In reflection of this autumn quarter, it has been rough, to say the least: there were weeks when I would literally cry once a day over the amount of homework I had and the frail amount of free time that I did. I additionally ran into various hurtles outside of academics, like financial aid disagreements, for example. As a result, my expectations have not exactly changed, but they have definitely been a hardship. I have always set high expectations for myself, and I will be the first to admit that I am most definitely not meeting these expectations this quarter. It is rather upsetting. However, I still plan on doing the best I can for next quarter, with the equivalent amount of expectations.
All in all, I have realized that I do need to be less harsh on myself—that being said, I still find my results quite disappointing anyhow. But I have learned to overcome my frustrations and just work through it. Honestly, it simply surprised me that I could even, well, sink so low and still be okay. On the bright side, I have made marvelous friends within my McMahon floor to whom I will be forever thankful.
I knew that UW was in fact a larger school—one of the reasons I picked it—but I did not quite expect the difficulties that come with being in a larger school: navigating things almost completely on your own in terms of where or who to go to, the lack of specific help to individual students in classes (since there are so many), you get the idea. However, I have navigated most of these surprises, and I still enjoy walking among a sea of strangers at any given time. It is refreshing, and has an infinite amount of possibilities.
In Honors 100, I have learned about various ways to intertwine studying abroad with experiential learning, and a multitude of other things to mix. I have always been inclined to travel and have always known that I would study abroad in college, although I do not precisely know when. For this reason, I am quite interested in investigating the subject further.
By the end of my first year, I just hope to achieve an understanding of how I function as a college student. I hope to understand where I am going, how I study best, what my tendencies are now that I am on my own, and I simply just hope I grow more as a person. In the grander scheme of things, I hope that by the end of my UW career, I have done everything that I wanted to do, learned everything that I possibly could, enjoyed my time, made wonderful friends, and have formulated enough connections to quite possibly have a dependable job in a hopefully close future.
Kelsey Hamlin is finishing up her last year at the UW. Though her time is typically spent telling others' stories, here's a chance to get a peek at hers.