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.
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.
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?!