Tag Archives: graduation

First Week of Sophomore Year

My first week of classes is done. And it was pretty rough. I’m exhausted already, and it’s only week 1. But, I’m going to share a few thoughts I had this week.

A few nights ago, I did a little math because I was curious to see exactly how much free time I’d have this semester. So, here’s the breakdown:

I’m taking 18 credit hours of classes. Between my two jobs, I have been working anywhere from 16 to 18 hours a week. (Typically, it’s 18, sometimes it’s less).  I’m usually at work or in class from 8 am- 8 pm daily. Two of my classes are labs, which means, although they are only one credit, they take two and a half hours out of my day, plus the write ups usually take 4-8 hours to complete (if done reasonably well. So, we’ll say 6). Then, there is anywhere from 2-10 (ish) hours of homework per class per day (let’s use 3 hours of homework per class a day, 5 days a week. With 3 classes a day excluding labs, that’s nine hours of homework a night). And the minimum amount of sleep I need to still be a semi functioning human being is 4.  Let’s say I eat super fast everyday, so I spend 1 hour a day max eating, and 1 hour a week showering. Plus, 2 hour quiz practice a week and 2 hours of mandatory chapel. So, for those who haven’t been following along at home doing the math, here’s the simple version (excluding weekends):

16 hours of class+ 2.5(2) hours of labs+ 18 hours of work+ 6(2) hours of lab write ups+ 9(5)hours of homework a week+ 4(5) hours of sleep+ 1(5) hours eating+ 1 hour showering+ 2 hour quiz practice+ 2 hours of chapel= 126 hours a week.

Now, for those who didn’t do the math, there are only 120 hours in a five day week. Which means, on a five day week, I have exactly -6 hours of free time.

So, I’ll say that I’ll push some of the homework off until the weekend so I don’t have negative time in a week– since that’s not actually possible. But, weekends are filled with catching up on sleep (since I can only go so long on 4 hours of sleep), church, family events, friend socialization, football watching, and overall de-stressing from my -6 hours of free time a week.

But guys, don’t worry. Because here’s the thing. Practically, some of these numbers are exaggerated. Some are underestimates, some are overestimates. And, my boss at my one job is pretty good about us putting school first, and my other boss is doing everything he can to give me another night off. So, between that, my ability to “power through”, the fact that I enjoy the majority of my classes (since all but 1 are related to either my major or my minor), God, and about a million cups of coffee, I’ll be fine.

With that being said, here are a few things that happened to me this week, or thoughts I had, that kept me entertained during this long, exhausting week.

  1. “Man, I’m drinking 2 cups of coffee a day. That’s like mid-semester amount. I may not be ahead in my assignments, but at least I’m ahead on my daily caffeine intake.”
  2. “Who knew there was such a debate on the first three words of the Bible? I mean, it’s super interesting and all but is it really worth 20 pages? Also, who knew that different ways of translating the first 3 verses grammatically have such intense theological implications? Wait, why am I taking this class again? Oh yeah, I’m a giant nerd, this commentary is actually really fun, and I need to fulfill my minor requirements.”
  3. “I might be insane. But, it’s fine because all the most interesting people are, right?”
  4. Most nights, it was after 9, or just slightly before, when I even got around to starting my homework. But, it’s okay because I’m a night owl. Unfortunately, my roommate is not.
  5. I have spent like $25 on coffee? And it’s only week 1. It’s fine though. Because there are definitely studies which show that moderate caffeine addiction can be good for you. Right?
  6. I have to do like 50+ organic chemistry structure drawings for my assignment. Which is insane, especially when it takes more than 3 times as long to draw them on a computer than it does on paper. Like, I’m all for using technology to help us out, but in some cases it’s just not worth it.
  7. I compared Organic Chemistry to Leviticus. Think about it…
    It’s kind of super dense and filled with a lot of stuff that no one really understands, or enjoys. (unless you, like me, are a super nerd, and enjoy both O Chem and Leviticus.) But, it is super necessary and important to understanding how the world (or the Bible) works and functions as a whole. (I also now have analogies comparing all books of the Bible to different classes, so, if you’re ever curious)
  8. “I don’t need a nap. I can just drown my exhaustion in coffee. Actually, I’d rather just drown in coffee.”
  9. One night, week 1, as my friend and fellow science (Biology) major, and I were leaving the library at 11:30, she exclaimed, “You know, I was just thinking today how I thought I have enough free time to take on another class.” Now, maybe it was the exhaustion, and maybe it was caffeine induced hysteria, but either way, I laughed harder at that than I have ever laughed at anything she has said before. Because seriously, I did the math guys (see above), and there is no free time lying around.
  10. On my way to my 8 am, I asked my classmates to bring in the pine cone they had been kicking around and challenge my professor to create a function whose graph would mimic its’ shape. They did. He didn’t, but he did turn it into a half hour lecture on the Fibonacci sequence. So, that was a half hour less of actual calc I had to do
  11. On Friday, I walked into my calc classroom to find that my class had been moved. But, instead of telling us, someone just took the room numbers outside the doors and swapped them. Then, after class, they moved them back. Super weird.
  12. I looked at my bookshelf and realized you couldn’t look at it and successfully guess my major (unless you know me). I have 2 Organic Chemistry books, an exploration of the Periodic Table book (for some light reading), a guide to Biblical customs and cultures book, a portion of Ruth and Luke (admittedly not for a class), a Bible, 7+ novels, 2 commentaries on Genesis, and one on Exodus.
  13. “This schedule is insane! Who created this? Whose idea was this? Oh, wait, that was me”
  14. Is it too late to change my major? I have no idea what I would change it to, but is it too late anyway? Actually, forget changing my major, can I just drop out of college? Wait, who am I kidding? I love learning too much for that.
  15. This is all review from last year’s class. How am I already lost? What’s this dude saying? Why is that answer not right?
  16. I’m so tired. Just one nap. Please. 5 minutes.
  17. Journal about my thoughts on this Bible passage as I’m reading it? Oh, so you’re basically grading me to do what I already do, except I just actually have to write it down this time? No problem.
  18. I became that person who did homework in chapel. My physics professor said we had a quiz that she’d open after class and close when she left at 4. I looked at my schedule, looked at my work times, and said, “well, I guess I’m doing it during chapel then.” And suddenly, I was that person I hate, coincidentally doing my homework during the chapel when President Porterfield was talking about being present and engaged during chapel.
  19. I also just wrote this blog instead of doing my homework. Which is totally fine because I don’t actually need to do my homework to graduate, right?

Those are some highlights from my first week. And there are so many more I’d like to say, but didn’t, and so many more I forgot about, but that were good. But, this past weekend was filled with great times hanging with friends and relaxing. We went to Friendly’s, Jitters, and watched Bubble Ball. We had a tea party and jam session. So, here’s my first week in photos. And guys– I”m good. I’ve got God on my side. And, I don’t know if you know this or not, but He’s pretty amazing and much greater than anything life could throw at me. He exists outside of time, He knows everything about my future, present, and past, and with Him on my side, I have nothing to fear.







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Facing the World: Pursuing My Dreams

Well, that’s it. I have officially graduated high school. I have received a piece of arbitrary paper that somehow certifies that I am eligible and somehow qualified to go to college, get a job, or enlist in the army. And once the initial saltiness of them giving me the wrong type of diploma wears off, I’ll be ready to face the world. In my case, facing the world means going to college and pursuing my dreams. I am studying Chemistry, but I love every subject, and I want to learn more about each of them. Because I love learning and absorbing knowledge. I can never know too much about anything. I’m continuing to educate myself about things while pursuing my dreams and making myself happy.

But, before I do that, I have to get through summer. Summer, which, for me, is filled with so much. Next week, I leave for my last ever Nationals in my favorite place on earth, to do my favorite thing on earth. And that will be a week filled with fun, exhaustion, tears, sadness, stress and joy. A few weeks after that, I leave for an amazing adventure in Kenya for a missions trip with Quizzing. Which will be a time filled with unexpected experiences and life changing moments. I have my graduation party, which is the last time I will see some of my greatest friends who got me through all of high school. I move into college. Where I will be rooming with a fellow Quizzer and Kenya adventurer. I’ll start college with some amazing Quizzing friends, and great school friends, by my side. And I’m so excited for all that the future holds. 

I’m excited to see what Seattle and Narionlas holds. I’m not expecting enormous things. I’m not expecting to come home with the Alpha and Omega, or even a Sweet 16 trophy. But, I’m looking forward to the amazing fun I’ll have with my teammates and the memories we’ll make. I’m excited for all God has in store for me in Kenya. Because Quizzing has had such a wonderfully amazing, indescribable impact on my life, and I hope to be able to share that. I’m excited to move into my dorm and be on my own, although I am also terrified. I’m excited to get to know my Quizzing friends better, because, although we’ve known each other for seven years, it’s hard to really know someone when you only see them once a month, or once a year. I’m excited to get to know the Gates kids going to Roberts better. Because, although we didn’t talk a lot in high school, that’s still a huge part of each of us, and it’s nice to have someone to share and reminisce with. 

But these excitements are only short term. What about long term? What about things that I can do now that I have finally finished high school? What about my dreams? My hopes? My fears? 

Well, I’m excited for those too. I’m excited to pursue all my dreams. To study chemistry and become more informed about how the world works. Because I am incredibly curious and like knowing how and why things work and act. I’m glad to be continuing my education. And hopefully continuing it beyond just college. And I don’t just mean getting my masters and doctorate (although those are on my list). I mean continuing it in the world. Because one of the best ways to learn is outside the classroom. By experiencing and absorbing. 

I’m excited to meet amazing new people. Make new friends. Have a family. Read more amazing books. Marry some amazing guy (you know, once they stop having cooties). Raise my children to be curious, loving, dreaming, hoping, hard-working and kind. Live in an amazing place. Pursue my dreams. Make sacrifices for others. Be a friend and support. Love everyone I meet. Give back. Experience new things. Travel the world. Discover myself. Use my gifts and talents for Him. Serve others. 

I’m terrified to become an adult. I shouldn’t be trusted with any form of responsibility. I’m terrified of messing up. But, everyone messes up. I’m terrified because I know nothing about how the real world works. But, I’ll figure it out, eventually. Maybe. I’m scared to go out into the world. Because it’s a scary place, and I would prefer to stay under the comfortable protection of my parents. But, I can be a light in the scary world, and I have to go into it in order to do that. I’m terrified because I can’t see into the future to see how it works out. But, I know the One who holds the future, so, I’ll put my trust in Him. 

Today, I was told by so many that the world is mine. But I think it was always mine, but will also never be mine. I don’t have to wait until high school is over to live my life and make my world into what I want it to be. But, I’ll never really make the world mine. Because it’s God’s world, and He put me in it for a purpose. So, as I go into it, I’ll remember His purpose, His love, His grace, and His mercy. I’ll pray that I may become who He desires me to be. That I may live in a way that pleases Him, honors Him, and fulfills His will for me. 

So, I’ll go out with a sense of pride in what I have accomplished. But I’ll continue to work harder than I ever have. I’ll go out with a feeling of hope and excitement for the future. But, I’ll remember everything in my past that has made me into who I am today. I’ll go out chasing my dreams. But, I’ll be open to my dreams changing in order to fulfill His purpose for me. I’ll go out with a sense of excitement and also fear. But, I’ll remember my friends and family, who were always there, and always will be. I’ll heed the Salutatorian’s advice and surround myself with enriching and satisfying friendships. I won’t compete against others, because someone is always going to be better. I won’t let my fears or feelings of inadequacy or my weaknesses keep me from pursuing my dreams, conquering my fears, and building relationships. I’ll keep Christ always in my circle of friends, and at the center of my life. I’ll go out into the world, fearful, hopeful, and curious.

Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and He will establish your plans.  Proverbs 16:3

He has shown you, o mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.  Micah 6:8

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart as if working for the Lord not for men.  Colossians 3:23

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