Friday, May 26, 2017

Halfway Done with Undergrad (How Is That Possible?)

Hello!

It's been quite awhile since my last post, so here are some highlights of my last few weeks at PLU.

As of Thursday May 25th at 1:00 pm I am officially halfway done with my undergrad! (I'm being that specific because I turned in an essay and it was time stamped) It's hard to believe that I am my time at PLU is halfway over, it honestly feels like just yesterday that I stepped on campus for the first time. This year was marked with some amazing opportunities and full of growth, both academic and personal. So, in the spirit of a life update here is a recap of my sophomore year at PLU. 


This year I lived in the same residence hall that I lived in my first year. I had a new roommate, and we moved up one floor (definitely a part of the big leagues). Part of my mission this year was to become more engaged with on campus opportunities and events. So, I applied to work as the Peer Mentor for the first year students taking writing classes in my residence hall. It was a really great experience helping first years learn about PLU, and I was able to create some really great programs and events for the residence hall. 


This is the group of all the Alaskan students who attended PLU this year


Here is the view from the back stairs of my residence hall

I balanced this job with a 17 credit course load, a mix of English courses and Global Studies courses. That's right, I added a new major in the fall! At the time, I thought the fall semester was the hardest academic experience this year (guess what? I was wrong!) Fall semester was absolutely incredible, and the whole time I was preparing to study abroad. 

As you all know I spent January in the absolutely amazing Manchester! That experience was the definition of life changing. I learned so much over the course of that month, and I feel like I really grew as a person. I lived with a new roommate (who quickly became one of my closest friends) and learned to navigate a completely foreign city. My time in Manchester really helped solidify a lot of changes I was trying to make in my life, and I am so incredibly grateful that I was able to go on this study away course!


This is Albert Square in Manchester

After an eventful, but amazing, January I returned to PLU ready to get back to a normal school schedule. However, I didn't think of how difficult reentry into campus life would be after studying away. I wasn't expecting to deeply miss a city that I had only been in for a single month, but the beginning of Spring Semester was really difficult for me. 

Another classic Emma and Madeline selfie (she dropped me off at the airport and we needed to capture the moment)

I got back into the swing of things after a few weeks and was quickly inundated with huge amounts of homework. I was once again taking 17 credits, and working a different job. It would be fair to say that I was overworked and overstressed. Luckily, my job only lasted 6 weeks and after Spring Break I was able to focus completely on school work. My classes the spring were incredibly interesting, and I think that I'm really starting to hone in on what I want to study as I get further into both of my programs. I also added an additional minor. I am now an English Literature and Global Studies double major with Women's and Gender Studies and French minors. (You did in fact read that right, I am working towards accomplishing a double major and double minor)

Right now, I think that I want to focus on refugee status, and the process that is associated with individuals gaining refugee status in the United States. It is a complicated process that I want to explore in much greater detail than I was able to this semester. On the English front: my newest area of study is Jane Austen. In particular, how Jane Austen's work interacts with ideas of feminism, even though feminism as a concept didn't exist when she was writing. I'm also interested in exploring how Austen herself is a constructed character (through her writings, personal correspondence, family influence, and opinions of "Janeites"). I'm incredibly excited about this, so if anybody wants to chat about Jane Austen let me know!

This is what my desk looks like when I'm in the middle of writing a 14 page paper (fun right?)

I am now sitting in the Seattle Airport waiting for a flight back to Alaska. I'll be home for about 18 days and then will be heading off to Orcas Island to work at a summer camp. Get ready for some interesting stories about camp culture! And don't forget, Oxford is happening in January!

Thanks for supporting me on my study away journeys this year, I've appreciated the company!


Madeline