Week 4 – We’re Halfway to Spring Break and That’s All That’s Keeping Me Going Right Now

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I went to a barcade/arcade bar with two of my friends this week and it was probably one of the best things that’s happened this semester because it was so much FUN.

I’m posting this a day later than usual only because I was really overwhelmed this weekend with….work…and emotions (??), but here’s the update for last week! There were a ton of ups and down during the week, and, so far, week 4 of this semester was probably my worst one yet. I was pretty stressed out for two days, but it wasn’t as bad as the stress levels I had last semester. The main reason I was so stressed was because I realized that I have absolutely no idea what’s going on in one of my classes. I haven’t had a lot of classes in the past where I’ve been absolutely lost and confused, so this was a foreign experience for me and I didn’t enjoy it. What mades this worse was the fact that there were other people in class who seem to really enjoy it and always talk about how great the professor is. Even though I felt like I was the only person who had no idea what was happening, I ended up talking to some of my friends in the class and realized that a good chunk of us are all pretty confused. Glad we’re all struggling together!

Another reason why I was stressed this week was because I had an exam today that I was trying to prep for but I had a really hard time focusing on studying. I don’t know why it was so difficult to motivate myself to get work done, but I think I just…didn’t see the point? The class isn’t an easy one, but the material seemed fairly straightforward. I think I was also feeling pretty burnt out and was just too exhausted to study.

Despite being such a stressful week, I also had some pretty enjoyable experiences. For one, I went out for dinner with some friends on Tuesday to catch up for the first time since winter break. All of us haven’t had the chance to sit down and talk since we don’t have a lot of classes together, so it was a fun night! On Friday night, I went to a ~*barcade*~ (aka an arcade bar) with two of my friends and it was a m a z i n g. I almost forgot how much I love arcades but WOW was this a great experience. Also, the place sold tater tots…in the shape of tetris pieces?? This is only thing that’s going to keep me going in this godforsaken city, I swear. I definitely want to go again, potentially after midterms/right before break to ~*de-stress*~ but mostly because I really want more of those tater tots.

Anywho, goal update!:

  1. Apply to internships and secure a position by the end of the semester. Ridiculously behind schedule, but it’s okay! I have 2 applications due this week and I’m practically done with one of them but haven’t started the second. So I’ll probably be working in a panicked frenzy this week, but that’s fine!!
  2. Maintain a regular sleep schedule. I was somewhat successful at this, except I got about 5 hours of sleep two nights. In my defense, I stayed up to call one of my friends from home who was at work late, and I figured I should pick my friend over sleep at least once. I got home late the other night and had a lot to get done sooo there’s that on that.
  3. Identify areas of weakness and determine ways to improve. I talked about how I’m a bad listener last week and I think I’ve been slowly improving at that! It’s obviously a work in progress though, so I’ll continue working on that for the next few weeks too. For this week, I think my major area of weakness is worrying too much about how I’m doing in my classes. In the past, my concern was about grades and passing classes, but now it’s more about whether I’m understanding and learning everything that the professors tell me. One of my big fears is that I’m not going to retain everything that I’m learning from these classes when I’m out in the workforce and that makes me feel like all of this might be a waste of time. I’m trying to convince myself that that’s definitely not the case, but it’s really difficult to do!
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Week 3 – Sno’ Way!

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I found a shortcut from my apartment to school this week and it passes by some cute houses. They looked super pretty after it snowed.

(As a disclaimer, I was going to post this tomorrow night because I’m super exhausted but then SOMEONE [i.e. JANET] kindly asked where my recap was so HERE YA GO, JANET.)

It snowed this week! I think I’m starting to get used to the snowy weather, but I still almost slipped and fell on black ice twice this week so I think I’m giving myself a little too much credit. Apparently it’s supposed to snow a ton this upcoming week as well so I’m probably going to regret moving to the Northeast very, very soon. But as of right now, I think the snow days this semester have been enjoyable!

I know my last recap was titled “Wow, Socializing!” because I was so amazed that I went out with friends multiple times this week. I guess I decided to try to beat my record this week because I did something social almost every single day. As an introverted person, that was probably the worst decision I’ve made in 2018 so far. As someone who understands the importance of social connectedness and building healthy relationships, I think this was a brilliant idea.

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Had another “treat yourself” day with one of my friends this week. We were technically supposed to eat and work, but we ended up sitting and talking about religion the entire time. I still considered it a productive time!

I really wish I kept better track of all the stuff I did throughout the week, but it was all a bit of a blur since most of my hang-out sessions ended up being fairly last minute. So here are some honorable mentions/things that I can actual remember.

  • I went out to eat a lot, as usual. I think that’s a good thing though, especially considering the fact that my eating habits last semester were horrendous. So the fact that I’m actually eating 3 meals every single day of this semester and not starving myself is pretty commendable!
  • This week was “Go Red for Heart Health Week” at my school, and we had a lot of fun events planned for the whole week. It was nice helping to set up for the events and seeing how supportive everyone was since this was the first time we’ve dedicated an entire week to celebrating heart health and raising awareness about heart disease.
  • I went to a museum in town this Friday with friends. They had an exhibit on individuals in our city who don’t have the right to vote despite living in the United States. I registered to vote almost immediately after I turned 18 just because it was something that a lot of kids in my grade hyped up. Plus, I think I was at that point in my life where I was just starting to learn more about politics and the government, so I really wanted to get involved by at least registering to vote. Listening to stories of people who don’t have that right really made me appreciate the fact that my voice can be heard during elections, but it also made me really upset that there are still so many people in our country who don’t have that power because of flaws in our system. It also made me angry thinking about all of my friends from home who would come up with the worst possible excuses for why they weren’t registered voters or why they refused to participate in elections (“I don’t know a lot about who’s running,” “I don’t really have the time,” etc.). It takes a lot of privilege to be able to disregard that right when there are millions of people in our country who genuinely wish their voices could be heard, even if it’s simply through voting.
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The museum! It was really cute and old-fashioned, and I really want to go back and see more of the exhibits during regular hours (even if it means walking almost half an hour in the cold).

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The project about New Haven’s voiceless was called “The Silence Project.” It had profiles and pictures of each of the project’s participants, and you could watch video interviews of the participants talking about their experiences on your phone. I’ve never been to an exhibit like this, but it was a unique way of showcasing this type of art.

  • Last big thing I can remember is going to a conference today called “Women Empowering Women,” where panels were set up with women in leadership roles (ex: Women in Medicine, Women in Entrepreneurship, Women in Law). I didn’t stay for the entire conference (mostly because I was exhausted and wanted to get out of there after a while), but it was definitely a unique experience. I had issues with the use of the word “empowering” and the confusion that some people had with feminism and misandry, but that’s a whole other rabbit hole that I shouldn’t be getting into in this post.

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This might not seem like a lot of stuff in one week, but really, it felt like a lot to me considering the fact that I usually try to spread out social events in my schedule. I’m really hoping to keep it low-key this upcoming week, but I’ve already scheduled dinner with friends on one day and I’m going to another panel discussion on another day, so we’ll see how things go. I have to start studying for midterms though so I should really try to tone down the socializing. It’s also going to be snowing a lot next week so I’m probably going to want to stay indoors 24/7.

I feel like I really didn’t get a chance to focus on my goals this week, but here’s an update anyway:

  1. Apply to internships and secure a position by the end of the semester. Internship applications are just another reminder that I’m awful at bragging about myself. I’m technically a little behind schedule but I should (hopefully) still be able to finish everything by the deadline. I have a little less than 2 weeks before 2 of my applications are due though, so we’ll see how that goes…
  2. Maintain a regular sleep schedule. This was the first week that I didn’t get 7 hours of sleep every single night (I got 6 hours one night…sad). The main reason for that was because I spent 4 hours trying to get a program to work on my computer and it didn’t. When I went to get my laptop checked the next day, it turned out that the program was down for almost everybody. So I technically wasted 4 hours trying to fix it when I could’ve been sleeping!!!
  3. Identify areas of weakness and determine ways to improve. My sister very politely (HA) pointed out that I’m a terrible listener today. She’s right and I’m not going to deny it, but I’m going to blame my short attention span for that. No, really, my train of thought changes mid-sentence sometimes. I’ll be talking about what I’m planning on doing for dinner one second and immediately think about something related to classwork and mention that in the same breath. Being an active listener is an important skill though so I guess I should work on that more! (Also, maybe my sister won’t get annoyed with me as often if I let her talk more during our conversations!!)

Anyway, this was definitely one of my longer weekly recaps. I’m really tired. Socializing’s hard. I should learn from the extroverts.

Week 2 – Wow, Socializing!

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I lied in my last recap and actually went out a lot this week! I went to Shake Shack with my friends early on in the week as a “treat yourself” night. And, yes, that’s a ridiculous amount of ketchup.

I should honestly be finishing an assignment I have due tomorrow, but instead, here I am! I think that’s a good representation of how this entire week has gone. I technically didn’t have a lot of assignments due, but instead of spending time catching up on readings to make sure I don’t fall too far behind, I decided to take it easy and socialize a bit more this week. It’s a little ironic considering the fact that I said in my last post that I probably won’t get a lot of socializing done this semester. Look at me now!

I mostly went out this week to eat with friends. Then again, that’s all you can really do in this city…just…eat a bunch of food. It was still a good way to catch up after winter break though, especially since we were all trying to get settled last week.

I also went out with some friends Friday night (not in the picture…..I swear they showed up later, I didn’t purposely go there myself).

I started regretting the fact that I went out so often this week today when I realized that I had a lot to get done before tomorrow morning. Even though I spent the entire day working on assignments and trying to catch up, I’m still (somewhat) behind. I’m trying not to worry too much about it though because I finished most of my important work and I still have a few more days to get some major assignments done.

I feel like this was a really boring recap of the week. To be honest, I don’t remember a lot of the details despite writing stuff down in my journal and calendar in hopes of remembering. I think I’m still trying to adjust to my schedule to be honest.

Anyway!! Here’s an update on my goals:

  1. Apply to internships and secure a position by the end of the semester. I had a few meetings to get moving on this goal. I have a little less than 3 weeks to submit 2 applications now, but I’m pretty confident that I’ll get everything done with time to spare.
  2. Maintain a regular sleep schedule. Still going strong on getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep every night! I still feel like taking naps in the middle of the day though.
  3. Identify areas of weakness and determine ways to improve. Last week, I mentioned that I have a hard time maintaining contact with people from home because I get so caught up in schoolwork. This week, I was able to talk to 2 friends over the phone and talked to my family every single night before bed. Progress! Another area of weakness that I’ve noticed is that I’m reaaaally bad at finding motivation to work when I come home late after class. I’m usually too exhausted to work on my assignments or burnt out from….learning? I don’t know, but I have a hard time getting work done Mondays through Wednesdays since those are my busiest days. I’m going to try to get work done between classes this week instead of just sitting on my phone. Hopefully that’ll help me get stuff done before I get home at night.

The first half of week 3 looks like it’s going to be a bit busy, so I don’t think my next post will be very entertaining. Then again, I don’t think any of my posts are really entertaining. Yikes!

Regrets.

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(This post will have little to no editing so pleaaaase bear with me.)

I don’t remember much of my undergraduate experience despite the fact that I just graduated last year. The one thing that I do remember about college was that I was stressed out a lot of the time and overwhelmed by the amount of work I had to do. Looking back, however, I don’t really remember what all of that work was. I’ve tried thinking about my courses and overall workload in undergrad, and, compared to what I’m doing now, it really doesn’t seem like much. Yet, I felt like I was dying as a student and was pretty miserable a lot of the time.

One of my biggest regrets of my undergraduate career was that I got too caught up in the small stuff. For a while, I was a pre-med student before finding another path that was more interesting to me (it’s a long story and honestly not a very interesting one so I won’t bother explaining). I feel like there was some unspoken rule among pre-med kids that they had to be stressed out…all of the time. A lot of students felt the need to take on 20 different extracurricular activities on top of all of their pre-med courses and research work just for the sake of putting it on their resumes and medical school applications (I’m sure this is also the case for non-pre-med students pursuing post-grad education in general). At the time, this seemed so normal to me, but now that I think about it, this was such an awful approach to college and a terrible way of…living? I mean, if someone’s seriously going to break their back trying to do a bunch of different activities, some of which they really don’t enjoy, just for the sake of putting them on their resume to impress some med school’s acceptance committee……is it really worth it? I don’t think it was worth stressing myself out so much as a pre-med student over stuff like this, but maybe it’s because I decided not to go to medical school and now I’m totally fine in graduate school (“fine” is a pretty relative term in this case…).

I don’t know, I just feel bad when I look at my pre-med friends who are so caught up in checking items off their “med school bucket list” (research, shadowing, scribing, etc.) in hopes of getting into a good school. Some of them don’t have time to hang out with their family and friends or find hobbies that they enjoy and that might reduce some stress and anxiety. And, in the long run, isn’t that stuff just as (if not more) important?

Week 1 – So Far, So Good!

I visited a local café this week and made a new friend! This is probably going to be the most socializing I do all semester.

I’ve finished my first week of the new semester, and it went surprisingly well! I’m making sure not to get my hopes up though since I know that all of my classes are going to be tough, but I’m still going in with a positive mindset.

One of the weird things about my program is that we get a “shopping period” where we can sit in on a bunch of different classes before registering for them. It’s nice because it gives you the opportunity to test run a few classes before realizing that you really aren’t interested in some of them. The disadvantage is that professors don’t wait for registration to begin teaching material and assigning work, so if you start sitting in on a class in the middle/near the end of shopping period, chances are you’ve already missed some of the material. Not that catching up is difficult, it’s just a little annoying. Luckily, I already had an idea of what classes I was going to take this semester before registering. They’re mostly classes required by my department, but they sound interesting!

Even though it’s only the first week of the semester, I figured I’d give an update on my goals to remind myself to keep working towards achieving them:

  1. Apply to internships and secure a position by the end of the semester. I’ve almost completely finalized my list and I’m working on a schedule for my applications. I’m confident that I’ll get most of my apps done before my break in March!
  2. Maintain a regular sleep schedule. I did an amazing job at this this week and I’m just??? A little surprised??? I mean, I haven’t fully recovered from last weekend’s sickness, so maybe that’s why.
  3. Identify areas of weakness and determine ways to improve. Since classes have just started, I haven’t really noticed any weaknesses in terms of study habits or anything related to academics in general. However, one thing that I realized was that I tend to stop communicating with people from back home when I get really stressed out with schoolwork. Since I had a lot of free time this week, I made an extra effort to take time out of my schedule to call family and friends back home, which was really nice! I’m hoping that by doing this early on in the semester that I might be able to make it a habit in the weeks to come.

So…yeah, I’m really happy with how this week went and I’m hoping the rest of the semester continues going well for me! Please keep your fingers crossed though because I might’ve just jinxed myself.

New Start

I haven’t written anything since last year and we’re already halfway done with January! I don’t have a lot of life updates since I spent the first half of the month at home with family. This past weekend, I flew back to the East Coast to start my second semester of graduate school. Flying across the country isn’t the worst thing I’ve had to do for school, but this past trip wasn’t the best. My first flight to Philadelphia had to make an emergency landing in Kansas City because a passenger on board had a medical issue. We didn’t stay in Kansas for too long (and, thankfully, the passenger’s condition wasn’t too serious), but we ended up getting to Philadelphia later than expected. Then, my flight to New Haven was delayed. Instead of getting home at 10PM like I’d expected, I got home at almost midnight! Fun!

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Kansas City looked….exactly like I’d expected it to look.

I always get sick after a long travel day, so it wasn’t surprising that I felt awful all day yesterday. I’m still recovering from whatever I’m dealing with, but I’m already feeling a bit better. I’m trying to get into the back-to-school mindset, but it’s hard to do that when you still don’t know what classes you’re taking and it’s the day before the semester starts.

Anyway, I wanted to create some goals for this semester to emphasize ~*self-improvement*~ in the new year. I got really caught up in classwork last semester and ended up stressing myself out a little too much. So instead of getting too caught up in the small stuff, I thought it’d be smart to focus on big picture things.

Goals for the upcoming semester:

  1. Apply to internships and secure a position by the end of the semester. This is technically a requirement for my program, but I’m listing it to ensure that I accomplish at least one of my goals this semester!
  2. Maintain a regular sleep schedule. I was doing a good job at this for a few weeks last semester but started struggling around midterms and never got back to getting enough sleep every night. Having time off helped me go back to sleeping at least 7 hours each night, so I hope to keep this up for the next few months.
  3. Identify areas of weakness and determine ways to improve. Something I’ve struggled with consistently is recognizing that it is impossible to be good at everything, especially when it comes to academics. Yet, for years, I’ve gotten upset with myself for not performing perfectly in every single class. One thing that some second years in my program mentioned was that their second semester was when they began accepting that there will be some classes that will be easy for them but there are others that will be harder. I’m hoping that I’ll be able to accept this as well but still work towards identifying areas of improvement.

These goals obviously aren’t things that I’ll achieve over night (besides the second one….. ☜(˚▽˚)☞), but I’ll give progress updates as the semester goes on. Here’s hoping that I can actually keep up with these goals throughout the semester and that I won’t get bogged down by all of the stress that comes with my classes!!

1 Second Everyday – 2017

For the past few years, I’ve been using an app called “1SE – 1 Second Everyday” to film short clips of my day and have compiled them at the end of the year. It’s a cute and fun way to look back at how the year went, but I usually forget to film anything during the day and scramble to film something before bed (it usually ends up being a clip of my sister…sorry, sis). This year was my first year living on my own in a new city, so I figured I’d have some more entertaining clips (spoiler alert: I didn’t). Even though I didn’t find this past year to be super eventful, I still figured that it’d be nice to actually share my compiled 1 Second Everyday video rather than storing it on a USB like I do every other year. Enjoy!!