Category Archives: school

What I Learned my First Semester of College

I’m basically a real adult now that I’ve finished my first semester of college (haha, that’s a lie. I mean, I DID finish my first semester of college, but I don’t know about the ‘real adult’ part. 😉
What I learned my first semester in college:
When I first started college I was really nervous and not really looking forward to it at all. I was homeschooled my whole life and I wasn’t sure exactly how different it would be being in a classroom with several different students, and having a teacher that’s not my mom (and I therefore don’t want to talk to… especially because of said other students) and it didn’t help that literally like every college student that has ever breathed complains about school. (Thanks, guys, it’s really encouraging…)
So like a nerdy homeschooler, I sat down in my math class the first day of school. I opened my empty notebook and gotten my freshly sharpened pencil ready, and…
The teacher basically read us the syllabus. She went over each page and explained it clearly. She seemed nice. Her smile made me think of Anna Kendrick. My first day of notes looked something like:
1. No phones in class
2. Raise your hand before asking questions
3. And so on…
Did I really need to take notes? No. I already established I was nervous, though, and I figured I had nothing else to do, haha.
That math class was the only class I had in person, but during my first semester I also had two English classes, and one College Success Skills class all online. I could go into detail and complain about how my College Success Skills class and one of my English classes was really dumb. (In one of my English classes we learned about marijuana for two weeks? I am still trying to figure out what that has to do with English!)
While I don’t want to say I didn’t learn things in my one other English class, my favorite class was math class. (which is weird if you know me because up until like a week ago I was adamant that I’m not a math person.) I really enjoyed that class though, and my teacher, and then I started my summer semester—a math class as well and so far I’m doing really well in it—so I guess I sort of am a math person? Who knew! (Besides my mom who is a genius and told me all along I did fine, if not well, with math in high school.)
Anyways, one day I got up in the morning, it was a school day. I didn’t feel well though and I really didn’t want to go to school. I was determined to go to school, though. So I went.
And I got my mind blown.
The teacher started talking about Fibonacci, and while I can’t explain it well enough, I’ll try.
Fibonacci is where you start off with 0,1 and you add the 0 and the 1 and you get 1(so it would then look like: 0,1,1) and then you add the 1 and the 1 and get: 0,1,1,2. Then you add the 1 and the 2 and get 3 and it would look like: 0,1,1,2,3.
You keep taking the last two numbers and adding them to get the next number.
Eventually it would look like: 0,1,1,2,3,5,8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144… and so on.
At first I was less than impressed because, can’t you start with anything and add anything to it? You can start with a 2 and add a 5 and get 7, and then add 5 and 7 together and so on. (2,5,7,12) but then she explained it even more.
Fibonacci is a sequence of numbers, but it’s a sequence of numbers that show up all around us. It shows up in nature all the time! The Fibonacci sequence is related to spirals and you know how leaves can grow in spirals on plants? Plant leaves grow in spirals so that each leaf can soak up as much sun as possible without blocking any beneath it! And in seed storage plants use Fibonacci to store as many seeds as possible in a small space!
Now, I realize I’m not explaining it well at all. So you should look it up yourself. I recommend YouTube videos (because I’m a visual learner—another thing I learned in college!).
But the reason I was so blown away and amazed by what little I understood about Fibonacci is because for the first time in my life (not an exaggeration at all) I viewed math as a science not as… torture?
It made me realize, God made math. It wasn’t just a bunch of evil bored people who were like “Lets make innocent children cry” but more like, “Our God is so big let’s try to unravel a piece of this world He created.”
And you know what else is cool?
We have algebra, and calculus, and Fibonacci. We have too many different types of math to count! But all of that added together and we don’t begin to uncover a piece of what our God has made.
And you know what the best part is?
The same God who made math, who made Fibonacci, who thought up having plant leaves grown in a spiral so they would each get as much sun as possible… He didn’t stop there. He decided the world needed each one of us as well.
And that’s what I really remember learning from my first semester in college.

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What’s Next?

So you graduated.
You’re going to walk across the stage, be handed your diploma, and beam as you walk off the stage.
People will ask you, “What next?” (but let’s be honest they’ve been asking that for a long time, right?)
If you’re anything like me, you’ll say, “I don’t know. I was thinking about this idea I had but I don’t know if I like it enough to resign myself to being stuck doing that every day for the rest of my life.” (probably not word for word, but the same sentiment.)
You’ll probably meet people who will have (what they genuinely think are) good ideas of what you should pursue. “You need to go to college so you can get a good job.” Not necessarily.
I once told someone I was thinking about being a high school history teacher and she said, “You don’t want to do that!” (She pretty much had the same reaction anytime I told her something I was thinking about pursuing now that I think about it.)
If you’re anything like me, you want to have a plan. You would be pleased beyond measure if God said, “Okay, so here’s the five year plan.”
But…. He didn’t. At least for me.
So then it wasn’t just other people asking, “What’s next?” But me too. “What’s next, God?”
It was easy (and still is if I let myself!) to get stressed about not having a plan, or having a plan, but not sure if it’s the right plan.
I’ve heard people say things before like, “You can edit a blank document!” And it’s true. The idea being you should write what you want and just fix it later. I think it can be the same for a plan (this isn’t an excuse to do whatever you want.)
You can always have a plan and change it later. Has anyone in the history of the entire world actually have some go 100% according to plan??
So, I’m here to say, if someone asks you, “What’s next?” It’s okay to respond with, “I don’t know.”
It’s not okay to use that as an excuse to do nothing, to try for nothing. But it is okay to say, “I don’t know” as you pray, and work, and try. It’s okay to think that as you go to college, or work at your job. It’s not an excuse, or an end at all! It’s a beginning of something.
So, what’s next?
I don’t know.
Who knows what the future holds? God. And in the end, that’s all that really matters, isn’t it?

(and congratulations, graduates of class 2017!!)

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