5 Things I Recently Did To Get To Ready For College

Hello, everyone! As you may know, this fall I’ll be a freshman at the University of Iowa – and there is a lot of stuff that must be done before I even start my first semester!

I have a two-day on-campus orientation scheduled during the first week of June, and it is making me feel… a variety of conflicting feelings. Like, I’m nervous, and I can’t believe it’s already almost time to head off to college, and I’m also excited. UGH. WHY MUST CONFLICTING EMOTIONS EXIST.

In the meantime, however, there are loads of OTHER college-related thingies for me to do. Here are some of the things I’ve been working on lately! I thought it might be interesting to write about how I’m getting ready for college… and for freshman enrolled in other colleges to chime in and tell me if what they’re doing is any different! And whether or not they’re a bit scared of college, too. Because that is obviously very important and I WANT TO KNOW I’M NOT ALONE IN THAT ASPECT.

So, anyway. Here’s what I’ve been doing!

1. Completed the first module of an online orientation course 

This course is designed to teach me how to navigate the college’s website – how to utilize the student homepage, how to take online quizzes, et cetera. All freshman are required to take it and IT’S SO BORING.

Partially because I’m already familiar with this kind of software from my dual-credit college classes, and partially because this orientation course is extremely poorly designed: It’s not very well organized! It’s slow, and it’s boring, and their PowerPoint presentations aren’t presented in a logical manner, and I just… gah. I trust that my actual college courses will be a bit more organized, but this made a poor first impression.

placement result 12. Took a math placement test

I’M CRACKING UP. Those are my results above, and as you can see… I have literally NO CLUE about ANYTHING trigonometry-related. (Even though I studied it in eleventh grade. Guess I’ve forgotten since then. Oops.) But hey! If you need me to do anything related to fractions, I can handle that. I UNDERSTAND FRACTIONS AND THEY ARE ACTUALLY KIND OF FUN.

Anyway, I received a result of 77%, which sounds close to a failing grade – but it’s a placement test, so it means something completely different! When you take a placement test, your goal shouldn’t be to pass the test. Rather, you just take the test and don’t stress about any missed problems and it’ll sort you into an appropriately difficult class based on what you do and don’t know.

I actually scored high enough to take any introductory math class – even calculus! I REALLY don’t want to take calculus, though. (…it won’t be useful for my future career as a writer, OK?) I hope to take a moderately-difficult class, or perhaps even avoid math classes altogether: I could possibly fulfill that “quantitative or formal reasoning” requirement by taking a course in linguistics or philosophy or political science!

Basically, I will do ANYTHING to avoid taking more math classes.

3. Uploaded an actually-somewhat-nice-looking photo for my student ID

I am so pleased with this! I mean, there are, like, maybe TWO decent photographs of me in the entire world?! My brother has an annoyingly photogenic face but unfortunately I didn’t inherit those genes. Woe is me.

Anyway, the other day my mom took a bunch of photos of me and MIRACLE OF MIRACLES, we actually ended up with one that I’m comfortable having on my student ID for four years. Buuuuuut there may be a slight problem: I was supposed to receive an email notification after my photo was approved. (Because they’ll reject photos with certain kinds of backgrounds, or ones where you’re not facing towards the camera, or whatever.) I’m pretty sure my photo fits all the specifications? Ugh, I certainly hope it does because if not, I’ll have to have my picture retaken at orientation and I just know I’ll look weird and frazzled.

minions happy4. Received a $1,000 scholarship from 4-H 

HOLY CRAP I STILL CAN’T BELIEVE THIS HAPPENED. I mean, when I applied for it I hoped I would get the scholarship, but obviously there’s quite a lot of 4-Hers and only so much scholarship money to give out, right?!

So. Anyway. This is actually the second 4-H scholarship I’ve won – this one was from the county-wide program, and I’ve also received a state 4-H scholarship. And I turned in an application for a Junior Leaders scholarship just last week. (Junior Leaders is a program for 4-Hers in grades 7-12.) I am RIDICULOUSLY excited about these scholarships because college is really freaking expensive and every little bit of scholarship money helps. One thousand dollars will cover the cost of a few textbooks…

5.Used the “degree audit” tool to figure out which credits I’ve already earned

This was fun! And I felt so accomplished afterwards! Basically, the dual-credit classes I took during high school fulfill not only my high school credit requirements, but some of my college credit requirements as well – hence the term “dual-credit.”

For example, all students are required to take seven credits of science classes as part of the general ed requirements… and I already have six. I’ll also be able to skip ALL of the required foreign language classes due to the four semesters of college-level Spanish I’ve already taken. And I’m pretty sure I won’t need to take a rhetoric class, either!

Yippee! This saves a HUGE amount of time (which comes in handy, because I want to double-major while still graduating within four years), as well as an equally huge amount of money. Seriously, I’m SO GLAD to have already earned some credits that will count towards earning my degree(s).

-~-

Is anyone else headed off to college this fall? If not… have you ever attended college? What sort of things did you do to prepare before heading off?!

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About nevillegirl

Elizabeth, University of Iowa class of 2019. Double majoring in English & Creative Writing and Journalism. Twenty-year-old daydreamer, introvert, voracious reader, and aspiring writer. Passionate about feminism and lesbian positivity.
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22 Responses to 5 Things I Recently Did To Get To Ready For College

  1. Cait says:

    Gawsh, you are so smart. I failed maths, TOTALLY FAILED, I ended up switching to a sort of business maths, which was actually really useful/interesting…especially since I run a home business now and understand the numbery side of it. BUT YEAH. Don’t look at me about maths. >.> YAY FOR THAT SCHOLARSHIP THOUGH!! WOOOOT!!! So exciting! Are you still going to blog when you’re at college?! Tell me you aaaaaare.

    • nevillegirl says:

      *blush* I’m really NOT, though – I haaaaate math. I forget the formulas and thingies so easily. But yeah, business math sounds practical. I completely understand the need for studying practical math, buuuuut… how is calculus at all practical for what career I want?! 😛

      Thanks!

      Yeah, I hope to – I definitely won’t post as often, though, because I’ll need that time for HOMEWORK. 🙂

  2. Zoe N. says:

    Wow! University of Iowa Neville? What an accomplishment! Congratulations – you must be stoked! And haha…I sympathize with you about all the horrible placement tests and boring orientation presentations. 😉 Looking forward to hearing all about what college is like for you! Thanks for sharing this!

    • nevillegirl says:

      Thank you! 🙂

      Ughhhhh…. I’m kind of terrified about college, but I also just wish I were there already? If that makes any sense? I just want to start my REAL classes already, and forget about this orientation course nonsense. 😛 *le sigh* But it’s required, so.

  3. THIS IS SO EXCITING. Congrats on your scholarship and your decent photo! 😀 Luckily in university I won’t have to do maths (I don’t do it at the moment, either, which is excellent).

  4. Miriam Joy says:

    None of these things are even the least bit like my uni experience, ha ha. ALSO I HAVEN’T DONE ANY MATHS SINCE I TURNED SIXTEEN BOO-YAHHHHH. (Literally I stopped at Christmas 2011, I turned sixteen in January, I’ve done no maths since.) And I don’t understand why you guys have different classes for different types of maths. Why would you have a whole class for calculus? Why is ‘trig’ a separate thing? What even is calculus anyway? (I understand trigonometry, that’s like triangles and stuff isn’t it? I can do that one. But that’s like… one little part of maths. WHY IS IT ALL SEPARATE WHAT ARE YOU DOING AMERICA.) Ahem.

    But I’m impressed that you got a good photo on your ID because: they didn’t tell us that the photo we submitted with our application would be the one that ended up on our ID if we got in, thus my ID photo is the Oyster card photo I had taken at the beginning of sixth form. And I have to keep this ID for all three years of uni. So I’m stuck with a picture of sixteen-year-old me looking less than cheerful until I’m TWENTY-ONE. What is this? Unfair, that’s what it is. I look nothing like my 16-year-old self 😦 The card is already scratched enough that the picture will probably be gone by third year, heh.

    • nevillegirl says:

      How else would you study math, though? I don’t understand. :/
      (I’m totally jealous of how you don’t have to take math, though. Here, it’s required through at least, like, the first year of college. Even if you’re not majoring in anything related to math or science. It’s very weird.)

      *patpat* Aw, that sucks. I needed an ID photo before I could take dual-credit classes and they took it at the college and I had no idea they were going to do that, so it ended up looking HORRIBLE. Seriously. 😛 My hair looks weird and my face in general just looks… odd. Ugh. Thankfully, I won’t be using that particular ID anymore…

      • Miriam Joy says:

        When I was at school there was a class on my timetable called “maths” and I went there several times a week and we’d work on different parts of maths. Like, we’d spend a couple of weeks working on whatever all that sin cos tan stuff is about (I literally remember no maths), and then we’d move on to differential equations or something, which I never got the hang of. And over the course of the year we’d cover whatever we needed to cover. I don’t see why you’d separate it. They’re all part of maths. That’s like having completely separate subjects for plays, poems, and novels in English, instead of just tackling them one at a time under a heading of English Lit. Idk.

        I dropped maths partway through year eleven after I got 1% in the mock exam for Additional Maths and they decided not to make me take it (them damn differential equations got me), and I dropped all sciences at the end of that year, too. Haven’t done them since. Don’t miss them in the slightest.

    • nevillegirl says:

      Oh. Hmmm. We do it that way in elementary/middle school, but in high school it switches over to individual classes – Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, Trig (usually just one semester), Prob/Stat (one semester, again), Calculus, et cetera. Personally I find this easier because I’d rather just learn all of a subject at once and then be done with it…
      (But you only take one math class per year – not all of the above at once, thankfully. I couldn’t handle more than one math class at once, LOL.)

      Pffft. I WISH I COULD DO THAT.

      • Miriam Joy says:

        That seems a bit odd. But if you’re only taking them for one semester at a time, I guess it’s the same thing, we just don’t give the class itself a different name? It’s like, hey, here’s what we’re working on right now. Let’s do it. Oh, we’re done, let’s move on.

        US schools are weird, man. I always find them baffling in YA novels, and the authors expect you to understand how they work, so they never explain anything. For years I was like “what the hell is a sophomore”.

    • nevillegirl says:

      We take most of the courses for a year, actually – only a few of them are studied in one semester.

      Ha ha, I have the same feelings about UK schools… like, why the heck is sixth form college called that, if it’s not a college? I’m so confused.

  5. F says:

    You’re definitely not alone in being scared for college! I’m hopefully going in September, but since we don’t get our offers until mid-August, I don’t know which city.. I’ll be freaking out at that point as it’s hard to prepare when you don’t know where you’re going! You shouldn’t be worried at all. If you keep in mind that all us Irish students can settle in without ANY preparation, you’re actually quite well-prepared and won’t have any problems 🙂

    Congratulations on your scholarship and best of luck with the Junior Leaders application!

  6. orphu44 says:

    You’re so organized I am very impressed and slightly mystified. I’m not even sure I’ve got any credits that’ll count toward my degree NOW never mind before I finished high school.
    But congratulations! and good luck for when you head off to university!

    • nevillegirl says:

      PFFFFFFFFFFFT I AM THE LEAST ORGANIZED PERSON EVER. Seriously. But I thank you for the compliment nevertheless. 🙂

      Hmmm, really? You don’t have any general education requirements finished? Like, that’s what the one math class is for me – it’s not related to either of my majors, but I’m required to take some basic classes in certain subjects before I can graduate.

      • orphu44 says:

        I will continue to be impressed even if you aren’t.
        I mean I’ve fulfilled my first year ‘take an English course, take a science course, etc.’ rigamarole but that’s for general bachelor of the arts because I wasn’t organized enough to know what program I wanted to apply for straight out of high school? And now it turns out that I’d have to transfer schools for my preferred program, too, so goodness knows if the courses I’ve already taken will count for anything.
        (Also I forgot to mention this in my last comment but ‘77% which sounds close to a failing grade’ what on Earth is this grading system I’m pretty sure I’d have a B if I got 77% on something.)

    • nevillegirl says:

      Ohhhh, right. *patpat* Well, I certainly hope your courses transfer from one university to the other! And what is your preferred program, anyway? 🙂

      (Yeah, I’m pretty sure most other countries’ grades are at least a full letter grade above ours – 77% is a C here. America is ridiculous.)

  7. marjma2014 says:

    Wow, well done on your scholarship, and being able to be not too bad at Maths, I really can’t cope with Maths at all! Even the thought of helping my daughter with her GCSE Maths sends me into stress mode and sends shivers down my spine!

  8. Pingback: Quarterly Rewind, Spring 2015: College, Comics, & A Collection Of Cool Songs | Musings From Neville's Navel

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