Hey baby, I got my ION you

By Jantsen McBride

Confession: I am obsessed with animal memes. There’s something about them that just makes me lose it every time. I don’t know if it’s the adorable face or the funny puns but I can’t help but laugh. I picked this chemistry one because this blog post is dedicated to how my classes are going overseas. (I know, I know, I got you all excited that it was going to be about cat memes…)

I should start by saying that when I first started planning my study abroad experience, my mom’s one stipulation on me going was that I would be taking classes that would transfer back to MU. This meant that I would be enrolling in some tough pre-med courses overseas. Lancaster University was one of the few colleges that would transfer my needed science courses back as credit. I am enrolled in cell biology and organic chemistry while here in England. If you’re thinking, “Man that sounds awful!” you are right. My only saving grace of a class is crime and social life. But after last week, I’m not sure if it’s as saving as I thought.

I expected cell biology and organic chemistry to be tough. How tough, I wasn’t prepared. I sit in cell biology and stare at the screen and listen to the teacher talk about Arp2/3 complexes, and GTP pathways and think about when I am going to laundry. Quick shout-out to my English friends Will and Josh for helping me get through the class. You all are awesome and I’m so happy to have met ya’ll. Organic isn’t too bad; it’s quite a bit more logical but still pretty rough. Crime and social life was supposed to be my breath of fresh air this term. Up until this week it was. I turned in my 1800 word rough draft essay on domestic violence last week and got feedback this week. The feedback was anything but encouraging. “Do you know what you’re talking about?” and “This is too elementary for university,” are just a couple of the comments I received. I like to think that writing is one of my strong suits, so I was completely gutted and discouraged. I have since spent more than 15 hours revising the essay and trying to please my teacher with what I think she is wanting from this essay. Here’s to hoping I pass my classes this semester!

Class here is quite a bit different than back in the states. There is no discussion and no coursework. This is a big adjustment compared to MU. I am used to knowing what to study, when I will be assessed and what my current grades are. In the UK, you don’t have an exam until the end of the year, and that’s usually what your entire grade is based upon. It’s nice because you can do your studying on your own time and make up studying if you’re busy for a more convenient time. But it also means you have to be extremely self motivated. An interesting note about students here is that they only study one subject while at university. Most times they have been enrolled in this subject heavily since high school. This gives British students an advantage in the classroom as they don’t have to switch subjects mentally and can remain focused on one area with an in depth knowledge on the material. Students at uni also only take three classes a semester. I was shocked when I realized I would be enrolled in the maximum amount of hours abroad because compared to MU, three classes is not bad at all! I am used to five or six classes a semester. Needless to say, I am not complaining!

All in all school is well and a definite cultural learning experience academically. I am nervous as all get out about exams, but maybe that will encourage me to study harder? Only time will tell.

Ta- ta lovelies,

Dancing Jantsen

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