This is my post about the first few weeks at Sam Houston State University. It is a little daunting to finally be at a university. So far I am enjoying it. Although, I am not a doe-eyed 18 year old. I’m a 36 year old adult. This means that it is difficult for life to surprise me. A new place is just a new place. I’ve been nomadic for most of my adult life. I still have a lot to learn. Here are a few things that helps me settle in a new place. It takes time and patience to get accustomed to a new locale. You have to actively search and discover your new location. Find a system that works for your and constantly improve it, be it for work or school.
Adjusting to a new school in a new city will take time. I still live in Spring, Texas so I don’t have too much to acclimate too. There is also a campus in The Woodlands. I try to have most of my classes in The Woodlands. I have two classes at the Huntsville Campus, which is approximately a 45 minute drive from my apartment. I have 2.5 years left at Sam Houston. I have time. What does that mean? 2.5 years is a long time but when comparing it to the length of a 80 year old life, it really isn’t that long. I enjoy the Huntsville Campus. It is a beautiful green campus. I already have spent a lot of time in the library. I should draw on campus, so I will have memories and practice my drawing skill.
I think people neglect the part of knowing where you live or work. It is easy though because people only seem to drive to work, home and grocery store. I’m guilty of this as well. The search for secrets, sub cultures, or cool dive bars is my favorite part of about discovering a new place. I’ve live in Texas for 3 years and I have not really seen the state. It takes effort to search out and discover something new, especially if you don’t know what you’re looking for. I suppose you just have to keep your eyes open and be willing to experience things that could be interesting. Stay Curious.
I need a system for handling school and home life. Every semester is different. Now life is somewhat going back to normal, going to class in-person feels new and awkward. I have to organize my school work, my job, and the other things I enjoy. The main thing is time management(or Priority management as my former professor J would say). I have to make time to make sure I dedicate time to accomplish everything that will be due and the needs immediate attention. I write my weekly goals on butcher paper.
To summarize this post. I started school. I need time to adjust. I want to get to to know Huntsville, as well as Texas better. I have a process of time management which is a large paper taped to the wall.
My plans for the summer. I just finished Spring semester at my college. I have a few more things lined up to accomplish this summer. I have to finish two more college classes, Introduction to Chemistry and Intermediate Spanish II. I want to practice watercolor consistently. I signed up for a sprint triathlon. These are my three objectives for the summer.
This would be my official last semester at Lonestar College. All I need is this chemistry class to receive an Associate’s degree. Science is not one of my strengths. I had to withdraw from chemistry in the Fall 2020 because my grades were so bad. I would like to blame the teacher or the online teaching format, but that’s nonsense. It was my fault for not putting the sufficient effort for the material. I want to be more accountable for my life and the things that happen as a result. Is this what becoming an adult means? I will do my best with the time I have. I will tell you my grade when I finish.
The second section of my summer semester is Intermediate Spanish II. Recently I was thinking of taking a break from Spanish and study another language. Although, I am not comfortable in my current level. I can travel, order, have conversations, even follow shows and movies with subtitles. I would say my level is good enough. If I’m tough on myself, which I am. I have a below average to mediocre level. I wonder if I ever will be satisfied with my Spanish level? Is there an end game with language learning or does it turn into maintenance of learned languages? Regardless of these questions. I am going to keep going. Would you rather speak 3 languages at a basic level or one foreign language at a high level? I choose the latter. The depth over breadth argument. This is a side of language learning that a autodidact beginner never really encounters until they are fully invested in their target language.
Watercolor. I always loved the feeling of the medium. Something about the freshness of how the paint and dried water mixed, which made it beautiful. If I want to get better at something I have to practice, especially without a teacher. My plan is to study the art form. So far, this is what I have discovered for me. 1. Proficient drawing skill is vital 2. I must consider composition. This means I have to frame the picture within a square that is pleasing to the eye. 3. A pencil outline is necessary for beginners. (I hate this part, it takes too much time.) I would like to post my research on this blog. I have so much more to say on this subject.
On my vision board I have a square for a triathlon. I was going to give it up. Then I thought about it. I didn’t even try. I didn’t even attempt it. Why kind of person doesn’t even attempt something to set out to do? So I’m going to do a Triathelon on July 25, 2021. I have to train, which is the hardest part. The consistency of training is the difficult. As I write this, I have less than a 30 days to prepare.
I will give everyone an update on my progress with my objectives when the summer is over. I’ll let you know my grade, and my strategies for chemistry. How I my Spanish level is doing. Once I complete my triathleon, I will give my review.
At this point of my return to school. I am in my first semester at community college. I plan on finishing with an associates in teaching. I estimate that I will transfer by Spring 2021. Then on to a university, I am not 100% sure on which one yet. I have narrowed my choices down to three. University of Houston 90%. University of Texas- Austin 8%, and Sam Houston State University 2%. I realize I can elect to go anywhere in the world, I choose to stay in Texas because I just moved here, cost of living, and the veteran’s program I am using coincides with Texas.
How do I choose what college to go to? I think about what I want to do. I want to be a teacher. Great. Okay. What kind of teacher? There’s P.E, Art, Math, Early childhood development 1-6, social studies, special education, English as a second language. There are so many options! How does one choose? At this point I’ll finish with my associates in teaching. I have yet to take any classes either. I would like to volunteer at some schools in the Fall. My initial thoughts were to be a language teacher in a foreign country. I have a lot of time think about this idea and I will use the upcoming year to flush it out.
I finished my art exam test on got off of class early one day. I used that time to take a tour of University of Houston. It was an unusually cool for a June day in Houston. So a walking tour was perfect. The university was great with all the amenities and opportunities it offered. It is one the most diverse schools in the nation. It is located in the 4th largest city in the nation, behind Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York. It was an easy sell for me because I just moved here and I didn’t want to move again.
The thing I don’t like about colleges. First and foremost it is a business. I didn’t really know what that meant when I was 18 years old. Higher education is a growing industry. In essence a school tour is a 90 minute sales pitch. I have visited a few schools in my time. I had a girlfriend who went to Cal( UC Berkeley), so I went there often and college avenue ran from my art school in Oakland to UC Berkeley. I visited Stanford University for the Cantor museum and Rodin sculpture garden. When it comes to colleges nothing really impresses me anymore. A normal tour consists of showing us buildings of where students and/or teachers gather, and so on. Unfortunately you can never know what a school is like until you go there. It is one of those experiences you can’t fully grasp until you jumped in. Much like the military me.
The tour illustrated an emphasis on college life. The first time I went I didn’t really enjoy that. I feel its probably better for young adults to start renting apartments and start being an adult sooner vs living in the dorms and life on campus. This is probably for economical reasons, city planning, and ease of access to campus. As an older student I will probably move closer to the campus but continue my activities in the city vs college activities. College will eventually end for all students. There’s no reason to switch off campus because you already have a community. No need to transition. In school, it is super easy to meet friends because they have similiar goals and interests. As an adult, making friends is very difficult. I believe people should be exposed to that as early as possible. These are a just a few thoughts on how broaden your college bubble.
What do you think? Did you graduate from college? Do you have children? What do you think they should do? Write your comments below.