It’s been a minute and a half, hasn’t it?
Life has been rather chaotic these past few weeks, I haven’t had the moment (nor the energy) to sit down and actually type out a blog post. Just finished buying a house and started the moving process to our new home in a different part of the state (from northern RI to southern RI), getting ready for the new semester, and helping my younger sister get ready for a baby shower coming up soon. Plus, typical daily life stuff.
Since I have a slower day today, I thought I’d share my thoughts on the new semester. Particularly, a little exercise an academic YouTuber (
the Vintage Academic, Katie) shared recently. I would like to try it out for myself and see how things change over time.
It’s a practice of contemplating Fears & Goals around the start of a new semester and academic year and then reviewing them at the end.
So, what are some worries I’ve had? Well…
* I’m a “non-traditional” student. Aka, not a fresh-faced freshman right out of high school. I already have a 2-year college degree under my belt and far more life experience than the average college student in their late teens and early 20s.
The fear around this is that I may struggle to develop friendships or meaningful connections due to this difference in age and life experience. There is also the fact I am incredibly introverted and naturally more reserved that adds another barrier to this situation. I don’t feel the need (nor do I advocate) to change who I am fundamentally in order to make friends. I’d rather be exactly who I am and attract the right people for the right reasons, rather than the goofy “fake it til you make it” bullshit!
* It may take me another 3 years to graduate with my Bachelor’s degree. Not all of the 60 credits I attained in community college transferred over into the Gen Ed requirements, so there’s at least one extra semester’s worth of Gen Eds, on top of the rest of my major requirements.
Another fear associated with age and time; I’m not exactly getting any younger and it’s already taken me this long to get here. There are also concerns around internship opportunities for older students, research projects, or the possibility of grad school. The latter is something I haven’t decided on, yet.
* The very real possibility of an adult diagnosis of ADHD. In my case, the pre-screening with my therapist uncovered the lifelong struggle with pandemic-worsened Inattentive ADHD symptoms, and it was my therapist that brought it up when I shared my recent struggles. He scheduled me for an in-house, in-depth evaluation in October.
I’ve grappled with this for a long time. I would say since early elementary school. Everything from consistently forgetting homework, books, pencils, to being easily distracted or struggling to focus even when I was interested in a subject, or ironically hyper-focusing on something for hours, days, or weeks and forgetting simple things like eating or sleeping, and a whole lot more. I’m not sure how this diagnosis may affect my college experience moving forward. I may write a blog post specifically on this soon.
* Work, school, and life balance. Especially, if a bulk of my adulting strife stems from neurodivergence. I have full-time morning classes, student employment, a student organization, hobbies that I’m picking up again like horseback riding and archery, Barre and dance practice, blogging, and a podcast with long-form video content I’m working on. Plus the possibility of internships or departmental research projects. Did I forget to mention a new family, my nephew, coming into this world by December?
It’s a bit ambitious, and I’m hoping the diagnosis and any support I can get in managing the ADHD and college will help me pace myself in all this.
Okay, now that I’ve gotten the majority of that off my chest, I think it’s time to shift the focus to something less heavy and more positive, shall we?
My goals, I think, are relatively simple and straightforward enough.
* Maintain a decent GPA.
Something that I may need support for, in the event, I am diagnosed with ADHD. I was able to graduate from community college with a 3.25 GPA (basically a B- average) on my own, but it took more work than I’d care to admit. For the rest of my undergrad experience, I’m aiming for a 3.5 to 3.7 GPA. Nothing extraordinary, but I think it’s achievable and will give me a fighting chance in the event I do decide to further my higher education through graduate studies.
* Make meaningful connections.
Not just with fellow students in my major, but possibly through student employment and student organizations, and my hobbies off-campus like horseback riding and archery. I would also like to develop close relationships with a few faculty members and possibly gain a position on a departmental research project in the near future.
* Manage my health better.
Referring to both the management of the ADHD symptoms for a better quality college experience, as well as resolve the majority of the low-key PCOS symptoms I have. That diagnosis was made in the autumn of 2019. I feel managing both of those better will not only make for a more enjoyable college experience for the next 3 years but also a better quality of life overall.
As you can see, the fears are mostly interrelated and the goals are simple and concise. I’m hoping to manage or resolve many of the apparent roadblocks and barriers I mentioned in my fears so that these goals will be more achievable. I also have two more blog posts planned for this week and a few more next week. As the semester unfolds, I will gauge where I have time to write weekly blog posts about the transfer college experience, the Anthropology major, and how these concerns are being cleared up and my goals being met!
I hope that everyone is doing well and ready for the new semester. If you haven’t started classes already, may the start of the semester be smoothing sailing for you!