Thursday, May 15, 2014

The 6 Coolest Things That Happened To Me Sophomore Year

This school year was a toughie! At times it felt like one big "sophomore slump," between hard classes and cold weather and dreary moments. But now that I've vanquished (okay, completed) my last exam of the semester, I wanted to take a second to look back on some of the silver linings of this sophomore year. Here are some of the things I'm proudest of from 2013-2014:

6. I took a philosophy class.

Who would have thought I would take philosophy in college before ever taking a college English class? I knew as soon as I shopped Professor Sean Kelly's Existentialism class this spring and added it to my schedule in place of the Shakespeare course I'd been planning on. It was most refreshing to be taught "heavy" stuff by a professor who was at once so brilliant and so down-to-earth, a trait it's been hard at times to find here. To have a class full of engaging "aha!" moments and many a lecture that eventually proved something simple like "the meaning of life can be love" (at least to me) is a blessing when you're occasionally an angsty college student who can't figure out where she's going and why.

5. I "starred" in a five-minute documentary.

This heading makes me sound way more legit than I am. Basically, I was lucky enough to be recommended by a friend to be featured in one of the student profiles Harvard Student Agencies would put together as part of an app they developed this year with Microsoft, about the college admissions process. What this video project became for me was a beautifully put together mini-summary of this time in my life! What wasn't caught on camera, of course, was how I was often late to the very classes I was being filmed in, with no completed homework to boot. Through the project, I also got to know Lance Katigbak, a good friend and incredible photographer (see sari photo below) who transferred here from the Philippines. As of now, the video isn't public, but maybe if you ask me nicely...

4. I had a mandatory dinner with my best friend every week.

Early this semester, Javier and I realized that no matter how much we wanted to, we weren't going to be able to just be organically caught up on one another's life at all times, so: we made it official. No matter how crazy the weekend or long the day, Monday Night Dinner was the perfect way to tell stories from the week, organize our lives, make each other laugh, analyze poetry, take selfies, and do whatever else we did at this fun but strict weekly obligation. We certainly plan on keeping in place for the next two years (and hopefully beyond!).

3. I skipped the last week of classes and went to Korea.

The one highlight of this year I can't leave out is our one-week sojourn in Seoul! Changing up the pace of student life so drastically before finals was a huge privilege. And of course, getting to be surrounded by the brilliant S&S network made up of amazing (and intimidatingly intelligent) humans from around the world was unreal. And I'll just continue to pretend I was unfazed by the hit my schoolwork took after this trip...

2. I got to work on a book tour for my favorite author's first book.

I truly do consider this to be the biggest "accomplishment" Harvard will ever deal me: I had the honor of participating in a book reading of The Opposite of Loneliness, the first published collection of fiction and non-fiction work by Marina Keegan, my literary idol. There is nothing more powerful than the written word to me, and the magic of getting to read it aloud is something else altogether. I wouldn't be able to describe the energy of the event in words, but I doubt anything else could come close...until they publish Marina's poetry, of course!

1. I wrote down my most memorable moment from each day.

On my 20th birthday, my roommate gave me a daily calendar and an idea she'd read about: a journal where you write the most memorable/happy/interesting/cute thing that happens to you each day. It doesn't have to be long and it doesn't have to be significant, but it's a great alternative for people who don't have the time to journal everyday (or have given up their daily blog habits, ahem). I haven't skipped a day since November 2nd, and this little pocket notebook now provides me with a happy way to look back on this year, for reminders of moments as grand as the 5 I wrote about above...or as little as a smile or a hug or a postcard.

I talked to two of my friends at breakfast today about the importance of reflecting, and how little we sometimes do. What were the six coolest things that happened to you this year?


  1. So on that photo game

    1. That's the first step in planning every post I write!

  2. I'm glad I stumbled upon your blog its one of the most beautiful and raw blogs I have ever come across of. This post in particular breathes so much life. I wish you all the best and hope that you continue writing.