different people interpret the exact text has given me a perspective I didn’t have before.

This course has become top of my list of classes since the start of the year. I was hesitant when I first saw it added to my schedule— the unknown is scary, especially when entering your first semester of college. I have many members of my family who have served our country, and through taking this class, I now think I can better understand their experiences. I feel as if, a lot of the time, it’s been sort of taboo to talk about people’s traumatic experiences in the context of being a veteran and living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. After learning more about the events people endure to protect and serve our country, I’ve gained a better sense of what’s appropriate in conversation and become more self-aware of my words and the effect they may have on people. Reading about how family members cope with their beloved family members serving our country gave me a whole new outlook on who is affected by war. I always purely thought of soldiers, but I’ve never thought of the parents, spouses, friends, and children that don’t have their service members and are constantly worrying about them. Reading about this side of war opened my eyes to the number of people it affects.

With the end of the semester nearing in a mere four weeks, I hope I continue to find success in all of my classes through grades as well as knowledge. I know myself enough to acknowledge that I get foggy towards this time of year with excitement for the holidays. Being mindful of this fact, though, helps with my tendency to drift off. My main goal is to stay aware of continuing to apply myself so finals go well. This is my final blog and closing in on this semester; I like the place I’m at. If you asked me at the beginning of the year how I thought the first semester would end, I probably would say stressful, but I’m content, and that’s all I could ask for. I’m incredibly grateful for the education I’ve been given.

Geneseo, Geneseo: We’re Halfway There?

I found myself checking the dates when reading the format of what this blog should be. I then looked at the date, realizing it was halfway through October. Truly where has the time gone so quickly? I swore yesterday I was unpacking my dad’s car in the blaring heat and joking about everything I brought and how it was definitely over the top. Seeing my dad begin to cry as we finished our dinner at Mama Mia’s, (which was well deserved) after ten trips up and down the dorm steps (don’t worry, my waterworks started quickly thereafter). It’s been hard for me to grasp how quickly this place has become my home, especially since I miss my life back home (especially my bed dearly). I guess I never thought that the end of the first semester would come so quickly, but around the time someone will be reading this on word press, it should be around seven to eight weeks! I hope this isn’t coming off as me wishing my time away. I’ve made some of the most amazing friends I believe will be in my life for a long time. I’m so grateful to my parents, who have made this college dream a reality for me.

So far, the classes I have been in are super informative and a joy to partake in. I feel as if many of the education styles during K through twelve had me thinking the college wouldn’t be any better. In all actuality, though, I feel as if I’m finally getting so much enrichment out of learning. I’m taking classes I want to engage in because it’s now so simple to pay attention to topics I enjoy. Furthermore, in college, I’m starting to realize the importance and power knowledge has and how it necessarily doesn’t always have a good grade attached. Though I’m doing very well right now, there have been times when I’m not focused on the letter or number but more looking forward to reading a professor’s response. I appreciate growing my education as a whole while connecting with people who are also passionate about the topics they teach.

Theatre Therapy for Veterans has become one of my favorite classes. I have finished one of the main books, The Theatre of War by Bryan Doerries, and it is something I have suggested to anyone who will listen to me ramble. After reading this book, it’s fascinating to me the new appreciation I grew for the brave service members and veterans of our country. The bit of knowledge I have on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, the book has helped me take a different look at not only what these courageous people physically put on the line so selflessly but what mental struggles they have to live with on the day-to-day. Alongside the sacrifices their families make as they protect us. The book had me teary-eyed in some sections. It was so well written. Doerries did an incredible job portraying other people’s stories he learned during his tour. It did its part in helping people learn the other side of P.T.S.D. and how frankly debilitating it can be for someone not seeking help. It wretches your heart seeing men and women help others so heroically but show some struggle to help themselves. To understand just how powerful this book is, you need to read it. For anyone who either seeks better knowledge on Theatre and how it relates to Veterans coping with P.T.S.D or just looking for an interesting read you can’t put down, I suggest this one a hundred times over.

As we are heading toward the end of the semester, it is coming a lot quicker than I ever expected. I hope to understand my limitations better. When school started, I was always trying to stay busy, doing homework for some classes due the following month, and it started to make me sour towards homework. I made it ten thousand times more complicated than it had to be. By the end of the semester, I think I’ll (hopefully) learn better time management and how to better pace my time. It doesn’t make me a bad person to take care of myself, and I’m starting to come to terms with that. Going from a highly active life where I was constantly getting something done to hunkering down to do my best at college is an adjustment. Though it’s a change, I like the new skills I’m learning and enjoying this path of getting to know myself better.

GEneseo, Geneseo: The Introduction

The fact that other people are going to read this still hasn’t hit me yet. However, it’s one of the many culture shocks of college learning compared to high school. Hey there, my name is Chloe Callahan, and I’m a freshman attending my first year at this lovely institution that I’ve been enjoying so much (you guys got that right). All jokes aside, though, my first few weeks at Geneseo have gone quite smoothly (so far) and have been very enjoyable. I’m a Political Science major who lives four hours away in a small town outside New York City called Warwick. I have a super exceptional support system, including my dad, who doubles as the best free therapist (thank you so much, and I’m so sorry). My amazing mom (who has graciously taken care of my horse while I’m not home) keeps me up to date on everything going on at home in great detail. My brother Jack is a Junior who goes to SUNY Oswego (two hours away) and constantly lets me know when our hockey teams will be playing against one another. Now I don’t know anything about hockey, but I appreciate the facetime calls.

College has definitely been filled with lots of emotions, which for me, many stem from my attempts to find a schedule that works for me and the time I have within a day, which is overwhelming but an experience I wouldn’t change for the world right now. I’m meeting great new friends and creating relationships with people I would never have before- including professors and other staff members. It’s so comforting that anyone I turn to has welcomed me and my questions with open arms. I tend to have pretty heavy amounts of anxiety when stepping into new, unknown things, and I have had a few difficult moments with me trying to micro-manage every living moment. Still, the more I talk to friends and peers, I realize I’m not alone. I’ve been able to strike up conversations with anyone in class or in line for food at RJ’s (dining hall). I’ve been able to relate to multiple people, Making me feel a whole lot better.

The classes I have been placed into are captivating, they have caught my attention in learning and topics so far, so I’m delighted to say I’ve been enjoying them. They’ve been different from high school in terms of work and information load. In high school, you were told what notes to take and when to start studying for a test. Not to mention your parents being up to date on all the work you did and having access to your grades whenever they felt like checking. College is a whole new level of responsibility. It’s up to me as a student to decide what I believe is important enough to be written down during lectures, stay on top of studying current information given every day, and stay consistent. Moreover, being completely on my own when it comes to reaching out to professors about grades and how to improve if need be. During this class, I hope to better polish my writing and look forward to reading more about Greek tragedies in relation to Veterans and how these tragedies can be used to help them cope. When I entered this class, I was so excited to see what it was all about, and so far, I have not been disappointed.

My favorite reading we have done for this class so far has been the book The Theater of War by Bryan Doerries. The book’s prologue explores how people who have had traumatic events happen in their lives can better understand and relate to the telling of Greek tragedies. They can give us a better understanding of these stories and unlock new meanings that we were never able to dive into before, and it’s been so good just within the first chapter. The author uses lots of self-reflection and helps bring the book to a new personal level. I feel like this book has been my favorite since I have gone through tragic times within my short eighteen years in this world, and when being in that state of absolute loss, you start to see the reasoning through the extreme actions of people in Greek plays and tragedies. I was skeptical about starting this blog, but as I find myself at the end of my first one, it feels nice to write about feelings of happiness and anxiety, especially after reading last year’s first chronicles. Everyone more or less has found themselves in the same boat. I’m genuinely looking forward to what I come up with and comparing this writing to the middle and last blog posts.