Hello everyone! I wrote the following post at the conclusion of this past semester of college, and I have held onto it for quite some time, as different ideas diverted my attention from it following its completion. Now that I am immersed into my second semester of college, I think that it is time for me to finally post what I had written. Doing so will surely help me reflect on my college experiences so far and remind myself of what I can accomplish within just a short amount of time. I hope you all enjoy it!
Also, I must give props to those who notice that the featured image for this post is the same one for my post “Ongoing Trends in My Vocabulary.” Keep reading to find out why that singular picture that I own has found repeated use.
If someone told me a year ago that I would be attending community college even though I had been accepted into every college I applied for and was offered scholarships, I likely would have been dismayed. Similarly, if if someone told my seventeen-year-old self that I would become emotional over the loss of one of my pencils, I would have been quite confused.
Well, it is funny how life works out.
Just a month ago, I was in the office of one of my professors, asking questions about an article I had to write and manically writing down notes with my favorite purple mechanical pencil. My professor seemed to be busy, so I quickly left after my questions were answered. Later that day, I realized that my beloved pencil was gone, and that it likely was on the floor of the aforementioned office. I became quite emotional after this realization; this inanimate object had been with me every day throughout my first semester of college. My acknowledgement of the loss of my pencil surely increased my gratitude for my experiences at my community college, though, of which I would like to highlight and call attention to.
Making the effort to be present
As a fairly neurotic person, walking into my my college on the first day of class (and on many upcoming days) was terrifying. Regardless, I was able to attend every class of the semester. I will admit that I engage in nervous habits, one of which being my twisting of the adjustable eraser on my purple pencil. I can picture myself in a multitude of situations throughout the semester in which I anxiously fidgeted with my pencil: in class discussions, before exams, and while anticipating extensive note-taking.
Interviewing someone I admire
One major assignment of mine in during the semester was to interview someone in the industry I want to enter. The summer before, I actually had walked by a business that I curiously admired. Well, guess what? On a crisp October afternoon, after setting up a meeting time by email, I nervously walked into that building and timidly asked the owner questions about their career path. Although I wrote down notes with a pen (I wanted to look professional, of course), my favorite pencil that I used to write down my questions was in my folder that I brought along with me.
Engaging in service learning
On the first day of one of my classes, I found out that it would necessitate involvement in my college’s service learning program, which required twenty hours of volunteer week. Although I was worried about the extra work involved with the class, I embraced the opportunity I had at my fingertips. I was able to volunteer at one of my favorite organizations, and of course, my pencil was with me when meeting with staff members during the process. Not only will my experiences from service learning look delightful on a resumé, but I also now have a better understanding of how I can interact with others in the community. My experiences with the organization even validated my belief of my eagerness to make people feel happy, even if my interaction with them is only a few seconds long.
Speaking up about the results of the election
November 9, 2016 was a day that greatly impacted me, and not just because of the results of the election. That day has lead me to writing this post right now. I am quite introverted and typically avoid speaking up for myself, especially when it is regarding a controversial topic. I had written a blog post on the day of the election about my first voting experience (in a very optimistic way), and the morning afterwards, I felt the need to update my post with my reactions. A half-an-hour later, I read this post to my English class off of my phone, with my notebook and pencil in my lap. I felt both empowered and guilty during and afterwards, as I felt relieved to have finally vented after keeping my thoughts in my mind and my writing, but was afraid that I offended anyone. These ambivalent emotions, although difficult to reason with, have undoubtedly stuck with me. I essentially went on a “writing spree” for the rest of the week, and put effort into truly thinking about my values and beliefs, because I was finally forced to confront them instead of passively judging those of others.
As one can see, my experiences at community college thus far have exceeded my expectations; with a singular pencil in hand, I was able to accomplish so much beyond just taking classes at a relatively low cost and at a location close to home. I probably could have just built up the courage and found the time to go to my professor’s office to ask for permission to find the measly pencil I had lost, but in my defense, one cannot become a perfect person in a singular semester. Thus, I will be back to my community college next semester, and I am excited to see what the semester will bring me. I will definitely make sure to keep an eye on my new green mechanical pencil.
Update: I have not yet lost my beloved green mechanical pencil. (Feel free to sponsor me, PaperMate.)
Have any of you found yourself finding a small, seemingly meaningless inanimate object to have sentimental value? Let me know, as I love hearing about how experiences of others have changed their perspectives in a multitude of ways.