Category: Cindy’s Journal

A mish-mash of thoughts, ideas, and reflections about my life, the people around me, and beyond.

Thank you.

Dear… everyone, I guess.

This is too big of a post to put on Facebook. But I wanted to make a post thanking everyone for your very, very lovely birthday messages. I’m not sure if that’s due to the fact the number of Facebook friends I have grew, or if that’s due to the fact that the number of real life, close, actual friends I have grew–but I appreciated every single one of these messages and this is the most birthday wishes that I’ve ever gotten in my life.

So here we go, a giant thank you to everyone who made me feel loved. :) (more…)

Dear Class of 2016

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Last year, on December 12th, 2014, I opened my EA decision letter from Harvard.

Just yesterday, I realized (while procrastinating for exams) that December 10th is the day a handful of Ivies (Cornell, Harvard, Columbia, and Brown) release their early action/early decision results. Not unlike me just a year ago, I see the Class of 2016 fidgeting on the applicant groups on Facebook, weighing their chances and praying to the admission gods for a miracle.

Maybe you got the decision you wanted… or maybe you didn’t.

But, whatever it was, I want to tell you: “that’s ok.” (more…)

I’m Thankful For…

Happy Thanksgiving!

This is my first year (since coming to America) spending Thanksgiving by myself. My family and I have never put much emphasis on Thanksgiving, but still, homesickness hits hard at a time when all you see on your Facebook feed are picturesque portraits of beautiful families, reunited. It’s harder, too, when you haven’t seen a single soul in your dorm since Thanksgiving break started… (though I have to admit, the silence on campus is quite nice!)

However, there are still many things to be thankful for! For example, I get to do laundry without having to wait since there’s nobody here… and I can literally use ANY shower on my floor. Heck, I can take multiple showers! What luxury!

In all seriousness, though–while I try to be grateful for every single day, it’s hard sometimes, because we all get caught up in the ups and downs of life. Thanksgiving is a time for us all to reflect upon what we are thankful for. So this year, I am extremely thankful for Cornell.

College experiences vary from person to person, from college to college. There are some days when I question myself and my decision for coming here. Actually, I question it all the time. But at the end of the day, I know Cornell is for me. Cornell is the best thing that has happened to me so far. It’s pushed me, it’s challenged me, but it has also helped me mature, to grow, and live up to the best I can be. So here, I’m going to just break that down:

I am thankful for people.

Perhaps one thing that I am MOST thankful for is my friends here at Cornell. I am thankful for people. At the end of the day, I think it’s the people we meet and the connections that we create that define our lives, and I’m grateful to have had so many meaningful connections here at Cornell. It’s still unbelievable to me that I’ve found my peeps in a couple short months here on campus. Truth is, it’s sort of hard being 18 and being a thousand miles away from family for the first time–but my friends make my days here so much better, and sometimes even without realizing it.

I am thankful for opportunities.

I think going to an Ivy League institution is something that a lot of people could only dream of. And I’m living it (somehow)! Sometimes I still wake up and have to remind myself that I’m here. And that all sounds really cliched, but it’s true! I’m thankful for the fact that I get to receive a world-class education and to have the opportunity to become more educated and knowledgeable.

I am thankful for ups and downs.

My life is not perfect, but I am still thankful for whatever life throws at me, because it challenges me. Especially at Cornell. I can honestly say that it’s not always “smooth sailing” here–there are plenty of bumps in the road. I face set backs, I feel discouraged. I feel incapable, unintelligent, and downright inadequate. But that’s exactly it–those are the feelings that inspires me to get up when I’ve fallen down, and smile, even when nothing seems to be falling into place. I’ve started to grow up. I am thankful that Cornell pushes me, forces me to be and do the best I can and go beyond.

I am thankful for life.

Every single day is a blessing. Sometimes it honestly may not seem like it, but I am thankful for being here. I am thankful for being able to experience life, and not just at Cornell, of course. It’s a really scary, beautiful, but also fantastic thing. It’s hard to be very thankful every single day, and it’s hard to be 100% positive every single day. But, today, I’m putting everything aside–I’m just going to be perfectly content with what I have, and what’s in front of me.

 

Bridging to an Adult Girl Scout (My Weekend Trip!)

Last Friday, after a frenzied packing session (which normally happens with me… but hey, I didn’t forget anything!!), I hopped into a car with my troop leader of 7 years and my close friend, and we drove up to the middle of nowhere North Georgia, and into Camp Misty Mountain, a Girl Scout camp.

image from http://www.scoutlander.com/%5B/caption%5D

I haven’t gone on a lot of camping trips this year with my troop because my schedule and life had been so hectic. And, knowing that this would be our last camping trip as a troop–as all of us are graduating this year–I really wanted to spend the weekend with these girls that I had grown up with and gotten pretty close to.

Oh, and, since I ordered a camera just one day before I left, I did not get a chance to use that on the trip. So all photos, unless otherwise noted, are courtesy of my troop leaders and friends. :)

We spent a lot of time relaxing, and of course, sleeping in (something I didn’t get to do too much this year!!), and I finally let some of that senioritis kick in. ;) We hiked around the camp grounds and saw some beautiful scenery (our cabin was situated next to a gorgeous lake!), took plenty of selfies, and made LOTS of delicious food. Speaking of food… I also tried something called Marshmellow Fluff. Which was odd but interesting. (Ended up taking the rest of the container of marshmellow fluff home and trying to eat it with all sorts of stuff.. haha!)

[caption id="attachment_4016" align="aligncenter" width="640"]11243923_10205338659118983_2998838574113009979_o isn’t this beautiful??

The highlight of my trip, however, was probably the bridging ceremony. Bridging ceremonies can be as informal or formal, as elaborate or simple, or as creative or traditional, as a troop would like. For us… since we’d already had so many bridging ceremonies in the past, we decided to keep it short and sweet. Each of us took turns in saying something nice or memorable about each other, and it was at that moment that I realized how much I’d really miss these girls. I’m a very emotional person, and so naturally, I started tearing up a bit as I said my piece with each of my friends. Then, we embarked on this long long bridge (sticking with the tradition of crossing the bridge at bridging ceremonies, you see!), which was actually WAY too long, to meet our leaders at the end.

bridging ceremony

almost-end of a long, long bridge!

 

The sun was setting as we did this, so it was incredibly beautiful. We were chit-chatting away as we walked as well. I remember making fun of how insanely long the bridge was. And thinking that maybe the leaders are standing somewhere along the bridge, waiting for the right opportunity to jump out and scare us.

… but no. We met up with them at the “end” (it was actually more like the middle of the bridge since it was really long… we didn’t walk the whole way across), and our troop leaders told us how they’re proud of us, how we’ve grown (you know, obligatory adult-to-high-school-senior-chat), and that was when I really lost it and started crying. I’m so emotional. haha!

Then they pinned us individually–officially marking us as adult girl scouts!

bridging ceremony

My troop leaders pinning me :)

 

You can’t tell in the picture, but I was still a bit teary-eyed.

Out of all the bridging ceremonies, this one, as simple as it was, may be the one that stay in my memory for the rest of my life. It’s the last one… and I feel like even though I didn’t take advantage of 100% of the opportunities as a Girl Scout, I made three life-long friends and I have two adults in my life that I can rely on (outside of my parents of course!). The sense of finality of being pinned makes it all the more real: that we’re all moving on to a different stage of our lives.

Even with that said, though, I know I’ll see those girls again, and I’ve made some fantastic memories with them.

That night, we sat around the camp fire and talked while making s’mores with Ghirardelli chocolates (yum!), and then slept in the next morning before heading back. Maybe it was the fact that I didn’t have to think about schoolwork, but I think this was one of the best camping trips ever with my troop. Looking back, these girls have really made a positive impact in my life and I’m definitely glad that I met them. It was a little bit bittersweet, but it was fun to kick back, relax, and spend one last camping trip with my girl scout troop!

bridging ceremony

my sash!