Hello! Happy Wednesday! Classes end today at the University of Illinois. Tomorrow is Reading Day and then exams begin on Friday. After 11 am on Friday, May 16, I’ll have completed my junior year of undergrad. Only one year left until college graduation. I’m so scared. I’m so excited. I really don’t know how I feel about college graduation. Anyways, I have a week and half left of spring semester and my first day of work will be Monday, May 19 (quick turnaround, I know). I’ll be interning for Dow Corning all summer and I’m so excited! Now, on to the main purpose of this post…

My joy of engineering is: accomplishment.

It is amazing what can be achieved and accomplished in only a couple months. I think any undergraduate student reflecting on a semester of college feels this way. In engineering, These accomplishments give me joy because they are the culmination of what I learn (inside and outside of the classroom) everyday. I find the sheer quantity of technical information taught to undergraduate students per semester to be amazing. It’s also incredible to think how much undergraduate students (especially engineers, in my biased opinion) do at the same time without spontaneously combusting or something. There is significant satisfaction in completing a semester of  college and looking back at what you’ve accomplished in just a few months. So my joy of engineering today is accomplishment because I started out this semester a little lost. But over the course of the semester, I received so many blessings. I’m beyond grateful for everything. Allow me to reflect…

When spring semester started in January 2014:

  • I had just completed my worst academic semester of college ever which did include one two C’s. Yes, I’m human and my grades aren’t always stellar.
  • CUBE Consulting, the student consulting organization I’m president of which revolves around project teams, had a project manager in charge of a project team leave the organization suddenly and unexpectedly without warning. It was the hardest challenge I had faced as a leader.
  • In November, I had broken up with a (now ex-)boyfriend which had made my question both my beliefs and what I was looking for in a relationship. Even in January, I was still looking for answers.
  • I had just scheduled an interview for Knights of St. Patrick which was really exciting, but I had absolutely no expectation. I was just honored to have picked from the large pool of applicants for an interview.
  • I was on team for a church retreat (NFK 121) to give a talk about Christian Living. My talk had a lot of very personal stories in it. I was really unsure if it would inspire other people or not.
  • One of my professors had just asked me to help him re-film some of his physical chemistry lectures, but I had no idea what that would really entail.
Hirata filming

This picture was taken while I helped film a new lecture on physical chemistry and valence bond theory.

With spring semester ending in May 2014:

  • It may be a little soon to talk about grades since I still have finals to take, but I know that this semester has been much more successful.
  • CUBE Consulting exceeded my expectations as it recovered from its initial speed bump. Our projects finished strongly and all of our clients were very happy. CUBE Consulting has retained members better this year and had the most applicants ever.
  • I gave my Christian Living talk on NFK 121 and I was really happy with it. I think it did turn some stone hearts into hearts of flesh. The weekend strengthened my faith and put my questions to rest.
  • I am now a Knight of St. Patrick!
  • I filmed several physical chemistry lectures with Professor So Hirata which taught me a great deal about flipped classroom education and was a very cool experience.
  • I served on a Campus Conversation for Undergraduate Education working group discussing interdisciplinary, integrative, and experiential education. We offered several quality recommendations that I’m excited to see put in place. (I’ll keep you posted as they actually happen.)
  • I worked with several colleagues to develop a course for undeclared engineers to determine which engineering type they’re interested in, which will be implemented in the fall.
  • Most importantly: My classes taught me so much! I had multiple chemical engineering classes that were incredibly interesting and even horticulture has been useful in my grocery shopping.

It’s been a fantastic semester of amazing accomplishments. Whenever I struggle to focus on studying over the next ten days, I’m going to look back to this post to remind myself of these accomplishments. I’ve been blessed and I do not want to forget that. I’m so thankful for so much.

Are you struggling with finals blues?

Make a list like this for yourself. What have you done this semester that you’re incredibly proud of? Share it in the comments or tape it to the wall above your desk to look at while you study. It helps so much. You will look back at the semester and be just as amazed and grateful for so much.

Thank you to everyone who has helped me this past semester in accomplishing my goals! Best of luck on finals!

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