(Excuse my writing hiatus. Once I turned in my last final, winter break hit me hard.)
HOORAY!!! I survived the fall semester of my junior year! It’s been another busy and academically challenging year, but I’ve learned a lot and made many happy memories.
This semester, I took Math Methods for Physics Majors (PHYS 306), Advanced Classical Mechanics (PHYS 308), Experimental Design & Statistics (BIO 215), and Nationalist Projects & Socialist Dreams: The History of Nationalism and Socialism in Twentieth Century East-Central Europe (HIST 226). My week usually consisted of a history quiz on the readings every Monday, an occasional Biostats lab due Tuesday, a Biostat homework set due Wednesday (or Friday sometimes), a Classical Mechanics set due Thursday, and a Math Methods set due Friday.
The science sets were manageable because most times you could model your answers off problems done together in class. I was fine with understanding Math Methods, but I had a hard time in Classical Mechanics. Thankfully, each semester I get to explore a different branch of physics. I’m looking forward to Advanced Electronics Lab in the spring. I enjoyed my Biostats class because I buy into the idea that big data will transform our world, and a good grasp of statistics will lead to promising opportunities. I had taking statistics in high school, so I was familiar with the basics, but Biostats in college took it to a high level of depth and understanding. My most valuable technical skill that came out of that class was learning R Studio. R is a statistics computer program that allows you to write code to arrange and analyze data. It is used in many professional settings. I specifically took that Biostats class because I had been told at my externship at the AIDS Institute last year that it was a worthwhile class.
Three STEM classes was a bit overwhelming, so the history balanced my schedule. I had chosen the history class because I needed to fulfill my Inquiry into the Past (IP) graduation requirement. I had also wanted to choose a light humanities class to bump up my GPA, but I chose the wrong class to do just that. There was a lot of reading, and my thoughts when writing my essays always drifted back to the voice inside my head telling me “This is why you are a STEM major.” I did find the class extremely interesting and relevant to current events such as the migrant crisis and Russian politics, though. I had not known much about East Central Europe prior to taking the class, and I had bad experiences with history in high school (another reason why I thought I should be a STEM major). I have definitely grown as a humanities person since coming to Bryn Mawr. I think it is important for people to be well rounded and aware of their world.
In addition to my academics, I had dance practice for the Fall Student Dance Concert at the end of November every Monday, Thursday, and Sunday. I also had A/ASA meetings biweekly on Monday nights, Concert Series meetings biweekly on Tuesday nights, Re:Humanities meetings occasionally on Thursdays, and Choom Boom club dance sessions every Friday night. I somehow also managed to go into Philly about once or twice a month. And of course, blog all about events on campus for my Banter Blog.
Next semester, I’ll be cutting down on my extracurriculars. My term as A/ASA president has ended and I’ll be returning to the affinity group as a regular member. I also need to dedicate more time to my academics. This summer, I decided that I want to become a nurse. This requires good grades to get into the top schools. Since deciding on nursing, I realized that part of the reason why I am a Physics major is because I had no direction before and was looking for a flexible, prestigious degree. While I admit that this is partially still true, I am already more than half way through my college experience. I still believe that Physics is a flexible, respected degree and will not be changing my major. I need to find the joy in Physics again next semester and work harder towards my goal of becoming a nurse.
Socially, I am doing just fine. I love my friends and roommates. I love looking forward to what the future has to offer. I love Bryn Mawr.