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12/4/2003 2:10:37 AM

Well girls, the semester is drawing to an end and there are only two weeks of school work to complete. I'd have to say this semester has been one of the greatest learning experiences of my college career. I had almost forgotten that there was more to college than grades and professors and the people that had played a significant part in my life in the past had seemed to have been squeezed out of my schedule. I found myself getting tired and discouraged as the semester was coming quickly to a close and the work was again piling up. I decided to take a little breather and plan a little get together with all of my old friends and some new ones, but I really didn't know when. As thanksgiving rolled around my best friend Matt was telling me about all of his family traditions at thanksgiving and how he was sad that he wouldn't be able to go home for thanksgiving. His situation gave me a great idea and in no time I found myself planning a pre-thanksgiving dinner with all of our friends as a surprise for him. It was so much fun pulling everything together and getting everyone involved. Sadly, Matt ended up discovering the plan but it turned out to be a great blessing. We spent most of the wednesday before thanksgiving making two turkey's, yams, green bean casserole and everything one could imagine while laughing and reminiscing. That night we had about 30 to 40 friends over and played games, listened to music, and caught up with the friends we hadn't seen in ages. We even got to have some of our friends from Korea, India, and Mexico come by and join the celebration. Seeing the joy in everyone's face and hearing our international friends say how much they enjoyed the dinner gave me the best feeling in the world. It was so amazing to see so many cultures and so many students of all ages and professional focuses so eager to learn more about one another and get along so well. We ended up with a lot of food that Matt and I took to a homeless shelter a few miles away. The spirit of the season and the simple value of friendship gave me that extra motivation to stay focused and finish this semester strong. I found that there is a balance to everything, and although studies are incredibly important, so is maintaining friendships and growing through them. I found a million more thing to be thankful for this past thanksgiving, and I feel so blessed to have people like Matt in my life to help me grow into the person I would like to become.

Be thankful for every blessing big and small, for everything around you impacts who you are.

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11/19/2003 1:17:30 PM

Today has definitely been a test. We are getting further into the semester and things are increasing in difficulty. The classes are still entertaining, for the most part, and I do feel like I am learning more, but from the results of some of the more recent tests it seems as though I should work a little harder. Its been a little hard to juggle work and school and still maintain some shred of social life but its highly plausible to do so. I think I need to work less and study more. Its great to have money to do fun things and what not but its definitely more important to get good grades so that I can get into a good graduate school. Sometimes things tend to build up and create high levels of stress and you being to feel like you are drowning with no hope of being saved. The best thing I have found is try to focus on the future. When you have a goal you have a stronger drive to succeed. If you aren't sure of where you are going or what you want to be you can still focus on the future. Think of what you could become when you are done, all the opportunities at your finger tips. Think of the money you will make and how it will feel to know you can take care of yourself. You can even think as far ahead as when you get married, if you want to, or if you have kids. You can think of what a wonderful life you can provide for you family by doing something you love, all because you worked hard and made it through the hardest part. I try to think of things like that because they help me a lot. Its also good if you can find a good support group. Find a friend you can study with, who will actually study, and spend time with them. My best friend and I have astronomy and lab together, both are significantly hard classes but we keep each other in check. We work on our labs at the same time so if we have any questions we can ask each other and don't get frustrated because we don't know. Friends are an awesome support because they are on the same journey you are. Make sure to focus and have faith in yourself. It is important to believe in yourself and have faith you can do anything. Everything is possible, but you'll never know until you try!

"You'll never change if you just run away"- Christina Aguillera

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9/14/2003 4:06:42 PM

There are a lot of things you are going to learn throughout your college career and ironically enough most of them are not from the hundred dollar books. As cliché as this may sound, college is definitely a place to find yourself. College is like a world of its own. You have to learn to focus on the most important things, well not forgetting about the little things in life that make you who you are. The most important choice you are going to make is going to be choosing your career. This may take a few tries so don't get too frustrated if after your third theater class or your fiftieth science class you decide that that subject really isn't your passion. It's important to chose your future based on your likes and dislikes, not someone else's because you will be the one doing whatever you chose for the rest of your life. On the other hand, freshman year teacher's aren't always the best. I'm now taking my fourth english class toward one of my majors, yes you may have more than one, and I am loving every second of it. My first year of english, however, was horrific. I had the worst 101 and 102 professors anyone could have. I was very discouraged and was ready to switch majors even though I really loved english. I decided to tough it out and see what was beyond the basics and my next english professor was amazing! His sheer passion for the subject kept our entire class intrigued. He allowed us to write more freely and actually took time to put well thought out comments on our papers. I was thrilled to have a professor who loved the subject as much as I did. My professor after him only got better! I only have the class one day a week and it's a three hour class. What I find ironic is I find myself thinking "this class needs to be longer!" I learned a lot from that experience. One freshman year professors have a lot of students coming in to their intro classes, especially english since it is mandatory. Although it isn't right, the professors tend to whiz through their courses and spend very little time on the actual students. I am sure there are some professors who don't do this, but I have yet to meet one. I think the main reason is because they most likely think that the students are there because they have to be, its a required course. They tend to forget that their could be students who are there because they want to be. I bumped into my professor from my third english class the other day and felt the need to thank him for restoring my faith in english professors. He seemed very grateful for the compliment and went on to say that perhaps my first year professors would have been more efficient if I had told them about my love of the subject. He said what I had been thinking, that most first year professors just go through the motions and that sometimes you just have to wait until the upper division classes to find people who share your interests of a subject. So, my advice would be if you find yourself becoming discouraged in a course you once loved hang in there. Talk to your professor and tell them how much you enjoy the subject and why. If anything it will help remind you of why you chose the subject in the first place. College is definitely a time of self- discovery and excitement. There will be tons of good times and of course you will find some bad. The best way to stay on track is to remember why you are there and to think of what a wonderful future lies ahead. Lastly, I will leave you with this; don't ever change who you are, you are beautiful just the way God made you!

Quote of the day: Don't get so caught up in tomorrow that you forget to live today!

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College
Arizona State University
Major
English
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