Who am I?
My name is Joan Ronstadt and I am in junior studying full time at American University in Washington DC.
I'm majoring in journalism and still trying to figure out what my minor is (currently it is a three way tie between anthropology, history and American studies). I am from Miami, FL, where I was born and raised.
Though I am more than thrilled to be starting my third year here, I would have never imagined that I would be a junior here.
American University was not my first choice. Much like in the movies, I had idolized a prestigious liberal arts college where ivy grew upon its walls and the students looked like they were modeling clothes from a fall catalogue.
I came and visited the school multiple times with my mother while I was in high school and rather prematurely bought myself a sweatshirt that I wore with great pride all throughout my junior and senior year.
Knowing full well that the school was a "reach school" for me, I still continued to believe that I was destined to be there and therefore, like the movies, was bound to get in.
When acceptance letters from my other schools rolled in, I felt very happy and it only assured me that any day now I would get to see the green embossed logo of the school in my mailbox.
When the day finally came, I tore the letter apart only to find out that though I had not been rejected, I had in fact been waitlisted.
Suddenly I was left having to readjust my future and all the plans I had imagined for myself, in just a few short weeks.
When the process of elimination decided for me that American University was where I would likely spend the next four years I decided to take it in stride and move forward with that decision.
I’m glad to say I was that school's second choice because it led me to a university where I'm always considered a first choice.
Adapting to whatever your ever-changing interests may be
Although many of my friends are juniors they are still deciding what their major is. I say this to prove the point that you don’t have to know freshman year what you want to study, hopefully by the end of junior year you have a pretty firm idea though.
A lot of times people come into college with a set goal of getting X degree because people have told them they are really good at X. Most colleges, for this reason, make students take general education courses to:
1) make sure they are a rounded person
2) help serve as a form of sampling other areas of study.
Just because you are really good at something doesn’t mean you can’t be just as great at something else.
Adapting to whatever your ever-changing interests may be will help ease you into college life.
Those friends I mentioned earlier who are still undecided got to that point because they went from being majors in History to Public Affairs to Literature to things I didn’t even know were offered at my university to begin with.
You don’t have to be rigidly stuck to X if you realize half way through the semester that although you may have been good at in high school it isn’t really your cup of tea anymore and you really love Y. Go for it!
Remember that nothing is set in stone and you’re here to grow and develop (and to be happy!). Don’t make yourself miserable needlessly.
Adaptation is a necessary form of evolution
When I was waitlisted at my dream school and had to quickly choose another, little did I know that this would be a theme for me in the near future.
Learning to adapt may be one of the most difficult and important life skills you can learn. As a rule of thumb in life, things will not always go your way. It’s unfortunate but true.
Learning to adapt to your situation will not only help you cope and make better decisions but it will also serve as an amazing way to build character. Fortunately, college lends itself to providing you with many a practice run at adaptation.
From not getting into the school you originally wanted to attend to learning how to share a bathroom with 80 other people on your floor; learning new studying habits or figuring how to balance a social life and keep up academically.
These four years will be full of challenges and sometimes being stubborn or refusing to change your ways may hinder you. Adaptation is a necessary form of evolution and will ultimately be a great tool for the real world.