At the end of every semester, time moves twice as fast. There are tests, final projects and, of course, finals. The tasks that need to be accomplished are overwhelming if you think of them all at once. More than anything, this is a test of survival and you should prepare accordingly.
As this is my second time in college, I feel that the years I have spent in school have indelibly taught me a few things, one of the most valuable being how to choose a major. While some students know from the time they are a small child that they’re going to own their own business or cure cancer, I was not one of those children. At five I wanted to be a garbage collector; at eight, a flight attendant; and at ten, a professional soccer player. I am now twenty-nine years old, have never worked in these industries, and can safely say I never will.
When I returned to college in 2011, thirteen years had passed since I last sat in a classroom. Skipping the long story about my past failure with college, I walked in the door on day one, with little confidence and plenty of doubt. Well, as it turns out, my first year back was a success based on many factors, some related to my commitment and others related to the culture of learning at Fort Lewis College.
When I arrived at Fort Lewis College in the fall of 2011, I was sure about majoring in psychology, but I had next to no idea what I wanted to minor in. There were so many options; how could I possibly limit myself to a mere one or two minors? I decided to take a class in the college’s honors program.
What is it like to be a student at Fort Lewis College? In our "Day in the life" series, we'll explore student life at FLC through the eyes of our students. In this episode, we meet Jake, a senior Biology major who aspires to be a veterinarian. On a typical day, Jake hikes up to campus, meets with his research advisor in the Honors Program, goes to his neurobiology class, and works at a local small animal veterinary clinic.
While there are practically limitless ways in which Fort Lewis College is a special place, I have been particularly impressed with how committed Fort Lewis is in ensuring academic resources are abundant. Whether you need help with your advanced differential equations class or you’re trying to unravel what Kant’s categorical imperative is really all about, there are plentiful avenues for academic assistance. And the best part: they’re all totally free!
On deciding upon going to Fort Lewis I had two main thoughts: I wanted to grow intellectually and I wanted to grow creatively. Coming into college I had been writing hip-hop lyrics for about two and half years. Although I have taken my education seriously throughout my whole college career, I have also taken music seriously. The liberal arts degree that Fort Lewis provides opens up a lot of opportunities for creative individuals, like myself, to incorporate their creativity and passion into their schoolwork.
The following essay is adapted from the speech Alex gave at Skyhawk Saturday on November 9, 2013.
Your presence today speaks for your willingness to accept change: change that will encapsulate both the highs and lows of your entrance into a very new world. This is a world of fun, challenge, laughter, stress, and most importantly, growth. Today you quell one of the most important decisions you will make as an adult, where you choose to attend college.
Even after three and a half years of being a student at Fort Lewis College, it is still hard to forget how overwhelmed and nervous I felt to be going away to college after graduating from high school. As a first generation student and the first of my siblings to be going away to college, I was fearful of how leaving my family and mentors would affect my life and my success in school.
Sand to stone, ocean to mountains, palm trees to pine, surfing to boarding, warm to cool…everything familiar to so much new.
When I meet someone new, our conversation usually goes like this: “So, where are you from?” “Maui…Hawai’i,” I reply. “Really?! What are you doing here in Durango?” It’s a good question, with a somewhat complicated answer. Why am I in Durango? What prompted me to leave the sand, surf, and sunshine that I came to identify with during the first nineteen years of my life?