Note: I had been sitting on this for a while now, but since we had an information session last night, this seems like a good time to post; note that I wrote these with the best of intentions, and the Bigelow program had been fun.
Last time I sang you praises. I talked about your charm, your magical smile, your gorgeous body; but there are times when I just feel like I am no good. I am a psychology major, yes, a lot of people would say that we are not a match made in heaven, but I always thought you love me just the way I am. But sometimes you just move so fast, and I felt like I was just dragging along. We had so much good times, and we had our lows, but fact is, I loved what we had. If someone give me a chance, I would do it all over again.
Here’s a list of things that we need to discuss.
- The materials are not easy; you probably should brush up on your chemistry and biology in the summer before you start the semester. I mean it. Also, just insist on asking the scientists questions until everything is absolutely crystal clear. So clear that when a candle shines through your understanding, a blinding white light will bring hope to a post-apocalyptic world. Still, be prepared.
- Research on the sea is no cruise. There are no cocktails or polo shirts with cardigans. There are a lot of fun memories, and it is amazing when everyone would work together like a well-oiled machine. But there are also huge waves hitting you while you try to cling on to the bongo nets, there are rumblings in your stomach while you try to concentrate on changing filters. Also, you cannot jump off the boat and take a swim; the water is freezing and it is just not allowed. Bummer. I really wanted to swim with seals!
- You will likely not get a huge portion of your work back until the very end. The very end meaning when your scores appears on the Colby website. Scientists are busy people, so it is understandable that they may not have the free time to look at your lab report. This means that you may not have a clear idea about how the quality of your work, and it may be hard to improve when you are not sure. The professors are really nice and encouraging and would tell you that you are doing fine. My advice is to keep on asking and going over your work with them. I really think it would be awesome to have more feedback, a clear marking matrix, my course work back for future improvements. I am still waiting!
- The last week are packed with deadlines. you have your presentations for the field study course, your final exams, your lab reports, and your poster for personal research. You will never lust for the free coffee as much again in your life. (Did I mention there was free coffee last time? There is free coffee. And tea. Chai latte. Hot chocolate.)
- Always voice your concerns. It is a new program and everyone is still trying to figure out the best plan. Bigelow is ultimately one of the friendliest place I have ever been, so make use of the welcoming atmosphere to make the Colby-Bigelow program the best ever.
- Ask about requirements! The teachers are more than happy to work on how your course of study collides with what you learn at Bigelow; sometimes they need a little push and gentle reminder though.