A Week in the Life of an Honors Student
February 5, 2018
- ONE THING I LEARNED – Scientists believe that domesticated dogs evolved to have floppy ears and the tendency to lick their humans as greeting, which are technically juvenile traits.
- MOOD OF THE WEEK – Magnanimity. This is a big word that basically means generous. I love giving back to the friends who I missed!
- EMOJI OF THE WEEK – The Snowflake Emoji. Everybody hated when we were all snowed in, but I for one enjoy being stuck at home. I am a Cancer after all!
A refreshing aspect of the return to school is the familiarity of a daily routine. Having a routine to fall back on helps to keep us organized and motivated. Along with that, it is always lovely to reunite with the friends you parted ways with at the end of last semester!
It may be difficult at first to accustom yourself to the constant flow of assignments, but luckily that is what we have all prepared for in anticipation of Spring 2018. New students to APSU, for example, have prepared by visiting AP Day. AP Day gives potential students a chance to tour the campus and get a feel for how they can personally operate in their education journey. It differs from GOVS R.O.W. in that AP Day is simply a preview of what Austin Peay has to offer.
I went to AP Day in May of 2015, right after graduating high school. In all honesty, I was pretty pessimistic about it. At the time, I was definitely not in the right mindset for college. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life, I was still coming to terms with officially entering adulthood, and I didn’t have any desire to handle my own responsibilities fresh out of high school. All summer long, I feared the coming day that I would walk onto campus for my first class.
It wasn’t until that first day that I felt anything other than fear, anger, and sadness regarding university life. In fact, I woke up extremely depressed. Once I stepped into the convocation ceremony and met my APSU 1000 classmates, I saw for the first time that I wasn’t alone, and my mood almost immediately perked up. By the time I got home that night, I truly considered it one of the best days of my life, and some of those classmates are now my best friends.
The moral of the story is that although there was a day when the thought of college terrified me and made me genuinely afraid to look at my email, I can stand here today and say that I love my school. Even though I get stressed and pull my hair out at least once a week, I have made some amazing memories here that I will always remember, and I know that all this hard work is for a good reason.
Welcome back for Spring 2018! See you next week.
November 6, 2017
- ONE THING I LEARNED – There is an event on campus called “Cupcakes and Canvas” where you get to paint and eat cupcakes! I only know this because I had to reserve tables in the Honors Commons for it, but I am definitely signing up for it next time it happens.
- MOOD OF THE WEEK – Optimistic. I’m really looking forward to my classes next semester!
- EMOJI OF THE WEEK – The angel emoji. I have gotten all my work done on time the past few weeks so I’m proud of myself. Gonna buy a chocolate bar to treat myself later.
Just as we get into the groove of this semester and our lives have aligned with our routine, registration opens and we get to plan for next semester! This is always a fun time in my opinion, because the options are endless as to what fun classes you can take.
During your first semesters at Austin Peay, registration is easier because lower division classes don’t have as many pre-requisites. As you take these classes, they will open the way for your upper division classes, which there are fewer of. Because of this, registration seems to get harder as the semesters pass, but that just makes for more interesting schedules and class combinations! Luckily, each student has an advisor from their major to help them create their schedules.
My advisor is very helpful in that she not only assists in the classes you choose, but she also is very intent on your growth toward your career choice and preparation for graduate school.
Everybody has different preferences when it comes to how they register. I prefer using the Schedule Planner tool on OneStop, but many of my friends like to use the “Look up classes” function and then register for the classes one by one based on the CRN number for the class. Your advisor can show you either way to do this. Every semester, I print out the schedule that I make using the Schedule Planner and bring it to my advisor, and if everything seems to work, I’m good to go!
The most important thing to remember as far as registration goes is to confirm your classes. Each student must go to OneStop and verify their schedule one last time in order to be enrolled for next semester. This functions to weed out those who decided not to take classes in the next semester, so anyone who doesn’t confirm their classes before a certain date gets taken out of those classes in an event known by students as THE PURGE. Don’t be a victim of the Purge! Mark your calendars for January 8th at 9PM so you remember. One good thing about the Purge is that students who were previously unable to get into a class because it was full can take advantage of this possible opening in seats.
I have a meeting with my advisor this Thursday. Currently I am deciding between an Ecology class and a Linguistics class, so hopefully she and I can work out the best option for me. May registration be smooth and exciting for all of you!
October 30, 2017
- ONE THING I LEARNED – There was a Greek philosopher and mathematician named Hepatia who was murdered by a Christian cult that believed she was a witch because she was a smart woman.
- MOOD OF THE WEEK – Nostalgic. I’ve been listening to a lot of older music while I study, and it’s got me in the vintage mood!
- EMOJI OF THE WEEK – The cow emoji!
As most of you know, the best thing that has ever happened to this school was an event that happened recently. Our very campus was blessed by some very important bovine visitors and I couldn’t be happier. There were actual, real life, tangible, ethereal cows walking around. Two cows, named Blakeley and Danielle, came to strut their stuff for the students in honor of the calf who made its escape from the back of a truck on Riverside last year and took a trip through Austin Peay. I got the chance to sit down with PELP director Dr. Mills, who oversaw the event, and he told me more about the star cows themselves.
Blakeley and Danielle are two show cows who have both won championship titles at various fairs around the state. They are heifers, which means they have never had a calf. However, they won’t be heifers for very much longer, because they are both pregnant! They are expected to give birth around January or February. There is also a cow named Alisa’s Dream (after President White herself) who is too heavily pregnant to visit. According to Dr. Mills, Danielle is the nice one; Blakeley can be moody sometimes.
A couple hundred people came to see Blakeley and Danielle all blow-dried and fluffy! For APSU, that is a record breaking turnout.
I just really love cows.
It is also hard to believe that Halloween is tomorrow. Luckily unlike last year, the Fall season has fully developed, and Tennessee is painted beautifully by the forest landscape. The weather gives me hope that we may have a white Christmas this year, but maybe that is just wishful thinking.
Have a wonderful and safe All Hallows Eve!
~insert spooky noise here~
October 23, 2017
ONE THING I LEARNED – The TV show Friends is older than most college students. The first episode aired in 1994, and traditional seniors here at Austin Peay were born around 1995-1996.
MOOD OF THE WEEK – This past week had an assiduous atmosphere, meaning that I was determined to get my work done.
EMOJI OF THE WEEK – The robot emoji. Mostly because I feel like a robot when I am productive.
This week was jammed packed, and luckily Fall Break gave me the chance to worry less about school and more about work. On top of my regular schoolwork, I worked every day except Friday. I have two jobs this semester, both at shoe stores. There’s no particular reason for me to be working at two shoe stores, but it just kind of turned out that way, so I guess I have to learn to like shoes!
Balancing the responsibilities of being a full-time student and even one part-time job can be overwhelming for some people. During my freshman year, I was under pressure to find a job so that I can make some money for myself, but I felt as though I should wait until I became more accustomed to life at Austin Peay before I ventured to the spooky world of retail. I found a job in the mall during Sophomore year and eventually became the assistant manager there in the Summer of my Junior year. I have since left that job to work at my two shoe stores in the mall, and it actually isn’t too bad sometimes. My coworkers are all very lovely people, which makes it all worth it.
As far as maintaining a good GPA and making my managers proud, it all boils down to how much I can tune out the rest of the world and focus on a certain task. If I can devote my time, plan ahead, and stay organized, I can keep my life afloat. I never used a planner until this semester, and it is my key to planning my life. In there I write down my schedules for both jobs, as well as test and quiz dates and homework. All color coded!
Congratulations to all of you on making it back to school from Fall Break! It seems to me that the first half of the semester has flown by, so perhaps the rest of the semester will follow suit. See you next week!
October 16, 2017
- ONE THING I LEARNED – “Lagniappe” was a section in the New Orleans magazine Times-Picayune! I wasn’t even aware of this when we first introduced Lagniappe to this blog, but my friend saw it on Jeopardy a few days ago and we freaked out about it.
- MOOD OF THE WEEK – “Somteimts.” Yes. That’s the mood of the week. I tried to type “sometimes” but it didn’t turn out that way, and it’s pretty reminiscent of how this week is going so far. But it means “sweetheart” in Latvian! So not all is lost.
- EMOJI OF THE WEEK – ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ This week I’m picking the shrugging emoji, because at this point I have accepted my fate. Stay tuned for further details.
Alas, the week before Fall Break is upon us. Midterms are currently taking the campus population by storm, and if you’re lucky then maybe you’re prepared to fight back! This is actually one of my favorite times during the Fall Semester; the weather is finally getting colder, and Fall Break gives us the chance to momentarily unwind and come back down to earth before we are plunged back into the hurricane that is academia.
Alternative Fall Break trips are options that many students take in order to expand their horizons. This year there are trips to Bowling Green, Louisville, and Gatlinburg. I have yet to go on one, but I almost went camping my Freshman year. A friend of mine went to St. Louis to help underprivileged kids, and she had the time of her life! There she did things such as cook for the kids and help raise money. According to her, she made lifelong friends.
As far as testing goes, I have two tests on Thursday: Chemistry and Calculus. Many of the students were under the impression that our Calculus test was to be the Thursday after Fall Break, but our professor decided that it was a good idea to move it earlier. Although I do relish in the opportunity to procrastinate, I must agree that I would probably perform better on the test before Fall Break. My brain tends to turn to mud over breaks from school, so recalling information (especially math) would be even more difficult. Chemistry may go well for me, but some studying can obviously never hurt.
I wish you all a successful Midterm week, and a satisfying Fall Break! May your grades be high and your stress levels low.
October 10, 2017
So here begins the first entry of this blog. And I guess the first thing to do would be to introduce myself.
I am Jacob Cross, a junior here at Austin Peay. I am majoring in Biology and minoring in Linguistics, with the goal to be a Pediatric Speech Language Pathologist eventually.
This blog has several purposes. For one, it is a resource for those who are in or are entering the APSU Honors Program. Here you will find some of the happenings of the Honors Commons or campus events that may or may not have relevance to the Honors Program. This is also a personal blog, as a way for you to get some insight on what the life of a student in the Honors Program is like through my documented experiences.
One thing you will notice in future blog posts is something at the top called Lagniappe.
Lagniappe (LAN-yap) is a creole word that means “a special gift” and this section is where I will be including three tidbits of the week. First is something that I have learned, whether it is an interesting fact from class or a profound thought. Next is a Word of the Week, which is a word that I feel sums up my week. Finally is the Emoji of the Week, which represents the general mood. The Lagniappe section is mostly there to be a quick briefing of the upcoming blog post.
Before sitting down to write this, I compiled a list of all the things I need to accomplish for school this week. Number one was this introductory post. After listing all my assignments and responsibilities of the week, I decided to write some more to the side. I began writing the typical passive-aggressive reminders that we as young adults often hear about responsibility and self care.
I’m not sure if I’m alone in this, but I think about these things constantly. How am I supposed to maintain a high GPA, work two retail jobs, eat my fruits and vegetables, exercise every day, cultivate a vibrant social life, do my laundry, have good manners, stay present on social media, talk about my feelings to prevent losing my sanity, listen to my friends’ feelings so they can avoid losing their sanity, avoid caffeine and high fructose corn syrup, brush and floss my teeth twice a day for at least two minutes, wash my face with a good cleanser to keep facial oils at bay (because wow that’s gross), stay organized to keep my life on track, prepare myself for graduate school, keep a positive attitude about life, AND get 8+ hours of sleep per night?
Sometimes when I think about these expectations placed on me, the anxiety starts to compound on itself. I literally become stressed by my stress. It’s at this point that I must remind myself of something even more crucial than those listed above: This is wildly doable.
People have done it before. People still do it! There are people out there who not only have perfect grades, but perfectly straight and pearly white teeth, perfect skin, a perfect body, a perfect relationship, and seemingly a perfect life. All without bags under their eyes. I’ve seen these exact people in the University Center. Maybe we can blame some of that on genetics, but the point is that college life is manageable. Some of us manage it more gracefully than others, and some of us happily live a chaotic life.
And that, friends, is what this blog is for. To remind you that every person you see around campus is dealing with many of the same things you are. But in the long run, the semester will end and we will finally get to kick back and relax for a hot minute. And in the longer run, we will up with a degree; hopefully one that we can use to follow our dreams. But until then, we just have to keep chugging Starbucks and cramming for that Honors 1010 test.
See you next week!