Posted in College

From U to Blue: Intro to University Life

First Year

Public university. Selective school. Great reputation. This was my dream school–we’ll call it University A. I only applied to a couple schools because I knew that was where I wanted to go. Everything seemed great, but I didn’t immediately feel like I belonged. They say that when you visit a campus, you can tell if you “fit in” there or not.  I didn’t really feel that, but that was typical. I didn’t feel that way about a lot of places.

I began classes there one autumn. The campus was beautiful, and the people seemed friendly. There was a decent variety of classes. It was a place where people actually held the door open for you.

The thing about being a freshman is that a lot of campuses require you to live on campus, which is actually great. College students don’t always have cars, and dorm life means little transportation to classes. Students can focus on academics, and depending on the school, meal plans may be included in the tuition/room and board fees. Some people love dorm life, some people hate it and yearn for their own apartment, and some are stuck somewhere in between all of that.

Dorm life can be hard. Being paired with a random roommate is intimidating. Sometimes, it feels like there’s a lack of privacy living so close to other people. Sharing a bathroom or, worse, using a community bathroom, can be awkward.

I actually loved dorm life. The food was kind of unlimited. I had a bathroom that I shared with three other girls (and not a whole group). If I wanted to be around people or cook something, all I had to do was walk down the hall. But it was hard. I was immature and struggling with OCD and depression. I probably irritated my roommate and suitemates. Making and keeping friends wasn’t easy for me, being the socially awkward person I am.

That first year had its ups and downs. Four As and one B the first semester and a mixture of grades the second. Public speaking was probably the worst class I took. I was surrounded by freshmen; we were new to this college thing. They seemed…I don’t know. Some people at that school seemed to have the attitude of “homework is a burden, and I like to fly by the seat of my pants. I’m smart enough to do that,” and it wasn’t necessarily those traits that bothered me. It was more like a lack of respect for education, instructors, and themselves even though they were attending a school with an excellent reputation. What do you learn with that attitude?

There are two things I have to add to that. For one, I am that person. I don’t necessarily think I’m intelligent enough to leave everything to the last minute, but I am a procrastinator. I do prefer to be organized, though; writing in a planner, for example, is something that simply must be done. Secondly, there were plenty of hardworking people at that school. My best friend studied like crazy. There were others that really seemed to care about learning and, of course, doing well in their classes!

My other classes were interesting, to say the least. The most fun class was Greek. The instructor was fantastic, and the class was a nice size; we were a small group, and it was nice to return the second semester to familiar faces.

I spent two semesters at that school. I learned a lot, met really neat people, and made some great friends.

Eventually, I left University A and went back to where I belonged. Community college was my next academic destination.

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Posted in College

From U to Blue

College. It’s that thing that high school seniors stress out about: FAFSAs, scholarships, transcripts, application fees, admission essays, grades…

But there are so many decisions. Community college? A four-year university? Grad school? Work? What are you going to choose?

I’m not here to tell you that. But I am here to share some of my experiences. Check out my blog to see new chapters in my series, From U to Blue.

SNEAK PEEK:

From U to Blue: Part 1

Public university. Selective school. Great reputation. This was my dream school–we’ll call it University A. I only applied to a couple schools because I knew where I wanted to go: University A. Everything seemed great, but I didn’t feel like I belonged right away. They say that when you visit a campus, you know if you “fit in” there or not. I didn’t really feel that, but that was typical. I didn’t feel that way about a lot of places.

Posted in Grammar

FANBOYS

When I think of fanboys, I think of boy bands and the times in my teenybopper days when I squealed and obsessed over them.

However, this is not what I’m here to talk about.

FANBOYS is a fantastic acronym. FANBOYS are conjunctions that cooperate with commas to help save sentences from becoming fragments or run-ons. Conjunctions and commas are friends but not like attached-at-the-hip best friends; they will be seen in sentences without each other, but they’re serving a different function in those cases.

So what’s a comma-conjunction?

Let’s start with the FANBOYS.

For

And

Nor

But

Or

Yet

So

These are essential to good sentence structure. Before we move on, let’s take a look at independent clauses.

An independent clause is just that–independent. It’s a complete sentence. It’s that simple. “The dog is adorable.”

(A dependent clause is a fragment, such as, “Since the dog is adorable.” While there are many ways to fix that, comma-conjunctions aren’t really going to help out.)

When commas and conjunctions hang out, they help run-ons and fix other sentence structure problems; they combine two independent clauses.

Problems:

I ordered a cheese pizza I thought we could share. This is a run-on.

I ordered a cheese pizza, I thought we could share. This is a comma splice. There are two complete sentences separated by a comma…and it’s not right.

There are some fixes to this. You could throw a period and a capital letter or a semi-colon after pizza. Conjunctions are a fun option, though. It’s easy to do.

I ordered a cheese pizza, and I thought we could share.

I ordered a small pizza, but we can still share.

I can order a pizza, or we can go out to eat.