A ton of bricks

As I approach the end of the semester, I can reflect and say that it was nothing I expected it to be. Compared to the beginning of the semester, the workload has increased, but I pushed myself to meet my professor’s standards and myself. I had all these plans for my classes, and reality hit me like a ton of bricks. Reflecting on these self-imposed impossible standards has led me to a valuable realization. I had this notion that I had to live up to the student I was in high school that didn’t allow me to fall short. Although having expectations is good, I soon realized that college is an entirely different ballgame, and I should not try to fit myself into a past template. From then on, trying my best was the only concern. A priority in my life was learning to be satisfied with my work without a grade attached to it, to feel comforted by the security of knowing I put my best foot forward.

Appreciating college for more than an educational environment was an important milestone as well. Joining clubs and participating in activities helped me clear my mind and decompress from everything else; it also helped me meet great like-minded people who pushed me to try new things. Contrarily, I still procrastinate but not as much as before. If the college has taught me anything, it’s that there is always a chance to improve. For the end of the semester, I don’t really have a specific goal. To prevent me from being overwhelmed, I’ve forced myself to take it one day at a time, which caused the semester to fly by. My focus is to ensure that my finals and the grades attached are not indicative of the student I am. By the end of the semester, I hope to have no grades below eighty and ensure good relations with my professors.

Whirlwind

This semester has been a whirlwind so far. It feels like yesterday we were running around doing orientation activities it feels as if a switch flipped and now, we’re studying for midterms. Overall, this semester is going well. I haven’t gotten burnt out from my never-ending 8:30 classes, which is good. But I could use some more time management skills now that my workload is piling up. Most of my grades are where they need to be, and it’s refreshing to see professors extend themselves to help with whatever you may need to succeed. I’ve found comfort in office hours and review sessions where you’re free to ask any questions, and there’s help available that’s tailored to you. Regarding college, personally, I’d like to think I’m adjusting well. I am the kind of person who relies on structure, so between classes, clubs, and friends, I love the rush of a packed schedule. On the weekends, I take my much-needed break and prepare for the week to come.

By the end of the semester, I do have goals I would like to achieve. I want to develop better self-discipline and time management skills, not just for schoolwork but for life in general. I want to do my assignments during the daytime instead of being a “night owl” so I can go to bed at a reasonable hour. More specifically, I want to take better notes in my biology class because they’re innate in studying for exams. I want to complete more practice sets outside of math class to learn how to apply what I’m learning. Most of all, I want to stop procrastinating because although I’m the first to say, “I work better under pressure,” it would take a giant mental load off not to have to race the clock to have something turned in before 11:59.

Culture shocks

My name is Guadalupe Alicea. I am from the Bronx, and this is my first semester at SUNY Geneseo. I chose to attend Geneseo because I outgrew the environment I call home, and needed to leave to allow myself to grow further. Before coming to Geneseo, I overthought myself into a hole and convinced myself I would feel so out of place being so far from home. But when I got here, my thoughts could not have been further from the truth. From the moment my family and I pulled up, every student and staff member we encountered was welcoming and looked genuinely excited for the class of 2025.

During the orientation period, I admit I was reserved because I like to observe a unique environment before immersing myself in it. I quickly learned that Geneseo has an overall friendly community where it is normal to smile and pick up a conversation with a stranger just because you like their top or if you happen to be standing in line next to them. This, along with other experiences, was quite a culture shock for me. For example, my orientation group had to stand up from our seats and gather in a circle in the middle of the room for an exercise. I stood up and quickly gathered all my things and joined the circle. I saw everyone in the circle had their hands empty. I looked over to the desks, they had left phones, wallets, and other items of value unattended on the desk. As small as it was, this action baffled me.

Encounters like this fueled my imposter syndrome. I wondered why I seemed so different from everyone else. We enjoy different things. We talk differently. We are even different in the speed at which we walk. I constantly remind myself that our contrasts are the whole point of college, to give students a taste of the real world, where you meet all kinds of people every day.

Regarding my expectations for my theatre class, they were exceeded. I saw Theatre on my schedule and was concerned that it would be more of a history class, but it is the most useful class I have because I take skills from the lessons that I can immediately use in other classes.