Hi! It’s been a while.
Sophomore year is now over. I’m living in my residence for the summer, my residents moved in last week, I am setting a bunch of silly goals for myself for this summer and I am doing pretty well.
Goals for the summer:
- Publish a blog post once a week.
- Read a book once a week.
- Go to the gym 5 times a week
- Write a song once a week.
- Try to get off campus once a week.
I set a bunch of weekly goals because I am playing around with the idea of regularity and routine in my life because, apparently, they’ve grown to be foreign to me since arriving at Stanford.
So for Week 1, I am writing this right now. I am half-way through The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime by Mark Haddon. I’ve gone to the gym three times (a huge deal, haven’t been in a HOT second). I’m working on a song with my brother. And I’ll be in Santa Cruz this weekend! woohoo
Super quick life update that I’ll definitely get into more in weeks to come:
Life is really hard to navigate and I am so amazed by everyone doing it and getting through it (me, you, my mom, my brother, everyone ever). Also, I have grown a lot, but am definitely still me, and can see so much of my younger-self, manifesting in so many of my actions and decisions. Ages 18-25 are definitely centred around identity, adjustment, and grappling with how much or how little space you take up in the world.
I am leaving for Paris in a little under 3 months. I am living on campus for 7 more weeks, so drop me a line and come say hi or lmk if you wanna grab coffee!
I am itching to dive head-first into a new normal. I’ve been waiting for this for so long.
Austin is 3000 miles away, so that #sucks but the time difference isn’t too brutal, so it’s not so bad!
I decided not to take any classes this summer because I have never (except for the summer between h.s. and college) just spent a summer just worrying about me and only me and actually resting. This summer hardly counts because I am still staffing a dorm this summer, but still! No homework! No grades! No classes! Just me and my goals (and my work schedule, which I definitely cannot complain about).
My room is massive, I bought a new full bed for cheap, I found a huge couch outside a dorm that was about to be donated, and I am living it up.
Hopeful for how the rest of this summer goes.
What I thought about sophomore year:
I’m not gonna lie to you, sophomore year was pretty ridiculous.
I staffed a show, I fell in love, I changed my major a lot, I took hard classes, I withdrew from a class, I loved a class, I sat and watched a lot more Netflix and ate a lot more snacks than I ever allowed myself to in the past, I was Velma in Chicago, I got to perform in front of over thousand people over and over again, I get to be a class president again next year with a team that I adore, I have made incredible friends and met incredible people, I felt immense joy, I felt immense loneliness and hopelessness, I found hope and am still searching for more.
This year was not super novel or exciting because Chicago just took up so much of my time and energy, but also, this year was simply so much quieter. It was filled with quieter moments, fewer people. A bit less screaming about being in college and just a little bit more crying about it.
It was very different from what I pictured it to be, but it certainly was not better or worse. I tell a lot of people that it was pretty bad, which is fair, I guess, in comparison to how my freshman year went. I think, in a word, I felt pretty lost throughout all of it. In my studies, in my interests, in my social life, even in my identity (regarding the person I wanted to choose to be). I’ll get into that last point another time, but bottom line– now that I am adjusted to life on campus and know how things worked, I had a lot of mental real estate available to simply think. And thinking is great, but sometimes that thinking spirals out of control. You really have to learn how to reel it in.
Here are some number of things I learned (and also still in the process of learning) this year.
- Invest in good storage and keep track of what you have and what you don’t, so that you do not end up with 2 combs, 2 brushes, 3 new bottles of toothpaste, 25 packs of Emergen-c, and 4 bottles of cold medicine when you’re moving out.
- Do work outside of your room because if you are in bed with your laptop on your lap, you will fall asleep, and wake up with the left half of your face covered in drool and regret.
- You have to ask for what you want.
- With people you care about: Discuss, don’t argue. It’s both of you vs. the problem.
- Invest in alternative lighting to your fluorescent overhead dorm room light.
- Please check and reply to your emails.
- Don’t feel guilty. Think forward, think about what’s next.
- Stop beating yourself up.
- The world is really big, with a lot of different kinds of people, with a lot of different sets of values. Keep striving to be who you want to be.
- Choosing to be by yourself is not running away.
- It’s crucial to change the language that you use to refer to yourself and your circumstance.
- You don’t owe anyone anything.
- Help others and ask for help.
- Strive for consistency!
- You are empowered to choose who you surround yourself with.
- You are also empowered to choose to turn massive amounts of energy inward if you’re having a rough patch.
- When you’re feeling gross, just take a shower and make sure you wash your hair.
- A tidy home is a cozy home.
- You don’t need to give every part of yourself to everyone you meet.
- Comparing yourself to others engages this idea of social hierarchy, which is founded on bs. You’re unique, so truly stop playing yourself and take it easy. You’re you, and you are not obligated to be anyone else.
- If anyone demands you to be anyone other than you, forget it.
- Be discerning of what kind of feedback you take in.
- It’s okay to do things just to get a little ego boost. That ego boost can create waves.
- You’re not less than anyone for not having confidence. Keep working for it and training your spirit to build it up. It will come with comfort.
- You do not have to acknowledge or perpetuate any values or traditions or ideas that you don’t find important.
- It’s okay if your priorities change. It’s okay if your intentions change. It’s okay if your needs change.
- If you know, you know.
- Take every opportunity you can get to pet an animal.
- Fruity drinks are good.
- Drink your water.
- Step back and zoom out.
- Don’t be afraid to spend money on quality things that you’ll love forever. Especially so that you don’t have 10000 cheapish things that you aren’t crazy about.
- You can learn anything you want if you work hard enough at it.
- Buy secondhand, separate your waste, donate things you don’t use, etc.
- Flowers make the best gifts.
- You can find role models in so many people for so many reasons.
- Choose love every time.
I’m gonna be honest: I am anxious. I don’t know why, but I just feel anxious because I feel like there is such a huge world out there and I need to see all of it, touch all of it, hear all of it, be as much a part of it as possible. And all of that needs to happen right now, as fast as possible.
I rest at night in the comfort of knowing that I am only 19 years old, I have a whole lifetime ahead of me, and things will unfold as they should.
All of my love, and until next week—
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