Sunday, April 1, 2012

The Growing Pains of Life

Next week is the last week of the winter semester and I am so glad to see it go.I have learned a lot this semester, but more things about myself rather than scholarly things. This semester, I took Chemistry, Research Methods (a class about how to construct research questions and perform experiments), History of Psychology, Book of Mormon,and American Foundations (a class about American history and culture). Kind of boring subjects, I'll admit. My favorite class was my History of Psychology class. It was a really brief overview of psychology starting with the philosophers of old such as Aristotle and Plato. I look forward to getting into my upper level psychology classes which will get more into detail about theories and conclusions of different branches of psychology.
My least favorite class has been chemistry and, believe it or not, this really surprised me! I started out with such a good attitude about this class because last year I learned that I really loved science but chemistry is something else. I have always hated performing experiments and every week we had a new lab to do. I initially thought I would become a psychiatrist in my latter life, but this class has shown me I am really not interested in chemistry or the goings on of electrons but of the goings on of the brain- and that's where biology comes into play. I took 15 credits this semester and worked part time on campus, but my chemistry class, while offered as a 4 credit class, should really be a 6 credit class. I went to class every day of the week, plus lab, plus tests, quizzes, and homework had me spinning in all that needed to be done.
So other than subjects in school, this brings me to the first thing I learned this semester: I am not PJ. What I mean by this is that PJ took 18 credits this semester and worked part time. He would wake up, do homework, go to class, go to work and if the lab wasn't busy do homework, then come home and do homework. He can go go go and I tried to keep up since I was only taking 15 credits, but I couldn't! It is not in my constitution to work on school work all day and night. When I get home from school, I like to clean the house, or watch a TV show- something to release my brain of the frustrations of learning. This is something I am so grateful for- that I have no fear about PJ being able to provide for our family. And that I will feel right at home staying home with our children. I know that I will be more effective in taking care of our future children and keeping the house running by keeping it clean and making dinner and etc.. than I would be working a full time job. Once I recognized this, the semester got a little easier- at least emotionally.
I have also been trying to continue to lose weight. Only, the weight is not coming off like it was. I have started to stabilize and that is always frustrating. I cut back what I was eating to mostly fruit and granola during the day and trying to eat small portions at dinner, but I have basically stayed the same size throughout the semester. I did not have more time to work out other than every other day, so I just had to come to terms with flat lining for now. I have to keep telling myself that my goal is to be healthy and that my goal is not to be a super model (although wouldn't that be nice?).
Lastly, the winters out here are just crazy. This winter was much milder than last winter, but compared to the southeast, the winter is still crazy. The wind blows at about 20 MPH, it's cold, it snows, and it's COLD! During the times I would walk from the north of campus to the south of campus (all uphill) and have the snow blow in my face, I would think about the early pioneers who made the passage so long ago across the plains of the west in the bitter cold dealing with the elements. I was outside for a maximum of 10 minutes, while their whole day was spent walking against the harsh wind and across the frozen ground. Half way through the semester I also genuinely questioned the plausibility of what I was attempting. Could I really obtain my degree? Could I really graduate? And I thought of these early pioneers and I realized that we had three options. We could give up and go back, we could stop and stay where we are, or we could press on. If we were to turn back, would it really be that much better? Especially if we were halfway, all that means is that we would still be walking in the harsh environment but away from our goal instead of towards it. Would it be better to just stop and pitch camp right where we are? Eventually we would have to press on, so why delay the journey any longer? And if we were to continue to press on, it would be hard, but we are promised it would be worth it. And so with this new resolve, I pressed on. I went to classes when I didn't understand what was going on, and I went to work even though I felt like I wasn't doing a good job and I find myself at the week of finals and almost done with this part of the journey. Spring is coming and while it is not as warm as my beloved southeast, the bitter cold of the winter is being pushed farther and farther behind me.
Over spring break PJ and I are taking a much needed vacation to Salt Lake City. We have never been to SLC before and especially after just watching General Conference, we are so excited! After that we will begin Spring Semester and we are taking it much easier than we did this last semester. I am taking Cognitive Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Sensation and Perception, Biology, and a world foundations class. It will be 15 credits again, but I have actually scheduled breaks in my day and one of my classes will end early so for the second half of the semester I will only have 12 credits. PJ is doing the same thing, so the second half of our semester should be a breeze. Should be...
Like I said I have learned a lot this semester, especially about myself. While I am glad to be growing as a person, I hope the Lord will go a little easier on me next semester so that I can continue to grow, but not have such a huge growth spurt!