I'm almost done. Can you believe that?! Its been awhile since I've done a little blurb about my experiences in college so far, so I figured why not! College has been an amazing roller coaster, and I literally cannot believe that I will be entering the "big girl" world this summer. Can I just be, like, 12 again?
I do Tea Time posts every weekend, so if you are interested in getting a little more personal with me on the regular then please check out those posts. But this post is going to be dedicated solely to college. I wanted to dive more deeply into my experiences and what is happening in this aspect of my life right now.
The goal of this post is to inform my close family and friends about all of the new happenings with my schooling. But I also hope that this post can be informative and encouraging for any other students or soon-to-be-students reading along as well.
I'm going to start from the beginning today. I'm unsure if I've ever logged this on the internet before in one clean swoop, so I want to have a place where I can go back and reflect on this experience. So, please excuse this long rambling post. If you want to just hear about what's new with me at the moment then jump down to the GRADUATION section.
This was over 4 years ago! Another thing that I just can't believe. Life goes by way to fast (and everyone keeps saying, "just wait until you have kids."). Indiana University was the only college that I applied for. I don't know what I was thinking at the time because putting all of my eggs into one basket was probably a terrible idea, but thankfully, it worked for me.
I don't recall being super happy or getting excited when I got my acceptance letter. I don't even think I took a picture--which is common practice nowadays. I believe it was probably just because I simply expected to get in. It was the only college I applied for and that's where I just new I was going to go.
My best friend also go accepted, so we decided to be roommates. It was a great decision because my time that I lived with her was a blast. Sadly, we fell apart due to different reasons, but that's a story for another time.
While being in college I've had the opportunity to experience many different ways of living. I did the dorm thing my freshman year, which was fun. It gave me the chance to meet some new people (which I really needed because I'm not the best at making friends) and was a great experience since I knew practically no one on this huge campus.
The second semester of my freshman year I was still "technically" living in the dorms, but S and I start seriously dating again. I stayed at his place all of the time because he had a one bedroom apartment meaning we could have the alone time that I was never going to get if we just hung out in the dorms every day. I basically lived there with him, but I also had a dorm room that I could stay at if I wanted to, too.
My sophomore year was a little weird. I didn't want to commit to living with S and then have no where to go if something happened to our freshly resurrected relationship, so I got a single dorm room, but stayed with him instead. I LITERALLY did not sleep a single night at the dorm room during that whole first semester. It was a money dump, and before the start of the second semester I decided to cancel it.
I'm glad I transitioned well into living alone with my boyfriend. If I could tell anything to people thinking of moving in with a loved one I would say take your time; think about it really hard before you do it. When I decided full-heartedly to move in with S I was also moving in with his other two roommates. I am also thankful for this experience because it gave me the chance to live side by side with others and not make it seem like a house just with my boyfriend.
Junior and Senior year I've been living with S on our own now. We've been together for almost 6 years total, so I think its safe to say we are pretty serious and committed to one another. We've grown up together through these college experiences.
I've lived in MANY different situations and have learned a lot from each experience. Best friends, roommates, boyfriend--I've lived with them all. But to me, that's what college is all about. It's about figuring out your life, what you like, and how you want to live. I learned that I am more of a solitary person. I don't want a house full of people all of the time. I want my own space to go to when I need to be alone. And I want things to be in the place that I want them to be in.
Picking a major and taking classes.
This could be whole post on its own, so I will try to keep it brief for now and maybe expand upon it later. Anyways, I've mentioned over and over again my "picking a major" experience. Here's the short version:
I started out as a psychology major with a counseling minor. I dabbled with education courses throughout my freshman year as well, because I had decided that I wanted to be a high school counselor. I like being organized and creating structure, and I'm also a good listener and a helper. But the more I thought about going to graduate school the more I began to dread the decision.
I wasn't set on quitting the major just yet, but then I started this blog! You can read more about my blogging experience, here. Basically, I loved this little digital space that I created, so, sometime over the summer in between my freshman and sophomore years I met with a Computer Science advisor and decided to switch my major to Informatics.
My experience with taking classes through college has been a positive one. I've only dropped a few classes, and rarely got bad grades. I take classes that are fun and educational. I attribute most of my positive experience with classes to my amazing advisor. If you're new to college, then you need to find an advisor that you enjoy meeting with and have a good understanding with.
I have taken courses like History of Art, Buddhism, Communication in the Classroom, Social Informatics, Yoga, and more! Its important to me to take courses that assist with my major, but I also strive to take courses that educate me about things that I am interested in and teach me something new!
Being involved in college doesn't have to mean that you join a club or fraternity. Getting involved can simply mean attending the free campus events, going out with friends, or experiencing new things on campus from time to time.
I've gotten involved through a few clubs though: I'm part of the Student Alumni Association, the Informatics and Computing Student Association, Indiana University Social Media Ambassador Program, and the Marketing Technology Club at IU.
Clubs look great on a resume and they give you the chance to gain some leadership experience. If you're going to be in an organization then you need to really be involved with them. Don't just join and not make an impact. I strive regularly to do something that will aid these organizations.
Another way that I've gotten involved during my college experience has been by getting involved in the community. I volunteered at the Middle Way House as an assistant daycare provider. It was a wonderful experience that makes me so proud to be part of the Bloomington community.
And finally, I also got involved by simply getting jobs. I've had quite a lot of work experience while learning at Indiana University. I started out working at the Telefund which I later had to quit due to personal health issues. The summer after my freshman year I got a job at Charlotte Russe. This is where I spent most of my time working (and if you're an OG follower then you have heard me talk about CRusse a lot). I was fortunate to receive a promotion and got paid well enough for the work I did there. It's still one of the greatest jobs that I have listed on my resume.
However, while working there during my junior year I quickly learned that I needed to find a job in the technology field in order to gain some related experience. I applied to UITS and got a job as a Technology Consultant. I decided to work that job AND work for CRusse at the same time (which was a whole learning experience on its own) AND I was also attending classes full time.
Very shortly after accepting my TCC job, I was offered an internship at UITS IT Training (my current job) to do social media work and assist/teach a few workshops. I have since then quit my Charlotte Russe and TCC positions to focus solely on IT Training. I love my job there and have gotten many promotions. If only they could offer me a full-time position!!!!
And now we are at current day, I am one semester away from graduating from Indiana University with a Bachelor of Science in Informatics and a minor in Psychology. I've gained TONS of work experience and have some amazing references to list on my resume. I've started the search for a full-time job and am just awaiting the day of graduation.
S and I are starting to figure out where we want to live for the next 5 or so years. Planning your life around another person can be a challenge experience. I have to think about what I want and where I want to be, but I also have to consider whether S will have to quit his job and get a new one if we move, or whether moving to a new location for a job for me is worth all of the hassle.
After graduation, the next steps in my life are pretty big ones--marriage, kids, etc. Wow, I can't believe that I am already grown up enough to be thinking about when I am going to have little munchkins running around. For now, I'll just stick with Zoey and Zephyr.