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The End is Here!

June 18, 2013

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The end of the year is here and I can officially say I have my first year at the beautiful University of Washington under my belt!  That being said, I’m starting to get sentimental. The end of spring quarter is a time to finally breathe, reflect and learn from all of the things I experienced.  From classes I completely dreaded to classes I thoroughly enjoyed, this past year was definitely a mix of the good, the bad and the ugly.

For me, registering for classes required weeks of planning beforehand but were  determined in a matter of minutes and done with one click of the mouse. As a first year, we are the last group to register for classes. This can be stressful because availability and access to classes can become pretty limited as classes tend to fill up fast.  Feelings of panic and stress takeover as our schedules for the upcoming quarter are put in question because of the  classes we need to get into.

Another fear for incoming students is the intense workload and rigorous courses. I  remember having these feelings of anxiety and fear my fall quarter; luckily, the college prep courses I took in high school alleviated some of this anxiety.  I soon discovered that your first year in college won’t be hundreds of pages of reading in one night or even twenty page papers due in one week; many of the classes you take are introductory courses and they are called that for a reason! Though my classes had readings more strenuous than I was used to in high school, I learned a valuable lesson in time management and prioritizing.

As a Political Science and Communication major, there are mandatory introductory courses needed to apply for the major. So far, I’ve taken the courses for political sciences which are Comparative Politics, American Politics, International Relations, and Philosophy of Feminism. I highly recommend these courses even if you aren’t in the major. All these classes were straightforward in lectures and tests. The social science classes were also great introductory courses into my field, and allowed me to dip my feet into the water rather than cannonball.

As for classes that didn’t relate to my major,  I completed English, two astronomy courses (Intro to Astronomy and The Planets), and Psychology of Sexuality. The most difficult part of the year for me was science. I did not enjoy these courses. At all. While they were taught well in lecture and labs, the concepts became incredibly bland. At first, learning about constellations and stars in astronomy were intriguing, but we soon delved deeper into the subject and like black dwarfs I started dying out.

The other class that didn’t pertain to my major was Psychology of Sexuality which is incredibly popular at the UW and most people hear about it through word of mouth. For me, sexuality has always been an interesting concept; however, the class is much more science based than I would have liked. My take away? The infamous “Porn Fridays” are optional and can be an important learning experience and I also really enjoyed the panels covering topics from intersex to  polygamy. That being said, I found the lectures to be the opposite of exciting as power point slide after power point slide all started to look the same.

This summer, I look  forward to taking classes and enjoying my time in Seattle. I am taking my first upper level courses with Effects of Mass Communication and Arab-Israeli conflicts. Both courses are a level above the introduction and are in my intended majors.

While I don’t have the “yes, it’s summer time!” excitement yet, I do feel relieved that my first year in college is over. If these past nine months are any indicator, I can’t wait for what the next year will bring and the growth that will occur.

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