It is December 14, and I am home for winter break! I just completed my first semester away at college last Thursday, so I thought that it might be interesting to summarize what this past semester was like.DORM LIFE I am a junior in college, and since this was my first semester away from home, I thought it would be a good idea to live on campus and to have that experience. I am in a single room in a dorm complex that is for non-freshmen. That means upperclassmen, transfer students (like me), international students, and graduate students live in my complex. I moved in a couple of days early so that I would be able to attend band camp (insert cheesy “one time at band camp…” joke here). Band camp is (supposedly) required for everyone in marching band, but there were quite a few people who either were not enrolled in marching band at the time of band camp or maybe they were not able to get into town early enough. I am super pleased with my single room. It is so nice not having to worry about anyone else’s schedule. I can wake up when I want, go to bed when I want, play music when I want… I live on an all-single-room floor, which is nice. My floor is in the oldest building in the complex, and there are only two floors with livable rooms. I don’t have to worry about people being loud above me, because I live on the second floor. I am very lucky to have met some good friends in my dorm. There are a couple of other people who are my age and are new to the university, so it seems like it was meant to be. I have also befriended people who have been here since they were freshmen.
DORM FOOD At my college, there is the dining hall, a coffee shop, and a small food court on campus. I can use my meal plan at all three of these places, but the only one I really like is the food court. I am a picky person, and when I find something I like, I stick to it (as well as other favorites). The main dining hall has quite a bit of variety, but I am not always able to find something that I find appealing.
CLASSES I am a music major, and I am currently in the normal classes that you would take as a sophomore, because I was not able to take these classes at my community college last year; they were not offered. I had music theory 3 and ear training 3, which should be taken together, but I think there are ways around it. I also had music history 1 which covered everything music from Ancient Greece to the end of the Baroque (1750). I also had to take a general education course. I should be done, if I am lucky, because I might be able to substitute music history for the history requirement. If I cannot do that, I plan on taking it in the summer. My one gen ed this semester was earth science. I took it, because I needed a physical science class with lab, and I figured that it would be the easiest. It was not bad. I got by, and now I am done.
APPLIED CLASSES/ENSEMBLES As a music major, I have to take private lessons on my main instrument, flute, and I plan on adding piano in the spring. More to come on the spring later. I just had flute lessons this semester. I had hour lessons, or two credits. My lesson time was not the best, it was at 8 in the morning, but I survived. I actually have figured out that I like practicing in the morning more than the afternoon, because it is more quiet. Everyone is either sleeping or in class. Part of applied lessons was required attendance and performance at a weekly studio class. If you want to know more about what studio class is like, check out my last blog post. As an upperclassman performance major, I performed more than some of my flute peers, but it was great experience. I do not get nervous for a performance anymore. I also performed in a couple of master classes and got feedback from other non-flute students and one where I got feedback from a professional flutist visiting my university. I was in three ensembles this semester. I was in marching band for the first time ever. It was okay; I learned that I prefer marching piccolo to flute. I got to meet a lot of people, and I believe that marching band is more social than concert band. Game days were long and tiring, but it was an excuse for my parents to come visit and take me to dinner after games. They were also a good way for me to spend my weekends on campus. If I was not in marching band, I probably would have gone home more often. I was also in wind ensemble. It was a different experience than the band at my community college. First off, it was bigger, and there were reduced ensemble pieces, which I did not really like. I felt cheated out of rehearsal and performance opportunities by being excluded from a few pieces. The last ensemble was flute choir. I am required to participate in a chamber ensemble for at least two semesters, but I plan to continue after that. In flute choir, I was able to play alto and bass flute as well as my regular concert flute. I ended up not really liking the bass flute. It is a little too big and heavy for me. I love the alto flute. It has a really cool sound.
Overall, my first semester at a college away from home was pretty good. I had a few challenges to overcome, such as my first season in a marching band and getting back into the swing of ear training, a music skill that is very difficult for me. I am super happy with my choice of a university. I love the campus environment, and the professors manage to be encouraging yet realistic.
Thanks for reading!
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