Tag: personal

Winter Break Travels: Arabia Mountain

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Not going to lie, it’s been mild in Georgia.

So on the day after Christmas, my family and I (+ one of my close friends, who is practically family which is why this statement is in parentheses) drove down to Arabia Mountain on a cloudy, almost-rainy day for a hike.

Arabia mountain is a massive exposed granite field, kind of like Stone Mountain but without the controversy. The weather was honestly quite nice for the hike (hovering at around the 50s), if it had been hot, we would have had a miserable time as the mountain had little to no shade.

But, my sister did manage to find a tree… and then of course proceeded to climb it.

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Arabia mountain also featured some swell looking foliage. This particular shot took me ages to get right:

arabia mountain plants

While I was busy getting that shot, my friend had other ideas–photographic evidence of me taking photographs:

me taking pics at arabia mt

There were a lot more sweet pictures, including sister shots and a cute family portrait, but mostly, we took selfiesselfie on arabia mountain

 

and of course pretended that I was jumping off the edge of the world:

jumping at arabia mountain

It was mostly just a fun, relaxed trip. The trail wasn’t difficult: though it was uphill, it wasn’t steep, and it was only a total of about 1.2 miles. Because my friend and I were both camera nuts, we ended up spending the majority of the time taking pictures instead of hiking, which of course, made our trip much longer. Still, it was a trip that was easily fit into an afternoon. If you’re considering going to Arabia Mountain, I highly recommend it! Be sure to bring a camera and some friends along with you–the best part of going places is always the conversation.

Hope you’ve enjoyed this low key blog post–more of a photo journal than anything else. What are some of the chill places you’ve been to?

 

A Look Back to 2016 Resolutions

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Looking back to the beginning of 2016, I only had three “main” resolutions:

  1. Finish 30 books
  2. Be more active on Youtube/Blog and maintain an active social media presence
  3. Be Positive

Of course I had other goals (examples of this include finishing my freshman year with a certain GPA, landing an internship, and achieving a certain number of followers on my youtube channel), but those were the three that I placed at the “foreground” (so to speak) in the beginning of 2016. It actually sounded fairly easy to achieve at first… but here’s how I did with them.

Finish 30 Books

How I did: Meh? At the time of this writing I finished 11. Will probably finish 12 or 13 by the end of this year. I ended up writing reviews for most of them, and you can find them right on this blog.

Thoughts: Disappointed that I didn’t quite get to 30, but I realize it was a pretty lofty goal to begin with once school rolled around. It’s always easy to imagine what you want to do during the holiday breaks but actually carrying it out is much harder during the semester. I was also really sorely disappointed with most of the books I read… which made me less inclined to keep reading, honestly. As I grew older I became more critical of the material I read, and even bestsellers such as My Sister’s Keeper, with a whopping 4.5 stars on Goodreads, ended up disappointing me quite a bit.

As for the best book I read this year? It would probably have to be Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng.

Maintain an Active Social Media Presence

How I did: Alright–it was on and off, on and off–but better than previous years and I’m definitely proud of the content I put out. Originally I had wanted to upload a video onto my Youtube channel every week, but of course that is easier said than done.

Thoughts: I’m actually quite proud of the content (whether it is on my blog or Youtube) that I did put out during this year. I can’t say that my channel has grown a lot, but every vlog and reflection blog post that I did is work that I’m proud of and work that I’m glad I put in during this year. I would like to keep this for the next year as being a content creator is something I genuinely enjoy doing. I would like to keep challenging myself to create more, even when life gets busy and when I feel like I don’t really have time for it.

Be Positive

How I did: This is probably the one that I’m not quite sure how I did. Probably just “ok”, but I think it’s part of growing up. I definitely still find happiness in the small things and I am grateful for every moment, but I think I’ve mellowed out a bit compared to previous years when it comes to my overall happiness.

Thoughts: Last year in particular, I was really bubbly and cheerful (most) of the time. Maybe it’s the sophomore slump getting me down but I definitely felt a change in how I approach things in my head. I don’t think that I was not positive but I feel like I was definitely more realistic and practical as opposed to simply optimistic.

Conclusions

I didn’t do as well as I’d hoped when it came to my 2016 resolutions, but I definitely worked on them throughout the year. At the very end of the day, the “new year” is more of a societal construct… and you definitely don’t need to wait until the very beginning of the year to make a change in your life. I think it was interesting keeping track of my own personal growth and goals from year to year.

sophomore year (so far.)

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and when i turned in my final, the first semester of my sophomore year is over. i’m on the next bus to syracuse and the next flight out to atlanta.

it’s a weird feeling–i was homesick for the most part of this semester and was dying to go home. all semester long, i’ve wanted to give my family a huge bear hug and see their faces. not to say that those feelings have gone away after my finals ended, but i get closer to seeing them, the reality that the semester is over is become more real, too.

as i walked to my final final (heh), i had looked outwards at the all too familiar west campus, the day-old snow crunching under my shoes. as happy as i am to be finally done with finals season, the reality is that my time at cornell has an expiration date of four years, and every time i leave campus for break–summer or winter–is one closer to the final time i leave campus. eight semesters, eight departures. i’ve used up two, and tomorrow would be my third. and before i knew it, i would be hitting my eighth and final. while i don’t know what it’s like to feel that way yet–hitting that last goodbye–the bittersweetness i feel now only foreshadows what i’ll be feeling five semesters from now.

yet, even with these bittersweet undertones, i feel as though as my time at cornell goes on, the ‘bitter’ started to overpower the ‘sweet’. whereas freshman year was full of hope and excitement and aspirations and eagerness, sophomore year was… different. i know all too well that a lot of us become jaded by our second year, roughened around the edges by not just cornell’s winters but also its demanding pace… and unfortunately i was not the exception. i was less inspired. numb, in fact. for me, sophomore year was a mix of frustration, loneliness, and defeat punctured by the occasional moments of happiness.

don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t all bad. however, for the better part of this year, i felt lost. i feel like i’m just searching and searching, but what i’m looking for isn’t there. and no, i’m no longer chasing the elusive concept of happiness, but more like a place and a sense of purpose. i think i’ve momentarily lost my place–i know this feeling won’t be here to stay, but it’s something that’s just been bothering me. i go through the motions and i study and i work hard and i participate in the community and socialize and try to be a high-functioning ivy league student who [appears] to have everything figured out. but at the end of the day, i’m not sure where i’m headed, i don’t see an end point, and there’s a bit of fear mixed in with confusion and displacement.

and therein lies the reason that i want to go home–i desperately need a break from this place. the familiarity of home and family is all too welcome after a semester of what feels like swimming against the current.

maybe it’s all a part of growing up. or maybe it’s just sophomore year.

 

Growing Up

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My summer is more than halfway over now, and with five weeks of my internship under my belt, I’m finally ready to write about it. I’m not going to lie–I’ve been putting this post off for a while now for two reasons: one to gather my thoughts together, and two to make sure the feelings that I’m feeling is not temporary.

For those of you who don’t know (and I’ve only mentioned this on Facebook so, if you are not a Facebook follower, then chances are you don’t know!), I scored an amazing opportunity this summer as an intern at the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). Never in my life during high school could I have imagined that as a freshman, I would be able to work there, and still, every day as I walked into work I feel the slightest bit of disbelief that I’m a CDC intern.

I think I might save my internship experience for another post on another day, but here’s what I realized: I hate growing up(more…)

My Freshmen Year in Pictures

It’s so crazy to think that my first year at Cornell is now officially over. I took a moment to read last year’s (Senior year) reflection on this blog, look at graduation pictures, etc… and I think I left high school feeling uncertain about what the future will bring, but this year has crushed those uncertainties and replaced them with a lot of joy and aspirations and positive vibes.

So in case you missed the pictures on Facebook, here’s my freshmen year in pictures. (more…)