Last Saturday, a few friends came to visit, and my roommate and I left campus to have dinner with them. A great dinner turned into a little expedition to the college town's cookie store (where I had an incredibly soft, gluten-free toffee cookie) and then an outdoor showing of jurassic world :)
this happened...after one week without peanut butter, I went to the university convenience store and picked up a jar of peanut butter. I've heard good things about Peanut Butter & Co, and this flavor is apparently the most popular (and the only one available), but to be honest, I didn't like it that much :( it was incredibly sweet and was creamy (this girl prefers crunchy). Then again, it's probably a good thing that I don't like it that much because I really need to just stop eating so much peanut butter ;)
(oh, and for the record, Quaker's rice cakes are TERRIBLE and nothing like the rice cakes that I used to get at home! but again, another silver lining: I really need to stop snacking in my room)
rained two Sundays in a row. one thing that most people don't consider bringing is a pair of rainboots -- most campuses are full of hills, and when it rains, it can flood quickly!
i get to walk over a railroad three times a week on my way to biology! i have about 10 minutes to walk across the entire campus, uphill, to a crowded lecture room that's often nearly full five minutes before class begins :/ it's a great workout though, but it wasn't so fun on Monday when it rained and I didn't have an umbrella (um, weather app, you steered me wrong).
and then the stress builds and builds.
the workload here is unimaginable and overwhelming, and seeing all this work laid out in front of you is disorienting. I've found that I have to sit there for about five minutes or so, soaking everything in, settling into my position at my desk, trying to organize myself and prioritize homework assignments. ten minutes later, once I start an assignment, I typically realize that I have someplace to be in twenty minutes, which completely throws off my concentration ;)
something that I learned quickly within my first few days is how technologically advanced college education has become. most classrooms no longer use "clickers"; instead, there are interactive online programs (that are also EXPENSIVE and required) to engage students in class and online learning programs for homework --- for almost every class! It does help, though, when the program gives you some encouragement at 11:45 at night.
feeling overwhelmed --- there's very little time to go to the gym, and while running across campus five times a day is a great workout, it's not enough. doing a few blogilates videos in my room (a yoga mat is super helpful!) between homework assignments has been my go-to stress-reliever and form of exercise. I did attend a yoga class on Friday (as I can afford to push back some work), but as I was bent over in a downward dog pose, I noticed that my Spanish professor was about two mats behind me! ---- definition of uncomfortable situations
(above) a low estimate of how much I walk in one day!
and this gorgeous chemistry building....it's really the main reason why I'm taking chemistry this year!
mandatory event in the performing arts center & university museum
and today: I participated in a first year tradition at school by signing up to volunteer at one of many locations. The event that I signed up for was supposed to take place at a middle school, and we were planning to paint their cafeteria. When we arrived (after a 40 minute, bumpy shuttle ride), we quickly learned that we were not expected :/ So we sat around for 1/2 an hour and then were transported to another location: a nearby organic garden that grows produce for several co-ops. While this experience was humbling and made me even more aware of the reality of farming, we were not expecting to be in this location. The mosquitoes and the smells from the compost pile were discouraging, but I was in awe of how our event leaders (all of whom are upperclassmen leaders in my dorm building) and a few of my peers were so ready to jump into the dirty work --- and I mean dirty --- without even complaining. Granted, there were those who just sat around and did nothing, but I really tried to focus on the others who were setting such a great example. My respect for those individuals increased exponentially, and they reminded me of the true meaning behind "volunteering" --- sometimes you do get to choose what you want to sacrifice time/energy/money for, but other times, volunteering is just about sacrificing yourself --- no tax benefits, no volunteer hours, no personal gain (well, this is debatable --- like the incident between Phoebe and Joey).
and for anyone (Mom) who's interested in seeing what college food is like:
really loving the carrot & raisin slaw that's available at the salad bar most of the times
typical breakfast: fruit and granola with soymilk or a gluten-free bagel with dairy-free cream cheese
gluten-free blueberry muffin - soo incredibly good & sweet, although it would be better if there were more blueberries