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With finals coming up, I’ve been reflecting a lot on the courses I’ve taken this past semester. I’ve learned so much in all my classes, but one course in particular comes to mind. This class has been a challenge for me and has required me to put in a lot of effort. However, this specific course has increased my knowledge greatly in the subject. So what class is it? My biology class.

I have never been a fan of science and have always struggled with it, even in high school. So naturally, I was worried about taking a science class. I had the option of choosing between a chemistry course, biology course, and physical science course. I chose biology because I thought it would be the most interesting of the three sciences and I also thought that it would be the easiest.

While I’m happy I chose to take biology, I’m not getting through it without some late night study sessions and extra test prep in order to get me the grade I’m happy with. My biology course has taught me so much, even though I probably won’t use any of the concepts in my future career as an accountant. I’ve learned about what animal cells are composed of, how cellular respiration works, the process of Mitosis, and so much more. I can elaborate on each of those topics and that has allowed me to hold conversations with some of my more “sciencey” friends.

Even though I dread science and especially my biology class, the information I’ve learned has allowed me to be a more well-rounded individual and I am grateful for that.

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College is a time of development, change, experiences, and fun! During my college years, I have experienced many challenges. Perhaps one of the greatest challenges I have faced is saying goodbye to my global friends. Here at Fontbonne, I have had the privilege of meeting people from all around the world; from Japan to Saudi Arabia and Brazil to Vietnam. Every single international student is unique in their own way and brings so much joy to campus. The downside to this, however, is that they must go at some time. This past fall, I had the pleasure of living on the same residence hall floor as many of the Brazilian and Japanese international students. We become extremely close and there was never a dull moment! As the semester drew to an end, my friends from other countries were preparing to return home.

It was difficult to say goodbye to these people who had become some of my closest friends at Fontbonne- I did not know what Fontbonne was like without them! When it was time to go our separate ways, I wrote a note to each friend of mine and gave them pictures from our time together here at Fontbonne. Since then, I have Skyped with some friends, texted them using the app “Whatsapp”- which is a texting app that can be used with Wifi or cellular data, and used Facebook and Instagram to keep up with them. Although it is difficult to be here without seeing their smiling faces and communicating with them face-t0-face, I am grateful for the technology that we do have to stay in touch and I am even hoping to travel to visit some of them in the upcoming years! I would not trade my time with my international friends for anything; and I always say that I am happy I had the short time I did have with them than no time at all! I encourage everybody to step out of their comfort zone and reach out to others who are different than you. You can learn a great deal about the history, culture, and traditions of other countries by simply talking to your neighbor down the hall!

On that note, the Campus Ministry team at Fontbonne is hosting “Better Together Day” this Tuesday, April 14th from 11am-1pm in the grassy area outside of the library. Students will have an opportunity to sit in a ball pit (yes, a ball pit!) and get to know somebody on campus that comes from a different walk of life or belief system than their own! This is a great way to get to know your peers right here on campus and learn a little about the many religions represented at Fontbonne!

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The biggest challenge in college, so far, for me has actually been the act of going back to college. I tried going for the first time when I was just out of high school. I took two semesters at a local community college back home and it was nearly disastrous. I thought I wanted to be an art teacher, but I wasn’t the least bit serious about doing all the hard work to get me there. I was more interested in skipping classes to hang out with my friends, or sleep in. I dropped classes, without actually dropping them, and without regard for the impact it might have on my future.

So now I’m 31 and just starting my bachelor’s degree. Getting through my associates at St. Louis Community College felt like a very rough start. It had been quite some time since I was in a public classroom; I had forgotten some of the basics, like how to study effectively, time management, and how to write a research paper. The last class I had taken was in the military, where certain rules are understood and followed without question. In the public school system I was shocked and distracted by people talking when the teacher was teaching, openly arguing with the teacher, texting on their phones, putting their feet on the desk, and wearing hats indoors (that one will always be ingrained in my mind). I was equally shocked to find that the teachers didn’t do a whole lot to stop the behavior; I was so used to seeing people getting put on their faces for pushups if they disrupted class. I guess you could say one of my biggest challenges was a type of culture shock.

Over time the shock wore off because I knew what to expect when I entered a classroom. It also helped that each semester I moved up in the classes I was taking, the lessons were harder and the people in the classes were more serious. Now that I’m at Fontbonne I’ve completely gotten over my culture shock. It really helps that the classes are so small and the whole environment is more relaxed to allow for freedom of creativity. I still struggle with research papers, but all the challenges have been more than worth it. Cheers!

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Patricia

My Biggest Challenge

by Patricia on April 10, 2015

in Academics

My biggest challenge at Fontbonne has been being too harsh on myself. Mostly with academics I’m a huge perfectionist. This means I spend lots of time worrying about little things. Recently I have spent lots of time doing online homework and even wasting time on certain questions. However this is not a terrible thing because all my hard work will be worth it in the end!

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Self-love and Stress Reduction

by Alumni Posts April 10, 2015

My biggest challenge in college has been stress management and making time for myself.  I think it’s extremely important to take care of one’s self and have “me time”, time to spend with friends and time to do the hobbies that you most enjoy.  Balance is key.  Does that ideal always happen for me?  Well, […]

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Students writing for Real Life at Fontbonne are paid a small fee for each post by the university.