Scholar Check-in: Julie Kwong
Princeton University, freshman
These past few weeks have been hectic in terms of course work but, as this week came to a close, I started to feel more in control of time and my schedule.
I have to say that it is really stressful here in college. Midterms are this week; I have one in Spanish and one in Architecture this Friday. I have a long essay to finish by this Friday and need to start thinking about my two research papers due in early December. There’s a lot going on and never a moment where I can truly say I am finished with everything. But this is exactly what I like. I enjoy being occupied and being encouraged to use every free second to learn something new in an assigned reading.
This past week, my assignments eased up a little bit and I took advantage of the time to finish my readings early for Freshmen Seminar, so that for once I can be a leading member of our discussions instead of speaking very infrequently like I have been doing for the past month. I’m different in the classroom here than I was in high school; the standards are higher and the students are more participative. I do all of the readings and want to desperately show that I have thoughts on them, but I have not yet been able to make my voice heard in class.
This week, I hope to change that. I have made a list of things I want to mention during discussion as well as several questions I want to bring up. I’ve started to read a bit faster and managed to be less distracted during the readings, saving time and staying focused. I’m ready to take on the challenge. On the other hand, I am really enjoying my Writing Seminar and Spanish classes. I have already watched and analyzed two films (Julie & Julia, The Help) for the writing seminar! It is so interesting to identify the ways in which food plays an important role in a movie, and the readings especially are fascinating. Although we have back-to-back essays, I really enjoy seeing this everyday item in a totally new light. My Spanish class as well is engaging, and in this class, I really have the opportunity to interact with the other students, even if it just means saying ‘hello’ when we see each other on campus. The readings and discussions we do as well as the concepts we cover are fun. My Intro to Architecture class is definitely an intriguing course, but I get confused often in the readings because I have no prior background knowledge on the subject. The precept or discussion section of this class definitely helps clear up some concepts discussed in the lecture by our professor, who is a professional in the field and very entertaining!
Overall, I am starting to get the hang of how to juggle social and academic life. This past weekend, I attended our homecoming events (dance and football game) and still managed to stay on top of my work. I don’t plan on going out to The Street too often anymore because I waste a lot of time there. It was difficult for me to say no to my friends, but once I did, I could really see the difference in how much work I got done and how much time I had left to get ahead.