Ok folks. I'm ashamed to admit that, had I progressed as I should have in college, I would have graduated in 2007. That means that after this semester, I could have gone to college twice. That's right. It's been 8 years since I attended high school. What makes it even worse was that I graduated mid-term, so I should have been done even earlier! But I didn't graduate from college twice; not even once, actually. Ah, well...this is where I am, and I wouldn't change my life for anything. Who knows where I'd be or who I'd be if I'd stayed in school. I'm glad I am where I am, even if I took the long way around.
Finishing school is important to me, so today I attended my first day at Sonoma State. Here are my first impressions as it compared with Cal State Long Beach, the school I attended right out of high school:
Parking: SSU actually has open spaces! Even without two huge parking structures, there were plenty of open spots at 9:30 am on the first day of school. It was quite a sight. I was fully prepared to drive around for at least an hour or so, as I used to do at CSULB. There was no need. It was incredible.
Size: It took me less than five minutes to walk to my first class from the parking lot. Unbelievable! And, as I scoped out where my classes would be tomorrow, I realized I would rarely have to walk more than five minutes between classes. And, there was not a shuttle in sight! For those of you who are familiar with the campus at CSULB, you know it's built on the side of a hill, so if you walk from the ED building at the top of campus (where I used to work), down to Brotman Hall, you've got a good 15 minute downhill walk ahead of you. Or, if you were stupid like me and took a ballet class right before a creative writing class, you found yourself walking from the Carpenter Performing Arts Center at the very bottom of the hill up to LA-1, which, if walking briskly, would take at least twenty-five minutes. Needless to say, my lungs and legs were thanking me today as I meandered around the mostly flat, compact grounds.
Students: I felt significantly different around the students this time around. I distinctly remember being eighteen and completely intimidated by all the totally mature seniors walking around. Today I felt old. Some of the kids looked like just that - kids! However, I did realize that some things will never change about college students. That was confirmed today as the token "teacher's pet" took his place at the front of the classroom. As he raised his hand again and again to show off his brilliance (and the professor rolled his eyes and grew visibly annoyed), I was reminded of some fellow Scholars at CSULB. These were the students that asked me what I got on my SATs and AP tests, to compare my intelligence with their own. Their self worth seemed to come from the amount of odd trivia they knew. Tiffany and I were always so annoyed by them, and bonded over the fact that we were embarrassed to be grouped with them in the program. And as long as there are colleges, there will be students who want everyone to know how smart they are, as I saw today in Early American Lit.
Truth be told, Long Beach State will always hold a special place in my heart. You really can't beat the beauty of the campus, with that gorgeous blue pyramid shining in the sun, or the lovely beach weather that I completely took for granted. I learned so much, especially about myself. But when I was there, I didn't know what I wanted. It was hard to stay motivated when I felt completely lost in terms of what to do with my life. Today at Sonoma State, I knew what I wanted, and was excited about pursuing it. It was the first time I'd felt that way on a college campus, and it made me feel all warm and fuzzy about being a Seawolf. I'm optimistic about my career there, and think maybe, just maybe, I'll actually graduate and get my degree. Let's just hope I keep up this attitude after the first week of school.