Thursday, April 22, 2010

Stress fractures

Life does not look bright at the moment... Finals are approaching, next year's classes are already causing me stress, and this semester's are far from done with their stress hold on my life. Just off the top of my head I have a paper and 3 tests coming up, as well as a choir audition, a choir concert, a sign language concert and 3 potential TA positions for next year to worry about.

This isn't even the half of it though, because that's only the school aspect of my life. My personal life is all sorts of conflicts, indecision, and over thinking. It's to the point where I found myself using game theory to try and help me to decide... and it actually helped a little bit. Whether this use of what I've been studying here in college is a good thing or not I don't know, but one thing is certain. I'm a huge nerd.

Getting back to classes... O-chem is the cause of the majority of my stress lately. I love and hate that class at the same time. I love how much that class makes me think and teaches me. I hate the fact that I can't get a decent grade to save my life in that class. The teacher is great and gets the information into my head, but on tests I have a tendency to not remember anything and basically spend the first 30 minutes of every test or quiz getting my mental gears turning in the right direction. By the end of the allotted time I am flying through mechanisms I know and trudging through the ones that I'm not so confident in. Which would be fine, except I'm still only half way done with the test and the time is up.

Another cause of my abhorrent grade in O-chem is the fact that no one is there to stop me if I start to go down the wrong path. In class assignments are easy for me, I throw out mechanisms and possible synthesises and people around me can stop me if I go down the wrong road. On tests I don't have this nifty little safety net. So instead of finishing easily I find myself with a brick wall between me and the desired product. I think that's enough O-chem rant for now...

Next semester I won't be able to be in u-choir because of my schedule. I kind of knew it would happen eventually, but it still sucks. Given this lack of u-choir I've determined that I am going to try out for the concert choir. This audition is making me very worried. For one, the audition itself is not something I will enjoy. I hate preforming in front of people. This is the reason I've never and probably will never do a solo. The thought of me singing just by myself in front of people... it just doesn't agree with me. I could sing in front of my choir without a problem, but when there are people who don't hear me sing on a daily basis present I suddenly have issues.

The other thing about the audition that scares me is the concert choir's inherent stuck-up-ness. Whether I am worried more by the possible rejection of these would be peers, or the possibility that I would become one of them, I don't know. And of course none of this even matters if I don't get into the choir in the first place.

As mentioned earlier, I am thinking of being a TA next year. Where I do the TAing is one question, and the other is if I will get paid or not. I am choosing between ASL, biology and economics. I basically know that if I do ASL I won't get paid for it, since that program is having a hard enough time paying the professor much less the optional TAs. In biology I could probably get paid since the sciences are huge here in Morris. Economics is pretty much a toss-up. I was asked to TA this semester, but said no when I found out I wouldn't be paid. So if I get a job as an economics TA it would mean that I wouldn't necessarily be paid.

Well, I think that's it for this post. I'm stressed out in case you can't tell, and sleep sounds like a really good idea. Also I may be coming down with a cold, so sleep would help that too. To sum up: O-chem blows, girls confuse me, and jobs that don't pay kind of suck.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Cycles, and not the motor kind.

Last night I realized something about myself. I change a lot. In elementary school I was a pretty popular kid. Being huge into football at the time certainly helped, but I was also just more social. I knew and was friends with just about everyone in my grade as well as a few people outside of my grade.

When I moved to middle school, I became much less social, and only had a small group of very close friends. I still knew just about everyone, but I wouldn't consider them friends. Looking back I know part of that is due to the fact that I was the new kid, but even after that wore off I still wasn't very popular.

In high school I was quickly made popular again. By the end of my senior year I was once again able to say that I knew and was at least casual friends with just about everyone in my grade. This is a much greater claim than that of elementary school, since my graduating class in high school was basically was 10x that of elementary school.

Now that I am in college, I can see myself starting to pull back into the less social, closer group of friends mode that was predominant in middle school. I'm not sure whether this is a good or bad thing though.

There is the glamour aspect of popularity that makes everyone strive to be more popular. And though it's cliched, at least in my experience, when I was popular I didn't actually have many friends. Well at least not good ones anyway. How many of the hundreds of people from high school that I considered friends at the time do I still talk to? How many do I still hangout with? How many of them were there for me when I needed them? Maybe a handful.

I guess the moral of the story is that, even though it's politically correct to say it, don't worry about being popular. It only ends up messing you up and screwing with you.

Ironically I started writing this blog as sort of call to action for myself. I was going to point out that in both high school and elementary school I was very involved in extra curriculars, while when I was in middle school and college I only did curriculars. This link, I was going to claim, is the reason I needed to become more involved in my school's extra curriculars.

However, as I write these words, I've come to realize that popularity isn't something I want all that much. While popularity does offer some nifty perks: it was easier to get dates, a big friend list etc. I don't want those types of things anymore, at least not if I have to pay the price of losing actual friends to attain it.

I'm not saying do or don't be involved in extra curriculars, but chose them carefully. Don't overextend yourself, because one: you'll get worn out and two: those people that you consider to be your friends today may not be there tomorrow if you don't put in the effort to grow the relationship.

So in closing, pick your friends and, by extension, your extra curriculars carefully. Well that's it for me, I'm off to Quidditch practice.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Long days and short nights

Finals time is drawing nearer, and I can tell. I've been semi-sick/semi-allergy-attacked for the past week or so. Classes are reaching the point where they cram more curriculum into each day, and more assignments into each week. All of this leads to one thing: extreme tiredness.

Last night I only managed 4 hours of sleep, since I was working on a biology paper until 2am and had an O-chem test at 7:30 this morning. I'm sure the rest of the semester will mimic last night. It always does.

Finals week never used to bother me. In high school I would just coast by on what I knew. I didn't have to try and jam new information in with the old. That is one of the defining aspects of college in my experience. In high school the week leading up to finals was nothing but review. For that matter that was true for almost all of the chapter tests as well. Now that I am in college, we're lucky to get even a day for review before the test. Instead, we frantically cram new information into our brains.

This leads me to address any professors out there: is it really that hard to shift stuff around and thus make time for some review? I mean come on, it's not like the new information couldn't have found it's way into lectures over the past 4 months!

Rant aside, I haven't been doing too much outside of school in my life lately. The one exception: Ground Quidditch. It is epic.