This was it. The end of my first semester at the University of Buffalo. There’s still a lot going on in my head, too much to properly write about, so I’ll sum up some of the big ones in bullet points.
1 – Halfway through, nothing was going right. My textbooks were late coming in, and I was barely keeping my head above water even in the subjects I knew I could be good at. Then my psychology course dropped a fact about the way our heads work which gave me a big hint about how to study better, so I adjusted my routine accordingly. It seems to be working, and during the rash of finals, I finally gave the kinds of performances that I expect of myself and felt like I can reach my full potential for the first time since about the sixth grade. (I hope.) Unfortunately, they came too late for me to reach my academic goals this year, but at least I have a better idea of what to do.
2 – I’ll definitely be holding on to my math book and my nutrition and math notes. I’m going to be needing them in the future.
3 – I’m dying to study more about psychology, but after giving it some real thought, I decided to stay in exercise science for now. I should note that I do feel a closer connection to psychology than to exercise science, because psychology deals much more with theoretical and abstract ideas, which I’m a lot more comfortable with than the more mechanical facts of science and math. I don’t want to become an aimless major drifter again, though, and after my chemistry light finally began flickering (way too late), I decided I can probably learn it after all.
4 – Speaking of chemistry, never, ever take that subject at the University of Buffalo if it can possibly be avoided there. It will do more to rip you off than the average televangelist.
5 – I knew going into exercise science that it was going to require large amounts of math, so I decided to try out a new way of dealing with it: I would learn to love math and enjoy it. That’s exactly what I did, too. I still need a huge amount of practice before my algebra basics are fully functional again, but I did learn the general ideas enough to know what I’m being asked to do and understand how it’s done. It helped that I had an excellent math teacher.
6 – My human nutrition class killed many of the things I thought I knew about the subject.
7 – Is it possible that by aiming for a cross-board B average, I was aiming too low? I’ve noticed that the step by step approach never seems to work very well for me. I always seem to make the biggest gains by aiming for the highest, wildest, most outlandish goals I can reach.
8 – It’s really incredible how pervasive the internet is becoming. In my first chemistry class, there were 500 people, at least half of whom were using laptops to pay attention to the lecture. In a class preceding my nutrition class, I happened to see the whole room using laptops for an exam before my nutrition class started.
9 – Can we please stop categorizing chemistry as a science? Please? I don’t care how many acids I pour, that course is a math course. You cannot teach a math course via a somewhat overmatched Professor who also teaches at a high school talking at 500 kids!