Tag Archives: College

just to get that last thought away

31 Jan

Sometimes I need to vent my unhappy thoughts to you, little Blog. But then when I’m happy and busy doin my thing, I forget to come back to you. I guess what I’m trying to say is: Sorry, Blog. Sorry for loading you down with sadness and forgetting to tell you about the goodness.

I’m three weeks into my second semester of college. (WOOOOOO! COLLEGE!) I hang out with my boyfriend every day, and I also chat with my girlfriends all the time. I’ve only missed two classes so far, and I do most of my homework. I visit my Hospice patient weekly; she’s a joy to talk to. I’ve started training for a halfironman that I hope to do this June with my mom. I write Fairytaleboy every Sunday. I go to paint parties that stain my clothes irreversibly, and stay out till three chilling at Denny’s or Walmart (the only places open 24 hours round here). I’m reading Wolf Hall, and though I love it, it’s going slow.

I look up jobs over and over, only to find out that they won’t fit my schedule. I look up ways to get into med school, and internships abroad, and how does Vultures go again? I look up whether Steven Hawkings is still respected in the scientific community, and which ancient civilization The Emperer’s New Groove is based on. I look up valentines gift ideas for guys and coupons for food. I look up when are you most contagious, before or after symptoms start? I look up how to say “you make me blush” in French, and I look up how much I’ve spent already. I look up my grades, and answers to homework, and what is the full-ride scholarship cutoff GPA? (Missed by 0.01. Rats.)

In short, Blog, I’m happy.

Advertisements

a spicy semester

20 Dec

Well, it’s done. 

I’m sitting in an airport waiting for my delayed flight to come. As soon as my plane arrives, I’ll get to visit home for the first time since the semester started. It was a pretty awesome first semester of college:

  • I added a major; I’ve been approved as an English/Neuroscience double
  • I kissed plenty of guys
  • I lost 9 pounds without even trying
  • I made some amazing friends
  • I passed all my classes!

I also may or may not have learned that blue cream soda, milk, snow, a whole habanero pepper, and an empty stomach do not make a good combination. Yuck. (See? Mormons throw up in college, too!)

Pre-college

22 Oct

The New Student Orientation was like EFY for college students. From the tacky colored wristbands to the awkward get-to-know-you games right on down to the multiple mosh-pit (sober) dances, it felt like camp all over again. I met many girls, and a few guys. I became pretty close with the Y-group leader, who we call Jimbo, and a girl called Gaps. Jimbo took Gaps and I to dinner off-campus–we were that cool. The guy was an upperclassman, with perpetually slicked-back blackish hair and a cheesy smile. We went to a small Salvadorian place, since he served his mission in El Salvador. The unpretentious little woman who took our order smiled with recognition and spoke Spanish to him.

NSO ended and I still hadn’t met my roommate. The girls in my hall were nice: Apple had already met some boy and Kiara… well, hadn’t. Kiara and I lived off of Apple’s stories of dates and holding hands. When we were alone, we discussed how we simultaneously were overjoyed and distraught at her success.
We all got antsy for church to start. The infamous student wards were mysterious to us. Rumors abounded of a wonderful place where you meet your man while learning about your Maker. I had Facebook-stalked most of the boys in our ward, but it was no substitute for really seeing and talking.

Sunday was like any other day: I met many girls and talked to a few guys. Curse the 2:1 ratio at this school. I did meet my roommate, though. Tay is sweet, pretty, intelligent, funny. At first I worried that she would get all the guys. So far that hasn’t happened, so I can laugh and moan with her at our boy failures.

Sunday night, though, was ward prayer. I went down to the lobby of my hall, where we were told to meet, in comfy clothes. Comfy, as many of you know, is girl-talk for ugly. To my chagrin, everyone looked cute. Including the–is THAT what a boy is? I hadn’t seen one for so long, I’d forgotten. A short intro speech by the Bishop, a few announcements, a talent (two people sang and ukelele-d), a hymn and a prayer. And then… magic. We talked to BOYS.

I half fell for a blond boy (not my usual type) on the diving team. Something about his smile and his whatever attitude made me crazy. It helped that I’d met him before, at a dance during NSO.

The next day was Labor Day, the day before classes started. I don’t remember what happened during the day, but the night I can tell you all about. It was our first Ward FHE (Family Home Evening), and it was all get-to-know-you type stuff. Naturally, I won longest name–I always do–and was a tie for most exotic place lived/travelled to. There were some crazy stories of near-death experiences and embarrassing stories. But the really fun part was, for me, afterwards. I got to talking to this one guy with short brown hair and green eyes. He was ridiculously easy to talk to, which was convenient since I’m a-scared of boyses. After a while, some other girls came up to the two of us and asked if they could join our conversation.

“Oh, sorry,” they said, “are we interrupting something?”

UM, YES! ONLY THE FIRST SUSTAINED GUY-GIRL INTERACTION I’VE HAD SINCE WE CAME! “Oh, no, of course not,” I answered. 

So, we all talked about who knows what, until Spiderman came.

Yup, Spiderman. For some reason, somebody somewhere thought it a good idea to put on a Spiderman morph suit and a pair of red high-tops and parade around Campus. We quizzed him on Spiderman trivia and he seemed pretty legit. The guy knew his stuff. Ya gotta respect that. He told us how two girls had earlier asked for the spiderman kiss. So some big guy held him upside down… and he kissed em. COLLEGE!

I dropped and shattered my phone trying to get a pic with Spiderman. But I got it.

THE PHOTO THAT KILLED MY POOR PHONE

THE PHOTO THAT KILLED MY POOR PHONE

Note: this post was going to be much different, except that I never finished it. It’s been almost two months since I wrote the bulk of it… and oh so much dirt’s gone down. I have so much going on I hardly ever get the chance to write anymore. Or read, for that matter–sorry fellow bloggers.

the true cost of college

3 Apr

 Looky here, ladies and gentlemen. Behold as I simultaneously respond to not one, but two (yes, two!) challenges/prompts. Thanks to Rarasaur, who you most definitely should follow, and to the creators of the A to Z Challenge.

“True Cost is a term for the often-overlooked, comprehensive expense of something, including the time-related and emotional costs.”-Prompts for the Promptless

For just about as long as I can remember, my dad has been obsessed with getting his kids into the top colleges. I’m not exactly sure when he started brainwashing us, but by preschool he had instilled in us the desire to achieve. One day in first grade, we had an education intern from Yale University come and observe the class/assist our teacher. We had a lovely conversation, and when I learned where she went to school I asked her if I could go there someday. 

“You can… if you work REALLY hard,” she told a much younger and much cuter version of me. I went home that day determined to go to Yale. I’m pretty sure my dad was so proud he cried a little bit. 

When my brother was in middle school, my dad started putting the pressure on. If he came home with anything less than an A, there came the standard, “Uh-oh, looks like you’ll end up going to Naugatuck Valley Community College and becoming a cashier at J. C. Penny’s*.” The refrain was repeated all throughout his high school years as well as my own. When we moved to Asia, he added a more racy catch phrase: “Study haaaaard. Get good grades,” he said, always in his ‘Korean mother’ accent**.

When my brother started the college process, I did too. I went with him to the colleges he visited, though I was four grades below him. I had my first SAT review books in 6th grade, though Dad didn’t insist I use them until 8th. But what really changed was my dad’s relationship with my brother. They used to fight, loudly. It scared my little sisters. My brother would swear at my dad, and my dad would swear right back. Somehow the Mormon guidelines to never swear only made each curse more potently cutting. Each word leapt with venom, but I’d bet it was my sisters and I who got stung. I couldn’t understand why my dad and my brother couldn’t get along. 

When I grew into high school, I was careful not to swear. American public high schools are like cesspools of profanity and general indecency. Even if you try to stay as far away from the pit of seething blackness, the stench pollutes the air and weasels its way into your lungs anyway. Needless to say, the stress stress stress and the constant bombards of foul language (if only it stopped at innocent little swears!) eventually got to me. I wound up doing the very thing I promised myself I would never do: I followed in my brother’s footsteps and started to fight with my dad and curse whenever I got really fumingly angry.   

Meanwhile, my brother had a rough time at college. In high school, he’d gotten rejected from all thirteen schools he applied to but one. Ironically enough, that one was an Ivy League. But my dad’s years of plotting and “no you can’t do that, it won’t get you into college”ing may not have paid off in the end. Out of the blue, my brother came home halfway through his second semester of sophomore year. For his mental health, he had to take a year off. After much therapy and meds, he went back for a second attempt. He was doing really well. Until he wasn’t anymore. The pressure of such a high-intensity, uber-competitive school combined with the permanent “you’re not good enough” mentality that colleges ingrain in unsuspecting high schoolers just took it out of him. He came home again, and stayed with us again.

His peers are now seniors, and we’re all grateful to say that he is on attempt number three at sophomore year. He’s joined a fraternity and he’s doing great… we hope.

Despite all the hard work I put into high school and extracurriculars and general nerdiness, when it came time for me to apply I wasn’t sure that that was what I wanted. My dad had been humbled (a bit) and no longer pushed as hard for top ten. After all, he wants what’s best for us… and he now recognizes that Ivy isn’t necessarily synonymous with success. I wound up applying to only two schools, instead of the twelve plus I’d always planned on. I didn’t even apply to Yale or to my brother’s school, as much as I love him. The truth is, I’ll be going to my safety school for a few reasons:

  1. For all four years of undergrad (assuming, unlike my brother, I only go for four years), I will save about $210,000 on tuition alone
  2. I have a bunch of friends there
  3. I really REALLY don’t want to turn into a basket case.

Here’s the thing. I won’t be getting any fancy internships or opportunities based on the prestige of my school and nothing else. I’ll have to work my butt off to come out in the top of my class if I even want to think about getting into med school. I won’t just literally bump into Steve Martin one day and have an awesome conversation about Blue Grass with him because most of the time the really famous people only visit top-tier schools. I wont have quite as many opportunities as my brother will. 

But to me, it just doesn’t seem to be worth the cost.

 

*No offense to any J. C. Pennys worker/customer/whatever or to any NVCC alums. It’s his phrase, not mine.

**Again, I want to stress that I did NOT coin the phrase. Although… my closest Korean friend while I lived in Japan, Springy, once began to cry when she got a 97 on her test. She said it was because she knew her mom would hit her… when she came home from juku (the Japanese word for cram school)… at around nine pm, which was considered quite early. After all, her friends and relatives in Korea would stay at cram school until one in the morning, then come home and start their homework.