The Last Leg of My Studies

Daisy Valera

I feel amazingly tired these days, perhaps because the last of my five years of studies at the university are winding down.

I look back on the first days at my school, INSTEC (the Higher Institute of Technology and Applied sciences), as well as my first serious concerns about my academic future.

Until the moment of my first university exams, I hadn’t known what it was to sit down studying a specific subject for approximately eight hours a day.

Exceeding the level of my pre-university high school studies meant giving up my years-long enjoyment of books that didn’t deal with scientific issues.

To be student in the nuclear chemistry program was a complete challenge from the very first instant.  It meant setting new priorities and enduring countless headaches and a level of stress that didn’t diminish over time.

With a mixture of sadness and happiness, I’m almost ready to bid farewell to the university.  To begin the life of a worker terrifies me, but I feel a little too old to continue sitting in a classroom every day at 8:00 in the morning.

However, the end of this long study program is not simple; it threatens to drain all my forces.  After having consistently gone to my lab for five months to conduct a number of experiments —ones which I previously couldn’t imagine doing— it’s now time for me to write my senior project.

I’ve spent about three weeks writing and I feel that though the results are there, I’m finding it difficult to put them down on paper.  My eyes are burning from spending so much time in front of the computer. My consumption of caffeine is three times what it was earlier, and with all my worry I almost never sleep now.

The senior project is my last requirement as a student.  On July 2, I will be in the auditorium at my institute exhibiting the outcome of so much time and effort. Before me will be those who have been my teachers throughout my studies, my family, my classmates and their relatives.

Though I have a fear of public speaking, on the second of July I’ll have to avoid becoming nervous. I’d love to find the recipe to be able to calm down before a situation like this that I’ll remember for the rest of my life.

At the moment it’s better that I don’t think any more about all that.  My university days are ending like they began: with a lot to study.

But the differences are comforting.  Now I possess much more understanding of the fascinating world of science and have friends who will accompany me in a new stage of my life.

2 thoughts on “The Last Leg of My Studies

  • Hi Daisy,

    Approximately 60-70% of Americans say their #1 Fear is… Fear of Public Speaking. So you’re not alone in your concern. Nevertheless in my opinion, the best way to overcome that fear is to speak to groups every chance you can. BUT, you say, I have this fear, and yes you do and so this is what I can advise you to do: 1st,

    Check out my web site at Although it’s only about 3 months old, it’s all about Speaking and Presenting, and it’s a video blog. So you can see me talking about speaking issues. I think Show #1 and #4 would be a good beginning for you.

    I don’t believe the best way to learn Speaking is by Reading about it. The answer is Doing! So please watch those two shows, they’re short, but they’ll give you some insight into my philosophy of Speaking. Think Conversational. Think Sharing. Focus on “Why” you’re speaking. Decide to “Give” your audience a “Gift” that day in that place, because chances are, all of you will never be together again in one place at one time.

    Isn’t that special… of course it is and you can help make it special and memorable. You see Daisy, it’s not about You, it’s about the event, the total experience. Focus outside of Daisy, Focus on the message and the audience of friends. You do that, and you will do very well.

    If you would like to ask for some assistance after you watch the shows, it’s ok to contact me with questions and I’ll do my best to assist you.

    Good Luck, and Congratulations.

  • Congratulations! I hope that, after your graduation, you can find a position that will not include driving a bici taxi. At 20 years of age and graduating with a degree in Nuclear Chemistry is a feat in itself. I am confident that you will be able to ply your knowledge to the many positions offered to graduates of nuclear chemistry programs. Buena surete! A proposito, tu ingles es perfecto.

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