Sunday, July 24, 2005

30 Days Remaining

One month from today the grind will begin again. The return to school always comes with mixed emotions, however this fall; I think that I am looking forward to it more than I have in a long time. As mentioned earlier this summer, this was my first summer off in my entire collegiate career. It has been times to focus more on work, read good books, enjoy some extracurricular programming, travel, and relax. Yet, at the same time, I have really missed the rigor that school brings into my life. I believe that when I am in school, I am more goal oriented, that I plan and make better use of my time.

In the past four years, each return to school has been after at most a one month break, and at least a two week recess. When your recess consists of two weeks away, you barely forget that you were away before you have to go back. However, with near four month holiday, the time seems much more significant, and though it may sound mentally ill to you, I have grown to miss school. Even though I have never been a great “campus participant”, by way of sports, campus involvement or otherwise, I enjoy just being there, reading the school newspaper, and complaining about campus politics. I enjoy the friendship of colleagues who have similar goals, and are equally committed to reaching them. Though the nights are late at the math center, there is a group committed to getting the job done.

Very little about academia has been easy. Just look at me. Four years and one major change later, I still don’t have a bachelor’s degree. However, in this past year, I think I finally learned what it takes to make it as a student. I was finally lucky enough to find an academic advisor that gives me encouragement, some friends to help me stick to the task, and a subject area that I feel passionately about studying. The first three years of my collegiate experience were nearly a complete mess, however, if there is any redemption to be found in the system this last year has made up for what feels to be a career of earlier mistakes.

Math isn’t nearly as terrible as it once was. It even has the potential to be fun, and if not fun, at least it has given me a powerful tool that helps me to be able to model the world around me. As it sits now, I am three courses away from a minor in mathematics, and I am so excited to complete that journey. In my mind, it is akin to completing an obstacle course. It is a testament to the idea that if one works hard enough, one really can overcome their weaknesses.

Computer science is my major. Last fall I couldn’t say it because I hadn’t been accepted into the program yet. Now, however I can say it. I am majoring in computer science. I got accepted into their program. The classes are challenging, and I may not always be the brightest crayon in the box, but I work hard, and am pulling my weight. I am thoroughly enjoying the things that I am learning about computers, and how they work. Computer Science is a relatively new field to academia, but its breadth and depth is impressive and humbling. I hope that my thirst for knowledge of and about it never dies.

That’s probably enough on the waxing eloquent about school, and my sappiness about finally finding a place where I seem to fit into academia. One month to go, and the homework will begin again. That gives me a few more weeks to sit back, relax, and work on personal projects, yet at the same time, I am filled with excitement about what lies ahead. No, it won’t be easy, but as I was reminded earlier today nothing worth having is.


Anonymous said...

Wow such optimism and passion. Congratulations on your attitude, your journey, you accomplishments!

Jon Featherstone said...

I myself and not looking forward to school, having not taken the summer off, but I can sympathise. I took the summer semester off last year, and I was ready to be back in school when the time came. It should be an interesting semseter.