Finding Out More About Myself

It’s currently 1:25pm and I just finished my last class of the day: my biology discussion. It was actually a really nice discussion. This may have been the first time I have actually enjoyed a biology discussion. During the class, I couldn’t help but remember how miserable I was in my other bio discussion class during my freshman year. I had no idea what was going on in the class. Everything being said in discussion seemed like a foreign language to me.

For some reason, I really did not like the people in the class. I regarded all of them as pretentious and snobby. Because most of the people in the class were pre-med, I thought that they only cared about themselves and just wanted to display their knowledge to everyone. I was not interested in making friends, because I felt like if I did, it would be a superficial relationship based on trying to outsmart the other and constantly be in each other’s business, whether it be academics or relationships. I also felt like students would sabotage each other just to get the higher grades. I also did not want to appear dumb to my classmates, because I refused to give them a feeling of satisfaction that one less person will be competing for that spot in medical school.

After that semester, I was almost 100% sure that I would be changing my major from biology to something else, and I was really looking into Bioengineering (concentration: Biomedical). Even over winter break, I made a long chart about the classes, the prerequisites for each class, the requirements, and everything else I could possibly need. I even drew out my schedule for the next 7 semesters. I was ready to change based on a fear of failure and my deep-rooted stubbornness that I could do things on my own.

After the first semester in college and barely making it through my first biology class, I have a better idea of who I am as a person and what I want to do and study. I am taking my second intro bio class, and this class is going so much more smoothly than the first. I have a better idea of how college works, and I have learned more about how to study. All throughout high school, I did not have a problem with maintaining good grades. They seemed to effortlessly fall into my hands. I would do the homework, turn it in, get a grade back, and repeat. I never studied more than I needed to, and I rarely opened the textbooks given to us in class. All I did was show up to my classes and listen to the teacher. It was pretty easy.

The first thing I learned when coming to college: life does not work that way. Not. At. All.

This was why I always tell people that my first semester in college was the worst for me. I was not used to living on my own, especially in a part of the country that I have only been to about twice in my life. I did not know where to start with my journey through college. In addition to that, I did not how to handle my work load. I was taking classes that were all interesting to me, but I just did not have a firm grasp as to how to study them. I thought that I could just go to lecture and automatically get it. It worked for me in high school, so why wouldn’t it work for me in college?

Boy, I had never been so wrong in my life. I learned that I needed to read for my classes and go over notes that I had in them. I had to work practice problems on my own, because homework was not a common thing in college. It was also my responsibility to constantly go to the class website and look out for updates. These were things that I never had to do before, so it definitely took me a while to understand all of this. At the end of the semester, the only class that I did well in was my chemistry class. I was completely devastated about it. I had never gotten such low grades in my life. What was I going to tell my parents? They went through so much just to get me into college. How could I let them down now?

So, it has taken me about three semesters (and a half, including summers) to finally get used to all the extra work I needed to do outside of class. I used to think it was just the subjects I was studying, but I quickly learned that it was me who had to change.

I’m now a second semester sophomore, and I think I am finally getting a good handle on things. I have learned to ask more questions, and become a more active student in the class by asking and answering questions. I have also been attending Office Hours, which are extremely helpful! Man, I wish I had started earlier. The professor goes over things that he will talk about in lecture. Then, when lecture comes, you know exactly what he is talking about. It is actually amazing!

I have also made a little schedule for myself during the night. This semester, I have decided that I like to study in my room, because it helps me to keep a nice schedule (plus, it’s freezing outside, and ain’t nobody got time for that). I used to study at the library, but I usually fell asleep, got distracted, felt cold (or sometimes really hot), forgot something at home, or felt even more stressed about the amount of work I had to do. On top of that, I came home really late, like around 2-3am, and I live about 10 minutes away. So the walk was really brutal in the freezing cold. Sometimes it would be snowing or really windy, and my thighs would freeze.

So this semester I am staying in my room, and I realize just how much I prefer that over the library. Everything I could possibly need is in my room, so I do not have to travel far for anything. Many people say that studying in your room can be very distracting, but it depends on the way you study.

  1. What I like to do is hide my phone away from my line of vision. It helps fight off the urge to go on Snapchat, Facebook, or Instagram (3 of my favorite social media sites).
  2. I like to get comfortable, but not too comfortable or else I will fall asleep. If I am uncomfortable, it will be much harder for me to concentrate on the task ahead. I like to keep the room slightly warm, wear sweatpants, socks, and a hoodie/sweater
  3. I like to keep my brightness up on my laptop. This keeps me awake for longer. I actually learned about this recently, and I have been trying it out. It works pretty well!
  4. I NEVER study on my bed. That’s a trap and a recipe for an F. My bed is wayy too comfortable, and the only times that I am in it is when I am going to bed, or if it’s a Friday night and I am hanging out in my room. Usually, I end up falling asleep.
  5. I also like to keep a bottle of water near me, and I drink it once in a while. It keeps me awake and hydrated.
  6. I like to have an organized desk and work area. Usually before I start studying, I tidy up the area around me, because I am very nit-picky when it comes to staying organized. I feel like your room mirrors your thoughts and feelings. If you want to keep a clear head, tidy up a little and it should help.
  7. I like to study in peace. My roommate likes the room quiet and so do I, so our room is usually really quiet. She is usually watching something on her laptop, studying, or sleeping, and I am usually studying. Having a quiet study space allows you to think clearly and organize your thoughts.

After studying, I take a quick shower. This is when I can relax for a little while reflect on the day, and pamper myself for a little bit. Last semester, I would shower in the mornings, but I always ended up late for classes. I also did not have a routine. That was one thing I wanted to change this semester: have a routine and stick with it.

Over winter break, I watched a copious amount of YouTube videos titled “Daily College Routines”, “College Morning and Routines”, “Fitness Routines”, “College Inspirations”, “College DIYs”, “College Organization”, etc. I could endlessly watch those videos. They helped me shape the schedule that I have made for myself and the way that I study. I learned to become a better student.

So while I was sitting in my bio discussion class today, I noticed how much progress I have made from the first semester of college to now. I have learned to love Biology and everything that I am learning. I love my discussion class. It is so interesting, and the TA is super knowledgeable. My friend is in the class, and we help each other out when needed. I value the information much more than I used to. I also see students in a different light; I look at each of my classmates and wonder where they came from and how they got to the point they are at now. It is so refreshing to meet new people and also collaborate with people who are literal geniuses. I like my class, and I am not too shy to speak up in class anymore. In fact, I have spoken up at least once in each of my discussion classes, and I feel more confident about my answers. I don’t feel bad anymore when I get an answer wrong because I learn much more from getting an answer wrong than not trying at all.

 

Choose your Passion and Get Good at it

At the beginning of this point, it was 3:19am, so excuse my grammatical errors and random sputes of emotion or the lack thereof.

Right now, I am trying to finish three different assignments, and somehow they are all getting done little by little: I have an Anthr essay due tomorrow, an orgo lab report due tomorrow, and an orgo pre-lab… also due tomorrow. Oh joy, procrastination at its finest!

I actually like all the work I am doing right now, so it is not feeling much like work. It just feels like I have been working on it for too long, which tends to happen with stuff that I actually enjoy doing.

This fact actually came to me about an hour ago. People have been constantly entering and exiting the room I am working in, and they seem to ravish in the fact that I am doing all of this work, like I do not enjoy it or I am being tortured. IT is really weird. I constantly get the same comments such as, “Oh you’re still working? (Chuckles) Well I finished everything at the beginning of the week. I am just going to go to bed now and have 12 hours of sleep.” I also get the constant questions like, “Are you done yet? No? (Smiles) Oh… well good luck.” I never really understood it. It’s like people get secretly happy over the fact that you are working so hard. For some reason, they believe that if you are working so late into the nights, you must be torturing yourself and you must hate the work you are doing. This is simply not the case.

Here’s the thing. I am one of those people that if I do not like something or I do not like how something is going, I will immediately drop it. Whatever it is. I remember when I did not like my housing situation during my freshman year. I immediately called the housing office, and they switched me out. Last semester, I dropped an auto-tutorial class that overwhelmed me to the point that I could not eat or sleep. I did not think twice about it.

My motto in life is that there is nothing in this world worth more than your sanity and your sense of self. You need to stay true to yourself and be honest. If a situation becomes wayy too stressful, and you have already done all that you can do, then it is time to let go. This was something that was very hard for me to do back in high school. I was really stubborn (Okay, I still am, but it is not as serious anymore). I refused to let anything get in my way of my goal, and I sacrificed alot to get to where I wanted to be. I then realized that you really cannot give yourself to everything 100% of the time.

It actually was not until recently (like two days ago when I was speaking to a friend on the phone) that I learned that I cannot be good at everything. If you try to do that, you end up only being partially good at everything. It’s better to devote yourself to one thing and stick with it. Then, in the end, you will be really good at something that you love, and you will do it amazingly from that day on.

Now, the real question is: what will that passion be?

Late Night Studies

*My friend was playing music while I was writing this, so I am sorry if some of this post will not make sense.*

Me again, and I am not getting as much work done as I had intended. Right now, I’m sitting in the hall lounge with a friend trying to complete an anthropology essay we have due Thursday. It’s 2am. And we are coming from a February break (4 days). Oh fun.

We’re entering our fourth week of classes, and I am already feeling a little overwhelmed by college. It’s not that the information I am learning is particularly hard or difficult to grasp. It’s more like I am having  a hard time finding that balance between work, extracurriculars, and school. I want to focus more time to my academics, but I feel like I cannot without sacrificing something else. And it is true: some things need to be sacrificed. But what?

That is the hardest thing for me to decide this semester. I am now involved in many activities that I love doing, but finding the balance and time for all of them is the challenge. I wish I knew how to prioritize better.

Another thing is prioritizing homework assignments. I have a hard time knowing which assignment to complete first when I have so much to do. And this happens often because… in college, you will always have work to do. When I have too much work to do, I end up getting caught up in figuring out which assignment to do first, and I am too busy scheduling that it does not leave me much time to actually do the work. If you look at my planner right now, it is super organized with deadlines and assignments, but you will not see too many check marks beside them.

Having so many assignments to complete also divides my attention into a billion different ways. As a result, I give partial effort to all my assignments rather than giving it the amount of time it needs. I am too paranoid to finish another assignment that I quickly span to the other assignment without finishing the one I was working on. I also tend to waste time by going out for walks, constantly searching for a new study site even though my original location was fine, talking with friends, and, more times than not, cleaning. I cannot tell you just how organized and crisp my room looks when I am super stressed out. I remember hearing from an inspirational speaker that people tend to do the second most important thing when they are procrastinating, and I can honestly attest to this.

Maybe this blog post is another evidence of my procrastination. I wanted to say that it is “jogging my thoughts for this anthro essay”, but I think it has dragged on enough for me to say that it was just for pure procrastination. Okay, back to work.

Late Assignment… What’s New?

As I turn in my biology worksheet 2 hours past the deadline, I couldn’t help but think about the class that I dropped last semester. It was the auto-tutorial version of the class I am taking now. I actually loved the class, but I just was not ready to sacrifice so much time to it. So I dropped it. I felt like I had fallen so behind in the class, and it bothered me to the point that I could not finish any assignments in my other class. I was not eating, sleeping, and it even got to a point that every time I opened the my book to work, I would fall asleep within 5 minutes.

I started to wonder if I really wanted to stay a bio major. It was the class that I cared the least about. I knew that what I was learning was really useful for the future when I become a doctor, but I just cannot see myself dedicating so much time to learning about this one subject.

Back to the auto-tutorial class, so many of my closest friends took the class. They all said it was hard, but useful. I believed them, and I knew that I was actually learning while taking the class. Hell, I remember so much of the information that the stuff I am learning this semester feels like review. Right now, we’re going into stuff about Glycolysis, ATP, and cellular respiration. To be honest, I absolutely hate all of this stuff. I have yet to crack open the textbook and I’m already two weeks into the semester. I couldn’t help but remember how I passed this unit last semester in the auto-tutorial class. Once you passed the unit, you were done with it and did not have to look back at it until the final exam.

This semester, it felt like the topic just would not end. There was always more to learn about it. The thing is that everything I needed to learn was not in the lectures; it was in the book. I thought that deciding to take the lecture version would help to narrow down the amount of information I needed to learn. It turns out that there was never enough information to learn.

In the auto-tutorial class, there were objectives for each section, so I knew exactly what I needed to learn. Even though there was a textbook, I guess it was a little filtered. While taking the class, it felt like there was an endless amount of information I needed to know. Instead, the lecture is now feeling that way.

Now I am looking back to last semester and I realized that I made a few errors in my judgment:

  1. I should have went and talked to the head professor of the class. Everyone said that she was very nice, but I felt like it was too late, because I was already an entire unit behind in the class
  2. I should have went to the TAs for help. I was super shy and it seemed like they always had students around them, so I never wanted to bother them. I felt like students kind of hogged them by sitting next to them.
  3. I should have taken the test for the last unit I was on: Unit 5. I could have seen how I did even if I failed it or not. I remember sitting in the lobby debating whether to take the test or not. I had reached such a low point. It was at that exact moment that I decided that I did not want to do this anymore. So I walked home and felt so much freedom. But now looking back, I could have went in and taken that test. I had spent the past two night without any sleep, and the least I could have done for myself was taken the test. I was completely terrified of failure.
  4. I should have looked back at how much I had accomplished. A few minutes ago, I just looked through the units I had completed and realized just how much information I had retained, and I could not believe that I achieved that. I did not realize that I was almost halfway to the finish line, and then I gave up. I should have looked back and flipped through those of pages of hard work, and maybe I would have realized what I had just given up.
  5. I should have set a constant date/deadline for myself. A friend of mine who is taking the class now set a specific day each week that she will be taking the exams. She said every Wednesday, which I thought was a great idea, and I wish I had done that instead of always looking at the deadline. Wednesday was not too early, but not too late either. She will definitely excel in the class.
  6. I should have managed my time more wisely. There was a day that I had a worksheet due, but I basically BS-ed it because I had dance practice in a few minutes. Now looking back, I could have been late to that dance practice and put in more effort into the worksheet. I ended up failing that worksheet, just because I rushed it. I need to prioritize school.
  7. Lastly, I should not have been so easy to sell myself short. I know that I am stronger than I think I am. I know that I have the power to do anything I set my mind to.  I need to get into the right mindset and become a more confident person. I know that it’s for the best and it will ultimately make me a better person. I need to stop listening to people who are only trying to discourage me. I did not realize the power of people’s words until last semester, and I realize that it can be very hard, especially in the school that I am in, to stay motivated. People around you are constantly saying, “Oh, this class is hard” and “Oh, you are working way too hard!” and “You should not have been premed, ” and “You have no life because all you do is study.” Well yea, all I do is study because that is what I am in college to do. I have to stay motivated. I know I can be the world’s best doctor if I set my mind to it.

I can do it. I know I can. The only person standing in my way is myself. I need to put myself on a pedestal away from the discouragement, away from the negativity, and away from people trying to bring me down to their level. I am enough. “I can do anything through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)

Phone Interview with a Friend

So tonight at 6pm, I had the honor of interviewing a friend that I made last year through a program in my college. He is such an amazing person. Let’s call him K.

So because I hold an E-Board position for this club that I am in, I have a task that I am in charge of. It consists of choosing one person to go up on a board that will showcase everything that they are involved in on campus, and stuff like that. I chose K because he is such an awesome person, and I knew it would be really easy for me to talk to him and interview him given that he was doing so much.

So at exactly 6pm, I gave him a phone call. Of course, he picked up on time, and we started the talk. I had a list of questions I needed to ask him. They involved really basic stuff like where he was from, who his role model was, what does it he like to do, what is he involved in on campus, what are his future endeavors, and how has the program helped him. He answered each one very professionally and thoroughly. I recorded it, just because there was so much that he talked about that was so good, and I really could not keep up. I wanted to type up everything he was saying (and I ended up doing that afterward, when I replayed the recording). He had so much wisdom to bestow on me that all I could really say after each of his responses was, “Wow, that is really cool!” I really could not think of anything else that could actually express just how amazing how amazed I was at everything he did, everything he wanted to do, and who he was as a person.

It was such a casual conversation, and he is naturally an easy person to talk to, and the way he talks is super professional. I know that he will grow up to do some amazing things. He wants to practice medicine and do business, which is a really cool combination. I know he can do it, and he is truly one of the people that I want to stay in touch with as I go through life.

After talking to him, it was an amazing feeling. I loved the conversation. I loved hearing about other people’s experiences. I loved having that casual conversation just between the two of us. I realized that I wanted to do that again, and I am glad that I am able to do this once a month since I need to talk to a new person each month.

I actually felt really inspired and really started thinking about my real interests. What do I actually want to do besides medicine?

After this taught, I found that I love to talk with people on a personal level. I like to talk about experiences and life lessons. I feel like everyone has their own amount of wisdom to bring to the table, and everyone should be able to take advantage of it.

It’s amazing, because before talking with him, I was thinking to myself why I even wanted to do this. Why did I bring this upon myself? What questions am I even going to ask him? What if I ask a question that is way too personal? What if I mess up? What if the board looks horrible and the E-Board wonders why they gave me this responsibility? What if I don’t keep up with it?

And then the conversation came, and it was actually so much fun. After the convo, I was smiling from cheek to cheek. I was singing and dancing. Even though it was such a small action and it was only a 20-minute convo, it may have been the happiest and most memorable part of the month for me.

Music for the Day

PillowTalk – ZAYN

For whatever reason, this song has been stuck in my head all day. It is a great song especially since it was only about a year ago that Zayn left One Direction. The part of the song that has me hooked is where he says, “I want to hold you close/tonight and always.” The run he does it just perfect. And also, each time when they keep switching from the major key to the minor key, then back to the major key. It’s just genius!

A New Blog… What??

This is my very first time making a blog, or any sort of website, and I did not realize how important this would be to me until I made it and felt an overwhelming wave of joy flow through me. I could not (and still cannot) believe that I finally made this! I said that I would make one since last December, but I just did not know how. After talking to a friend last night who is a CS major, he showed me a quick way to do it. He introduced me to WordPress, and within 10 minutes I had my own website. I didn’t think it would be that easy!

So, here I am just talking about life. I wanted to make a blog because I wanted to keep up with my own life. I have always had some sort of journal growing up, but it just seemed like I never kept up with it. I started my recent journal last September, but I have not written in it since December. I decided that I needed to make something more concrete… something that I would keep up with.

I then decided that if I made a blog online, I would feel like others were watching it, so I would have some sort of obligation to continue posting. I’m still unsure if people will actually read this or not, but it’s the thought that counts.

Throughout my time so far in college (sophomore right now). I have always been witnessing so many things happening on a daily basis. Everytime, I would always think to myself, “Man, I really need to write about this!”, and sometimes I will, but other times, I am too lazy to write it in my journal. My journal entries are wayy too long (about 4-5 pages each!), because I always have so many details to write. Before I know it, my hands are cramping and I had just spent two hours writing about random stuff. Because I can type wayy faster than I can write, I want to type them instead. So here I am.

Before, I was pretty nervous about writing my posts online. I really do not trust technology. You can work so hard on something and put your heart into what you write, but the internet does not care. Before you know it, some virus or some bug came and wiped it all away in one second. Now, what took you 12 hours to write was taken away from you in 2 seconds (I don’t know if you can tell, but I am talking from personal experience. 12th grade. Macroeconomics project… It was a very long night.)

Hopefully, this does not happen to me again. I will try and make an effort to save (maybe even double-save) each post. I was thinking about copying each post into OneNote, but it just seemed like a hassle. Plus, OneNote is not as reliable either, given that one of my notebooks has now been corrupted and I can’t open it anymore (as you can tell already, technology and I do not get along).

For now, I want to keep my identity private. I don’t want a face to be associated to my posts. I want them to be as general as possible, so I can appeal to all readers. Plus, having a predetermined notion about all the situations I write about will kill the purpose of each post. I want each post to convey me as a regular person. Maybe in the future, I will be able to reveal my identity, but for now I’m Cherished Serendipities, or CherSer for short.