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Metamorphosis

PBJMy name is Kate Engert and I am currently a sophomore here at the University at Albany and I love peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. That is the truest statement I have ever written down in my entire life. Every day,  for 10 years growing up, I had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch. Every day! That probably sounds crazy but there’s so many ways to assemble a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  Any type of peanut butter and jelly would do, grape jelly, strawberry jelly, and even peanut butter all the way from creamy to extra chunky. I’m not even picky with the bread, white, wheat, a bagel, anything would be good enough to fill my peanut butter and jelly needs. It’s the perfect sandwich and I know it will always be my favorite sandwich. Maybe it’s because I personally don’t like change. I did however end up eating different sandwiches for lunch other than peanut butter and jelly eventually. But not all changes are as simple as choosing a different sandwich for lunch.

Coming to college I experienced a lot of changes in my life, some I expected and a lot I didn’t. For example, I already knew how to do my own laundry, which shockingly, not a lot of students did as freshman. There’s a lot of things that no one tells you to know how to do before coming to college, most stuff isn’t something anyone would prepare for in a normal situation and goes unnoticed. Things like food management, transportation, sharing a dorm room, and sharing a bathroom with people you aren’t related to. You also have to learn to act like an adult and learn how to talk to each other when something is wrong. You are now a bunch of kids living together with no adults to mediate. College is a big change and that’s what my blog is going to be about.

chrysalisThis blog is called Metamorphosis. Metamorphosis is the processes in which a caterpillar becomes a butterfly. During Metamorphosis the caterpillar goes through a lot of physical changes and finally once the processes is done becomes a butterfly.  We go off to college, most of us at the age of 18, although 18 is considered an adult, we are still children. Our minds are still developing and we don’t exactly know the right things to do yet. During our college careers we change so much and mature physically, mentally and emotionally. butterfly 1For a lot of students college is their first time being away from home and having all these responsibilities and it can be hard. A caterpillar works its whole life up to the moment it builds its cocoon and starts its transformation. Freshman year is our cocoon. Corny, I know; but it’s a beautiful way to think about all the changes we deal with, all the stress, all the hangovers and everything else, we know in the end we will be okay and break out of the cocoon into successful adults.

I hope that while reading you enjoy my experiences and it can help you either deal with yours or remind you of how you dealt with a similar situation. Whether it is getting a random roommate, gaining the freshman 15, or even picking a major, all these changes are what make the college experience and build us. If Metamorphosis helps anyone relate or deal with/to a situation I would be pretty satisfied. I would also like to let people know that in the future when I’m famous don’t be shocked if peanut butter and jelly sales go up.


 

Comments are Welcome!

About the Author:

Kate EKate E. 
Class of 2018 
Major: Communication 
Minor: Journalism and Philosophy
Spring 2016 Blog Theme: Metamorphosis

Major Changes

A lot of students come to college not knowing what they want to major in, but I did…or I least I thought I did. When I applied to UAlbany I wanted to be an accountant, so when I came as a freshman in the fall, I was an Intended-Accounting major. I was also very interested in math, so I planned on minoring in mathematics. Once at the University, I started taking courses directed toward my major. I was enrolled in Macroeconomics and Business Law which both are required for an Accounting major. These classes bored me and if a class does not excite me I will not pay attention. They ultimately turned me off from accounting.

Second semester, I changed to being a Mathematics major with a double minor in communications and education. I still loved math, and even though my Calculus professor’s teaching did not engage me, it came easy to me. When I started Calculus 2, I was excited. Not many people are really excited to take a math course, but I was. I had a great professor, but no matter how hard I tried, I could not grasp any of the concepts. I went to office hours and the library all the time, nothing helped.  I had such a hard time and tried every way possible to learn the material. Calculus 2 made me start to question if I really wanted to major in math anymore.

Another thing that made me realize math was not for me was when my friends asked me for help with their work. I would often get frustrated when they would not understand my explanation of a problem. My minor was education and I wanted to be a math teacher. If I got so easily frustrated with my friends how would I handle rowdy students? I am glad my friends asked me for help because it helped me too, It made me realize that I wouldn’t be happy being a teacher. I was not patient which is a key trait for a teacher. I knew I could not give the same help and understanding my professors have given me in the past.

“Don’t let the fear of change stop you from realizing a new skill or interest.”

One good thing that did happen that semester was taking a communications course. I was enrolled in Speech Composition and Presentation, a course based on public speaking and speech writing. I love public speaking, so I was eager to start. We learned about some of the greatest speeches ever given, such as the Gettysburg Address and the “I Have a Dream” speech. We learned about the content as well as why the speeches were so powerful. It amazed me how someone’s words could impact another in an emotional way and how they could even change laws or opinions. I also had a very outgoing class and an amazing professor that helped me enjoy the curriculum and feel comfortable speaking in front of an audience larger than just a few friends. This course finally made me realize what I want to do, I wanted to major in Communications. I wanted to know all about how people interact and how they change depending on their environment. I also researched on what types of jobs there are for communications majors. There are hundreds of options for a career in Communications and although I don’t know exactly what I want to do yet I know I want it to do with Communication.

Changing my major was one of the hardest changes I think I had to go through so far at college. Picking a major is picking your future career path and I want to enjoy my career. While picking a major I was stressed out, I felt I wasn’t smart and that I learn anything, that I reached full capacity. However, maybe my problem was that I was not in the right classes for myself and once I figured that out I became more confident in my work and started doing better overall. The most important thing is to remember that changing your major is okay and a normal thing, so don’t let the fear of change stop you from realizing a new skill or interest.


 

About the Author:

Kate EKate E. 
Class of 2018 
Major: Communication 
Minor: Journalism and Philosophy
Spring 2016 Blog Theme: Metamorphosis

 


 

Midterms, Finals, and Due Dates

books-1015594_960_720.jpgOne HUGE challenge for a lot of kids in college is getting their work done and studying.  In high school, studying and getting your work done on time was barely an issue to the average student. But in most high schools, you went to the same classes every day and saw the same teachers every day. There was no forgetting in high school, there wasn’t a party every weekend that you just had to go to, and there weren’t huge lectures halls where you blended into the crowd. You simply sat in a room and heard what you had to do before the next day. They made sure you were reminded. In college, your class might not even require attendance, which tempts most of us to just stay in bed and sleep for another 55 minutes on Friday morning. But in high school, you were not exhausted on Friday mornings because you partied too hard on Thursday nights. You may have had dinner with your parents and did your homework. In high school, tests didn’t have chapters 1-6 and required readings 1&2. It was just one chapter, maybe two of American History, which you were just studying in class every day for a month and probably only need 30 minutes of actual studying to get an A on the exam. I had a lot of ideas about how to study in college, but nothing really worked for me. This was definitely not high school.

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One thing I tried, was taking pictures of every due date I saw in class. That became too unorganized because I took too many pictures. Another was writing things on my hands, but that is messy. Ink is hard to get off. My hands would get sweaty and the writing would smear. I also tried writing them down in a journal everyday, but then I would forget to bring the journal and write it on a random piece of paper. Then I would lose that random piece of paper. Even setting reminders in my phone didn’t work. Sometimes they would not go off, and some classes did not allow phones so I would forget to add a date. Nothing seemed to work for me. Overall I was just a mess my first semester freshman year. I could not find a way to constantly remind myself of what was due and when to start studying for my tests.  So here is what I started doing. Every time I went on my laptop, I would check Blackboard, My UAlbany Email, and WebAssign (depending if I was taking a math or not). It sounds dumb, but it constantly showed me how long I had to do certain assignments and how many assignments I had at one time. It worked for me, until now.

Blackboard is an online technology used to facilitate classroom management 
and communication. Many professors share their syllabi, assignments and grades 
using this tool.

science-1182713__180.jpg

blackboard_logo.pngI finally discovered something that will help me never forget a due date or an exam that is not as annoying as checking my laptop all the time. The Blackboard App. For freshman and most of sophomore year, I didn’t even fully understand what The Blackboard App could do for us that our professors don’t. If you download The Blackboard App on your smartphone it can send you updates of every time your professor changes something in the course. These updates can range anywhere from test dates posted or syllabus updates to graded work or class discussion
boards. The Blackboard App reminds you of everything, it is like having a portable teacher. I wish I knew this app existed much sooner than February of my sophomore year. I check my phone all the time. It does almost everything in life for me why not also have it remind me of my school work have? Now when I check my phone when I wake up it tells me what to do. If a class in canceled it will tell me before I step off my Quad. This app changed my life and helped me overcome this terrible challenge.


 

About the Author:

Kate EKate E. 
Class of 2018 
Major: Communication 
Minor: Journalism and Philosophy
Spring 2016 Blog Theme: 
Metamorphosis


Please Note: The views of our student bloggers do not necessarily reflect the views of the UAlbany Advisement Services Center. These are their stories –  their voices.

Navigating RoomHATE

Growing up, I was the only girl, so naturally I got my own room. I did not think that sharing a room would ever be a problem for me. But like I said in my first blog post, college causes a lot of changes in your life and this change SUCKED! Continue reading “Navigating RoomHATE”

The Power of Sharing Your Story

words-have-power1Project MyStory has given me many things to take away this semester. I learned that my words can reach out to others and inspire them. I was never really confident in my writing, I would often write things in a notebook and they would never see the light. Project MyStory was the first outlet where my work has been publicly shared, and I actually wasn’t embarrassed to have my work read. Not only did I received positive feedback on my writing from my friends and family, but also another student at the University, a stranger. One reader sent me a message on Facebook and told me about how my experience in choosing my major had inspired him. He said he liked reading about how I worked hard even with struggles in front of me, this gave me hope. It was my second post and I didn’t think anyone was reading my work or that anyone cared to read it. This message gave me motivation to write better and to write more for those who I could potentially inspire, just like the student who sent me a message. I hope other readers have also gained the same inspiration and motivation that this student told me about. I hope they gained useful knowledge in how to survive freshman year without gaining the Freshman 15 or how to last without losing their mind over a bad rooming situation. But most importantly I hope my readers realize that any change that college brings can be managed and overcome with hard work and thought. Continue reading “The Power of Sharing Your Story”

The Freshman 15

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Coming into freshman year we all hear of the dreaded freshman 15. The “freshman 15” is a known saying that stems from the fact that many students tend to gain 15 pounds during their freshman year of college. There is even a website about it! Maybe it is the increased beverage consumption or the endless amount of food you can put on your plate in a buffet style dining hall. I personally thought the freshman 15 was a myth. There are articles debunking the myth of the freshman 15. Whether it was a myth or not,  I thought I would be fine.  I already ate a lot of junk food before coming to college and almost never exercised, I figured that if the freshman 15 was a real thing that I would be invincible to it. Unfortunately I was not, I was shocked, depressed and just overall disgusted at myself. How could my small 4’11” frame go from 95 to 115 pounds in the short 4 months of first semester, I couldn’t believe it. I know 115 pounds does not sound like a lot, but on a small person even one pound shows. Continue reading “The Freshman 15”

Getting Old

growing-up

The most important change you go through in college is growing up. During these four years people grow up a lot, in ways they could not have if they were still at home. Having all this freedom that college provides, gives us the space and time we need to grow up and become independent individuals. By allowing ourselves to go through this huge change, we learn how to do a lot of everyday things which make us more independent, allowing us to grow up. These things can be land anywhere on a range of simple tasks, from doing your own laundry to knowing when it is time to go to bed because you have class the next day. Continue reading “Getting Old”