In early August I wrapped up my lab job and headed back home before the start of school. I made a stop at New York City along the way to see my sister. Though I was in a rush to go back home, I was also in sort of agony in leaving Philadelphia and remember feeling sad and nostalgic even on the Megabus. I was in a very strange and oppressive anxious mindset: I didn’t like the liminal feeling between summer and school starting I guess, and I felt, I don’t know. Inadequate in several ways. Continue reading
I’ve been delaying this reflection. Mostly, because when I try to describe my freshman year, contradictions crop up early on. For instance, I can start by saying that this first year felt much denser and more eventful than all four years of high school—“I’ve aged ten years,” I joke to those who ask about it. So, a lot happened. But then again, not really. I mean, there were a few milestones of course. But other than that…nothing that dramatic happened to me. I think about how by the end of the year, I still felt mostly like myself. It wasn’t, like, I metamorphosed into a different person or had a ton of wild shit happen to me. But even though the before and after pic is not very altered, distance does not equal displacement. There was a winding path in between my starting and ending point. Though not a lot changed, technically, the emotional journey feels long and profound for me.
I can still say, without a doubt, that after this year I know myself much better, and I can say that I feel more grown up. I can also say that I really like the person I’ve matured into.
Here’s why: Continue reading
This month I felt productive: in work and in fun and in growth. July started with a trip to New York City, to visit my sister during the Fourth. I had the fortune to see the holiday in both of my cities: fireworks over the Delaware river, fireworks nearly blocked by skyscrapers. New York is an amazing city — but I love Philadelphia more, and it loves me back. Continue reading
After the first time I had kissed a stranger — in the blushing light of a music festival — I was reeling by how easily it had happened. He had seen me, chatted a little, put his arm around me…the only reason why we didn’t kiss sooner was because I was too naive to realize what he wanted.
In high school, finding someone to kiss would have been much more difficult, to say the least. Not because I wasn’t interested in anyone — but my shy and awkward demeanor didn’t attract boys at my school. The option of hooking up — being physically intimate with someone without the emotional aspect — was never really on the table, mostly because I was idealistic and unpopular, partly because high schoolers are actually more romantic than society portrays them as. Continue reading
June, a landmark month in many ways: it was my first time I was responsible for my own rent, food, and employment. Adulting is hard! I spent most of the month merely adjusting to the new independence. I’ve enjoyed myself immensely, but I’ve also already learned a lot within these few weeks.
This past semester, I felt locked in a post-you era. Even though, after you said those fateful words — “I’m not looking for a relationship” — I stopped liking you and even stopped hurting for you, I failed to restart, like some stuttering obsolete computer. I felt like I couldn’t, not without some sort of signal to transition. I wanted to flip over the page to the next chapter of my life, but it felt like the same chapter kept going on and on — even though different stuff started happening, even though you stopped being a character. I guess I wanted to look up at the night sky and see the stars aligned in the words: THE END. I wanted a sign.
But now, the semester is over. There is no boundary as definitive as the beginning of sweet summer. I brush the dust of you and my leftover feelings into the container called Freshman Year and seal it off for good. Continue reading
Hey! Some exciting announcements.
After my last final exam of freshman year (!!!), I’m flying straight to Amsterdam to visit my sister, who works there. Then I think we’re visiting Budapest and a few other places before meeting my parents in Spain. We’re seeing Madrid, Seville, Granada and Barcelona. Continue reading
Aside from some personal melancholy moments, April is perhaps the most lit month so far. Formal, Spring Fling, general late nights. Things fell in place as summer housing and study habits aligned themselves. Now I gotta buckle down and study for finals…
March! I’m glad you’re finished.
For my school newspaper, I was covering a panel about reproductive justice. One of the panelists said something that changed me a little. She said, “One of my priorities is to consistently and unapologetically be proactive on my word. Just because the political climate changes, doesn’t mean that my goals and my values change. Regardless of who’s in power, regardless of who my constituents are. What I need to do as an organizer is to change conditions to make sure that happens. We forget how powerful and impactful people power is.” Continue reading