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Four Years at the Mount

Freshman year


Samantha Strub
English Major - Class of 2013

(May, 2010) The time is here again. It comes faster than you would think. It seems like just weeks ago when final exams brought activity at the Mount to a screeching halt. Everyone's weekend suddenly involved deep hitting of the books. I knew this when I saw 135 friends on Facebook on a Saturday night that is normally full of life and vigor. Instead of chilling with friends, students were hitting stacks of books and sitting on Facebook.

This was the highest count that I got last semester when I was taking one of those important study breaks. You can't just study straight. Well, maybe some people can, but I'm definitely not one of them. I need breaks with friends, and I need to ride my horse to get my mind off the material and just relax. If I don't do this I become too stressed and can't function. This was how I prepared for exams last semester--knowing that I would be studying constantly but also taking a lot of breaks in order to retain the information that I desperately needed to do well. I figured that this was the best way for me, and it paid off! All those hours of studying then riding in order to press the reset button! I couldn't have been happier!

I was especially happy because I needed to show people that I really could handle everything that I had taken on in college and keep my grades up at the same time. No one believed that I could do everything that I wanted to. They thought I would send my horse back to Wisconsin because she would have been too much work. Not only did I keep my Sona girl here, I started writing for the newspaper, joined club field hockey, became a Freshman Ambassador, and still stayed somewhat social. My friends don't understand why I go off to the barn for hours, but that is something I have accepted. Because many people told me that I wasn't going to be able to handle all this and get good grades, I went into exams with the mindset that this was the final push that I needed in order to prove everyone wrong.

When I went to discover my fate a few weeks into winter break, I was so nervous that I almost didn't want to look, but I knew I wouldn't rest until I knew what I had gotten. I jumped for joy when I discovered that I had done really well, getting a good enough GPA to make dean's list! I had accomplished everything that I wanted to when I started school last fall and more. Everyone was thoroughly shocked except my dad who wasn't very surprised. He knew all along that I would thrive on my own and relieve everyone's fears. For the first time, my mom seemed to understand why Sona was here and how much I could handle when I did everything to the best of my ability.

My heart was crushed when some people in my family had not thought this was good enough. Some of my relatives had told me that even though I had gotten on the dean's list that it still wasn't good enough and that I needed to drop the things I loved, like my horse and field hockey, in order to have my GPA higher. It seemed to me that I could do nothing right in their eyes. Something was wrong even with my dream career of being a famous novelist, and literature teacher. I couldn't understand why I was such a disappointment to them. Just because I'm not going into a scientific field doesn't mean that I'm not going to have a firm job or that I'm going to destroy my life and not make anything of it. I will realize my own dreams one day. They either need to accept that I'm not the person they want me to be or just not say anything.

I have learned that college shapes you to be the person you were meant to be. If some people don't approve or don't like what you have to offer then they are not worth your time. Staying true to yourself is one of the most important things that you can do. If you don't follow what you believe then there is no point in saying you believe in something because you don't have any proof of it. I have decided that I'm going to live my life with this attitude. I'm going to stay true to my dreams and not care about what other people may say about them, knowing that if I work hard enough anything is possible.

In life we all have hopes. Some people achieve them while others fall short. We have to go through many challenges to get to the main goal. I like to think of them as stepping stones. All through life you encounter such stepping stones. For college kids, finals are one of those stepping stones. They are painful to cross and probably not what you would chose to do with your time, yet they are a necessary evil. If you go into them with the right mindset you can accomplish anything. This is how I view finals: stones that seem huge as we approach them turn out to be tiny obstacles in the big scheme of things. So let's get ready to hit the books, take the necessary breaks, and end this year with a bang!

Read past editions of Samantha Strub's Four Years at the Mount