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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Three years of college, in summary.

I just realized that I only have two days left at Utah State, then I'm done here, for good. It's like an entire chapter of my life ends. I am unsure of how to feel about this. USU has had its up's and down's. I've hated this town with a passion sometimes and had trouble finding a friend who understood me others, but in all being here has probably been the best 3 years of my life.

I moved here during the Fall of 2008 as a transfer student from Weber State University with about 50 credits that I'd accumulated in three semesters. I had a roommate who I barely knew at the time. We hung out and met some people. I spent a lot of time with my girlfriend from Kaysville and because of it put a little less effort into a social life here than I probably should have. We broke up about halfway into the semester, the breakup was full of unnecessary drama, but it happens. I then began hanging out more with my neighbors and a couple of friends from class. I hadn't really established a set group of friends yet, but it was nice to be social. However I began to realize that this math-centric degree I was pursuing was certainly not for me and it worried me. I did not enjoy taking statics, calc 3 and autocad at all. However surveying and physics were sort of fun. What would I do? I figured I could just get through my math classes and things would improve, right?

During the Spring of 2009 I spent a lot more time socializing than concentrating on my classes. I hated all of them anyway. Dynamics, Strengths of Materials, Matlab, Differential Equations? Yuck. Then it sort of hit me, if I didn't like this kind of stuff, why was I bothering with it? Physics 2 was the only class I was learning anything in and enjoyed. I sat down one night and went through the course materials needed for every degree that was of any interest to me planning how long it would take to get the degrees. With geology I could graduate on time, and I've always loved earthquakes and rocks. Maybe that was the degree for me! I went and talked to the advisor and he seemed like a nice person and so I decided that's what I wanted to do. For the next semester I enrolled in Geology 1110 with a goal of finishing a geology degree in two years, hah. Gooooood luck to me.

That summer I moved home to Layton. I couldn't find a job so naturally the first thing I did was paid off my car with the money I'd saved up working over the school year. I was taking a class to finish my A.S. from Weber State. I was hoping to spend time with my friends from Bountiful, but they had all become distracted with women in their lives and had little to no time for hanging out. I had a rather boring and uneventful summer that was sort of depressing until the end of it when I decided I needed to go on a couple adventures. I spontaneously drove to Los Angeles alone at 3am and a few weeks later went with a friend I'd not hung out with in 6 years to Arches. Kind of crazy, but I needed that. It was fun and I really had some cool life experiences.

Fall of 2009 I came back to Logan. I started taking my geology class and some related non-major classes. What a strange schedule I had with WATS 4930 (GIS) and Geology 1110 in the same semester. Chem 1220, 1225 and Philosophy 3700 were also taken this semester. I made friends with some neighbors who ended up being some of my best friends throughout the next couple of years and had a couple of strange roommates. One was a weird drunk kid that ended up being a really fun guy and another was a really fun guy who ended up being somewhat mentally unstable. James and I were roommates again this year and we got along well. Supposedly we had a 5th roommate, but I don't know that he was ever around. Something about a girlfriend? I enjoyed my classes and had a fun time with my new friends. In all this year was starting out to be a better year than the one prior. Over Winter break I met a girlfriend myself who was quite the "life experience" herself.

Spring of 2010 started and I think my friends were all kind of surprised that I was dating someone. Two of my roommates moved out and were replaced by 3 new guys. One I'd met before and he seemed cool. Two of them were a bit different and just spent most of their time in their rooms playing video games. However they did become more social and more fun throughout the semester. As the semester went on I began dating other people and I became increasingly distracted with my classes; Geophysics, structural geology, Earth history and abnormal psychology. The classes really kicked my ass, but somehow I managed to get the best GPA I ever got in college this semester. I won't say what it was as it's probably lower than most people's "best GPA" but I took a lot of hard classes over my college career! Scoring good GPAs was tough! The semester ended and I moved back to Layton once more.

I started summer of 2010 working for the Census Bureau. It wasn't the greatest job at first, but it really grew on me. Making my own hours and walking around talking to people was sort of a fun job. Plus the pay wasn't that bad for an hourly job. I began seeing the girl from spring a lot more over the summer and things remained complicated as we tossed around conversations from "Should we get married?" to "Trisha, I don't approve of you making out with my friends." Towards the middle of the summer I got a serving job at a restaurant to give me something more to do. The census job changed and I got a new job with them verifying vacant houses and was offered an option to go to North Dakota and do this. I was very excited, but then a new job was offered to me. One doing geology, or so he said. I quit both of my jobs to work as a geologist, but ended up backpacking around in the mountains hammering posts into the ground for ten hours a day and camping at night. Summer was winding down so I figured I may as well quit before I get eaten by a mountain lion and did. My grandpa and I then went on the vacation from hell before my summer completely ended and when we got back I was excited to move back to Logan for my senior year.

In the fall of 2010 I came back to two new roommates and two of the same roommates. However they all seemed really fun from day one. During that first week, we met a group of what seemed like really cool girls. I ended up doing what was probably the closest thing I've ever done to cheating on a girl as I fell asleep with the one I was interested in while still technically dating Trisha, despite the fact that we were basically broken up without having acknowledged it to each other. We spent the next few weeks hanging out every night and honestly it was some of the funnest times I had in college. I think over time we basically just got sick of each other. I offended the one who had taken interest in me because I called her out on being a hypocrite in this very blog and we quit talking, haha. Sometimes I speak before I think, but whatever, it was for the best. Over the semester I worked as an undergraduate teaching fellow for a freshman level earth science class. The classes I took this semester were another geophysics class, sed-strat, geomorphology and geoarchaeology. Needless to say the semester made me feel pretty geo'd out. Christmas break was much needed and I got an xbox. This mean that I spent the entire break playing Final Fantasy 13, but then the story ended and I felt no need to continue playing, haha.

Spring of 2011 started out as a rather dull and miserable semester. Full of lots of late nights by myself playing Mass Effect 2, Fallout 3 or researching oil deposits in the Barrent's Sea for my Petroleum Systems class. Along with that I was taking Seismology, Mineralogy (for which I should be studying right now as the final is tomorrow) and Beginning Group Guitar. I was also again an undergraduate teaching fellow for the same geology instructor, but this time for a Junior level non-major class. I really enjoyed my experiences as a UTF. About a third of the way through the semester I decided I wanted a girlfriend and began actually making an effort to date a handful of girls. Nothing seemed to happen and I really just never met anyone who I shared a mutual interest with so I gave up. Petroleum Systems ended half way into the semester and my work load was cut in half. Now here I was studying earthquakes (seismology) and rocks (mineralogy). The two reasons I wanted to be a geologist to begin with and finding myself unhappy and questioning if I was even in the right major. I got accepted into a field school at Southern Oregon University and was happy about that. I applied for graduation and turned in my papers. I have a cap and gown sitting in the corner of my room. I was ready to leave and just see what life had to offer somewhere else. Through a set of unlikely circumstances I began dating a new girl. This is a rather new development and I have little to say about it at this point other than it makes me happy. Even more recently a distant relative of mine contacted me saying he wanted to help me find a job. Maybe life post-graduation isn't going to be too terrible.

I'm scared. I'm fucking terrified of life post-graduation. I'm going to come back from Oregon some time in late July or early August (I should probably look for sure), but then what? What if I don't find a job? What if I end up living at my mom's apartment as a 25 year old unemployed college graduate? Yikes, not a pleasant thought. For the last 3 years I've always known exactly what I would do when my summer was over. This time, I could do anything from getting married and moving across the country to be a professional geologist to being that loser playing 60 hours of xbox per week at my mom's place and I really have no way of forecasting what will happen. Scary, or maybe exciting. I may not make all the right decisions. Maybe I should have stuck with engineering, but I didn't. That was my decision. I made it, no one else. As long as I'm the one deciding, shouldn't that be enough to make me happy? Saturday I'm going to walk and attend Utah State University's spring commencement ceremony. I'm very excited. I'm very terrified.

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