Wake Me Up When September Ends (in the meme sense) isn’t applicable this year. Maybe it’s because I’m no longer anxiously awaiting the end of a school year or simply because I’m having so much fun, but this semester is flying by. While I’ve had a lot of fun, I’ve also been focusing on my academics, pursuing a job, and discovering new resources on campus.
My first official college exams were last week, in Principles of Chemistry I and Media Uses and Effects. To my high school audience, I want you to know that college exams can be far easier than you ever imagined, and also just as bad as you feared. It all depends on the class, the professor, and the time you spend studying. It’s just something you have to feel out and experience, which is exactly what I did this first round of exams.
Here’s what I found:
- Chemistry exams take place at 8:45 pm, in a random location on campus assigned based on the first letter of your last name. It doesn’t seem that bad, but taking a test late in the evening at a new location is disorienting and distracting.
- When professors say to memorize a table from the textbook, they actually mean it.
- Most exams involve filling in Scantron bubbles, thus a number two pencil is mandatory.
- There’s a lot of people in the exam room, all in varying degrees of panic and worry. When people finish far earlier or later than you, it’s intimidating. But it also doesn’t mean anything substantial. They may have really known the material, or they may have circled their first guess. It’s a personal pace thing.
- Unlike high school, peers won’t know or ask your score in most cases. Also, your face value score might not directly reflect your grade. Most large classes utilize a curve or off-the-top grading structure.
- Getting a great or terrible grade doesn’t mean all that much. Most classes and professors have enough points or opportunities available to regulate a grade that’s extremely high or low. Taking things in stride is important for your mental health.
Moving forward, I plan on utilizing study time a bit more and maybe attending Supplemental Instruction for Chemistry. There’s ample resources for struggling students.
In other news, I landed a job! I decided a couple weeks ago that I will need a source of income on campus, so I turned to HireAHawk. Within a few days of applying, I interviewed with the University Department of Public Safety and was hired as a Night Security Guard. Getting a job was far easier and more streamlined than I had planned. My first shift is Saturday morning, at 2:45 AM. I’m looking forward to getting started and excited to return to a consistent paycheck schedule. College is expensive, folks. No matter how many scholarships a student has, there’s a lot of money that goes into living the college life.
Lastly, I used my first Street Hawk flex meal. The Street Hawk food truck is stationed in various spots on campus throughout the week, offering a fun alternative to dining hall lunch for students. Since arriving, I’ve heard nothing but praise for the Street Hawk food truck. Others told me it was convenient, flexible, and tasty. When I spotted the food truck Tuesday, I decided it was time for me to give it a go. I was not let down. The menu is dynamic and delicious, ordering was efficient, and I was able to get a meal on route to class rather than hiking back to the dining hall in Catlett. I would (10/10) recommend Street Hawk.