Winter Quarter 2017: A Shooting Star that Burnt a Little too Bright at Times

Winter quarter felt like I took a long hike through a beautiful trail with fantastic weather that somehow managed to lead me to a series of obstacles like a roaring river or some random bottomless pit I somehow managed to cross. A rollercoaster ride is one of the most overused cliches to describe life, but this time I really felt like it accurately described winter quarter for me.

Guys, I loved winter quarter! It was rough, I was busy, but I felt like I grew in a lot of ways. I explored different things, and while I didn’t turn out to be some amazing superstar or anything, I feel like I’m slowly starting to step out of my little box of fear.

While I have a ton of things I would love to improve on, I think  I finally found the motivation to improve. Rather than continuously whining about the lack of activities in my life, I finally stopped complaining and did something with my life.

College is so rough. It’s tough, and there’s a lot of pressure to do a lot of things that one human can’t possibly handle. To make it even worse, social media seems to be a sort of battle arena of “Look what I’m doing with my life, isn’t it so much better than yours?” kind of game.

The mental motions of comparing myself to others is slowly beginning to stop, and that’s one thing that I’m proud of.

Winter quarter has been one step toward a vague shadowy goal I haven’t concretely formulated.

So to summarize Winter Quarter 2017:

  1. Don’t Put Academics on the Backburner: 

I am 100% all about academics. I never did sports, or drama, or any other extra-curriculars really (I’d like to point out that there is financial component to extra-curriculars and that it’s hard to do extra crap without money). I’ve been conditioned to put academics first. All the time. And this quarter, I went from 95% effort to a good 80%? Yes it’s not even that low.

This affected my grades greatly. Well particularly in chemistry. I went from joking about not passing a class (because not-passing was never a fear of mine), to obsessively calculating what minimum grade I needed on certain assignments/exams to get a C- in order to go on to the next part of the chemistry series.

This will be my first C (if I even pass since grades are not out) in my entire academic career. As a second year in college, this seems miniscule (a lot of students get C’s), but in my life, a C was never a reality.

The problem is, I put in the effort of a C- student. I really believe I deserve that grade. So lesson? Put 100% into it as long as you know you can. There were times where I could’ve stepped up, but chose to lounge around doing absolutely nothing instead.

Also, I’m getting really into stationary’s like pretty pens, notebooks, all that popular school aesthetic crap going around. Notebooks and pretty school supplies have always grabbed my attention, but I would scoff at the high prices for a 5$ notebook with designs rather than a 2$ plain blue notebook.

Wel you know what, I think pretty school supplies will encourage me to take better notes and pay attention so I’m buying pretty pens and paper. And even useless washi tape.

Seriously, washi tape is so functionless and extra, but I want it in my life.

Study inspo life here I come.

2. Friends are nice, but so are random strangers you’ll never see again. 

Hanging out with friends is a blessing. Yes, it’ll take out a couple hours that you can use for studying, but humans are social creatures and we all need time to socialize with people we actually like.

I realized that sometimes, you just have to go out and enjoy your time. Yes, school is so important, but you’ll never get through without a good support system. Or of course you can, but it can be easier with a support system. I’m ready to go out and make more friends.

But as a side note, don’t be scared to talk to random stranger you know you’ll never see again. A small chat about something you have in common is equally as nice. For me personally, I like this because I go to a HUGE university. There are thousands of us, but most of the time we just stand next together looking down at our phones. It sucks, I wish I went to a smaller school where I could connect with others easier, but you work with what you have.

There was this one time I asked a girl what a line was for, and we had a great conversation all the way until we reached the front of the line (which was for free coffee by the way). I never even asked for her name, but it felt nice to connect to another student, even in that fleeting moment.

I also did this for a chemistry review session. Randomly asked the girl next to me if she studied enough for the midterm, and I already felt close to her. No idea what her name was, never asked, and I saw her in the same room for the final.

It’s just nice to talk guys is what I’m basically saying. Go out there and connect!

3. It’s not easy to “love” what you do, even if what you do is something you “love”

Life’s hard. Finding something you love is hard (for most). DOING what you love is hard. Life’s hard.

I think we all believe that “if you love what you do, it won’t seem like work” expectation. Nope. Strongly oppose this belief.

Work is work. It will be hard. It will be tedious, and you’ll question your goals and you interests, even if you completely love something. We’re human.

Will finding something you like be more enjoyable in the long run? Yes! Just don’t expect it to take out the “life” factor. The life factor is basically the trails and challenges life likes to throw at us every once in a while. Or more like every day.

4. Stress and Anxiety are real challenges. 

There was one specific day this quarter I’ll never forget. I was on the verge of going through a panic attack. I felt it in my bones. I knew that if I didn’t calm myself down, it would go downhill from there and there would be no way to stop my panic attack.

Something triggered it the night before, and that night I just couldn’t breathe right. So I told myself okay, your stress and anxiety levels are high, we’re going to meditate. I opened, headspace, and tried to meditate. It helped for thirty minutes or so, then I couldn’t breathe. I just went to sleep, hoping that I would be okay in the morning.

It was actually worse. I couldn’t breathe, my stomach felt physically sick, and I wanted to throw up, inhale a tank of damn oxygen, and get my heart to stop pumping like a hummingbird.

It was one of the worst feelings I’ve ever experienced. Panic was running through my system because I couldn’t get that one satisfying inhale breath. You know when the inhale is complete?

I was going through one of those no matter how much I inhaled it just wouldn’t be enough.

At that point, I called my school to set up an appointment for therapy. There was this ongoing problem I hated, but the school didn’t answer (i think I woke up hella early). So nope I did not go through with that plan. Would I in the future? It depends on how I feel.

My problem is almost over thank god.

So if I continue to meditate, lay off when I’m stressed (I cope with stress pretty well I would say), and take steps to reduce my anxiety concerning that problem I mentioned. I think I should be fine.

4. Branch out and grow. Don’t be scared to take different paths, because one path is never permanent.

I think I’m scared that once I do something, once I “commit”, there’s no going back.

For example: I am a psych major. I want to maybe switch to a bio major. I haven’t done a lot of the bio pre-requirements. Nope I’m strictly on the psych major path.

Or if I start an internship, I think damn, there’s no going back.

So things like that scare me because I doubt if I will like something, and that hinders me from even trying it out.

DON’T DO THAT PEOPLE!!

There’s always a way out if you truly hate something. It may take time and energy, and you might not be able to leave right away, but it’s possible. Don’t stick to one path if you don’t want to.

5. COMPARING YOURSELF TO OTHERS IS ABSOLUTE AND UTTER POISON

Oh, Leslie has three internships, plays lacrosse, and is part of student government? Might I add her gpa is a 3.9?

Don’t you dare, don’t you dare compare yourself to Leslie. Leslie has a different path, she has different goals, and she is a completely different person that can handle different things.

Do not, do not, do NOT weigh out her traits and accomplishments against your own.

The only person you should be worried about is yourself. Compare yourself against yourself. This is a part of staying in your lane.

STAY IN YOUR LANE.

There were plenty of times where I was feeling great about finally going out there and starting an internship and research, then plenty of times where I felt like crap because Britney has a job, and I’m just leeching off my parents.

BRITNEY’S LIFE DON’T AFFECT MINE, STAY YOUR LANE KAE.

Or if Rachel is in a cool sorority and has a ton of friends. STAY IN YOUR LANE BC RACHEL’S LIFE AINT MESSIN’ WITH YOURS.

In the word’s of Mother Theresa who got this off some random guy:

  Give the best you have, and it will never be enough.  Give your best anyway.

Hell yeah.

And J COLE GOT ME FEELIN THIS:

Always gon’ be a bigger house somewhere, but nigga feel me
Long as the people in that motherfucker love you dearly
Always gon’ be a whip that’s better than the one you got
Always gon’ be some clothes
That’s fresher than the ones you rock
Always gon’ be a bitch that’s badder out there on the tours
But you ain’t never gon’ be happy till you love yours

No such thing as a life that’s better than yours
No such thing as a life that’s better than yours
No such thing as a life that’s better than yours
No such thing, no such thing

YALL I LOVE THESE LYRICS. LISTEN TO THE DAMN SONG BECAUSE ITS SOMETHING WE NEED TO HEAR ALL THE TIME. 24/7.

I’m so doing another blog post on comparing yourself to others. Just because there are so many times when I personally need to read why you shouldn’t feel bad about not being like Leslie, Rachel, or Britney.

6. You’ll look like shit because you’re tired. That’s okay, but please at least brush your hair. 

I looked like crap every day basically. Except for the couple days where research was canceled and I could apply some mascara. Basically, just because I’m tired doesn’t mean i can’t take care of myself.

Eat properly, exercise, and brush you damn hair!

If I got time to binge watch youtube videos then hell yeah I can do these things.

7. I tried new things and it was fantastic

I applied for new things, and got rejected many many times this quarter. Do I regret applying? Hell no.

I tried new food places I’ve never been to. Can you believe I barely tried wingstop this quarter? I’m a hermit.

I tried yoga! I love it. It’s fantastic. Only been once but I can’t wait for next quarter! Free yoga? HELL YA.

So those are some things I wanted to touch on about my winter quarter. It was a great quarter for me, and there were definitely some dark stressful times in there. It wasn’t all great, and I think that’s what we need to acknowledge. It can’t always be great. That things will happen. We just got to push through.

With all of these things said, I truly can’t wait for the next quarter. I’m hoping that this quarter was my way of finally turning the knob, instead of staring at the door in frustration because it won’t open by itself.

Here’s to a fantastic Spring Quarter 2k17!

How are you guys doing? How’s school if your in school, and how’s life in general if you aren’t in school? Any new developments? All I can say is 2k17 is so much better than 2k16. 

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