Tuesday, April 12, 2011

What I Learned This Semester

I am still kind of in disbelief that my semester is ending so soon.  Less than two weeks of classes left.  Not counting today, I have 8 days of classes, 2 reading days, and 3 days of exams.  And then -  I.am.done.  See you later junior year, it was nice knowing you!

Since exams are quickly approaching, I've started to think about everything I have learned this semester.  In some of my classes I feel like this semester has been a wash, I am going to take the exam, leave the classroom, and probably never recall any information I crammed into my brain hours before the test.  But I am ok with that.  Thinking about what I have really learned this entire year, none of it could truly be taught in a classroom yet they are lessons I want to take with me for the rest of my life.  These are just a few of them:

Maura's Junior Year Syllabus

Lesson 1 - Frozen berry medley > frozen strawberries.  This lesson is vital when it comes to the art of making delicious smoothies.  I say smoothies, plural, but I really only ever make one kind of smoothie.  Place in a blender, 1 banana, approximately 1 cup orange juice, two heaping spoonfuls of yogurt, and frozen berries, turn that bad boy on the "ice crush" setting and blend into submission for a delightful smoothie.  I cannot believe that for the entire fall semester I never once expanded my horizons and branched out a bit in the berry world...no actually, I can believe this, I'm not the biggest fan of change.  However, I held my head high when Giant was out of frozen strawberries and I bought frozen berry medley instead.  Lindsay told me I would enjoy it just as much, but I was doubtful.  Boy was I wrong!  Mixed berry medley, you rock my socks!

Lesson 2 - Grades are important but they are not everything.  I think this is the first year ever in my lifetime in the education system that I have actually accepted the fact that just a few years from now, no one is ever going to ask about my GPA.  No one is going to meet me, ask for my name and final grade in Historic Preservation 101, and base their opinion of me on my knowledge of different types of brickwork.  Thank goodness, because all I remember is the running pattern of bricks which is not even structurally sound, so does that even count?!?!?!  Really though, my grades are important and I work hard in school, but I am done with the immense anxiety and stress that used to overwhelm me when it came to midterms and final exams.  I study when I have to and try to do my best on assignments, what more can I do?

Lesson 3 - Saying "I'm sorry" is hard but practice makes perfect.  I am really bad at admitting mistakes and apologizing for them.  I know some people who are overly apologetic and it baffles me.  This year I have made a conscious effort to tell people that I am sorry when the situation warrants an apology.  I also now mean it when I say it.  There were countless times growing up when I apologized to one of my siblings because if I didn't I wouldn't get dessert after dinner...that's not exactly the right reason.  Now I'm not saying I've mastered this whole thing by any means, but I am making an effort.

Lesson 4 - A positive attitude and confidence are the two most attractive qualities a person can possess.  When I think about the people I admire and love, I don't like them because they wear expensive clothing or own the latest technological gadget.  I enjoy their company because they are sincere individuals who brighten my life on a regular basis.  Now that I know that a positive attitude and confidence are what I always look for in friends, I want to work on keeping my own attitude positive and being confident in myself - just the way I am.  These things don't happen overnight but thankfully I am surrounded by amazing people who, just by being themselves, remind me everyday to strive for these two qualities for myself.  Slow and steady wins the race when it come to this lesson, I think.

Lesson 5 - I enjoy faith much more than religion.  I am sitting here trying to figure out how to explain my thoughts but it is really just not working.  That's the thing about faith, you can't really ever completely explain it.  Perhaps this topic is meant for its own separate post at a later date.  Still, this deserves mention with the other lessons I have learned this year because it is a huge part of my life.  Just like berry medley kicks strawberry in the behind, religion does not stand a chance against faith, and that is unbelievably awesome.

Lesson 6 - I enjoy blogging and that alone is reason enough to do it but I also hope you get something out of it too.  I hope that when you read this blog, you are able to relate to what I am writing about.  I hope it makes you smile.  I hope you know how much your readership means to me.  When I see that one more person is "following" this blog or a post has gotten another view, it gives me a sense of validation.  Maybe some people see this as being conceited but honestly, looking at my Blogger stats is like having someone pat me on the back and say, what you are writing has value, your thoughts are valuable, and you yourself are valuable.  Our own personal value is a lesson we all need to be reminded of sometimes, because we are all worthy of great things.  Always.  Don't forget that.

I'd say that's enough for today, class.  No homework, you all deserve a break.  For extra credit though, figure out what makes you feel valued and tap into that.

made by maura, over and out.

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