A Freshman Perspective: Springing into the New Semester!

A Freshman Perspective: Springing into the New Semester!

Karli Miller

Meet ... Karli Miller

Major: English/Creative Writing
Hometown: Breinigsville
Graduate: Parkland High School

What else? I suppose I could give you basics in about 10 seconds or less ... I'm very short, Jewish, Democratic, opinionated, musical, love to laugh, and a people person.

Folders? Check. Syllabi? Check. Breakfast? Check. (And most importantly) Schedule? Check. These are just a few of the items on my spring semester checklist that I so faithfully followed this past week. I just finished up my first week of classes, and boy am I looking forward to this semester! This entry is going to be a bit more informative than most, and focused mainly on my classes and how adjusting as a second semester freshman is going- with a couple of tips at the end for students reading my blog!

I have a pretty full schedule, and by pretty full, I mean PACKED. I am taking five courses this semester, along with three dance classes off campus, my job, GSA meetings, Honors program events, and most importantly, MY SOCIAL LIFE. Just kidding ☺ My five classes are: Intro to Creative Writing with Stuart, Honors Environmental Issues and Choices with Bodenman, US History 1877 to Present with Keith, Poetry with Robinson, and Honors Food for Thought with Lawrence. Later I will tell you about each class, but let me tell you first why my schedule is a bit different then most. Generally, students at BU schedule their classes to be generally spread throughout the week, maybe two classes or three classes a day- but I didn’t exactly go that direction. I have only one class on MWF and 4 classes (in a row from 8 am until 1:45 pm) blocked on TuTh—and I do not recommend it if you don’t like having a “high school” feel to your day. Personally, I like getting everything done right in a row, I am in “school mode” because with long breaks leave me easily distracted or without motivation.

Let’s talk classes! I’ll give a little about professors (only positives!) and my impressions of the course after this first week:

  • Intro to Creative Writing: I LOVE IT! What more can I say? I am an English Creative Writing major, and I am really in my element in this course. Dr. Stuart maintains a very positive, stimulating environment, and after this first week, I can honestly say I don’t think I will have a problem with having this class three times a week!
  • Honors Environmental Issues and Choices: This class is going to be a challenge, but I mean that in the best way possible. Professor Bodenman is very enthusiastic about the topics we will learn this semester, and I am expecting to gain a lot of knowledge on the human impact upon the environment and ways to lessen that impact. Having an 8 am is a bit difficult, I’ll admit, but not because it’s hard to stay awake- mostly because it is so dang cold outside in the morning when I’m making my way to Hartline!
  • US History 1877 to Present: Much to my surprise, I enjoy this class so far. I like history because it’s straightforward. Professor Keith is a fantastically opinionated, Southern firecracker. She is passionate and encourages a lot of class participation, and by breaking down the large class into small discussion groups, encourages her students to branch out and make friends.
  • Poetry: Ah Poetry, some love it, some hate it, and some simply don’t get it. Let me make this clear, if you have poetry with Robinson- you’d better learn to like it- and immerse yourself in it. I have never met anyone in my life as passionate about poetry as Danny Robinson. He lives and breathes it, breaks it down and analyzes it, and teaches us to love it. This class may be a bit more work than I bargained for, but I’m thinking its going to be worth it.
  • Honors Food for Thought: After this week, all I can say is WOW. I wasn’t really sure what to expect with this honors course, but after only two classes I can say that I love it. Dr. Lawrence maintains such a laid-back atmosphere, but at the same time shows true excitement and devotion to her favorite subject: FOOD. I’m looking forward to cooking, food blogs, discussions, and tasting in this class, especially because it is right around, you guessed it, lunchtime!

That was a lot of information, but I think well worth reading, if I do say so myself ☺

The adjustment to my second semester is so far a lot smoother than the first. Getting back into routine was easier, locating my classes was a LOT easier, and then only real downside to anything is the weather. It is currently absolutely frigid outside, add a little bit of wind or snow and the cold actually takes your breath away.

Since I probably just melted your brains a bit with all of that info, I’ll end this entry with a couple of tips for students:

    1. Maintain a good relationship with your CA- CA’s can help you find information on what’s new on campus, hours that main buildings on campus are open, and they lend an ear when you just need to vent.
    2. Invest in some warm clothing- The title “spring semester” is slightly deceiving, our average temp. around here is around 20-30 degrees, not including the wind chill.
    3. This last tip is a bit silly, but- ordering a whole pizza from La Fontana for two people is a mistake…you will be up to your ears in pizza. Trust. Me.

Good Luck this semester to all my fellow students, and feel free to contact me if you have any questions or just want to talk! I’ll keep on updating this page every few weeks, and I can be found at the LGBTA Resource Center on MWF starting at 10 am, and my husky email is kjm80587@huskies.bloomu.edu. Bye for now!

Getting back into the SPRING of things

Well hello, all, it has certainly been awhile since you last heard from me. My apologies, my first semester was a little filled with a bit more excitement than expected. You see- I’ve moved, made new friends, had time on the stage, got a job, and learned a whooooole bunch of important life lessons.

Halfway through the semester, due to personal issues, I ended up moving into a different dorm, Schuylkill Hall. (By the way, my CA Ricky is fantastic!) What I didn’t know, was I would end up meeting one of my best friends because of it. My new roommate, Tori, and I are quite the pair.

We have a bond like sisters, and wreak all kinds of havoc when we are together. Not really, but we can certainly can come pretty close at times. I never would have imagined that I would become so close to Tor, especially since I moved in halfway through the semester. She’s a great friend, and I’m sure you all will hear a lot more about our adventures as the semester continues!

Fall semester I was a part of BUSTED or Bloomsburg University Student Theatrical Education Drama (yes, that is a mouthful, I know), an improv group; and it was an experience I will never forget! From Gangnam Style to Seasons of Love, the songs and dance routines were a blast!

But the best part of BUSTED by far was getting to spend time with people who loved being on the stage as much as I did; people who became great friends. A lot of my fellow cast members were older than I, and they became almost like older brothers or sisters, giving me advice on how to succeed both academically and socially.

This semester, I also began a student worker position at the LGBTA Resource Center in the Student Services building. This upcoming semester will be my first “real” semester as a worker there, but from my experiences so far, my job has been great!

As for life lessons, boy did I learn some important ones- called time management, organization, and making good choices. As a freshman, its easy to get sucked into the world of partying. Luckily, I didn’t. Making good choices became much easier once I organized my priorities and realized partying is simply not one of them. I’ve been to one party, walked in, and pretty much turned around and walked out. I’m a fierce advocate for resisting peer pressure, and as a freshman, I am pretty darn proud of the way I avoided situations that could have gotten really bad really fast.

Organization was a bit more difficult. To put it mildly, I have a lot of stuff. A lot of it. I’m still learning to new ways to organize, and purchasing a planner has made things a bit easier. Luckily, Tori doesn’t mind the fact that I’m a teensy bit messy. ☺

The most important lesson was learning time management, and I’m still working on it. As someone who has difficulty concentrating, it was easy for me to get distracted from my studies and later realize that I had lost an entire day doing absolutely nothing. I sought help, and landed in the office of the lovely Ginny Larson, an academic coach. Ginny is wonderful, she has really helped me work out a study plan for the upcoming semester, among other things.

I’m really excited to come back for a second semester at BU and apply some of the lessons I’ve learned. I’m also totally read to see some of the people who have become my close friends (Jeanne, Nicole, Al, Krisztina, and all you other besties) after a break that was wayyyy too long (in my personal opinion). You will hear a lot more from me this semester, so keep checking back for more. Let’s get ready to SPRING into the new semester with everything we’ve got! Bye for now!

Back-to-school with a twist

Ah, back to school. Giant colorful displays suddenly appear in every store, filled with plenty of Elmer’s glue, Post-It notes, and best of all, anything Crayola. Although this year, for me, it’s back to school with a twist; it’s my freshman year of college at Bloomsburg University.

Let me introduce myself: My name is Karli Miller and I am 18 years old. I come to BU from Breinigsville, PA (the land of cornfields) and Parkland High School in Allentown.

Allentown is pretty much your average small city, a couple of different school districts, some parks, and a decent mall (thank goodness). However, we are also the home to a dual amusement park, Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom, which is pretty cool. Most high school students work at Dorney Park in the summer, which I did for two years as a costume character. This past summer I worked at our local Jewish Community Center’s day camp as a camp counselor.

As for hobbies, I'm generally an artsy person, but more performing arts than actual mediums of art. I'm okay with "arts and crafts,” but could I win anything? No. I sing, mostly pop, in Hebrew, and choral selections. Oh, and showtunes. Lots of showtunes. I also dance; hip hop, and bollywood, and hopefully I can get into some classes on campus.

Now that I think about it I pretty much love music in general. My favorite artists are probably Demi Lovato, P!nk, and Katy Perry. But I’m open to all genres, if it’s a good song, I don’t care who sings it.

I'm also slightly book obsessed. Well okay, a little more than slightly ... my favorite author is Jodi Picoult. I have and have read all of her books. I like vampires, but not Twilight. Well, I did like Twilight, when it first came out and it wasn't commercialized to death. Now its just annoying. I really like the Marked series. I also like dystopian novels, you know, post apocalyptic novels like the Hunger Games (although the movie was not that great, books are always better) and the Gone series.

This fall, I'm majoring in English with a Creative Writing Concentration. I am also a member of the Honors Program. I’m really excited to begin a new academic career and make new friends (I am most definitely a people person!) I have five scheduled classes, including Honors Humanities.

When I was choosing a college, the thing about Bloomsburg that really stood out for me was the fact that the people were friendly. I wanted a place that I felt like I fit in with the people, and BU was the best fit!

In all honesty, I have been shopping for dorm supplies since I graduated in June. I wanted to be sure that I have everything I needed! I probably bought about half of Bed, Bath, and Beyond ☺

I’m a firm believer in having a game plan for everything, so this whole “new life” thing is pretty much throwing me for a loop. I guess my game plan for the first couple of weeks would have to look like this: move in, go to freshman orientation, and buckle up and settle down for the ride that will be my first semester of college!

    — Karli Miller, freshman English major