1. Remember what the mistakes taught me. (via : Things I learned freshman year)
2. Block distractions… but be smart. “I learned I could do physics for hours with my ipod on and my study playlist. I also have started putting my phone in my bag when I study, and some hot tea is always a nice push!
3. Studying… College demands technology. So much so, many students including myself engage screens for more hours a day than sleep!
4. I am completely awed by how much I have learned in 2 years, at the exact same time, horrified by all the things I repeatedly forget.
5. Learned the art of observing and listening. Learn to find positives and negatives in structures and ideas.
6. Learning that in academica ideas are legitimate when they have been published in a book. In that theory most times out weighs lived experience, such dominance seems unhealthy. Very insular.
7. Follow your passion, is not one size fits all. Students have loads of the debt, and now the college debt is akin to a high school diploma. While education can be both inside and outside the classroom, certification of degrees, create hierarchy, act as status markers, and if more students will need graduate degrees to compete then why not follow ones passion then? Or …
8. Learned to find mentors who have found their spark.
9. Learned production is valued. Grades are valued, and with sophomore year being quite difficult for me, it is important to understand how numbers create options. Connections are important and valuable but numbers create options.
10. I have a lovely circle of friends, but when meeting others at party or social gathering, it can be a little tricky. I have learned, when I interact with an adult, try to have a conversation with him or her about a challenging topic. Ask for views to be explained as well as share yours. Push for clarity and be interesting.
11. When I am nervous I can go to my phone. I’ve learned, that technology at my fingertips can create missed opportunities. It is always sweet to show one’s patience, manners and social etiquette.
12. This year I unfortunately experienced what Malcolm Gladwell called, “relative deprivation — we make our self-assessments based on our immediate surroundings. So when you’re not part of the group that’s the best around you, you’re unhappy and feel like you can’t compete, so it dramatically increases the risk of dropout and failure.” Let me make this straight, I am not as risk of dropout, and I might even graduate earlier, however admittely being at an elite institution in the science when you are not in the top of your game (gpa or research wise..) it can hurt. No one ever talks about this. The feeling of inadequacy. It is real. But I found using my social and intellectual capital and network as support - kept me at bay.
13. I have learned (perhaps due to number 12) to be more humble and try my best even when I may not be motivated. Sophomore year for me was quite reflective. It was the year in which I wanted to “show my goals” rather than tell my goals.
14. To enjoy my Sunday ritual. Which consisted of: Eating my favorite omelet, doing my readings for the week ahead, making my weekly do-to list, cleaning my room, doing laundry and watching “Real Housewives” with my roommate! It is the little effective habits that makes the difference.
15. Upper division courses taught me critical thinking, and my freshman intro classes taught me the rules.
16. I am being much more assertive. Although I am still very polite and cautious (cue my immigrant parents who instilled such values), I have now been able to say “no” more often, and explain my priorities with ease.
17. Social scientists have described two entities known as treatment effects and selection effects. Treatment effects simplified says one builds character while in this institution and a selection-effect institution is because one already possess “valuable traits” that they are accepted to such institutions. College can feel like both.
18. Speaking of treatment effect, sophomore year has forced me to think about concepts in which repetition of facts is not enough, it has force me to have deep thought concerning my abilities and calculating where I am a and where I want to be, lastly I have been encourage be a bit more of social butterfly. I met so many awesome people though others.
19. I learned that pre med is grit. Since I have only two lab courses left to graduate, I will be taking my MCAT in september :\ It is nerve racking, and it is also yet another means of comparison. Along with gpa, and internships, mcat is the holy gail of medical school admissions. But I have learned to respect the mcat, respect the privilege I have as a college student to learn all the pre-req sciences and embark on AMAZING internships every semester since freshman year. I will study hard, and understand that while my worth is not measured by the exam, my ability to work under-pressure, think critically as well as adapting to different disciplines is measured. I want to swim to the finish line with dignity.
20. I learned that despite applying for study aboard as a sophomore I was accepted! I am going to Costa Rica this summer! I will not be blogging after May 24th but before then I have lots of posts. I am doing so much as a sophomore.