Full Circle

It is hard to believe I am at the end of my first semester of college here at SUNY Geneseo. It feels as if I was taking my tour with my parents around campus just yesterday. The instant feeling of belonging surrounded me once I arrived in Geneseo. It was such an overwhelming time of my life, as it is for anyone choosing a college. However, it was fun seeing the college students’ groups on campus and putting myself in their shoes. Recently, I bumped into a tour group and had a full-circle moment. It was weird seeing myself as a Geneseo student during their tour. To think that I made it to Geneseo and am now a part of the student body still amazes and excites me. Being a real historian in my classes is a thrilling experience. 

With the semester winding down, there are many final assignments to complete. For my World of Vikings course, I have to complete a paper with a partner about a movie based on the Vikings and rate its accuracy. I have not begun working on this yet, but I plan to meet with my partner soon since the due date is coming. My art history course does not have a project but rather an exam which I am not too nervous about since I am doing well in the class. I am really going to miss taking an art history course next semester because of how amazing Professor Toothe has been. I have also discovered some of my favorite artists and works within this course. For my Local and Public History course, I have to take a piece of local history and make it public. I have decided to focus on Geneseo’s Wadsworth family, specifically Martha Blow Wadsworth. Mrs. Wadsworth took many amazing photos worldwide, now in albums in Geneseo’s library. I met with the special collections department to discuss what project I could do with the photo albums and decided to digitize an album of Martha from her Paris and England trip in 1909. This project has given me lots of experience, such as learning to handle and care for artifacts, learning how to scan the pages and how to complete the metadata for the album. As a History major, this experience is beneficial in showing me the many parts of being a historian. Since I want to work in museums, knowing how to digitize an artifact is an important skill to have. 

In my Theater Therapy for Veterans course, the final assignment is to create a play with a group about a veteran with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). My group has been very creative with our story, which I think will be a good play. Besides the project, we have also finished reading 9 Circles by Bill Cain. I enjoyed reading this play because it showed the heavy emotions that occur to those in the military. Within 9 Circles, readers learn about Reeves, who served in the military. Throughout the nine scenes, I understood Reeves more and realized that his PTSD is most likely how other veterans feel. Each of the plays I read this semester brought PTSD into a new light for me to understand it better. It will be sad to say goodbye to this course since I have enjoyed the topic and found it interesting to learn about.

Overall I have enjoyed my first semester of college. I have learned many new facts about myself, such as my love for art history. Throughout my time so far, I have realized that even though I might doubt myself sometimes when things get rough, I made the right choice to be here at Geneseo. Thinking of myself on that tour a year ago, I think I would be very proud of the person I am today. If someone had told me a year ago that I would be sitting in class learning to become a historian or even loving to learn about art, I would have thought they were crazy. It seemed as if college was so far in the future still. Now it is here, and I have loved every minute of it.

The First of many sunsets

Professor Arena 

INTD 105 

1 September 2022

My name is Samantha Emke. I am a first-year student at SUNY Geneseo. When I am not here, I live in Eden with my mom, dad, and older sister, Alex. I am lucky to have a family that is very close to one another. Once a psychic even told my mom that her, Alex, and I were all sisters in a past life. We had such a close bond that we decided to reincarnate together. I am not sure how true that story is, but we all are very close to one another. I also live at home with about thirty animals. At Geneseo, I do get homesick without being near my family or my pets. So far, I have gone home once. Honestly, I was not sure if I would make it back. My parents keep having to reassure me that I made the right decision to go to Geneseo and that I will eventually love it here.  

Moving away from home for the first time is a strange transition. Having to take on all sorts of responsibilities and become independent is an indescribable feeling. You always hear how great college is, the parties, the friendships made, it is supposed to be the best years of your life, however, this can be quite different if you are not an outgoing, party-type person. At times it can feel like you are so different from others that you are supposed to love being social all the time, but I have learned that it is okay not to be outgoing or want to party all the time. It can take time to find “your people” with the same interests as you, and slowly, you will find each other. Once this happens, you will feel more at home. My first few weeks at Geneseo have been okay, with a few hiccups. During the first two weeks, there was an issue with my roommate. We had found each other over the summer and decided to become roommates. Once move-in day came, I realized that we had completely different ideas of what fun was and that being an introvert myself was not going to work while living with her. After a lengthy process, it finally came the time I was allowed to switch rooms. Being with a roommate you are compatible with makes all the difference. I feel happier being here at Geneseo and feel I focus on my classes instead of worrying about roommate drama.  

 I am a history major with a museum studies minor. This semester, I am taking five courses: World of Vikings, Art History, Theater Therapy for Veterans, Intro to the History Major, and Local and Public History. So far, my favorite has been art history. Over the summer, my sister and I traveled to Europe and went to some prominent art museums, such as the National Gallery in London. Connecting the artwork I saw in the museums to the artwork talked about in class makes it even more interesting to me. To be honest, taking an art history class initially made me nervous. I kept thinking how much I would dislike it since I always thought it was not my “thing”, however, this could not be further from the truth. Once I began to engage in the course, it became quite fun for me. Now I cannot wait to go to class! Since the course interested me so much, I decided to join the history club and the art history club.  

Another class I have enjoyed is my writing seminar (Theater Therapy for Veterans). During the semester, I hope that through this course, I not only improve my writing skills, such as my grammar and vocabulary, but also to learn the history and science of why veterans use theater to help with their Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (P.T.S.D.) The class so far has taught me how to improve my writing skills. Even though I had thought I was a good writer, once I had read about the ways to improve, I instantly realized how many common mistakes I make in my writing. 

Overall, my beginning at Geneseo has been nothing like I expected. Even with minor difficulties, I love being able to study here. I can already see my friendships forming and now realize that I made the right choice. Whether it is walking past the “Seuss Spruce,” the classes, or getting to sit in the gazebo to talk with friends, there is always something to look forward to at Geneseo. Seeing that first sunset on your first night here makes you realize why you wanted to come here in the first place. It takes (and will continue to take) patience but eventually, you will learn that it is all about family here, and everyone can fit in.  

Normalcy

To me, having a routine is fundamental. It is nice to be getting a routine down halfway through the semester. Since moving away from home, I haven’t felt normalcy until recently, now that I’ve gotten my routine down. It has felt as if my world was turned upside down. Between being homesick and missing my family to navigating a new campus, it seems as if everything is different. However, because it is a few weeks into the semester, my routine is starting to form, which has been helpful. I now know where places are located on campus and what to expect in each class. Each day of the week is now more familiar to me. I know that each Monday morning, I go to do my laundry, each Tuesday, I go to art history club, and Wednesday nights, I go to history club. A sense of normalcy is beginning to form. Getting to go home every few weekends is also helpful to me. I am grateful that I chose to stay close to home to see my family often. When deciding where I wanted to go for college, I felt conflicted because all my friends were going out of state. It made me feel less than because I was staying in New York, but I now know I made the right choice. 

All of my classes have been going well. I still enjoy going to art history class every Monday and Wednesday like I did at the beginning of the semester,  and took my first exam in the course. I was super nervous about it. However, I got a good grade on it since I have been paying attention during class and studying hard. I have enjoyed the class so much that I am considering adding art history as a minor. This would be a big decision since I am already minoring in museum studies and would then be double minoring. I plan to talk to my advisor soon to discuss this option. During my World of Vikings class, I struggled to figure out my in-class essays. I have learned that analyzing records and writing from the historian’s perspective differ from the work done in high school. However, my teachers have taught me so much. I better understand what historians look for and how they might look for it. For example, during class, we are usually given pictures of artifacts that historians found during an excavation. When looking at these artifacts, it is easier for me to realize what they might be used for and how they give clues as to what life was like during that time. 

During my Theater Therapy For Veterans writing seminar, I’ve learned how little I know about the topic. Through the readings and discussions with my professor, I have been taught how many veterans deal with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (P.T.S.D.). The course has opened my eyes to the topic and made me more aware of what veterans go through even after they come home. I have learned about topics such as survivor’s guilt, which is when veterans ask themselves why they came home and not others. I was unaware of my lack of knowledge. Throughout my schooling, I have been taught what P.T.S.D. was and how it affected those with it; however, I never grasped the severity of it until now-listening to Professor Arena talk about her service experience brought the topic to life for me. It is an important topic to discuss due to the number of people who deal with it, which I have learned is a large number. 

When I came to Geneseo, I was still determining if I would settle in. Since everything is so new, I continue to question whether or not I actually like it here. Considering that I am mostly quiet and not outgoing, it is difficult not to feel lonely when you are in a sea of strangers. Some days are better than others. When I walk around and see familiar faces or not become fearful of the unknown of a class, it makes me realize that while it will be a lot of hard work, I can do this. I can put in the effort and graduate from Geneseo. 

The first of many sunsets

My name is Samantha Emke. I am a first-year student at S.U.N.Y. Geneseo. When I am not here, I live in Eden with my mom, dad, and older sister, Alex. I am lucky to have a family that is very close to one another. Once a psychic even told my mom that she, Alex, and I were all sisters in a past life. We had such a close bond that we decided to reincarnate together. I am not sure how true that story is, but we are close. I also live at home with about thirty animals. At Geneseo, I get homesick without being near my family or my pets. So far, I have gone home once. Honestly, I was not sure if I would make it back. My parents keep reassuring me that I made the right decision to go to Geneseo and will eventually love it here.

Moving away from home for the first time is a strange transition. Taking on all sorts of responsibilities and becoming independent is an indescribable feeling. You always hear how great college is, the parties, the friendships made; it is supposed to be the best years of your life. However, this can be quite different if you are not an outgoing, party-type person. At times it can feel like you are so different from others that you are supposed to love being social all the time, but I have learned that it is okay not to be outgoing or want to party all the time. It can take time to find “your people” with the same interests as you, and slowly, you will find each other. Once this happens, you will feel more at home. My first few weeks at Geneseo have been okay, with a few hiccups. During the first two weeks, there was an issue with my roommate. We had found each other over the summer and decided to become roommates. Once move-in day came, I realized that we had completely different ideas of what fun was and that being an introvert myself was not going to work while living with them. After a lengthy process, it finally came the time I was allowed to switch rooms. Being with a roommate you are compatible with makes all the difference. I feel happier being here at Geneseo and feel I focus on my classes instead of worrying about roommate drama.

I am a history major with a museum studies minor. This semester, I am taking five courses: World of Vikings, Art History, Theater Therapy for Veterans, Intro to the History Major, and Local and Public History. So far, my favorite has been art history. Over the summer, my sister and I traveled to Europe and visited prominent art museums, such as the National Gallery in London. Connecting the artwork I saw in the museums to the artwork talked about in class makes it even more interesting to me. To be honest, taking an art history class initially made me nervous. I kept thinking how much I would dislike it since I always thought it was not my “thing,” However, this could not be further from the truth. Once I began to engage in the course, it became quite fun for me. Now I cannot wait to go to class! Since the course interested me so much, I decided to join the history and art history clubs.

Another class I have enjoyed is my writing seminar, Theater Therapy for Veterans. During the semester, I hope that through this course, I not only improve my writing skills, such as my grammar and vocabulary but also learn the history and science of why veterans use theater to help with their Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (P.T.S.D.) The class so far has taught me how to improve my writing skills. Even though I had thought I was a good writer, once I had read about the ways to improve, I instantly realized how many common mistakes I make in my writing.

Overall, my beginning at Geneseo has been nothing like I expected. Even with minor difficulties, I love being able to study here. I can already see my friendships forming and realize I made the right choice. Whether it is walking past the “Seuss Spruce,” the classes, or getting to sit in the gazebo to talk with friends, there is always something to look forward to at Geneseo. Seeing that first sunset on your first night here makes you realize why you wanted to come here in the first place. It takes (and will continue to take) patience but eventually, you will learn that it is all about family here, and everyone can fit in.