Wednesday, January 16, 2013

From ILC Alum Cristina Pelayo

I’m back in Philadelphia to start the spring semester of my junior year. It still sounds strange to say I’m a junior, soon to be senior, after this semester.

This past fall semester passed by quite quickly. I took five classes this semester, but I decided to stack most of them. I wanted to be efficient with my time, and it was great, but sometimes I found myself getting too much information in class and not paying attention during the classes toward the end. The only upside was that I did have one day completely free to finish up readings or other homework. Unfortunately when midterm season came, I usually had two or three around the same time, which was not fun. Although I felt like I would have done better if I only had one at a time, I did improve my study habits by studying a lot earlier for them than was what I was used to.

This past semester, I decided to take a seminar to fulfill the research requirement for my history major. Past classes usually gave me a topic or time period that I had to write a paper on, but this time, my professor was really open to anything. It was really interesting to not have to form arguments, but rather explore different ones that I encountered in my research and compile them. I enjoyed having this project to work on throughout the semester, and my professor was incredibly encouraging and helpful, as it was my first time writing such a long paper, as well as researching in Spanish. I loved the research aspect of the course, although when it came time to write the final paper, it was hard to put into several pages what I’d discovered. Luckily (and this rarely happens) the day before the paper was due, my professor gave us a week-long extension, but unfortunately this would mean that I would have to work on the paper while I was home and everyone else was enjoying their vacations. I definitely wish I’d worked harder and sooner on it, but overall everything somehow turned out okay.

If anyone has any questions about Penn or college in general, feel free to email me! Thanks!


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