it was the best of times, it was the worst of times

Hello, and happy President’s Day!

Classes were cancelled today because of the holiday, and thank goodness for that. Last week was probably one of the hardest of the quarter so far, and I really needed the three-day break. On Saturday, I was able to make some plans to get donuts with my work wife Hannah and y’all, I always have the best conversations with her (and overall have the best mems with her).

We ate our donuts, drank our London Fogs, and read our books (for fun!), but most importantly, we talked. Our conversations always prompt me to think about again later – to reflect and introspect more than I usually do.

As winter quarter draws to an end, Hannah’s really been there for me. To put it simply, this quarter has been really tough. And as the title of this post quotes from Mr. Dickens, “it was the best of times, it was the worst of times…”

I started off winter quarter ready to jump into my new classes. I’m sure everyone was rejuvenated after making their new year resolutions – I know I sure was. A few weeks into the quarter though, I got hit with the bug that everyone seems to be getting (at least in Seattle), and I’ve had a cough for the past five weeks. I know, I know, I’m starting to suspect I have acute bronchitis, and I promise I’m going to go the see health center on campus this week!

But back to the point – it’s been affecting my sleep, my performance, but luckily, not my social life. But my persistent coughs aren’t the worst of it. I’m taking five classes this quarter, which is the most I’ve done but I thought I could handle it just fine at the start of the quarter (I mean, two of them are dance classes).

My mistake. I’ve been loaded with group projects, homework readings, assignments, and never-ending exams. I’ve never had a tougher quarter. It’s not that each individual class is hard at all: it’s the combination of them all together. I got my exams back one after the other and my self-esteem dropped every time. It hit me – I probably won’t be making Dean’s List this quarter.

This is a really low blow for me because I’ve made Dean’s List every quarter in college so far. I was jokingly – but not really – telling my friends that I was trough-ing this quarter, academically. I have high expectations for myself, and seeing myself perform so low has me re-evaluating what’s going on this quarter.

Of course, it’s always the same problem: I’m spread too thin and I’m not leaving enough time to study. I look at my Google Calendar and I really only have time to study and do homework for three hours at night before having to go to bed by midnight. That simply isn’t enough time for the five classes I am taking.

Did I fail myself this quarter? Maybe. This is hopefully the lowest quarterly GPA I’ll ever get – but I have to remember, so many amazing things happened during winter quarter, too.

To start off, I was able to travel to Los Angeles for a weekend for my sorority’s leadership conference and met up with Katherout (I’m in her vlog!!), one of my role models for sure. And then I interviewed and was accepted to study abroad in ROME in the first half of summer – truly a dream come true. And after declaring my dance minor, I auditioned for a Master’s Faculty dance concert and got a role!

In addition to my accomplishments, I really pushed myself to build my network this quarter. I have been getting coffee with at least one professional every week and learning about options for my future career. Socially? I felt like I found my place in my sorority with my wonderful roommates. Of course, there are certain friendships that have grown stronger and locked themselves in my friends-I-want-to-keep-forever group.

So, yes, it’s been the worst of times, but also the best. I think it’s important that I experienced failure this quarter, because it’s setting me up for what’s to come: growth and success.

I hope to finish off winter quarter – whatever that may look like – knowing I tried my hardest but also being sure I enjoyed my quarter. I want to enter spring quarter with a relaxed mindset, and to not let my lower performance from this quarter drag me down into the spring.

After all, you can’t have your ups without your downs!

Have a wonderful week,

Jen

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