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I'm Maturing, I Swear

To start off, I did take a picture today because I am trying to take a picture each day, but Tuesdays are busy for me this quarter due to my chemistry lab so the only picture I got was of a squirrel that appeared to have mange…and well that doesn’t go with what I want to talk about so sorry squirrel. I honestly feel bad for it because I can’t help, but wonder if the squirrel is in pain. It doesn’t look good.

Ok, I’m done. I prayed for the squirrel so now I can proceed with my topic of the day: maturity. So, my picture of the day shall be…me playing with the Photo Booth app on my laptop.

Even though I am only a second-quarter freshman, I feel like my views on life and relationships have changed dramatically…in a good way. It’s not the kind of change where I would go back to California and my friends would be like “Wow what happened to you?!” but more of the subtle type like “yeah I think that is a good way to look at things.” For some reason, I wasn’t expecting this from college when I first started; I must have thought that I was already a very mature person so I wouldn’t need to mature anymore. But looking back to just a couple months ago, I can already tell my views on situations and myself have changed.

One of the major changes is how I view a planned schedule. When I first came to college my first item on the agenda was to plan what I wanted my next four years to look like. Originally when I came to UO I was just a marine biology major. I was exploring more of the environmental side to pair up with marine biology. I decided during orientation that I would take an introductory environmental science course along with general chemistry, chemistry lab, calculus, and colorguard. Thank goodness when I went to sign up for the classes all the environmental science classes were filled up and I decided to choose Media in Society instead.

But even after that I tried to make plans for all the classes I needed to take to graduate in four years. Later, when I decided to double major, this plan became more complicated. Every time I deviated from my original plan, like failing calculus last quarter, I would have a really hard time being okay with change. It took a couple schedule changes to realize that things don't go as planned all the time. I might have to take five years due to double majoring, but in the end, everything will turn out fine. Coming to grips with this reality has been a huge and difficult change for me and yet has taken an overarching expectation off myself. This quarter especially I have been focusing on what makes me happy and staying away from situations that add more stress to my life than I need. I have moved into a single dorm and am taking an easier course load than last quarter, giving me room to breathe.

This also doesn’t mean that I have been lazing around more than before…though YouTube has become my caffeine at times. I have been looking out for fun opportunities for me to pursue either now or in the future. The one I am currently involved with is called Cascadia Magazine, a magazine originally produced by professor Ed Madison and staff member Maya Lazaro. Since it fell through last year, I have taken the torch to reincarnate it. The goal of the magazine is to bring a journalism opportunity to schools in the Springfield and Eugene area. With the help of us college students, the high schoolers produce this magazine and present it to their peers. My job is to bring it back and help it go digital for the iPhone. Currently I have rallied five staff members and have a meeting set up tomorrow to create a style guide for the new website. This project has made me feel like a business lady, which is very fun. I even try to dress professionally. If only the other college kids see how I dance for joy alone in my room afterward meetings.

In addition to my new project, three of my colorguard friends and I have put the security deposit down for an apartment next year. The thought of getting furniture and cooking together is invigorating. I love the ability of being independent.

Though I have also learned that maturity doesn’t just mean being independent and business like. Since moving away, I have appreciated my friends and family back in California even more. Not saying that I haven’t found great people in Oregon, but I have learned the value of the people back home, especially my parents. I remember talking to many peers in high school and them telling me that they wanted to get as far away from home as possible. That always surprised me since my family is small and close-knit. And even though I’m still on the West Coast, being a state away from my support system has been challenging yet very important. Many times, I wanted to quit and go back home. One time my parents didn’t buy me a plane ticket back to Oregon until they were sure I would be alright going back. But in the end, I’m glad I convinced them to let me come back. While it has been difficult, this has been and will continue to be a great, character-building experience for me. I am learning to time manage myself…it’s a process…, take the bus system, eat healthy, do laundry, and so much more. College isn’t just ice cream and blossom bushes; it’s hard. But I am determined to make it worthwhile.

...Ok I have to. Here's the poor squirrel:

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