• Rachelle Saint Louis

Commuter Chronicles #3

For Sep. 3rd - 7th. A new month a new beginning and all that pseudo-inspirational jazz.

Monday there was so no school thanks to Labor Day. I still had to make up my Bio Lab and Bio Lifeline classes because they're only once a week, but we'll get into that later. Part of Monday was spent studying and doing homework for various classes. It was raining pretty bad for most of the day, apparently there was a tropical storm going on.

I had promised Kiki that I'd take her to the mall, so when the rain cleared up a little (around 2) I made good on my promise. She ended up getting scammed by one of the mall vendors and wasted thirty dollars on a necklace. I hope she's learned her lesson.

On the bright side, we found some cool shops and I bought superhero buttons while she got some sour candy and The Nightmare Before Christmas snow globes. We went to Five Guys afterward, and it was so good. They have this great vegetarian sandwich and it isn't a veggie burger. It has mushrooms, cheese, green peppers, and onions and it was absolutely delicious. They also give a ton of fries. We ordered a "little" and they filled our bag with fries. It was great!

On Tuesday, I took the train. I decided to try an earlier train to see if the bus would come sooner. I took the 11:20 train instead of my usual 12:20. Somehow, this bus was actually worse. We got into the station around 11:40 and our bus didn't come until nearly an hour later. The benches were wet from the rain and the air out was muggy and humid. It was a terrible combination. I'll just stick to my 12:20 train.

We got to FAU around 12:45 and I saw one of my friends from high school, the same one who took those pictures last Friday. She was walking with one of her friends from class and we all went to the library. Her friend showed us the computer lab that's on the second floor. It's kind of hidden to the side so that's good to know. I left thirty minutes before my class so I could go talk to the financial aid office about my scholarships. Apparently, Bright Futures is the last to send out money so that's good to know for the future.

I would love to have a desk this neat. *le sigh*

I spent the entire weekend studying for my first exam of Biodiversity. I think I study best alone, I get way too distracted when I study in groups. I went over the material a few more times in the library before I went off to take the exam. I feel like the exam wasn't difficult, but I think it's because I studied so much. I got through it in 20 minutes.

I ended up taking the 5:33 train home, since I got out of class so early. It was late, as usual. Which was fine by me since my bus was late, too. Once at the station, I took my car home. My mom was so happy to see me before she went off to work. She's usually gone by the time I get home most days, so coming early was a fun way to surprise her.

Wednesday, I took my car to school, as usual. I left the house around nine and got to the school a little before 9:30. I drove around the parking garage for a good twenty minutes or so before I found a spot. I think the best times to get a spot there are when classes are ending. There are a lot of classes that end at 9:50 and then people go straight to the parking garage to leave. I'm going to try timing my arrival for right before this time so I'm not veering around for too long.

I started breaking out on Wednesday, hence the heart.

I was wearing my new Lion King shirt and the guy giving out tickets for Saturday's game started singing "I Just Can't Wait to be King" and that honestly made my whole day. It was a pretty great day overall. My classes were chill, I finished my assignments on time, and my quiz for Pre-Calc was a take home quiz this week. I got a 91%.

I went to the Center for Undergraduate Research during the forty minute break I have between my first and second class. I talked to a peer mentor about starting research and she was great. She was really nice and helpful and I think I'm on the right path.

After my classes, I decided to visit Alex in the center for First-Generation Student Success. She's great! Mia was there too and we all talked. I told them about some of the things I've been stressing about this semester and Alex helped really put some things in perspective.

After the hour or so I spent in her office, I went to the rock climbing course. I saw some new faces and had some fun conversations. I tried a couple times, but could only make it to the middle. It was definitely getting easier, but I still felt like I just couldn't do it. Then, the VP of the rock climbing club, Jackie, stepped in and gave me a step by step tutorial of the easiest path up. After many struggles and a lot of doubting myself, I made it to the top!

My fear of heights has been something I've been working on for years. It's been a gradual process, but I think I'm really starting to overcome it. There were points where I wanted to give up, but Jackie kept telling me to keep going. The other rock climbers joined in on the sentiment. They believed in me when I didn't believe in myself. I was literally dangling in the air, taking deep breaths at various points on my journey up. I put my faith in Jackie to keep the rope suspended and she definitely delivered on that. It was absolutely exhilarating. I couldn't stay up too long of course, but I didn't start hyperventilating. I felt unstoppable.

Wednesday night, I got a notification from my lecture professor saying that he posted the grades for the exam. I checked my Canvas immediately for my grade. I got a 25/25!

On Thursday, I decided to take my car since I was going to the 11 AM Bio Lab to make up for the one I missed on Monday for Labor Day. I'll be honest, I didn't study for the quiz as much as I could of. If I'd spent half the time I took studying for Tuesday's exam out to study for Thursday's quiz, I feel like I would've done better. I don't know my score yet, but I don't think I did all that well.

A picture of the beautiful Boca Raton Campus taken by yours truly. *takes bow*

Thursday was probably the most productive day of my week. I went to the Office of Undergraduate Research to learn about how I can get started. I talked with one of the Peer Coaches and she was really nice. She gave me some great tips about navigating the website and how to find professors that can help me out. I plan on going back next week, after I finish the "homework" she gave me.

During the hour I had before my Bio class, I decided to head over to the Career Center, like Alex had suggested. I talked to someone there who helped me "claim" my Handshake account. Handshake is a pretty cool program that helps students find jobs and internships and things along that line.

After that, I stopped by the First-Gen Center to say hi to Alex. I told her about how I climbed to the top Wednesday and she was so proud. I really feel like she's someone who I can talk to. It's nice knowing there's someone in your corner, supporting you every step of the way.

My Biodiversity Lecture professor, Dr. Brooks, spent the first forty minutes of the class talking about the quiz. Over a hundred students got F's and a considerable amount got D's. He said the next exam will be considerably more difficult, the hardest exam of the term, so we have to make sure to study. He also said there will be two pop quizzes next Tuesday, one will be extra credit.

After class, I talked to a few classmates outside before heading to the library. I was looking for something to occupy my time until 7, when the Student Government interest meeting would be going on. I decided to go to the Asian Student Union meeting that I'd kept hearing about. I'm really glad I went. It was so fun! We played Ninja and I was one of the final three in my group, but I didn't win our final round. It was an exciting game, people were on the floor; it was intense.

The SGA interest meeting was simple enough. It was mainly about voting and not breaking the rules. I'm running for the House of Representatives. I met a few other freshmen who are running for the House. There are a lot of seats open, so as long as we each get a vote or two, we'll be fine. I don't know if I'll do a big campaign, but I was thinking about getting some buttons made. That would be a fun way to spread the word.

Friday was pretty lax, as usual. I signed up to make up my Monday Bio Lifeline class on Friday, so I got to the school a little earlier than usual. Someone was leaving as I was coming in, so I found a parking space on the third floor of the parking garage, super close to the elevator.

Before class, I saw some of the rock climbers hanging around in hammocks between the trees near the Breezeway. They had said they were going to be there, so I wasn't surprised. I talked to Jackie for a minute before heading to class. She told some of the others about how I'd climbed to the top.

The Lifeline I went to was taught by an undergrad student who took Biodiversity last year, so that was a little different for me. My Lifeline teacher is a Grad student so he's a little older than most of us. It was kind of weird having a class taught by someone who's basically my peer.

I had forty minutes between that class and my Social Psychology, so I decided to walk along the Breezeway. I saw the Peer Coach I'd met last week, he's really nice. He was with someone who worked with the Student Union, I'm pretty sure I've seen her before. I talked to them for a while before my class started.

Social Psychology went well, as usual. I feel like less people come to the Friday lectures. Our professor doesn't take attendance or do pop quizzes so I guess they just stay in for the day. I really like the lectures, though. There are a lot of opportunities for discussion and I feel like Professor Hadden explains the concepts really well.

I didn't go rock climbing this Friday, but I do plan on going back next week.

All in all, it's been a pretty great week. There were a few rocky points (quite literally when it came to rock climbing) but I feel like I'm starting to get into the groove of this whole college thing.

Things I Learned This Week:

Monday: Studying is important, but so is going out and living your life. Getting out of the routine can be really beneficial.

Tuesday: The buses are gonna be late, no matter what train you take. Also, the second floor computer lab is great for when the first floor computers are all full.

Wednesday: FACE YOUR FEARS! Enough said.

Thursday: Make the first move. If you want to know more about something, talk to people who can help you out. College is one of the only times so many of these resources will be so easily accessible to you, so take advantage of that.

Friday: Talk to people. Don't just stay in one little bubble, branch out.

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