Saturday, April 26, 2014

Collegiate Clothing + Ruminations

Why hello there! It's been awhile, hasn't it? I'm almost done with my freshman year (!!!), and the last few weeks are getting super hectic (in fact, I'm supposed to be composing about 3+ essays as we--that is, I--speak). My friend Michelle snapped these photos of me the other day, as I was featuring her for CollegeFashionista (look out for that article next week!).

Straight cheesin' it.

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It's reallyyyyyy strange to me that I'm almost done. It seems like it was only yesterday I was just beginning to worry about things like prom and graduation and choosing a college. 
Now all of a sudden, it's the end of my freshman year, and I realize I've been truly blessed to have so many new and eye-opening experiences and opportunities. My style, as well as my perspectives on society and literature and politics and the greater world, have begun to change and develop in ways I never could've imagined back in high school.

While I can't say I enjoyed all of it--sometimes I feel much like one of those animals raised in captivity that can't survive in the wilderness--this taste of independence has illuminated to me many of the areas where I need to look at myself and my writing and the image I present to the world, and address both my strengths and my shortcomings.

But I've also made leaps and bounds from where I was before. I'm on the editorial board for our literary magazine, Calliope, which has been an awesome trial in teamwork and analysis and cohesiveness and vision. (My piece was even selected to be published in it!) I've joined a professional language frat, Omega Eta Epsilon, and was elected for secretary next semester. I had to talk one-on-one to complete strangers for hour-long "coffee dates." I received an invitation to join the Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society, which I accepted. I've been writing a semester long column over at CollegeFashionista (aka, My First Internship. Cue the streamers ;)). I'm interviewing for Copy Editor for the newspaper (wish me luck--I need it), and just became a staff writer on Thursday. I was asked to be a classroom writing mentor (I declined due to scheduling conflicts, but may interview to be a general writing mentor--we'll see). I wrote my first resume. I discovered that instant mac and cheese requires 3.5 minutes in the microwave and milk to taste. I salvaged moldy baked goods. I learned the basics of Kung Fu and Taekwondo and the intricacies of doing laundry for myself. I've been to Ashland, Oregon, for goodness' sake! 

I guess what I'm trying to say is, college, as much as I was dreading it before (and as much as I occasionally say I hate it now), really has been an irreplaceable transformative experience. As dumb as it sounds, I hadn't thought I could learn any real, new life lessons from coming here; hadn't really considered that I would grow to appreciate so many mundane, little things that I once took for granted. For instance, my mother goes far, far above and beyond for our family, and while I knew that I was spoiled by my parents, it hadn't truly registered how much they do to ensure that we run a tight schedule, live in a clean household, eat at least three delicious and healthy meals a day (and dessert! My dad's baking is sorely missed), have a means of timely transportation, and get to wear clean, ironed clothes. Living on my own has meant dark days of nights that bleed into mornings; wearing (and sometimes sleeping in) unwashed and wrinkled clothing; and even days where I ate only one meal, composed of salt and vinegar kettle chips and a Naked Juice. While I can't say these dark days are completely behind me--essays have a horrible tendency to sneakily pile up on a single due date, and sometimes the dining hall seems like the farthest mirage in the desert--I will say that surviving thus far has given me a pretty clear perspective of 1) the manymanymany things I'll need to work on, both personality wise and skill wise, before I ever contemplate actually living on my own, and 2) how grateful I am to my parents and my sister and my whole family for doing so much, for providing a strong moral and Christian background, for creating amazing childhood and current memories, for giving me something to both long for and strive for, for instilling within me both a sense of pride and a striving to make them proud, for being my best friends and my heroes, for loving me so much, and for loving me enough to completely cover my attendance and extravagances at this expensive private college, when they could've easily (so, so easily) convinced me to go to a bigger, cheaper alternative.

This summer, in addition to taking classes at the local community college in order to supplement my general education curriculum, I have a whole list of things I wish to initiate and hopefully complete. I have already submitted a few internship applications (CollegeFashionista's summer Style Guru internship as well as the Summer Editorial internship; no word on whether Modcloth is holding internships this year), and hope to improve my writing, publish some creative writing pieces, and complete another novel (it's been a few years, and hopefully I've improved a tad since I was sixteen). I also want to return to business with my sister, crafting and sewing and knitting and thrifting and upcycling and selling and all that good stuff. Of course, we have yet to see if any of these things will come to fruition--procrastination is still one of my greatest nemeses--but I'm really hoping this will be a productive time for me to develop significant skills (like cooking) and learn to use my time more wisely. When I was younger I was always waiting for the time when I would be able to go out into the world and prove to myself and to everyone else that I was worth something. I wanted to fast forward to years in the future, some alien place where I was already super successful and in love and married with kids to come, and just happy. Some days, I feel like I'm still waiting for that, but more and more often I'm realizing that it may never be if I keep standing on the sidelines now. Maybe the day where I finally get my time to shine--to prove to the world and to myself that I can take what I know and what I've learned and create something out of my perceived nothing, to prove that I have responsibility and drive and adequate writing skills to be a Someone in the industry, to do above and beyond what everyone expects of me--maybe that day's approaching soon, and fast, a vision I get closer and closer to with each step up a staircase of milestones. 
Maybe that day is looming before me, even tomorrow, even now. 

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Phew. That was a really long post. Anyway, as for right this minute,

I'm watching you, Wazowski. Always watching...

#hpfandom4lyfe :')

James Coviello for Anna Sui Contrast Cardigan (Vintage) | Banana Republic Sleeveless Polka Dot Buttondown | Madewell Skinny Skinny Jeans in Twin Harbor Stripe | Trouve Oxfords - Nordstrom | Coach Legacy Mini Tanner in Leather (Black/Silver)

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