Wednesday, May 4, 2016

I am Officially Graduating: 4 Lessons Learned in College

This week I'll be back in America for my graduation! As you're reading this, I'll already be back in the States! It's such a bittersweet time for me so I think it's a perfect time to reflect on some of the things I've learned over the years. I have changed so much.

#1: Find something to believe in, and fight for it with everything.
College is a really great time because you are newly an adult and for most of us, newly on your own so it's a perfect time to explore your interests. I think it is also a very important time for us to think critically because it is during this time that we encounter so many different people and so many different viewpoints that we should be thinking about what is really important to us. As they say, if you don't stand for anything, you'll fall for anything. 

For myself, it was in my sophomore year of college when I was the representative for all the Asian/Pacific Islander students at my school that I discovered my love, passion, and need to be a voice for all the Asian Americans out there because there is still so much injustice yet silence surrounding the Asian American community. I realized that there was still a stigma of Asians not sticking up for themselves and just letting things pass without doing anything about it. I realized for myself that I needed to be part of the change to change that. 

#2: Being alone doesn't mean you're a loser.
I am an extrovert. I love people! When I first started in college you couldn't leave me alone for more than an hour or so before I started to freak out about being by myself. I didn't like going anywhere on campus by myself especially at such a small school (especially going to the dining hall alone) and the times that I was alone felt like I was a loser. It seemed like the "cool" kids were never alone & that if you were alone even though no one would ever say anything to you, people would treat you almost like an outcast in the sense of they'll be cordial to you when they see you but that's about it. 

Well, in my sophomore year (that year was pivotal for me in my personal development haha), I lived in a dorm that was very isolating by nature and I also got into binge watching tv shows, so I spent a lot of time alone that year. However, it ended up being good because I learned to be okay being by myself. Even as an extrovert, I realised just how healthy it can be to have time to yourself, not only to rest, but to also just focus on your own. I also learned to love going places by myself because it made me feel more independent. I enjoy & actually take advantage of time that I get to myself now. 

#3: Everything about how we were raised comes up real quick when you're living with roommates.
Freshman year was the first time that I ever lived with other people outside of my family. Although my roommates & I generally got along great, we realised just how much our habits are affected by our pasts and how we were raised. With the 3 of us, we were all raised very differently & the results of that meant that we definitely clashed at times, which is very normal in roommate relationships. I just think it was a wakeup call for all of us to evaluate different aspects about ourselves in regards to how we affect the people around us. It has definitely been (and still is) a growing experience to be living with people from so many different backgrounds. 

#4: Burnout is real. So is time management and rest.
I am one of those people that has a lot of interests so I want to be involved in as many things as I can. Ever since high school, I've always done advanced classes plus being involved with clubs in school plus a sport plus being involved in church. And I always still managed to do well. I wasn't expecting much different of myself in college, however it wasn't until my junior year that it really was finally catching up to me, and when it hit me, it hit me hard. 
If you've been following my blog for a while now, then you'll know that 2015 was a little rough for me blog-wise. I really slacked on it last year because my time management was off and I also had burned myself out packing on the units while still working between 2-3 jobs at any time and still being involved at my home church as well. So when I did have time to rest, I did instead of blogging. It was necessary, but with how much I love and put an effort into my blog, I wanted to stay on top of it. But now, I'm hoping to really be back with the help of Darell plus some friends that I recently found out here in Australia that blog as well! 
I've learned so much in the last few years in college, especially at a private, Christian university (I'll save that post for another time). I'm very sad that my time is over, but I am also very happy to be done and move onto the next part of my life in Australia. But no matter what, I will always cherish this time of my life for teaching me so much about myself when I thought I had already known myself so well. So here's to that. Let's celebrate!! 

Chau for now