At the beginning of the semester, I went to the first lecture of my pre-methods history class. Dr. Chandler handed out the syllabus and informed us of a conference for undergraduate students that would be happening in December.
If we were to go to the conference, we would need a six-page paper explaining the historical question we had decided to research. We would be speaking to a group of our peers and professors. In August, the conference seemed so far away.
December 3rd crept up on all of us.
Five students from Dr. Chandler's class and three from Dr. Preston's literature class, including my roommate, drove two hours to Moravian College in Behtlehem, PA.
Out of a long list of presenters, I had the luck of being first. Now, I am fairly terrified of presenting, an impediment I gained in middle school. Wearing a retainer made my words slur together, especially when I was nervous.
As I stood at the podium, all of the Lyco students looking at me with reassuring smiles and the students from other schools having been kind enough to talk to me and try to ease my nerves, the anxiety that had been spinning in my stomach floated away.
The first few words of my paper slipped out of my mouth with surprising ease. We had practiced, of course, and I had presented to my class and professor. My roommate and partner had heard my paper so many times they were tired of it, but even during the practices I was shaking and nervous. Yet, in front of an entire room full of people, I felt at peace.
When I finished, the moderator told me I had done a wonderful job. Chandler and my roommate gave me giant, proud smiles as I sat at the panel and took a big breath.
As I sat listening to the other two presenters in my session, I realized I still had to answer questions. I wouldn't have a script to follow. However, the questions were surprisingly easy to answer. I barely remember half of what I said, but Chandler assured me that I had done an exemplary job.
I was just relieved to be done.
All of us who attended the conference presented well. We were glad when we were done, but enjoyed the entire experience. Once the presentations were finished, we went ot a play put on by the Moravian theatre group. At the end of the modern version of Everyman on Trial, a traditional medieval ceremony involving a pig's head confused all of us while Chandler giggled in glee.
We left Bethlehem to eat and got lost thanks to the GPS. None of us had laughed that hard in a long time. We all had a great time despite returning home late at night, and were ready for sleep.
For me, I realized that I had found where I belonged: researching and presenting new and important ideas. Lycoming College has opened the door for many students to do research during their undergraduate years, which helps us prepare for careers and graduate school! Find out more about Lycoming's programs, and apply to a college that puts your best interests first!