Sophomore Year In Review

This year completely flew by! I can’t believe that I’m halfway done with my undergraduate career. I feel like the first semester just wrapped up. If I could, I would rewind to the end of the first semester and start over from there again. I’m a nerd..I absolutely love school, and would stay here forever if I could. I would probably attend the biomedical, business, engineering, and marketing classes just to see what they were like if they didn’t conflict with my schedule. Well, we know that I would attend the biomedical.

But school isn’t just learning, though, it’s the social opportunities that come with it too. I had a fantastic job working on campus this year and got to meet to many incredible people with such drive and passions that I never could have guessed that I would meet coming into the year. While I won’t be returning to work there next year, I don’t regret working there for a minute, and I found my roommate for this summer and next year because of that job. Speaking of that roommate, we both moved into our new apartment yesterday, and it’s awesome.

I wrapped up sophomore year with a 4.0, and made the Dean’s List both semesters. That leaves me with a 3.9 cumulative GPA for the two years that I’ve been here. Woot woot! I TAed for a course this year as well, and really enjoyed working together with the professor and PhD student on that. I take a lot of pride in my academic work, and it is pretty obvious that I also find a lot of self-worth in my academic success. I used to derive my self-worth from being the best on the tennis court, or whatever other sports arena that I competed in as a serious athlete, but ever since my back and brain surgeries I have not been able to compete in those same ways. The classroom has since become my arena, and exams and courses have become my competitions. I of course find self worth in character traits, friendships, and other aspects of life and myself as well, but I would be wrong not to point out the obvious and glaring importance that I place on academic success.

My favorite course this year by far was one of my Child Life courses called Children Facing Health Care Challenges. While it was only a brief overview of psychosocial assessments of hospitalized and chronically ill children, and techniques to support their coping, I learned a lot, and have another course with the same professor in the fall. As someone who considers themself to be chronically ill, I thought that all of the information was spot on, and that the professor did an excellent job delivering the information, even though the course was taught online.

There was one course, though, Early Childhood Intervention, that I struggled with this year for a reason that surprised me. While the course focused on an age group (0-3) unrelated to any treatment or medical procedures that I could recall or even had any health problems with at the time, a particular unit of the class focused on trauma, and I continuously experienced flashbacks from my surgery and other hospital visits as we went into detail about PTSD and how trauma can effect children down the road. I think that the professor noticed, because she came up to me after several classes to ask me mundane questions, as if she was waiting for me to disclose that I was struggling to her. That was really difficult for me, because I hadn’t had any flashbacks in what felt like months, even though it had unfortunately only been weeks, and then I had to sit there and have them multiple times a week.

I am now starting to get my thoughts together for my honors thesis, and that is very exciting. It will be on the topic of end of life for school-aged children and adolescents. I have my committee fully formed, and now it’s time to get in the research zone. I’ll be spending much of my free time reading to get a jump on that so that I can defend this spring as a junior and get it out of the way instead of stressing over it as a senior. I have quite a few friends who are seniors who are preparing to defend this spring as well, so we can research, drink coffee, and complain together.

In other news, tomorrow will be my first day volunteering in the Child Life department at a children’s hospital out here, and I am ecstatic! I am spending the summer out here in Arizona, and I have been warned that I just might melt. I was excited that my scrub pants were black, ie no awkward sweat stains when I take the bus to get there, but then I was told that it gets so hot that no color is truly safe from sweat stains, which was terrifying to hear. Regardless, wearing scrubs feels like wearing your pajamas to work, and I am all about that.

Move-in Day

I expected mobs of people and a ton of noise for move-in day seeing as their are 50,000+ students in total, and I’m living on the main campus. Surprisingly, the whole move-in process was actually quiet and well organized to the point where I only saw maybe five other people moving into their room at the same time as me. Each floor must have had their own designated time. It makes sense that they would, seeing as my check-in time was at 1pm. It was nice to set everything up and get that all out of the way with the help of my sister and parents. They’re super star organizers. 

I hit a mental wall towards the end of unpacking. I rested my head against my bed and just stayed quiet until my Dad suggested that they leave so that I could take a break. I think all of the new things at once were an overload..sometimes when there is too much to think about at once I just have to step back from the situation and regain my energy. Ever since surgery it drains my energy to even talk or think. Given that the left insula deals with speech and language, I’m not too surprised. Where to get food, how to navigate the bikers flooding the main walkway, what time the floor meeting is etc. was all just too much to process at once.

With that being said, I’m laying in my bed typing this up while it’s fresh in my mind. I can hear other people on the floor getting to know each other as they pass by my door. Womp womp.

I was going to snooze right after ^that^ text actually but then my roommate came by and we went out to walk around a bit. I’ll step up my socialization game for the welcome party later tonight when my energy rebounds even more. Toodles.

Approaching Day One

I move into my dorm tomorrow! Spoiler Alert: my Dad will do the lifting, and I’ll do the people watching.

Tomorrow kicks off the purpose behind this blog: documenting the life of a college student after a craniotomy. My posts will be honest opinions on the challenges, advantages, and disadvantages of a college student almost one year after a major surgery.

On another note,

I’ve tried to figure out how to get the Articles and Artwork pages to show up where the Home and About tabs are up top with no luck..let me know if you know how to do so. Thanks!