Famous Last words.

My first semester at UNT was insanely crazy. From awkward living situations to impossible 8 a.m. classes, I have learned so much about myself, college, my future, and.. really, everything.

I have made so many mistakes and can’t wait to start fresh next semester and make a lot less. I am definitely looking forward to knowing what to do and what NOT to do in order to be more successful in all of my courses. Here’s a list of some things I have learned this semester:

  • 8 a.m. courses do not build character… if you’re not a morning person, you really should avoid them.
  • talking to your professors is kind of important. I wish I had had relationships with all my professors like the one I have with Laura!
  • jumper cables are really an important thing to keep in your car.. and if those fail, I know the number to a really good towing company
  • balance is key.. in every aspect of your life.
  • I will never be able to plan for EVERYTHING.. it’s not possible. Life throws waaaay too many curve balls.
  • it’s okay to be undecided

And one of the most important things I feel like I learned is that it was okay for me to not know my major. Majoring in something does not lead you directly to a career. There will be a lot of different roads that’ll lead me to where I need to be but until then, I just need to take everything it as it comes.

But, I have chosen a major AND a minor… at least for now.

Major: Anthropology

Minor: History

I am taking courses during the spring semester to help make sure that Anthropology and History are right for me. I have a good feeling that they are though. I’d really like to be a museum curator but I’m keeping my options open. Who knows what careers will have been created by the time I graduate?

UGST has been so crucial in me figuring out what I value and what I love. This has led me to start realizing what college I belong at here at UNT. Being an undecided major has been the best decision I have made.

I am really thankful for UGST because it has surrounded me with a really interesting and fantastic group of people that have taught me a lot.

Some of my favorite pictures from this semester:

photo 1 (1) photo 1 photo 5

1 2 3 560094_10202456698682406_1385972051_n 945818_10202419977649645_539907955_n1475827_10202668976229212_1693844532_nphoto

 

Diversity

I do judge people way more than I probably should. I’ve noticed that since I’ve moved to Denton, I’ve started to judge a little less. I’ve been thrown into a town that is far more culturally diverse than my own was. It was a bit scary at first… but now, I like it a lot. So much to learn about everyone and their different paths. 

I’m really not sure what cultural group I identify with.. there’s so many, honestly. I identify with white people, women, christians, people with divorced parents, small town people, people who listen to the same music as me, people who watch the same Netflix shows as me and I’m sure there’s more…. 

Hm, the values I identify with are creativity, humor, and intelligence. I’m not really sure about a purpose, to be honest. 

My parents have (or at least have in the past) a huge influence on my personal opinions, values, and view points. Now, that I’m 5 hours away, I’m being more influenced by the people I’m surrounding myself with and the things that I’m reading or listening to(sorry Mama). A lot of my professors have been helping shape my opinions and thoughts on different subjects. It’s nice getting new perspective on things, even if I don’t agree with what they’re saying. 

I really want to branch out and talking to people that I wouldn’t normally approach. I’d also be open to joining some sort of group or org. that would help me branch out and learn new things. 

RoadTrip Nation

RoadTrip Nation

Focusing on one of the interviews conducted by your group, describe that individual’s journey.

Robin Gansle began her journey at A&M with plans to become a doctor. She discovered that this may not be the best path for her because of all the work that it would take. So, she changed her major to IT and minored in business. After she graduated from college, she began working for an IT company associated with American Airlines. After 9/11, the IT company lost its biggest contract (American Airlines), so Robin was let go. Her husband was then transferred to Washington D.C. where she was a stay at home mom. At the time of their move, there was a sniper in D.C. shooting and killing random citizens so Robin spent most of her time inside where she began taking photographs of her child. She was often complimented by family members and her friends about how good her photos were so she began taking family photos and portraits for them. After she realized this was something that she really loved, she began to research it more on the internet and become familiar with different techniques and soon developed her own style. Once they moved back to Texas, Robin worked towards building a reputable business by creating a more professional atmosphere and finding a studio that she could work from.

 

What aspects of his/her life impacted the decisions she/he made about which paths to pursue?  How did the values of the person you interviewed impact the decisions he/she made?

Something Robin said impacted her to pursue IT instead of being a doctor was that the she discovered the internet for the first time. She said that instead of actually learning, she was just “googling” everything. Whenever she received her first low grade, she got scared and discouraged and quickly changed her major. Robin values family so I think that this has impacted her look for a job with flexible hours where she is able to dedicate time to her kids and still have a successful career.

 

Thinking about all of the interviews conducted by your group, what did you learn about the career exploration process? 

I learned that career exploration is a long process full of surprises and that you don’t always end up where you expect yourself to. I can plan all that I want but that doesn’t necessarily mean that things are going to go the way that I originally plan for them to. I’ve also learned that it’s okay to not know where I’m going and that most people don’t really know where they are going to end up anyway.

 

What themes emerged across the interviews? 

One theme that I found all of the interviewees seemed to stress was that it was okay to be undecided and the best thing you could was explore every option… especially the ones you knew nothing about. Also, another theme that was prevalent was to make connections and always network. Networking makes a huge impact on whether or not you get the job you want.

 

What struck you about the differences between the interviews?

I felt like all the interviews were fairly similar except for the interview with Randall Isenberg, the lawyer. The other interviewees said that they did some exploring and had often completely changed their career directions. Randall Isenberg always stuck with law and while he switched different positions he always remained in the law field. He also had always known that he was going to practice law. In contrast, Lauren wanted to be Indiana Jones so she majored in art history then decided to major in hospitality management.

 

 How will you apply what you learned to your own process of deciding on a college major and a career to pursue?  Use specific examples from the interviews to support your conclusions about the career exploration process.

Because of what I have learned, I have completely changed my whole process on deciding a major and what career to pursue. I have stopped stressing about rushing to pick a major and make a set in stone plan. Instead, I am focusing more on figuring out what major I am passionate about and then using the skills and knowledge I have gained from my major to find a career that I will excel in. For example, Robin Gansle did not get a degree in photography. She majored in IT and minored in business which has ultimately helped her run her business and do extremely well. If she had just gotten a degree in photography, she would not have the skills necessary to run a business. This puts me at ease because I now know and realize that as long as I do well in my major and truly find something that I am passionate about, then I can most likely find a career that I will love. 

Group projects

I think my role in group projects varies. I like to feel out what the rest of the group is like before I take any specific position. 

I tend to end up picking up the slack when work isn’t getting down and a lot of the times doing most of the work just out of fear of the other team members not doing their part. 

The one thing that I do like about group projects is the collaboration. A lot of good ideas and creativity come out of group projects which is something I have always enjoyed. 

I don’t really like anything else about group projects. I don’t like being dependent on other people and normally try to avoid it at all costs.. I’m starting to realize how unrealistic that is though. 

So, here are a few things I learned about Willis Library and the Career Center: 

1. I’m paying for the career center in my student fees.. Why the heck haven’t I used that thing sooner? I am not about to be paying for something then not use it. 

2. I learned how to navigate the career center website better. I had an account set up but didn’t really know how to utilize the website. 

I was sick the day of the library tour but here are a few things that I’ve learned about the library from visiting since the tour. 

3. I can print up to TWENTY pages at Willis Library… that’s really exciting. 

4. and they have a nifty website where you can search for online articles, books, media and other useful documents as well!

The more you know..

I honestly had no clue what to guess when it came to the Strong assessment.. I pretty much felt “eh” on every description. After, I saw my theme code, AI (artistic and investigative), it made sense to me. I thought the values listed on both artistic and investigative fit me very well as did some of the interests, work activities and potential skills. I did question some though. Mathematics was listed a few times in a couple of areas and math.. is not a friend of mine.

I was actually interested in quite a few of my top ten strong occupations. My four favorites were photographer, mental health counselor, editor, and university faculty member. All are career paths I have considered and taken an interest in.

The one I decided to look into on the O*NET was mental health counselor. I learned quite a few things, like graduate school is definitely a must and the pay isn’t that great. But, I was excited about the part that talked about the knowledge you would need to have. Most of the topics like, psychology, therapy and counseling, anthropology and philosophy are all things I’m really interested in. The employment trends looked promising as well. The projected growth is much higher than average.. whoo!

My Personal Style Scales Preferences:

  1. You likely prefer working alone
  2. You seem to prefer to learn through lectures and books
  3. You probably prefer to lead by example
  4. You may dislike taking risks
  5. You probably enjoy the role of independent contributor

I agree with every single on of those. I definitely prefer working alone.. definitely. I don’t take risks. I’m generally very cautious in every aspect of my life. I’m not necessarily sure how I prefer to learn at this point. Lectures and books are currently really my option when it comes to learning, so it’s all I know.

For themes of great interest to me, I went to the investigative category and found both anthropology and psychology. Both are majors offered at UNT that I am definitely looking into exploring next semester.

My learning environment says that I probably enjoy the traditional student role and learning for the sake of learning. It also says that I prefer classroom lectures, theoretical readings and library research to practical hands-on training or work study programs. I would agree with that completely. Most of my classes are all reading and lectures so I’m doing well in the department.. as soon as I have to take a science lab though.. I’m probably in some trouble.

One career they had listed that  I thought was odd was surgeon. Even though I wouldn’t ever consider something like this, I think they recommended for me because the job requires a lot of independence and has quite a bit of science involved which seemed to be popular for me.

 

How I spend my time

20130920-192600.jpg

So there is how I spend my time.

I don’t really think that my pie looks tasty.. I wish all the pieces were evenly cut.. then my OCD could stop freaking out.

I dedicate 30 hours per week for class and study time (15 hours in class and 15 hours of study time) . At first, I thought that it was a lot of time, then I realized I think it should be more like 45 hours… I may have to dedicate less time to Netflix.

When it comes to sleeping and my naps, I think I’m covered. I spend about 49 hours per week sleeping.  It’s a huge portion of my pie which I’m okay with… I wish it was like half my pie. If that was the case, I wouldn’t have a social life.

I spend 14 hours per week grooming myself. I think that’s totally acceptable.

I spend around 10.5 hours a week eating.

I spend 9.5 hours a week driving and walking to wherever I need to be.

I dedicate 9 hours a week to clubs/orgs and the gym.

I spend 9 hours a week obsessively cleaning my dorm and doing my laundry. I wish that I didn’t have to spend any time on chores.

I spend 20 hours per week socializing. I feel like that is a ton of time to spend with friends. It’s only 10 hours less than my studying time!

I spend 10 hours on Netflix.. and that’s conservative.

Lastly, I have 7 whopping hours of free time left over spent doing.. whatever.

Most of my time goes to sleeping and studying, no surprise there.  I don’t have much free time.. which is fine by me.. Idle hands are the devil’s workshop! I would say that my pie chart is reasonably balanced. It’s expected to spend much of my time on sleep and studying but all my other time is pretty evenly spread out.

My time wasters.. Netflix. I have a bad habit of finding a show I like then watching all 8 seasons in 2 days. It’s bad.. so bad. I also have the 7 hours of leftover free time where I’m not really doing anything at all. It would probably be smart to take those 7 hours and study..

I really want to start working on a long term schedule. I normally just make to-lists the day of or the night before which can be problematic. I often don’t realize I have exams or tests until the night before. I feel like I am pretty good at managing my time. If I am not on schedule or behind, I get really stressed out so I try to avoid that.

I will hold myself accountable for managing my time by trying to think about the consequences of not managing my time well.. late night studying, writing papers the night paper, rushing through assignments which all equal more and more stress. And, I will think about the point of managing my time.. which is good grades. That’s motivation enough.

Managing my time well will aid in helping me reach some of my long term goals because it will help me be successful in the classroom.. which makes for more time doing the things I am working towards that aren’t academic.