This is my last semester at Fontbonne. Wow. Though it feels like I’ve been waiting for years to be able to say that, actually saying it feels strange.
I finished all of my courses required for my various biology programs in December, so now I’m just finishing up my theatre minor and taking a couple of independent study courses with two of my favorite Fontbonne professors. In addition, I’ll continue working for the Kinkel Center as a peer tutor for biology courses, and I’ll continue interning in my microbiology lab.
I’d be the first to say that this blog’s title may seem contradictory, since I’m hoping to go “back to school.” I’ve had aspirations to continue with my education at the graduate level ever since my freshman year at Fontbonne when one of my professors told me I’d need a graduate degree in order to pursue science and, in particular, biomedical research in the way that I want to. As of right now, however, I have no idea where I’m going or which type of degree I’ll be pursuing. For someone who’s as much of a planner as me, not knowing such important life details can begin to feel unbearable at times.
All of that aside, however, I’m hoping to have a relatively peaceful last semester at Fontbonne before I enter graduate school and the “real world.” Welcome back, Griffins, and a good semester to all.
The grades are now all in. The semester is officially over. And I have only one semester left at Fontbonne University.
This semester was definitely different for me in many, many ways. First of all, I only had classes two days per week, and I spent the other days of the week interning in a microbiology lab off campus and working on the seemingly-endless process of graduate school admissions, scholarship, and fellowship applications. Secondly, I only had one “real,” required-for-my-degree biology course. This was very strange for me since my semesters are generally chock full of science courses of all types, ranging from lab research to lectures. Finally, this semester was different for me because many of the people I’ve grown to love and be around weren’t on campus. They either graduated last spring or, in the case of my favorite professor, retired.
But even though this semester was totally different from what I’m used to, I found it to be beneficial. I’ve learned so much from my internship, and I’m now much more comfortable working independently in the lab and being solely responsible for the outcomes of the lab procedures that I perform. In addition, the extra days “off” from classes gave me the time I desperately needed to fill out grad school applications and talk to the various schools about any questions that I had. (And trust me when I say that I had a lot of them.) So even though this semester was extremely unconventional, I’m happy I experienced it.
Now that I’m officially 7/8 of the way through my undergraduate education, though, I’m excited to have a restful Christmas break and return refreshed for my final semester.
Happy Holidays, Everyone!!
For days I have been thinking about my future. What to do after I graduate, should I go ahead and find a job or go straight to do my Phd. I could do both, but at the same time, I will have to first study for the GRE. Fontbonne University does not require Graduate students to take the GRE; hence I have to take it now. Perhaps you would say to me, go ahead find a job, but at the same time, I wonder what job I will end up having. I am not even sure if my destiny is to stay in St. Louis or move back to Maryland. In the mist of all of these and finishing up my internship. I happened to check my email and found this quote that Sarah Boul, campus minister, sent. I think it will totally help those of you who are about to graduate or have a major decision to make.
“Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.” (Philippians 4:6-7, MSG)
I can remember how mad my mom was at me at my graduation ceremony for my BFA. She was upset with me that I wasn’t excited or wanting to take pictures like everyone else. The reason why is that I finished my degree in December of 2009 but they only did a ceremony in May, so I was walking a whole semester after I technically graduated and had already began my master’s degree. So, unlike everyone else who was excited because they were done with their programs and entering a new world, I was still in school and not really done with anything.
Well, now that I am graduating in May, I have a feeling my mom will be upset again. I have yet to get excited, I am instead getting terrified. Yes, I do plan on going for my doctorate someday, but unlike when I started my master’s program, it will be a while until I return to school. This is like the real thing. Should I be excited? I am leaving a comfort zone, with no job in sight, loans that will come calling and nothing but a piece of paper to comfort me. Is this what brings on excitement?
Does anyone else feel this terror I do? Maybe there is a magical dome that covers the graduation ceremony that will suddenly trigger my emotions to change? Maybe the sheer relief of not having the stress of a grade looming over my head 24/7 will at least cause a wide smile that will fool my mother to think I am excited? Or possibly right now I am just filling with my regular doubts and by the time I am done it will all fade away. I hope so. This is supposed to be the time when we take our lives into our own hands and show the world what we are made of. I have never felt more confident in my abilities as a teacher based on the knowledge and experience I have gained from my studies and experiences at Fontbonne, so maybe that is the trick. I honestly, have never had such a great educational experience as I have here. So I guess May will show if excitement takes over!