Tag: high school

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//caption

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!

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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!

 

 

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?

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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Decisions, Decisions

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(Yes, I know I’ve been neglecting my blog…)

Hello All.

If you happen to be a senior in high school this year (or a senior applying to college, ever), you may know what it’s like to apply to college: the essay writing, the waiting, and then, oh god, the decision date.

I haven’t publicly broadcasted this on the internet, but tomorrow, I will be receiving a decision from Harvard. It’s not the only university I applied to (or will be applying to), but it’s one of the three schools I’ve applied to during the Early Action round (the other two being the University of GA and Georgia Institute of Technology). I’ll be hearing from the rest of the universities (a list containing many more schools that I’m not going to list out here, haha) in March, when Regular Decision results come out. And since I’ve been feeling pretty anxious and this has been… a nerve-wracking week to say the least, I’m just going to write about it. God knows my parents don’t want to hear me talk about this anymore.

I don’t remember when I started to want to go to Harvard, but I’ve had this idea early on. Probably around the age of 13 or 14 is when I started wanting to go to the most prestigious school in America. My parents moved to the United States for me to get a good education… and I don’t know, when I think “good education,” Harvard definitely comes to mind. So I applied. Harvard seems closer now to me than it had been. But also farther. For the first time in my life, I have a chance of being accepted and going to the school, but for the first time in my life, there’s a chance that all my hopes of going to that university will be crushed (for a while at least, I know I’ll still have grad school).

The application process was a blur now, but I remember lying in bed and thinking, for hours and hours: is my application adequate? Are my essays good? Are my extra curricular activities balanced?

I’ve managed to put everything aside for a while and apply to other universities (Emory, Georgia Tech, Washington University in St. Louis, and several other Ivies are among the list), but now that decisions are finally coming, it’s like reality just hit, and I’ve got all sorts of feelings I can’t even begin to comprehend. Is it excitement, nervousness, anxiety…? Moreover, what will hold for me in that email that will be sent tomorrow at 5:00pm?

Regardless, my fate is sealed. My name is in the system, somewhere, along with the words “Congratulations” or “We regret to inform you” (is that how they reject applicants?). Worrying won’t change anything.

I want to imagine myself at Harvard. I want to imagine myself getting that acceptance letter. But it feels so wrong (too arrogant? too cocky?), and in a way, it feels like I’m “jinxing” myself (I’m not superstitious, I promise). On the other hand, it also feels wrong to imagine myself denied: I’ve worked so hard the last four years, and I will continue to work hard… (so please please please, Harvard (and all other universities), can you see that?) so I don’t want to be negative, and I want to believe in myself. I know by imagining myself denied, I’m not giving myself enough credit.

One thing that is (slightly) comforting, though, is that I’ve lived my last four years the best I could. I’ve done everything right, from my test scores to my class choices to extracurricular activities and to publishing my book. I have no regrets. And if Harvard rejects me tomorrow, I’ll know that I tried, and the system was just not in my favor. I also know that whether they take me or not does not define me as a person. Failure is a part of life, and all I need to do is make something positive out of it. I can’t make this promise that I won’t be disappointed or sad… but I think that is the mindset and the thoughts I need to keep in mind should a rejection come my way.

On a lighter note, my game plan for decision day and the subsequent ones (approved by my literature teacher and best friend) involve tons of chocolate. If I get accepted, I eat chocolate. If I get denied, I eat more chocolate. I can’t lose. ;)

For those of you who applied Early Action to Duke, Stanford, UPenn, MIT… your decisions are coming out soon too! I wish you all good luck; I will certainly be crossing all my fingers for you. But for now, all we can do is prepare for the worst, and hope for the best.

That’s all I’ve got for today. I will write soon!