I’ve been doing quite a bit of thinking about the last two years lately. About the quaking twenty-year-old freshman who walked into Columbine Hall on my college campus two years ago and the girl I am now.
When I started college, I had been homeschooled all of my life and had taken a year off to work and decide what to do next. I liked who I was and didn’t want to change. I wanted to stay set in the same ways like a petrified mummy in an ancient tomb. When people told me that college would make me a different person, I couldn't deal with that idea. It terrified me. But now I’m well over halfway through the process of getting a bachelor’s degree, and I know I'm different. Something new has emerged, meshing together the child I was and the adult I am becoming like velcro.
God has brought me into this grand adventure filled with new people and situations and made me stronger and wiser—and better able to love other people as Jesus would. My homeschool education gave me all the tools I needed to succeed in a university atmosphere and consider various worldviews, but actually being on a campus during the day has given me experience in being out in the real world while still living at home.
The past two years have brought more challenges and required more daring than I ever thought possible. I had classes with two of the most difficult teachers I’ve ever studied under, but they were used to mold me and show me that I could indeed do hard things. Prof. Pellow and Prof. Ruminski actually became my two of my favorite teachers ever because they taught me so much and pushed me to the limit so I could discover just what I was capable of doing.
At the end of last spring semester, I was sitting in the shade of some pine trees one day about noon, looking over toward the clock tower. I glanced at some of the people strolling by on the sidewalk and realized that I at least recognized the faces of about half of them, even though there are several thousand students at my school. I knew then that this was my school, too, now—where I belonged.
So now I’d just like to share a list of top ten highlights (in no specific order) in my “college experience” for my freshman and sophomore years.
Top 10 Best Experiences
in my first two years of college
- Hearing Prof. Pellow explicate and discuss in-depth the possible meanings in “The Windhover” by Gerard Manley Hopkins in my Literary Criticism class. I’d wanted to hear this poem explained since my senior year of high school.
- Getting an A in Prof. Ruminski’s General Chemistry II class!
- Convincing Prof. Laroche to read The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy.
- Taking my dad to Dr. Martin’s Composition II class about the Sixties.
- Being invited by Prof. Ray to take her Jane Austen Senior Seminar when I was only a freshman.
- Getting published in riverrun, my school’s literary arts publication, and reading one of my poems at an open mic event for my friend Melissa’s class.
- Writing my final paper for Intro to Literary Studies on Jane Austen’s Persuasion.
- Having one of my Freshman Seminar profs, Dr. Martinez, tell me on the first day that homeschooled students usually did the best in her classes. Definitely gave me a needed boost of confidence! :)
- Discussing “Goblin Market” by Christina Rossetti in Prof. Taylor’s Nineteeth-Century British Literature class.
- Meeting and getting to know two awesome writing buddies, Melissa and Cynthia, through having classes together.
- And one more just for good measure: Discussing the Canadian Western Genre one day after class with Dr. Worden. :)