The first full week of classes is just about in the books, and so is the sense of wonderment that comes with it.
It seems there’s a certain blend of both optimism and consternation brought upon by the beginning of classes, especially the younger the student that you are.
When you prepare to step into your first classes of the semester in your first couple years of college, you’re likely inundated with all kinds of thoughts. You may find yourself thinking, “What’s my professor going to be like?” or “Will I know anybody in this class?”
As you get older, those types of thoughts linger less frequently and are supplemented by additional inquiries. Essential, pressing questions like “Is this Friday discussion section really mandatory, or can I still get shitfaced on Thursday nights?” begin to join the fray, to name just one.
In some cases, the curiosity surrounding your classes might stem from the fact that you’re not at all sure what the hell you signed up for.
I’ve made at least one bad course selection every year, but the choices I made my freshman year were utterly abysmal. Now, I’m sure the student leaders and advisors that assist at SOAR are perfectly nice, competent people, but that Student Center module was a big fucking bomb to drop on someone that signed up for classes in high school using a course handbook and a piece of paper. I used the Student Center with about as much grace as my grandma attempting to explain the Civil Rights Movement.
After a few hours of aimlessly farting around the Student Center to sift through course descriptions, I accepted that I was going to get irrevocably screwed no matter which classes I signed up for. I ultimately resorted to the limited information I knew about a particular subject to guide most of my course decisions. One of the courses I ultimately settled on was Anthropology 100.
You want to know what really sold me on anthro? During high school, I used to get up at 5:00 every morning and watch a couple of awful TV shows before the bus picked me up. One of those shows was “Saved by the Bell: The College Years.”
I remembered watching one episode where Zack Morris took an anthro class. For one of his projects, he was assigned to gather interviews with various women to gain a greater understanding of the female psyche, in an allusion to the film “Sex, Lies and Videotape.” This gripping 30-minute episode formed my conception of what anthropology was all about, and since I had virtually no insight into what else I wanted to take, I bit the bullet and took Anthro 100.
Hard as it might be to believe, we didn’t do any cool projects like Zack Morris got to do in his anthro class. We learned about stuff like protein synthesis and what a pile of bones in the Indus Valley might indicate about early civilizations. It was actually more boring than it sounds, and I’m still not certain why I didn’t just drop the class. I walked into that lecture hall everyday with the look of impending doom of a man headed to the gallows. I ended up getting a C.
Fortunately, Anthro 100 and all the other poor course decisions I’ve made during college have not broken my spirit. While I always remain wary of some of my selections, my optimism generally outweighs the consternation.
That much became apparent in my first class of the semester, a large lecture class consisting of mostly first- and second-year students. After rushing to get in before the bell rang, I was taken aback when I sat down and this freshman kid nodded and said “good morning” to me. Certainly a nice gesture, but a little odd.
I’m generally not a personable guy, but I took the bait and chatted a bit. He seemed pretty enthusiastic about our class, and it actually rubbed off on me. He mentioned that he just finished his first college class over at Social Sciences.
For his sake, I hope it wasn’t anthro.
Did the “Saved by the Bell” crew give you the best advice of your life? Tell Adam at email@example.com.