I think the biggest thing that changed about me this term was my endurance.

As I’ve referenced way too many times, I took this class, Atomic and Nuclear Physics, this term, and it was tough for me. I’ve studied hard for classes before, but this was the first time where I really had to push beyond where I thought I’d “hit my limit”. As in, sometimes I would need to allow myself mini-naps, because I absolutely needed to focus, but then I’d wake up and get right back to work, because there was still so much left to be done. It wasn’t as grueling as it sounds, because the material was really interesting, my professors were always supportive, and the alternative (not studying, freaking out about not studying, freaking about not studying some more in class the next day) was definitely even more tiring.

As the term progressed, I found that these intense, lengthy study sessions got easier and easier to get through, and I even ended up looking forward to them. To be honest the hardest part was always the buildup: I’d be tired and stressed out by the work I had to do, so I’d suddenly become really good at finding little distractions in order to put off getting started just a bit longer. Once I was actually doing the work, time often passed by pretty quickly, because as I mentioned above, the material itself was pretty darn cool. After these sessions, I’d feel a huge sense of relief for finally getting a significant amount of work done. And I’d find myself in this sort of weird, meditative state, coming out of hours upon hours of silent reading and writing with a pretty clear head and calmed demeanor. It became a sort of nighttime ritual for me, and over the course of the term, it added up to loads of extra study time.

My endurance was tested in an entirely different way this term, too. Even on days where A&N had be absolutely beat, I’d still have PE to go to! So many days felt like length mental/physical sprints: once I got through my work, it’d be time for an hour of aerobic exercise (I took Step Aerobics with Russ, as literally every Carl should at least once during their time here). Again, the psychological trepidation I felt leading up to these sessions was the real problem: it’s really, really hard to want to do a bunch of dance moves for an hour after you’ve spent a while with your textbooks. Again, though, once we’d actually get started, I really enjoyed myself! Turns out, everyone who tells you physical exercise is the perfect antidote to built-up mental stress is totally right.

I found myself going from not thinking I’d make it through the first step aerobics class, to putting full effort into it, the entire way through, multiple times a week, and that was a pretty cool thing to find myself capable of.

So, yeah. Overall, I think I really grew this term. It wasn’t easy, but I discovered that, despite how clichéd it sounds, sometimes https://ceoas.oregonstate.edu/ the harder stuff really is that much more rewarding.

Lucas is in his sophomore year at Carleton, bringing with him a passion for all things nerdy and a talent for overthinking and awkwardness (and self-deprecation). He hails from Pasadena, California, and yes, he realizes it gets cold out here. He currently sees himself majoring in Physics, although he hopes to explore Cinema and Media Studies, Chemistry, Economics, and Computer Science (among many other subjects) as well. He misses his bearded dragon. Grademiners plagiarism Meet the other bloggers!