If I had to look back at freshman year and compare it to this year as a sophomore, for starters I would say that I am a heck of a lot busier this year. As a freshman I was mainly confused as to what was going on since it was my first time in college just like everyone else around me. I had to learn the ropes and the flow to the campus like how the semester was and such. Sure I made mistakes and learned from those mistakes especially in terms of planning my time. Now that I know the mistakes I have taken what I know and thought of plans to avoid them again. I plan my time out as best as I can and make sure to seek help when things seem to become too overwhelming before it is too late.
My homework load as a freshman was not that bad I would say, since I was making sure to take enough credit hours that I could handle primarily. So homework was never too much but also not too little. Usually I always had something to do each night unless I was free and worked ahead on some courses. This year I can say that I have a lot more homework since I am also balancing a practicum for the first time. So far I know that I am doing well because my grades are still high, but once I finish an assignment, I always have another one just waiting for me to complete before the dead line. Now I can say that I have not been waiting till the last minute to begin an assignment, though sometimes I have my little moments. I mean we all do.
Last year I was not a part of any clubs or groups as much as I am now. Just the other day I had a few classmates say “Sarah you are really involved and on campus practically all the time.” Well I guess I can take that as a compliment because I like to know that people may think I am involved or see me a lot. I know I see a list of friends at least once every day and if not then definitely the next day. I am not saying that I don’t like being involved, but when a person is involved I believe that they really become a part of the campus. That very person is actively giving a part of his or her time and talent into the university, whether it be by giving tours as an ambassador or being an officer in a club. It doesn’t matter what exactly the person is doing on campus but just that they are giving of their time.
Many people can look at the life of a Fontbonne student in different ways. I for one think that my life as a Fontbonne student means family — on and off campus. In many of my classes, there have been special bonds formed, even if it’s just for a semester. The bonds between the class help us to encourage one another with instruction and support. Take, for instance, my Public Speaking class. It is a small class, but being able to present and share a part of ourselves each week gives insight about each of us. There is some unique vibe that we all collaboratively share. When my class ends, I go home to my own family, which reminds me of why I am a Fontbonne student anyway. It is my family that I desire to share my successes and failures with because they are the most important people in my life. I am a Fontbonne student because I know that my education is worth the hard work, and I am my children’s first example in life. They watch me take care of them, maintain a household, do homework, be responsible and teach responsibility. Fontbonne is not just a part of my life, but part of my family’s life.
Tonight I am going to discuss something that has been on my mind a lot recently: the balancing act between living away from home and keeping up with the family. Last year this was not a huge problem for me, and although I was living almost 5 hours away from home, the only person I had to keep up with was my father. We texted almost every day and had a nice, long phone call at least once a week. I feel that our relationship grew stronger because we talked more in depth about the things going on in our lives then we ever had before. My mother left when I was in High School so the only communication we have is over facebook/emails every now and then.
Something happened over the past year that I never imagined would happen. My dad fell in love and moved in with a nurse who had two daughters from a previous marriage, one is almost 14 and the other 12. This was completely new territory for me and was something that I was not prepared for. Long story short, the first few times that we were all together were rocky, but after Christmas break, we became closer and began to build our relationships. In August before I moved away to school, they got married, and I had never seen him so happy. I won’t lie, it was very tough going from a family of 2 to a family of 5 and living in a house with so many people. Having 2 little sisters and 3 dogs following me around constantly was frustrating and stressful so I was looking forward to moving back to campus and having space to myself.
Since being here on campus, I have to say, it has been lonely not having people around me all the time. I miss always hearing people in the house and having someone to talk to at 2 a.m. when I can’t sleep. One of my biggest surprises has been my step mother texting me about funny little things that happen, and the cute things that the girls say about me. Moving away from home is hard, and I’m starting to realize that it is even harder leaving a newly formed family. It is important to keep in touch with each other and express anything that is bothering you. Taking a free weekend and going home or inviting the family to campus is another way to keep the relationship strong. Living in a city like St. Louis it is even more fun for the family to come here!
In college we face many challenges, but with the help of friends and especially family you will always find solutions to your problems!