Well, my first year at St. Lawrence is done. I started off the year really unsure of whether or not I could do it. There were definitely stressful stretches! And I learned a lot about psychology, about the discipline needed for school, about friendship, and about myself.
I have completed the Behavioral Psychology stream of the General Arts and Sciences certificate program, and later this summer my first post secondary piece of paper will be mailed out to me. I am pretty proud of myself for that. What I’m even more proud of though it’s that I completed my first semester with a 4.0 GPA, which comes from having my average grades above 90% (A+).
Second semester was more of a challenge, with courses that I was less interested in (math and computers) and some tough markers (English). I also had surgery, and never fully felt like I caught up after the time off for that. I am still proud of myself that I didn’t give up, and that I didn’t settle for less than my best (usually).
I knew I’d maintain grades in the 90s in Abnormal Psychology (my final grade was 95%), Interviewing and Counseling (my final mark was 97%), and surprisingly in computers (my final mark was 98%).
I wasn’t sure about how I would do in Human Sexuality, my only online course… I emailed the Prof almost weekly to discuss in detail the solutions to specific questions from the weekly quizzes. I often felt that there was a mistake where more than one answer could be correct and I hoped to improve my marks and also prove that I had taken the time to familiarize myself with the material. I also took every opportunity provided to gain bonus marks. This course ended up tied with computers for my best mark of the semester at 98%!
Math was a tricky one for me. It was statistics and there were a lot of formulas to learn and a lot of symbols to wrap my head around like ∑, μ, and . I struggled all semester to wrap my head around what we were doing and why we were doing it. I made friends with one of my classmates who was able to help me out a lot.
Then I had the worst experience during my final… My computer crashed twice during the practical component! I lost everything… Twice! And I had to go for my English exam. I was a mess and left the room to cry. My teacher had pity on me and let me complete that part of the test that evening. I know our teacher marked pretty much everything on the curve because pretty much everyone struggled. I still can’t believe my final mark, and I think it might be a mistake, but I’ll take it! I got 96%!
I should get good marks in English; I love English and my prof was amazing! She was engaged and passionate about the written word, super friendly and a tough marker. The novel we read was a tough read for me, and I struggled with APA citations, and with writing a substantial paper on a topic I found difficult to defend. That and a poor grade on a group presentation left me worried that this course would end my A+ streak. And this ended up being the course with my lowest mark. I ended the semester with 93%! I’ll take it.
My Stress Management professor from last semester told me that nobody cares if an A+ comes from a 90 or 100%. And my Addictions prof spoke at length about the importance of progress, not perfection. I don’t know how long I’ll be able to maintain a 4.0 GPA but I feel like I have set myself up for success. And if my GPA slips a bit, as long as I know that I have given it my best effort, it will be okay.
I really want to thank everyone who supported me through my first year at college. Especially at the beginning of the year when David lost his job and we really didn’t know how we were going to make ends meet if I went back to school. All of the support and encouragement didn’t go unnoticed or unappreciated. I love you all!