Category Archives: FYP THEN & NOW

26 September, 2014 15:28

It has been surprisingly difficult to think back on the first day of FYP, in fact, its been almost impossible. I remember trying to cover up my anxiety with false confidence. Not only was I away from home for good for the first time, but now I had none of my friends. Being the first one to leave home and move it, it was difficult to talk to any of my friends at home because I was jealous that they got to continue going to the beach and hanging out with each other. So I had to turn to people at Sewanee who were also moving in and being away from home for the first time. I normally, absolutely, completely despise meeting people. I can not stand the same typical conversation of “YOU’RE FROM HAWAII? THAT’S SO COOL! WHATS IT LIKE?” To which I always respond “Its different.” But as I’ve come to learn, no matter what, I will always be meeting new people and always have the exact same conversation. And the more I’ve had to do it, the better I’ve been about avoiding the subject completely if not mentioning it as subtly as possible. And after a few days, I enjoyed meeting people. Some I got to know well instantly and others I just learned were not going to be my friend no matter what. But meeting people was not my only challenge. While my parents were there to help me move in, I have never been more unready to take on an adventure by myself. The moment they left I was terrified. But, being the nerd that I am, class made everything better. Even though our class was just talking about place at first, it helped me to calm down. I’ve always liked school because you don’t have to talk to anyone in class, you can just pay attention. But FYP was different. Because everyone was in the dorm together, we had already spend an ungodly amount of time together going to every activity as a group. I’m not going to lie, the first days of school and class felt more like a middle school summer camp than anything else. Discussion was more personal than I had expected and activities were so structured, it was difficult to meet anyone outside of our FYP group. However annoying this structure may have been, I loved the first few days.

Now, a little over a month later, the group that we traveled around with for so long is the main group that I continue to travel with. What I had initially hated as it kept me from meeting other people, I am now so grateful for. Unlike other FYP groups, the people in Where Medicine Takes Place are mostly interested in the same types of things. When life is stressful, as college has become, these people are helpful and understand my need to focus waaaay too much on my school work. We are essentially all the same person in different forms. We all like to exercise and get outside. We all like to socialize and go to "social gatherings." And most importantly, we all like to study. Compared to my life 2 months ago, everything has changed. Now I am a cheerleader, doing things I would never even dream of. Back home, I would have never even thought of cheering, but I decided to try something new, and not only do I enjoy doing it, but I’m actually good at it. Its given me a home outside of the people I know from Cannon and gives me an opportunity to try something that is equally as dangerous as the sports I loved at home. But most importantly in college, my classes have been amazing. In high school I never struggled in my classes and barely had to try, but now I spend almost all day, every day, working on homework or studying for some quiz or finishing a project. And it has been fun. For the first time ever, I am taking classes that I actually want to be in, and want to learn about. Now I know that virtually every fear that I had during the first few days has worked it self out, and while I expected finding my place to be a more specific place, I like that my place is with my friends, with my sport, and with my classes. Now no matter where I am at least part of me is at home. Somewhat…

My FYP Experience

My feelings towards Sewanee have changed immensely since I first stepped foot onto campus, feeling unsure of whether I had chosen the right school. When I decided to join FYP I knew that it was going to be a challenge. Arriving at school early and being able to get a feel for living on a college campus and what college class is like was a big advantage. However, I was also worried that it was going to be too challenging and make me regret my decision to come to school here. The first day I moved in I felt like all of the kids were judging me because of the amount of things I had brought. For about 4 hours my parents and I were bringing in crates filled with belongings. I must admit if I were someone else watching me, I would probably have judged me too! However, this feeling made me even more anxious than I already was. I was worried that people wouldn’t want to talk to me because they thought I was spoiled. Another overwhelming factor was meeting my roommate for the first time. I was not fond of the idea that I couldn’t pick who I got to live with. I knew that meeting him was going to be awkward because even if I didn’t like him I would still have to live with him.

Social factors were not the only reason I was stressed. Believe it or not, I was even more stressed about taking an actual college class. The first day FYP classes met I remember feeling very nervous. Some of my friends who were already students at Sewanee had told me that Professor Summers was a very strict professor. Already being terrified of my professor did not exactly help calm my nerves. Not knowing what to expect also frightened me. However, Professor Summers turned out to be awesome! She has played a large role in me becoming confident and comfortable here on campus. She even invited the whole class to her house for dessert. It was a great experience that helped bring our FYP class even closer than we already were.

Looking back on my experiences I am positive that doing FYP was one of the best decisions of my life. It has taught me how to view things from many different perspectives and has also helped me prove to myself that I can survive and be responsible on my own. I have now been in class for 4 weeks and have settled into a nice routine. I have already taken tests and written papers. I am truly shocked at how much more responsible and accountable I have become in just about one month. I did not expect to feel comfortable on campus as early as I have. I have already made many new friends and participated in many fun activities held throughout campus. I am now absolutely positive that I am ready for the challenges that will be presented to me for the next four years. Sewanee is a wonderful place and FYP and Professor Summers have helped me realize this. I can now confidently say that The University of the South is truly “my place.”

Last Blog Entry

I knew that coming to Sewanee a whole 10 days early would be a great advantage to me in multiple ways. I would have the ability to adapt to the new environment, make new friends, understand the difference between college and high school, and get to know campus. Not only did I get the opportunity to do all these wonderful things, but I got the opportunity to do them before all 1600 students arrived on campus and it got super hectic. Reminiscing back to day one, on this day another event would occur in my life where pure excitement and a drastic amount of nervousness would clash together. After getting done with the stress of moving in, not having enough time to arrange my room how I truly wanted to, and saying goodbye to my family, reality would set in and I would be walking into a room full of complete strangers. The first impression you make is usually the lasting impression that people have of you; therefore, I walked in open minded and with a huge smile. The average human always likes to claim that they never judge a book by its cover but that is almost impossible. Seeing people for the first time automatically gets your mind racing and you begin trying to figure out who they are and what they are about and slowly that turns into false judgment. Minus the awkward moments, as the days went by, I got really comfortable with campus, I was confident in where I was going, and I could begin to see the kind of crowd I liked to affiliate myself with. I even bonded with people I completely thought would be complete opposites of me. As the friends came along, so did the first class of FYP. I can honestly admit, in the beginning, it was a little difficult for me to voice myself during discussions. This was mostly because I tend to feel bad cutting off people as they are talking. As we continued to have more discussions, I figured everyone out and found my place in when it was time to be heard and when it was time to listen. Gradually things just become easier when you just man up and put yourself out there. Of course I knew I would have to go through this same process when the rest of my classes began and everyone else arrived on campus, but this time, I wouldn’t be alone. This definitely made me feel less nervous about the situation.

Now that it’s been about a month since I’ve moved to Sewanee, I can honestly say I made a very good decision in choosing this school. I love the small town feeling here in Sewanee and I like the variety of things to do on this enormous campus. Of course college students love the night life, but there are so many activities like rock climbing, biking, hiking, clubs, and sports to choose to participate in. You are never pressured into doing something so you are very free to have an open mind here, which I extremely love. Also, I might be having a difficult time in class but there are always so much people who are willing to help me with anything that I need. There are so many resources here on campus that if someone is willing to suffer in any situation and just doesn’t know what to do, he or she obviously haven’t branched out and looked for assistance. I am beyond comfortable going to my teachers for help and asking my suite mates for help as well. I can truly say that all of us who live in cannon are a true family. I am now super excited about completing my journey here at Sewanee.