What Has College Been Like?

Hi everyone! Happy Wednesday! Today, I’m going to be talking about my college experience (my first year and a half) and how blogging has fit into the equation since many people think that college is basically your life (which they aren’t wrong to a certain extent).

I’ve been wanting to talk about my college life for a while now but have never felt like it was the right time because I wanted to do it after my first complete year, then I had thought about doing after my first semester in nursing school, but it seemed like something had always came up making me delay talking about it!

Background Info:

When it came time for me to start thinking about where to go to college, I honestly had no idea where to go because I wanted to go to a smaller school (I guess since I had gone to a smaller high school and wanted something similar in size), and I wanted to stay in state (since out of state colleges are more expensive to attend). Honestly, I was a pretty well rounded student, I had high grades, volunteered a couple of summers at the hospital, and was in a handful of academic clubs; the only thing I didn’t do was play any sports, but can we really see me playing a sport? I graduated high school second in my class with about 90 people in my graduating class. I had a really high GPA and my SAT/ACT test scores where above the average score. So, I had the options of going to different colleges around the state.

I ended up going to a local tech school because I could get my general classes and get an associate degree in something if I wanted. I applied to the tech school and was taking classes for my Associate’s in Arts with a concentration in Nursing which basically meant I was taking classes for my AA but was ultimately planning on switching majors. In high school, I took a good many dual enrollment classes that counted as high school and college credits, so I went into my first year of college as a 2nd semester freshman.

I’m very fortunate that I don’t have to pay for much of the cost for school since I have different scholarships and funds from the school to study. But the bad thing about some of these scholarships is that there are so many requirements that you have to meet in order to get the money.

I’m also glad that I’m able to live at home and travel a short way to go to school because there are so many things in my personal life right now that I’d hate to miss. Like my dog is 11 and I’d hate to go off and something happen to her because I’m her ‘human’ in the house. She constantly follows me around the house and essentially breath the same air I do. I know when I went on my senior trip a few years back for 5 days, her appetite had already dropped, she wouldn’t respond whenever I was facetiming my family (as in turn her head to the sound of my voice or look at me on the screen), so I don’t want to imagine what would happen if I left on months on end. Then my sister is getting ready to graduate HS next year. We’re about three years apart and when you’re younger that’s a lifetime of a difference, but now instead of seeing her as my annoying younger sister, she’s more of a friend (I know *sniffle, sniffle* we’re growing up).

First Year:

I could have honestly applied the fall of my first year to get into the spring semester of nursing school, but I didn’t want to be taking my corequisites while taking nursing classes. So, I ended up taking the co reqs the whole first year of school, so my course load during nursing school wouldn’t be quite as bad and to have a higher GPA (although at the time it was a 4.0, but imagine if I was trying to balance nursing classes and regular classes).

The first semester of college was kind of weird because I didn’t feel like I was actually a college student. I mean we all have this idea of what college is and what goes on thanks to tv shows where you start in the fall when the leaves are changing, have that local coffee shop that you stop by on the way to the library, late nights studying, living in a dorm, and a whole bunch of other things. But I was only on campus long enough to get to my classes, sit through the class, and leave; it wasn’t like I was ever in the school library or one of the study rooms.

I’ll be honest, during the first semester, it really didn’t feel like I was at college. I don’t know if it was because it wasn’t like the shows or if it was due to the fact that I had taken classes in high school with this college at a different campus. My guess it that is mainly the second one since somewhere deep in my brain, it had associated this school with high school (and taking general classes didn’t help me feel like a college student).

Both the fall (2018) and spring (2019) semesters of my first year I took 4 classes and 2 classes in the summer. The co reqs I needed for nursing prior to starting college was ENG 101 & 102, A & P I & II, general and human development in PSY, and Micro. So, I basically had my first year of college planned out academically speaking. I had to pick up a couple of extra classes to meet the guidelines for one of my scholarships, both for both of those semesters, I had taken a minimester class (an 8 week class).

  • Fall of 2018 is when I started my blog. I don’t know what the driving factor was that made me want to start a blog then. The thought had entered my mind during some point when I was in high school, but I never followed through with it then.
  • I also a Twitter & Instagram account (my parents didn’t want me or my sister to have social media while growing up) early August of 2018. I think seeing people in the book community on both platforms had showed me that a) blogging was dead like I thought, b) people have a right to share their opinions on books (and other things, but remember I’m talking about my blog), and c) if they can do it, why can’t I? This is also when I started to see ARCs more frequently thanks to my lack of social media and wanted to be able to review them.

In the fall, managing my blog wasn’t to difficult because I was taking A&P, an English class, intro to PSY, and a freshman class. Back then, my blog is nothing like it is now, so there wasn’t much to manage, but you know how it is in the beginning. At that point in my blogging career, I was basically posting stuff for myself because I would get like 2 views at the most, but I kept with it because it was to early to really say that it wouldn’t be a successful thing. My course work in that fall wasn’t really bad because I felt like I had a good foundation in A&P thanks to my high school A&P teacher, the freshman class was just something that the college makes you take and wasn’t difficult, I had already taken a PSY class in high school and studied some of that stuff in high school A&P so I wasn’t concerned, and English was my main concern since I wasn’t known for my English skills in school. Plus, it didn’t help that my English teacher acted like he’d rather be anywhere else but teaching a bunch of college students.

Let me tell you, it took some adjusting to having people that were a couple grades above me in high school being in my class or having people who had children or even grandchildren sitting in the same classroom because I was in the honor classes and basically had the same something people in 4 years’ worth of school.

On to the second semester, the spring semester of 2019 was a little bit more rigorous (at least in the first half). I was taking a minimester computer class online that had multiple assignments due every couple of day, a test every week, and projects that had to be done, and I was taking trig online as well for the credit hours and I figured that I’m good in math it’d be an easy A. I also had weekly quizzes in that class and had to teach myself the stuff since all we got from the teacher were powerpoints. A&P was a little bit more difficult since we were going into more depth about the body systems, and English was a wild ride altogether.

My English 102 teacher was a lot more passionate about his job. You could tell by the way he taught and interacted with the students. I was kind of scared to have him because he was a wealth of knowledge about literature and grammar. But by the end of the course, I was more confident in my writing because someone that I had respect for had given me guidance in my writing instead of telling me to just fix stuff in my papers. I had earned really high A’s on all of my papers and was super proud that I could even do that.

At the same time of my ENG 102 class, I was also writing more reviews and had a better handle on writing and how to dig deeper in a story.

  • It was also in the spring of 2019 when I decided to switch to wordpress and saw an increase in blog traffic, interaction, and subscribers.
  • Around this time, blogging felt like it was a mix of work and a hobby. I felt like I had to post a lot because I now had people following my blog. Some days I would get done with working on hours’ worth of school to put together a blog post and post something on Instagram. I honestly find it amazing that I had people read and like my stuff when all I wanted was to eat something and go to sleep. I guess y’all saw the potential in my and my blog.
  • I felt like I was trying so hard to expand my bookish blog posts that I was racking my brain on how to put together something that I had no direction with and felt so frustrated because I would end up not posting.
  • Oh, and if the new pressure of having a blog being seen by more than 2 people isn’t enough, my parents finally let me get chickens. So, I March 2019 onward learning all there is to know about having pet chickens.

Over the summer, I took microbiology and for the first time I really felt like I was doing something. This class had a lab component and we grew and test bacteria, and I could finally see myself doing something in the science field.

Second Year

Let me just tell y’all, August 2019 was crazy busy. I had received by letter of acceptance to the nursing program sometime over the summer, and it was like those four years of high school and all of those extra classes had finally paid off. I went to orientation for nursing school in the early part of August and had to get so many things done like get a physical, get booster shots, buy uniforms, and a bunch of other things.

By the time for class to start, I wasn’t honestly that nervous which is amazing since I stress about everything. I finally felt like I was in college because I was able to study a career specific area and I had a classroom with tiered seats in an auditorium like set up.

Last semester was an experience. I had to study more and train my brain to start thinking like a nurse. I was learning how to properly give medicines, insert catheters, give oxygen, and give basic care. I had to learn how to get through difficult times with patients and provide the best care possible.

I was also shocked by the amount of people that I’ve talked to over the past semester. I now have a guy friend thanks to school and other friends. It’s becoming easier to talk and interact with people.

Going into nursing school, I felt like I would do better in the lecture and theory part of the classes and have to work harder in the clinical component since I’m an academically strong person and has always been the one to hang back during social events, but surprisingly, I’m doing well with clinicals. I know that I have to get over my introvertedness in order to take care of people whenever we are able to safely go back to that setting.

After being a student for so many years just taking classes to get to this point, I felt reenergized to learn. As much as I enjoyed high school, it started to feel like I was in a rut and just going through the motions of learning and didn’t feel much better before I got into nursing school. Now it feels like I’m finally going somewhere with my education.

Last semester we went to a long term care facility for our clinical rotation, and it was honestly so sad to see all of the older folks sitting in their rooms or in the common area. We were there early in the middle of the week during morning to around lunch time, so there wasn’t a whole lot of visitors because people have lives of their own, but to see the residents there who have different conditions that their families can take care for broke my heart. I think that’s one of the reasons why I worked so hard while we were there since I was taking care of somebody’s parent, grandparent, child, spouse, sibling, family member, or friend and wanted to give the person the amount of care I would want someone to give to one of my loved one in that situation.

With all of that being said, I was really nervous with my lack of life experiences whenever we started to go into the skills lab early in the semester. There were so many people who are CNAs, parents, and had more life experience than me and I was seriously wondering if I was going to make if because I had never changed a brief or had to put clothes on someone or even bathed someone. I hadn’t had many moments outside of those with my family where I had to so empathy so regularly and didn’t know if that would affect me success in school. But, thinking about it, being Asian and growing up around people who were primarily white and being looked at differently even though I talked like them and had similar mannerism. Plus, I have lived through so many characters’ problems in books and that has to count as something especially when I get that heart wrenching feeling while reading.

I learned that even though I may be one of the youngest students in my class, I’ve been raised to see the world differently from the older generations, and I honestly feel like it has made me be a more accepting person.

I hate to end this post here, but I think that I’ve talked enough for one post since I have about 5 pages of my college career! I’ll have to write another post about nursing school later if that’s something y’all’d like to see!

I also just want to thank everyone in the blogging and book world that has supported me through this journey and for giving me the motivation to keep blogging!

Happy reading until next time,

12 thoughts on “What Has College Been Like?

  1. What a great post! I understand a lot of where you’re coming from because I’m a university student with a blog. My blogging has, until recently, been very erratic, with long periods off while I focus on uni work. But as this term has been mostly writing and very little reading (thanks to only studying creative writing this term) I’ve had more time to read books for myself (and that are relevant to my own writing of course, but I have more freedom) so I’ve been getting into blogging properly. Great to read about how you balance things!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree with Stephen. This post was lovely!

    Like you, I also started college while officially having about the same number of college credits you did. (My school offered dual-enrolment for high school and college).

    It does take a little adjusting to get used to having classmates who are your parents or grandparents age, but I found those were the best classmates to study with and work on group projects together. They’re often hardworking and extremely motivated.

    Good luck with your next semester of courses.

    Liked by 1 person

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  4. Very nice reflective post. I can relate in similar ways. I just completed my freshman year (A&P was a struggle for me as well), and I am just now starting a blog. I have always wanted to blog but was too afraid of failure. I guess we’ll see how it goes! Good luck to you!

    Liked by 1 person

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