Senior Year Reflections

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my yearbook :) sadly I don’t have any pictures with my friends haha.

 

Well, I did it! I completed my last day of high school just yesterday. :)

Coming into senior year, it was a little bit like “ugh, here’s another year.” But now that it’s over, it does feel a little bit bittersweet. Not enough to make me want to go back to high school for another year, of course, but I am reminded of the really sweet memories and the amazing people that I’ve met.

Senior year has changed me in many ways. I think it mostly came from the college application process. From being rejected from my top choice school, and feeling utterly heartbroken about it. But even when that happened, that wasn’t “the end.” The experience humbled me, but it didn’t crush me. Not on the long run. And, in the end… I think being rejected from my top choice college was a blessing in disguise. I fell in love with the university that I will be attending next year: I love the culture, the people, and I know I will not be worse off by attending this university. I’m all in favor of creating my own destiny, working for what I deserve, but I also think life works itself out in ways that we do not expect. And, even though some things didn’t work out this year, I think so many other things did. Also, it just proves that I will be able to move on and pick myself back up no matter what life throws at me.

I always thought the last day of school would be this really teary experience, but it wasn’t. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll miss my teachers and friends A LOT–but I know I’ll see them again really soon, and I definitely plan on keeping in contact over email. On top of that… my best friend is going to the same university as I am, so I never really have to actually say goodbye to him. When I read my yearbook signatures from my teachers, though, it was hard not to tear up. In fact, I still haven’t gotten through all of them because I can’t take them all at the same time without tearing up. I think it was that moment that I realized how much my teachers have helped me grow in the last four years. From my biology teacher (who I didn’t like on the first day of school, haha!), who became my sounding board, supporter, and mentor, to my super sassy and sarcastic calculus teacher, the teachers have to be the most wonderful thing about my high school. Rarely do you see such compassionate teachers who love to help their students and teach. And I am so, so fortunate to have met so many in my four years.

It’s odd to think that I will be leaving for college next year… but it’s an exciting sort of odd. I’m so excited for all the new and exciting things that will be coming up (yes, I just used exciting like, three times): finishing my second novel and interning as a mathematical analyst over the summer, for example. I know the future only holds more adventures, and I’m happy to be closing this chapter of my life up… to start a brand new one.

I now leave you guys with this little excerpt my friend found on Tumblr–which I couldn’t relate to about 8 months ago, but I can now:

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What are some of your favorite senior year experiences? Things you learned, realized?

Senioritis is Real

Senioritis: noun. A crippling disease that strikes high school seniors. Symptoms include laziness, an over-excessive wearing of track pants, sweatpants, athletic shorts, and sweatshirts. Also features a lack of studying, repeated absences, and a generally dismissive attitude. The only known cure is a phenomenon known as Graduation. (Urban Dictionary)

I thought I was immune, but boy was I wrong. Senioritis is on full blast right now, and I’m not trying to let it get to me too much, but no one escapes from this. No one!

While other students have cut down on their number of AP classes between last semester and this one (due to Early Action/Early Decision decisions), I have taken on an extra AP course. It’s kind of my way of saying, “Hey, I’m immune to senioritis!!!”

But then second semester rolls around, and while I kept up with my work ethics, by the time I myself was accepted to a university, I felt senioritis creeping on. And now I’m currently asking myself, why, OH WHY did I sign up to take six AP tests in May?! And if that’s not bad enough, my calculus teacher is, well, hardcore. She gives us packets and packets of calculus homework in order to help us prepare for the AP test. I really hate to complain because she’s awesome and I know she just wants us to succeed, but WHYYYYY. (cue whining and complaining about all the calculus work)

And then there’s orchestra rehearsal. Like, don’t get me wrong, I’ve loved every moment playing and performing with my youth orchestra, but I kind of feel like I’ve started slacking off when I’m practicing, and being quite okay with inadequate playing. Normally I’d go back and fix whatever that sounds odd or unclear, but now I’m just like “eh, I’ll let the section leader get it.”

In all honesty, though, I will try to shake this Senioritis off and continue working towards the end of senior year (and I’m not just saying that because I know my mom reads my blog posts…). But I can’t wait for graduation.

How are my fellow seniors doing in terms of Senioritis? Any luck combating it?

How It Went Down | Book Review

I used to do this on my old blog all the time, and I really want to start again. Due to school, etc, I haven’t had much time to read too many books. But I’d love to start again… trading Netflix for books! yeahh!! So here we go.

How it Went Down, by Kekla Magoon

FIRST IMPRESSIONS: The subject matter deals with a shooting of a 16 year old black teen by a white man, and what happens after. Considering similar, real life events that have happened in the past (and recently), I thought this was going to be a honest, and perhaps heartbreaking, depiction of the of the things that take place after a tragic event through a variety of people and perspectives.

REVIEW: The idea of this book was good–I think it deals with a subject matter that is tiptoed around (especially in today’s society, in schools, etc) and avoided. However, with that being said, I think the book failed in its execution. First and foremost, the thing that bothered me the most was the insane number of perspectives. It was incredibly hard to keep track of, and to get the most out of this book, I think it’s necessary to keep track of who they are, what relationship they had with Tariq, the boy who was shot, and their respective subplots. Since I was reading this book in my spare time, and usually before bed, frankly, I was too lazy to get out a piece of paper to keep track of them.

Secondly, I did not find the multiple subplots to be very compelling. I felt like I wasn’t really given a reason to continue reading the novel, or really connect with the characters, and I think some characters’ plot lines are even unfinished by the end of the book. I thought this many point of views were entirely unnecessary and took away from the effectiveness of the story and message as a whole. Had every character interacted, their plot lines intertwined in a significant way, it might have worked–but this book lacked that. I’ve read books before that executed the multiple POVs perfectly… one such book that comes to mind would be Party, by Tom Leveen.

With that being said, there were successful things about the book. If its intention was to evoke emotion, it did that, near the end. I thought the character Tina (Tariq’s sister), was perfectly done, her reaction was brilliantly portrayed. I liked how some of the characters were very dynamic. However, I still hold on to my point that there were a lot of characters in there that were completely unnecessary.

TL; DR: This book would get a SIX out of TEN. Its message, idea, and intention was great. Its execution, however, fell flat. It was an average read, not particularly memorable, but still good enough for me to finish reading.

Transparency

Lying. Deception. Dodging the truth.

I’m going to preface this by saying that on the moral scale of 1 to 10, I probably rank at like, a 7. Yeah, I don’t have the most morals. In fact, sometimes I think life is easier without morals. It probably is. And sometimes, l think lying can be justified. Lying can even be beneficial, to propel yourself forward in society.

I’ve never actually brought myself to the point of lying. Not really, unless you count the white lies (and even then I usually don’t sugarcoat the truth…). Sometimes, I hate myself for being honest. It sucks. It means suffering from the consequences that I could’ve avoided if I’d just told a lie.

But when I consider the other side of things–the receiving end of the lie or truth–I realize how much I do value a person’s transparency. If my sister, best friend, teacher, or parent lied to me, I would feel deceived, cheated. If they dodged the truth and gave me something like “…because reasons,” I wouldn’t feel curious… I would feel annoyed. If the event/truth affects me directly, don’t I have a right to know? Why can’t they tell me? What are they trying to hide? I understand personal reasons, but what is so bad that you cannot let me know? It’s one thing if the person is a stranger… it’s another if it’s a person I respect.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I value honesty. Especially from those I love and respect. And for that reason, no matter how hard it is, I think I’ll stick with the telling truths.

2014 is the year I…

source: weheartit.com

source: weheartit.com

  • … took the most selfies, ever,
  • visited Washington DC to attend a medical conference,
  • survived “Snow-pocalypse.” And two hours of traffic for a 15 min. drive,
  • turned seventeen,
  • made it in the Georgia All State Orchestra,
  • started living on coffee,
  • connected with both of my sisters–and gotten a lot closer to them,
  • went to New York City to perform with the best orchestra in the entire world,
  • started my senior year,
  • published a book,
  • started this blog,
  • competed in a 36-hour math modeling competition with my best friend,
  • ran in my last cross country season,
  • dressed as a negative charge for Halloween,
  • burned play-doh in physics class,
  • completed my second NaNoWriMo,
  • got deferred by Harvard,
  • bought a Macbook pro (and loving it!),
  • learned calligraphy,
  • applied to sixteen universities,
  • made memories, and
  • truly embraced myself,

In 2014, I took a lot of risks. I failed a lot–more than I care to admit. But somehow I got past all of that and the insecurities kind of fell away. The lessons I learned, friends I made, and the memories created along the way are priceless.

I spent a lot of 2014 alone. Not alone in the sense that “all my friends and family ditched me,” but I definitely had to figure a lot of things out for myself and make decisions that my friends and family can not make for me. I used to care a lot (too much!!) about others’ perceptions of me, and I almost had a feeling that I absolutely needed my friends. 2014 was the year that I started becoming independent. And gained confidence because of that.

But if you’re in any part of my life, my 2014 was great because of you. Whether you’re my friend, cross country teammate, orchestra section, family, or just a follower of this blog… you helped me create these memories. So that was my year, and here’s to an even better one! Love you all!

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