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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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Thoughts about schools

I think most of you know I’m homeschooled. (And I love it!) But it may not be like you think it is. I don’t get to sleep as late as I want, or wear my PJ’s all day. I don’t get all A’s, and I’m not even out for the summer yet. (I’m not saying if you’re homeschooled and get all A’s you cheat, some do but NOT all. 🙂 )

I guess when you boil it down, I work hard at my school. Just as hard, if not harder than people who are public schooled.

I don’t know why, but I ask a LOT questions. Sometimes during school I’ll be asking so many questions (not to be annoying, just things I thought of) and my mom will just say, “I don’t know”, a few times

Recently, I had to go take my learner’s permit test.

I think that that test is dumb for a number of reasons, but I’ll only bring up one.

For one of the questions it asked, basically, when it was okay to pass someone on the right. So I chose the option, “if the car in front of you is having an emergency”.

You all know I right stories? Yes, I have a super active imagination. So when I saw the word emergency I basically thought, “Okay, the country is at war, all the buildings destroyed, half the people are dead and everyone else is fleeing the country. I’m behind a car who is stopped with a bomb strapped on it about to blow (because that’s IS an emergency right?) and I’m being chased by terrorists, is it all right to pass on the right? OF COURSE IT’S ALL RIGHT TO PASS ON THE RIGHT!!!!”

Well, obviously the government never expects a writer (or maybe just someone like me…) to take the test, because I got the answer wrong.

Later I was talking to my dad about it and I said, “It’s dumb because you just memorize the answer they want to hear instead of what you would actually do.” (And I’ll just say right here, even though I hope the chances of something like my emergency I imagined never happen, if it did…. I’d pass on the right. 🙂 )

My dad said that is how the public school system is. You just tell them what they want and expect to hear and you get good grades. I saw something on the internet, numerous times, that said, “Being super smart and getting good grades aren’t necessarily the same thing.” And I believe it.

I’ve also seen something that said, “Homeschoolers are more likely to think outside the box because they’ve been educated outside the box”. I believe that too. (How else do I come up with these wacky questions to ask my mom in school?)

I’m not saying that the curriculum I use for school is perfect (more than once I’ve complained about how dumb my grammar book is, or questioned what in the world my history book means when they said that.)

But I ask questions, and I wonder if they are true, and I try to think things through logically.

Have a nice weekend! 


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