^^Lehigh in the winter
Frohe Weihnachten! I am truly thankful for the semester’s closing as I sit near home in the cheery and quant town of Media, PA writing this. This past fall semester was one heck of a ride, from venturing to NYC for the 150th Lehigh-Lafayette rivalry game, to having an actual writing-intensive course, to tutoring for organic chemistry, to living in a sorority house with 50 of my sisters, to participating in the Prison Project, to preparing for study abroad in Freiburg, Germany, to keeping up with the rigorous junior-level environmental engineering coursework, to joining bellydancing club and LU’s Finest.
Did I mention study abroad? YES. The IDEAS program is wonderful for a lot of reasons, and one of those reasons is that I have the opportunity to get credits in another country. I’m pursuing an integrated degree in environmental engineering by taking additional biology, chemistry, environmental science, and sustainability courses. Since the brunt of my coursework thus far has been in science and engineering, I have not taken the humanities and social sciences classes I need to fulfill my IDEAS degree. Why did I wait to do this? So I could get these credits at a university in another country, who wouldn’t! This university is Albert-Ludwigs-Universitat Freiburg (University of Freiburg). I will be in a semester program called “Environmental Studies & Sustainability” where I will take courses called Soil Ecology & Management, Change of Ecosystems as a Result of Long-Term Human Activity in Southern Germany & the Swiss Alps, Environmental Ethics & Sustainability, Economic Aspects of Environmental Change, and a German language course. The city of Freiburg is in southwest Germany in the heart of the black forest, very close to Switzerland and France. I’ll be posting about my journey, assuming I don’t get completely lost in Europe, which may happen, so stay tuned!
Overall, this semester was busy but definitely worth the hard work. Throughout my years at Lehigh, I’ve learned that if you don’t feel super busy, then you must have time to pick up a hobby or join a club, so congrats, do it! Classes are always going to have work for you to do, but you have to remember to do other things that you like too; don’t overwork yourself to the point where you’re miserable. College is a time for giving it your all in every aspect of your life, a.k.a. school and whatever else you like to do. For some reason this concept really hit me this semester, so I joined bellydancing club and LU’s Finest step dancing team. Yes I’m an amateur at both but you know what, I enjoyed both clubs a lot. In high school we’re raised with the idea that you have to be the best at something to do it, but in college you need to get rid of that mentality. Regardless of whether you’re a pro or not, pursue hobbies and activities purely because you like them. Wise words from a junior.