It’s amazing how quickly the University of Iowa became “home” to me. Beside the literal address change and property movement, the sprawling sidewalks of campus and the artful dorms have become my haven. Uprooting was a big transition, no doubt, but I’m settling into my new groove quite well.
In high school, my daily routine was consistent and structured. At the time, it felt like the best thing to ensure that I was operating at my highest capacity. In college, I’m learning a different side of myself. A side that quite literally goes with the flow, and makes decisions on a moment’s notice. One of the biggest mental adjustments to my new routine is the freedom of fluid time management. So far, no two days have been identical. My schedule is up to my own discretion. I go to bed when I feel like sleeping and choose to eat or not eat, study or not study, based on my intuition. If I feel like I can get away with sleeping in and still make it to class on time, or breakfast, or finish my assignments, then I do that. And if something doesn’t work out, I deal with the consequences. Thus far, my intuition hasn’t steered me wrong.
(This might be a terrible system. We’ll find out after my first exams in Media Uses and Effects and Principles of Chemistry I on Thursday.)
The breakdown: Most of my time is spent either in class, in my room, or in the floor lounges in Catlett.
In class, I’ve had a lot of fun getting to know various professors and their teaching style. High school teachers have a lot less liberties in the classroom, so it’s interesting to be in a class setting with instructors who are allowed to teach what/how they want and share their personality. Fundamentals of Public Health Professor Daniel-Ulloa incorporates comedy and passion into his lectures, often censoring minimally. Media Uses and Effects Professor Young runs a more rigid lecture, but makes use of crowded seating to encourage guided discussion during brief pauses. Some instructors want to be called a specific title, while others prefer to be referenced colloquially. Some insist on making full use of class time, to the second, while others will finish material early and dismiss class ahead of time. No two instructors are exactly alike. Due to the variety of environments and instructors for each class, I’m forced to pay better attention to the coursework at hand.
Time spent in my room is usually not productive time. Occasionally, I clean. This may mean sweeping, making the bed, doing dishes, putting away laundry, or Clorox wiping all hard surfaces. Because I don’t own a vacuum cleaner, I also spend a strange amount of time lint-rolling my rug. 🙂 More often than not, however, I am watching Netflix or building a playlist. Naps are (admittedly) gaining importance in my life as well.
The floor lounges in Catlett are the ideal place to gather with friends. The window walls lend a gorgeous view of the river and west side of Campus while the chairs and tables offer a space to play card games or complete homework.
When I’m not in one of the afore-mentioned places, I’m generally out with friends exploring campus or running errands. There’s few things I love more than autumn weather and walking around campus in the evenings. The Pentacrest at night is such a stark contrast to the bustling Pentacrest of the day.
I really like the fluidity of my schedule as a college student, but one aspect of college life clashes with this lifestyle: student organizations. I’ve been looking into joining several organizations, but I struggle with remembering the time and locations of the various meetings each week. Sometimes they overlap or conflict, or a tempting offer to eat out at BDubbs comes up at the same time. I hope that I can enforce my own attendance to meetings of interest by writing them into my planner. Something about the permanence of inking an appointment into a planner makes it feel mandatory.
There’s a myriad of methods to managing a student schedule, and to each their own. I expect to make adjustments moving forward, but for now I’m taking it one day at a time and loving it.
Unrelated Fun (?) Facts
My favorite discovery about the University of Iowa since move in is the College of Public Health building. Not only is it aesthetically pleasing, it also has the best study spaces I’ve found across campus. There’s multi-person tables, accessible TVs for group projects, secluded study rooms for privacy, loads of outlets, a video-call area, etc. All of this (^^^) with a stunning view and an open balcony for added cool-ness. I love it. I stumbled across the study space while roaming the building and have since visited often.
When I’m having a rough day or miss home a little extra, I utilize Snapchat’s video call feature to chat with my parents. Showing them how to use Snapchat over the past few months has been, well, an adventure to say the least. Other students may use Skype, Facetime, or other similar apps to contact relatives and friends from far away.
Thanks for reading! Have a great week.