With the new year now upon us and with students returning to school, families and relatives returning to their normal lives, and people trying to uphold resolutions I’ve found myself struggling to make any. You could maybe call that contentment, but I feel like it’s more than that. I think my lack of resolutions is because of lack for a need of change. So much has changed since the fall semester began in August and I have this desire to hold onto certain things and prevent any more changes from happening. So, this new year instead of making the same, typical new year’s resolutions that I probably won’t keep, I decided that I’m going to reflect on the changes that have happened. While some them are pretty minor and are really more personality and hobby differences, some of the changes I’ve made in the last couple months could actually end up impacting my future career, relationships, and life. So, here are the top ten things that I’ve noticed have changed since arriving at college in the fall.
Deciding to change my major has probably been the most significant change that I’ve made since arriving at college. I arrived on campus determined to pursue my career as a nurse, concentrate on emergency medicine, and eventually end up working in the emergency room in a large hospital. While I had always enjoyed writing in high school, and knew that it was something I enjoyed, I knew that the job security of a nurse far surpassed a writer of any kind and that becoming a nurse in the emergency room would feed my constant adrenaline rush that I wanted. During the fall semesters I had professors tell me to consider a writing rhetoric major, but I kept brushing the temptation off because I thought my desire to write was a fleeting thing; I thought it would fade. However as time progressed in my Pre-nursing courses, I realized more and more that there were so many aspects of being a nurse that i would never enjoy. Sure, working in the E.R. may suffice a desire for excitement and saving lives, however I could get that same rush being a voluntary EMT with much less training and schooling. I began to really struggle grade-wise with my Anatomy courses because I found that I had very little interest in the details of the human body (not to mention my memorization skills when trying to memorize over 600 anatomical terms for our final were not up to the challenge). Just before winter break, I officially decided to change my major to Technical Writing and Communications because I knew that it was something I would not stop enjoying and it was something that I could actually see myself enjoying learning about throughout my college years. While giving up my lifelong dream of becoming a nurse was difficult, I realized that it was a career I would never truly love and it was not worth pursuing.
Believe it or not, I actually have a lot more free time since the school year has started. During my high school years, I was always very busy. I played two varsity sports all four years, participated in music and fine arts, worked to keep my grades up to par, and worked a full time job in the summer and part time during my senior year. There would be some days that I would leave my house in the morning at 7:20 and not return home from school until 10 at night. Once I began college, a lot of that stopped. While I was still participating in band and working, I found that I had so much more free time, sleep time, and whatever time. Some days, when I’m feeling motivated, this is a good thing because I can manage to get all of my stuff done before dinner and have my evenings free to work or crash on the couch. However, oftentimes I have found that all of the extra time makes me lazy and I don’t end up accomplishing as much as I do when I’m busy. So, I guess I still haven’t decided if the extra time is a good thing or not, but it has definitely been a change.
So, this really is not that important, but in order to keep this post light and more of a reality check I do need to note that my Netflix habits have changed enormously since college began. January of last year, the final series of Sherlock (*insert tears of actual sadness*) came out on Netflix. After binge watching that series and most of the show over again, I was actually in a show hole for most of the summer. Granted I was working a lot and did not have a ton of time for TV, but I really did not watch a lot of Netflix during those three months. However, as mentioned above, I do have a lot more free time since coming to college and on the days that I am feeling particularly lazy, I find myself binge watching shows that I had not watched before and finishing many that I thought I would never actually finish. Since this year has started, I have officially completed all seasons of Criminal Minds, Dr. Who, Castle, and am currently working my way through the fifth season of Vampire Diaries (if you haven’t watched this, I know it sounds weird, but I’d 10/10 recommend). So yes, Netflix time has improved, which is probably mostly a bad thing. However, it definitely cannot be the worst thing in the world.
This is actually a positive change that has happened since school started in the fall. While I was always an athlete and a runner in high school, I was also injured quite often. After a knee injury during a soccer game my sophomore year, I really never had complete stability and it did affect my athletic performance especially during my senior year of track and field. Trying to be a successful long distance runner with knee problems is tough because the constant pounding of pavement really takes a toll in your joints overtime, and I honestly think my joints needed a rest over the summer and a break from sports. Sometime in October, I visited the gym for the first time and began to run again, and it has now become a daily habit. Running has always been a stress reliever, but now that I am able to take it at my own pace with no pressure of competition, it has really been a daily energy and confidence boost. My endurance is still not where it used to be before my injury, but I am able to work up to that slowly now and that change has been for the better.
5. Constantly Adapting
This has been an unexpected change for me. Before arriving on campus, I had an expectation that it would be weird and different at first and then once I got settled in, nothing would ever change again. I assumed it would be a steady four years of the same thing. However, I now know that this is very far from the truth. College is about constantly adapting and constantly changing and growing. While some days can feel like micro copies of each other, with each day having routine and pattern, lots of things around you are still changing all the time. You may have a set group of friends for awhile, but then a few people drop out or change classes and you begin to never see them. You may get used to how you professors teach classes, but then the new semester begins and you have a whole new set of professors and teaching styles to get used to. You are also always changing in how you are thinking an what you are thinking about. Coming into college, I was in a very futuristic mindset, thinking more about my eventual career than the present day education process I would be enduring in order to get there. I have learned to focus my attention more in the moment and to live through my college days, not expecting routine and sameness, but instead anticipating the inevitable changes.