As first semester of my freshman year at Southern Methodist University has come to an end, the results have left me confused and discouraged. I, a straight A high school student who never had to study for more than an hour a night, was put to the test in a completely different academic environment. In high school I loved science and math and thought I would pursue some medical career path with ease and certainty. WRONG.
I was in chemistry, biology, statistics, macroeconomics, and personal responsibility and wellness (required course) the past couple months. The first couple weeks were a breeze and I was feeling confident in my “straight A streak” from high school. Soon after, that feeling was diminished by a series of hard quizzes and tests. In high school studying was a rare thing for me. I learned everything in the long class time when the teacher put up detailed powerpoint and shared examples. College is a whole different thing. The classes are usually 50 minutes long leaving the teacher with no time for powerpoints, examples, or questions. I was thrown into this experience with no preparation!
After the first few weeks of feeling confident, I soon realized that I needed to teach myself how to study. I tried different techniques: office hours, asking my friends in my classes for help, quiet locations with no distractions, and tons of youtube videos. For some of my classes, a majority of those techniques worked and I felt at ease again. However, for chemistry and biology……….. I just couldn’t seem to grasp the depth of knowledge one needed to fully understand the two subjects. Studying for those classes was the death of me. I had many breakdowns and angry moments where I would scream and get frustrated. These moments were especially highlighted once I got a quiz or test grade returned and saw the grade after hours and hours of studying and hard work.
After going through the stress and frustration of my two science classes I realized they were nothing like the science courses in high school that I loved and felt passionate about. I needed a change. I loved my statistics and macroeconomics class and sometimes looked forward to studying for them (such a nerd). So, next semester I am starting to dive deeper into business and math.
This semester was a series of ups and downs. I am still trying to figure out the best way for me to study and be successful in my classes. My first semester (even though it was rough) has helped me realize what I need to keep doing and what I need to change. It has taught me that I am extremely hard on myself and need to accept failures every once in awhile. However, I have also learned I need to be resilient and continue to learn from my mistakes and failures to shape the person I want to be.
Cheers to first semester and cheers to an upcoming and better second semester!