May 28, 2009 5:51 PM

work hard play hard

recap of my relaxing break so far:

Thursday: deeelicious last dinner at berkeley :), then headed back to the cupertinoland for a night
Friday: reunited with long lost friend and saw mr. morris! then drove down to socal with the jaegerbomb family. had a lovely dinner with long lost UCLA friends carolyn jeff, saw mindy and harold for a bit and had a BOMB-DIGGITYY diddy riesses (im sure i spelled that wrong) ice cream sandwich.
Saturday: caught up with former competitor from CHS :). Turns out this day was Central Coast Section trials back in the bay, and two years ago we were racing eachother a good 8 freakin laps around good ol SJCC track. After that, got some UCLA food to energize me for the day, then visited getty museum. (sidenote, it turns out anything can be modern art these days? like a picture of a glove?) and left for san diego that night to good old friend's place :)
Sunday: finally got to splash in some water! Before beach trip, bro and I went grocery shopping and bought hellza sandwich materials for massive beach picnic. Went to Mission Bay, a site which was 15 minutes away. we arrived 1 hour and 15 minutes after leave time. why? PARKING. Every spot was taken, every crack was filled like the worst wedgie you've ever gotten. Ended up parking a mile down from where we expected to rent surfboards. Nevertheless, food was good, beach was fun, and SURFING was awesome despite the fact that the actual practice of surfing was one that escaped me. I'm sure I looked plenty legit with my brand new hundred dollar wetsuit I bought for Triathlon until I hit water. I hope no one was watching. Too bad coast guard had to help me out once I drifted too far. After surfing, showerrred and went to make brownies and ice cream! met up with good friend and had long overdue catchup time before sleep.

Monday: Ah, so I am finally up to date. Went running wtih old friend, caught up with each others' lives, went to eat more sandwiches at the beach. i've never had a more primitive meal in my life. we had turkey, bread, mustard. not so bad right? add avacado hummus and tomatoes...but no knife. you fill in the rest and add sand. it was a real SANDwich hahhahah. then i came to the city of irvine which I hear is just like cpt. so far i've only seen the inside of this shanky libarary I am in. I dont know if shanky is a real word though. My brother has the cutest little kitten named Bruce who I am most likely to camera stalk once I head back to my bro's apartment.

--

When I think about my state of being last week this time compared to what I'm feeling right now, I can't believe me and last sunday me are the same person. Lets see. This time last week I had 3 finals, an imminent death, looming around the corner in a 30 hour time crunch. I had just attended the joyous celebration of my sister's college graduation from UOP which cost me a day of badly needed studying. I felt like my brain was a rock and no matter how hard i tried, i was so stressed that it would not morph in the the sponge that it used to be back when i was a n-n-n-errd.
seriously. in all seriousness. i felt like shiet.
the next 30 hours passed excruciatingly long and fast at the same time. I ended up staying up till 5am on the day before my consecutive 8am and 12:30 pm finals. and come 3:30? I don't think I'd ever felt better this entire year. literally. it was 3:30 pm, when that GSI yelled "test over." I walked out of haas and felt my mood brighten exponentially on my way back to my apartment. in all my 14 years of education i don't think there's an adjective to better describe how i felt than "good." i felt good. like REALLY really good. Like I'd never felt lighter in my life, like I could actually breathe. and at that point I knew it was all worth it :). Walking out of that final with a load off of my back, it finally occured to me how disgustingly stressed I had been this semester. I didn't realize how burdened and I had felt until the end, when it was all over.

My friends who have been so kind as to stick with me and support me through the semester know how challenging life for me has been these past six months. I was trying to fit APO pledging, research lab, work, triathlon, and school all on one of those children's dinner plates with only 3 dividers on it. And i learned that maybe the secret to being mediocre at eveything you do is to try and do everything. Plus I had a lot of other personal issues going on. I'll be the first to admit that I performed sub-par in everything I was involved in this semester. I've gotten yelled at in lab, i'd been given talks by people who were worried about me in APO, i only participated in 1 triathlon, worked less than minimum required work shifts, and don't even get me started with school. Despite taking the least number of units here at cal, i've never struggled harder in class. It got to the point where I hated going to section not because it was extra class, but because I knew I wouldn't understand what my GSI was talking about. I skipped physics lecture for lab meetings (but my lab had issues with me regardless..thats a whole nother story), skipped chemistry for people meetings, and before i knew what i was missing out on my midterms scores did. my midterm scores halved from first to second midterms, both in chemistry and physics. chemistry dropped from 120/150 to 69/150 from first to second midterm. physics dropped from 90/100 to 50/100. i was in super deep dog doodoo.
regardless, i had less time than I would have liked to have to save my grade because pledging APO was definitely not the walk in the park I had expected. I have no shame in admitting I was doing minimal requirements, I just wanted to cross. I had no aspirations to become an APO maniac, I couldn't think about overachieving when I was struggling to keep my head above water in APO as well as the other arenas of my life. Once I had submerged myself waist level into pledging, I realized I would have to be content with being one of those "minimum requirement" pledges in order to keep my sanity. Once I submerged myself neck level in APO, my roomates can tell you I panicked. I didn't want to write no more 10 page reflection/interviews when I had a real essay for IAS 45 due the next day. I didn't want to go to a freakin 5 hour pledge review when I could study for the ochem midterm I scored a 40% on. I wanted out, and was a hair away from depledging. Three times.
It almost hurts to look back at this stage, because I remember how hopelessly overwhelmed I felt with life. As soon as I accomplished fighting my war on one front, another front broke loose and I had to scramble to keep hold everything together. I remember one of the highlights of my worst weekends: APO campout. APOers, if you look at the pledge class picture, guess who's MIA? yours truly. I remember this weekend with a grimace. You see, when i set down my 200 dollars in the beginning of the schoolyear I was set on competing in triathlon, perhaps even being a beast. I wanted to compete in at least 3 or 4 triathlons in the spring (hey, 3 or 4 races...thats totally doable compared to the weekly races I competed for back in high school, right?) but when it finally came down to spring season, it turned out that..
stanford invitational-overlapped with pledge class retreat
wildflower invitational- overlapped with pledge class service project
davis- overlapped with campout
i know, pretty convenient, aint it? the three triathlons I wanted most to compete in happened to be on the exact days I couldn't miss. Regardless, I decided that I needed to compete. I wasnt going spend an entire year being an existent yet dormant member of tri. I needed to compete, and campout was the victim. So that weekend, I remember leaving an exhausting night at around 1am, arriving at my apartment at 2 am, sleeping for 2 hours until 4am, then leaving for my race in Davis at 5am. I don't remember much about that weekend except that it hurt, I think I might have gotten pink eye, and I got a cool green t shirt at the end.

I think i tangent-ed. I was talking about APO was i?
oh yeah

I didn't expect much out of APO once I came to peace with the fact that I would be a minimum-requirement pledge. But with each time draining event that i went to, I grew to like some people more and more and the time drains became less of a drag. On the day of thank you banquet I got to really get to know the littles in my family and it was that day/night we spent making 15 pounds of chow fun and asian food and talkedd about "pearl necklaces" when it finally hit me that maybe this would be worth it in the end. After activation, we were showered with spoils at macaroni grill followed by happy times, followed by end of the year banquet. followed by group studying for my small fam ;)
--
end apo.

This semester has been crazy. I have too many thoughts to tame in a logical and orderly fasion, and I realize I have been typing since before 7:00. It's now 8:08. I should bullet or else i'll tangent and stay here till the library closes.

-I realize this past year who are and aren't the friends I can count on to be my emotional and moral support.
-I realize what it means to be on a freakin slippery, we're talking coefficient of friction is ZEROO, slope. it leads straight to a crapshoot.
-I've defintiely abused my body this semester and vow to never do it again. I've never been in worse shape, slept less, ate more junk food, and exercised as little as I did this semester. Being active clears my head and sometimes I forget how necessary that is.
-I know what it's like to have friendships disappoint you, and I'm now a firsthand witness of blatant, uncalled for friendship abuse.
-I know what it's like to have a sister that's engaged!!
-I bought a pair of slick new nikes. on impulse, as always. It's the first pair of nice non-running shoes I've bought for myself since tenth grade.
-Looking back on a certain commitment this year, I am pained at the interactions I had with some people and will really miss certain other people. yes i am being vague on purpose.
-

end wordy recap.


plans for the next few days:
Tonight: stalk brother's kitten, walk around UCI campus
Tuesday-Thursday: head to UCSD, meet up with long lost friend! party! seaworld!? ACTUALLY surf?! who knows!!
Friday: Relish in the last hours of southern cali in the los angeles sun. i mean haze. then head to supercupertino
Saturday: wedding!

8:19 pm. my left eye is slightly burning and my vision is off a bit. the guy sitting 3 chairs down from me has been listening to techno/playing wow since I started this post. I can hear it through his low quality headphones. i am sure this post is full of typoes. was planning on taking a walk an hour ago but got too caught up in writing this post. i want to post pictures when I get back to cupertino. it's dark out and I think i want to explore campus. i hear UC Irvine is safe. I guess this means its okay.

goodbye!


Angela Hsu | Permalink | Comment on this article | Comments (2)

Comments (2)

I live in Irvine. It's super safe. Sounds like you had a killer semester! Hopefully, you get to enjoy your summer! :)


Posted by Victoria | 2009-05-29

R U LEAVING FOREVER? Not my favorite blogger leaving forever!!!


Posted by Aaron | 2009-08-08

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