It’s never too late to try new things

Some people go to college knowing what they want to major in, what career field they want to get into and they stick with it all the way through. There’s a pretty low number of those people though. Ironically I’m kinda one of them.

But the best part of college and a liberal arts college is the opportunity to try so many different disciplines and interdisciplinary programs that build connections upon all aspects of our learning and world as we know it. As a senior I thought, yeah I’ve stuck with biology since high school and I still really enjoy my upper-level biology electives immensely this is for me! But at the same time I had to take an upper level division course outside my major and falling upon the intro core electives I took there were a variety of options for me and I thought hey this politics & government class looks good let’s take that one!

Now I bet some of you are groaning like “taking a P&G class for fun? are you crazy?” and “that’s so different than biology, it’ll be a whole different challenge” and my response to both would be yes it is and I didn’t fully realize it at the time thankful because I absolutely LOVE it right now! The format of social sciences is discussion based instead of lecture based with a courseload of readings for critical analysis based on IR theories, strategic games and understanding of the various topics.

As an outgoing talkative person I guess it’s no surprise this is right up my alley except as an upper division course many of the other students are P&G majors specifically IR or comparative politics. Rather than intimidating me it encourages me to be more thorough and thoughtful in my contributions and taking time to fully complete the readings (I love my highlighter, maybe the readings are a little too colorful). I love the supportive atmosphere, despite believing in different theories and arguments all opinions are valued and equally challenged without personal malice but for the sake of learning and education-the very best part of college.

I’d tell you more about how I love it but I’m still getting used to my workload, remember my other post “How to Do Homework” well I better get back to my 100+ readings for this class!

You Know You Go/Went to the University of Puget Sound when…

.. you say the Puge, not UPS or Puget Sound

… you have chacos and not just a single pair but warm weather and cold weather chacos chacos

… you have a bunch of different water bottles with different stickers for your various moods and you can hook it to your backpack

… you go to the new gym because duh new gym but mostly to get that post-workout smoothie!!

… you’ve counted the number of times Ron Thom said home in his Convocation speech, especially his last one

… you know one of the things people from UPS are most proud of is our campus, the grass, the trees, the flowers are always on point!

… you’ve sat in Div or Opp for a couple of house to “study” and basically see everyone who goes to college here

… you’ve done (or plan to) do the Polar Plunge into the Sound at Ruston Way with friends!

… you’ve gone on a late-night Memo’s study break run!

… as long as the sun is out and the weather seems warm everyone is outside laying on the grass, tossing a frisbee, lounging in a hammock OUTSIDE!

… you’ve eaten more than you thought you could with Trapper’s all-you-can-eat sushi buffet

… you absolutely have LOVED the COOKIE from the Met


& these a just a few of the things I know I’ll miss when I graduate the Puge

How to do Homework

You’d think after four years of college and four years of high school I’d learn the best way to do homework but you’d be wrong. I think every student ever can tell you we know procrastination all too well. I may not be the BEST study/homework doing person but I think most of my friends can say it too, we’re still learning how to do homework.

In high school,  I don’t remember much about homework except them telling us “in college there is very little homework, heavy on the exams and papers with NO make-ups”. Well, from personal experience I can confidently say it differs everywhere. The different departments and professors all have their own philosophies about how much homework, review sessions, group work, presentations, paper drafts and dropped homework/exams or revisions to work you can make. The profs at UPS are great at communicating these expectations but be warned you shouldn’t EXPECT for the homework to be easy, for the professors to give you the answers when you ask for help or for revisions and opportunities to “bump up your grade”. The professors are willing to work WITH you to make sure YOU understand, really encouraging you to put in the work.

As a senior I have a better grasp of hwo to read between the lines and write out all my assignments to see what times are going to be busy but even when I do that I’m still in a dilemma about  how and when to do my work. As a science major a majority of my classes are lecture-based with note-taking and problems to solve and understand the connectiosn to be evaluated on the exams and actual lab work. I’m completely used to this style of learning, however this year with more freedom I’m taking courses leaning towards social sciences and upper level biology with discussions, readings and papers. It’s in these situations I’m unsure: should I keep doing work when I have free time and plan ahead on the weekend or a day or two before and potentially not fully remember everything recently in class or bunch up my work after my long days of class, work and meetings? I don’t have an answer for you, and I don’t know what answer you would give but I think it differs for everyone. A P&G or psychology major might be more comfortable with the readings heavy workload and know how to better balance it (And their print green) but I’m still getting used to it.

I think the lesson learned and lesson to stick to is: do your homework, however you feel most comfortable and prepared for class and learning the material.



A Year Ago

Last week was midterms, and it coincided with my alma mater’s third quarter finals as well. It’s so weird to think a year ago I was deciding where I wanted to go for college. That I was anxiously checking the mail and my email from any sign of the college acceptances. I had friends waiting to hear back from huge state schools, technical schools, the Ivy’s, or any school that would let us leave Hawaii (small rock syndrome we like to call it). I wasn’t super aware of checking my mail with concerts, finals, and leadership conferences to plan so the day I came home to an ivory envelope stating “Open this! It’s Good News Inside!” from Puget Sound I was instantly excited! I decided to wait to open the envelope until both my parents were home so I could share the good news with them!

A year ago I was worried about all the scholarships I was applying for, my entire senior “last” activities and actually going out and being tourist-y around Hawaii. I knew that if I was going away to Puget Sound, I would miss Hawaii with all my friends, family, food, fun and sun so I decided to soak up all the rest of spring and summer; trying to live in the moment. Now, I like to think I’m still living in the moment but I’m more aware of the future. For the 18 years of my life I knew I’d be going all the way through high school and college and then I’d really be on my own to decide what to do. That time is only three years away and I’m still deciding what I want to do, it’s crazy to think it’s only been a year since I was in a completely different place.

From applying to schools, getting accepted, deciding to go to Puget Sound, graduating, my last “free” summer, going off to college, meeting all these new, amazing people and trying new things, I think it’s been a great year. I’ve changed as a person, I was so worried about the differences in college and being away from all that was familiar but Puget Sound welcomed me into the fold and I continue to love my new home. In high school all my upperclassmen friends stressed “make the most of the time you have. It goes by way too fast!” and my senior year I took it all in, every chance I got but I think that saying applies to life. I never thought I’d be almost done with my first year of college already, that I’d only have three more years of Puget Sound and into the real world I will go. But Puget Sound has definitely prepared me for the future and I can’t wait for more opportunities, friendships and learning experiences I’ll encounter along the way.