Slow & Steady

For the most part, my blog has remained pretty quiet since Thailand. Save for the occasional advertising for Accepted.com, I have been doing a lot of reflecting these past few months.

Let’s back up a bit. To the summer when AMCAS had opened and I was putting together my AMCAS application. I knew I wouldn’t be submitting my application on June 1st. In fact, I had decided to submit early August because I still had a few loose ends to tie up. Quite a few people voiced their opinions against waiting two months longer to submit, but I knew that I wasn’t entirely ready June 1st and I wanted to be 100% ready when I submitted my application. However, come August, I started having doubts about entering the application cycle all together this year. Early August became late August and before I knew it, it was time to go off to Thailand. So I decided to put the process on hold and apply to schools with later deadlines when I arrived home in October. However, when I came back from my rendezvous in Asia, I was convinced that the only way to get more traveling in was to go to a medical school abroad. I put a pause on all my current application attempts and threw myself into research in order to find a way where I could combine my love for traveling and medicine. Until I realized that if I wanted to attend a residency program at one of my dream schools, I would have an easier time actually attending a U.S. medical school.

Some time by the end of October, my gnawing feeling turned into growing realization that I would not be entering the 2015 admissions cycle. And oddly enough, I was comforted by that fact. One more year to really put together an outstanding application. One more year to proceed according to a checklist and officially submit everything on the day AMCAS opens. One more year to apply for financial aid so that I am granted a fee waiver well before the application is available.

Looking back at my old drafts from the summer, there were many times where I voiced how I would love to just wait another year if it’s weren’t for my biological clock. I am all for a feminist view when it comes to the workforce, but let’s face it, it is hard to solely focus on your career when you want to factor in a family as well. And for me, another year off meant another year that I would have to wait to fulfill another desire of mine.

if only.
if only.

But I knew, I knew deep down in my heart back in June . . . back in May, that I was not ready. I may have had my MCAT score and a few letters of recommendation lined up, but I was not financially or mentally prepared to go into battle. And at the end of the day, I want to take my time. I rushed through high school and I rushed into college. Granted, everyone in my life seems to moving forward. But at the same time, slow and steady wins the race. And as we established before, the journey to medical school and beyond is a marathon, not a sprint.

Everyone around me has different opinions. My parents, my friends, my colleagues, and my classmates – all have high expectations for me. They only know parts of my story, so they don’t understand why I haven’t already started the next chapter of my life. I know many of them will be confused with why I am stalling – in fact, I fear that many of them will believe that I am wasting my time away. But I’m not.

I was the student in undergrad who skipped lectures and discussion sections in order to pick up an extra hour or two of work here or there. I was the student who selected the lowest meal plan, 11 meals a week, in order to save a bit of money, which meant I skipped lunch every day and ate one meal a day on the weekends. I was the student who didn’t have my family’s financial support nor any financial guidance, and ending up running her credit score into the ground to salvage payments due for school. I didn’t go out nearly as much as I could/should have and on the rare occasion that I did, I wouldn’t allow myself to buy anything. It was sort of miserable.

Is it unfortunate that I will be 3 years behind my fellow Class of 2013 graduates? To put it in simple terms, yes. But if I only focus on that one aspect, I won’t realize the benefits I have already reaped from taking time off. Regardless of schooling or age, every individual is different and each and every story varies to some degree. My background has led me to where I am now, and while some might scoff at the delay, I know that this is the right thing to do for me.

So this year, no doubts, not buts, I am throwing in my hat for the 2016 admissions cycle. I’ve already begun throwing around a few 20/20 vision jokes with my mother, so hopefully (fingers crossed), I will get a seat for the class of 2020. Sure, I’ll probably graduate medical school when I am 29 or even 30, but I hope you take it as a sign of maturity when I say that life does not end at 30 and I certainly don’t plan for anything less. I will defeat the odds. Women should not have to race against time in order to fulfill both their personal and career goals. I want a family and I want to be a physician, but I also want to be the best person that I can be. And if that requires more time, well then I will take the time I need without regret.

you guessed it, I'm on a Friends binge!
you guessed it, I’m on a Friends binge!

– A.

 

 

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Time is Nothing

In some cases, time is really nothing. For example, in the novel “Time Traveler’s Wife”, the main character Henry DeTamble explains how compared to his love for Clare, time is insignificant. While this may stand true in this one situation, I believe that time often reveals the best and worst of people. Summers are usually periods of time when one can recharge for the upcoming year. While they can determine how close you become to your friends, no summer is quite as important as the summer after high school.

Sure, summertime is when you are away from your friends in general. However, if these are summers caught within school years, there is no doubt that you will have some sort of contact with your classmates. Whether it is extracurricular activity-related, or SAT class, or even calling up one of those smarties for questions on summer work. However, the summer after senior year is devoid of all of this, and unless you keep in touch with your friends, there is a large chance that you’ll lose complete contact with them.

This summer has really shown me the true sides of certain people. There are people who I considered horrible before who continued to talk throughout the summer and have proven themselves to be genuinely caring people who just might be annoying at times. There are others who I have casually spoken to at school, who randomly comment on facebook, mostly to wish me a ‘Happy Birthday’. And then there are those select few who I thought would be there through thick and thin, but instead, ended up bailing on me as soon as the final bell has rung. It is those people I feel sorry for, because they have cut out some of the most important relationships in their lives and will continue to do so until they realize their mistakes.

So until then, all I can say is, you may come back during troubled times to find solace in those you pushed away. Let me warn you know that along with time, tolerance begins to wane, and before you know it, those relationships have disappeared for good. Time can be nothing . . but time can be everything as well.

<3 A.

Pensieve

Have you ever had time to just simply ponder upon something? Or more so, ever gotten lost in your own thoughts? To the point where you can reaccount a certain event to the fullest, even the smallest of emotions that you felt?  You could be in such a contrary mood at the moment, such as angry or indifferent, but as soon as your mind wanders to that certain event, you begin to feel what you felt back then. It’s as if you’ve been transported back in time once more.

For example, I can still remember in 8th grade when we had to run those wretched Cross Country miles for Chaparral. One one particular run, it had just rained the day before, thus the puddles here and there. We had already begun running across the track and as always, I ran as close to the grass area as possible so I was covering the least amount of distance. Up ahead, I see a puddle and I simply leapt across it. A few seconds later, I heard a chorus of “oooo’s” and then a scream pierces through this saying “I’ll get you Anantha!”. I turn around and there’s Yufeng running behind me, shaking her fist, and completely covered in mud. I remember laughing hysterically to the point where I couldn’t keep running. And right now, just recalling on that event makes me smile and even laugh a bit to the point where my dear mother and sister think I’m crazy.

But honestly, it’s not crazy thought is it, the fact that we, as human beings, can use our memory device to create a sort of time-travel experience? Yes I know that H.G. Wells’ creation of the time machine is still too advanced for the present ages. But that doesn’t mean that the events that occur in the past are simply lost. In fact, they will always remain within both our memories and hearts. Body and soul. Instances when we so desperately wish that time would come to a halt so we may feel the way we are feeling for eternity do not have to be so. You don’t need a time machine, and you certainly don’t need a pensieve. All you need to do is live life to the fullest.

<3 A.

Matter of Minutes

In a matter of minutes and with a blink of an eye . . .

*blink*

– One wrong maneuver results in a pass turning into a fail.

– The sudden urge for adventure takes over rational thinking and you suddenly find yourself hopping out of the window and over the gate.

– Another’s spoken thoughts and gestures influence your own individual ideas

– Friends are made and enemies are formed, boundaries both form and dissolve.

– An impulsive action can cause a change in major and a minor to be chosen.

– You find yourself looking at a stranger, when in reality, you thought they were one of your closest friends and the love for one person is replaced with pure spite.

– A child swimming happily in a pool can suddenly drown and all that can be really seen and heard are the mother’s desperate cries.

– Choosing the right amount of words is the difference between fantasy and reality.

– A deep rift can form within a family.

– A well-thought out plan can prove disastrous and a simple lack of judgment leads to hundreds of dollars in damage.

– The sun, which was setting so slowly beforehand, can disappear before your eyes.

*blink*

And that pretty much sums up my entire July. Funny how in June, the days seemed to mesh together until they were one endless string of time whereas July came and went within a blink of an eye. It certainly doesn’t feel as if a month . . or 31 days have passed by, and yet, so much has happened. No, I’m not referring to those events that were planned and set in stone. In fact, it was those events that defied destiny and were decided upon within a matter of minutes. Whether the results were fatal or fortuitous, every detail listed above had some impact on my life. And I suppose it all goes back to that belief that every decision we make in our lives carries some weight. No decision should be made on a simple whim, but likewise, life isn’t going to wait for you to make one decision. So should one simply freak out and give up on life all together? Of course not, because life is a learning process and as Robert Frost once said,In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life. It goes on.”

<3 A.

Dark Blue

Yesterday not only marked my first week of being a high school graduate but the day I became legal as well. However, it honestly does not feel as if merely a week has passed. I believe Father Time is playing a joke on us all again, because this one week has felt like on month of summer vacation. Graduation feels as if it was months ago. Even the early morning kidnapping of Freddie that occurred today seems like it happened a day or two ago. So what does that exactly mean? Are the days going by so quickly that events are becoming a big blur in one’s mind? Or are the days knitted together into one big picture that has no beginning or end?

But if that were so, then shouldn’t time not be rushing by? But that isn’t the case. I mean, it feels as if it was minutes ago when I woke up after crashing and it was 7 pm and now I look at the clock and it’s 12:40 AM. Really, it feels as if I’m watching my life go by through another medium of viewing.

It’s not only time that seems to be twisted lately. The weather is another significant aspect. I was currently looking through past pictures while my case of insomnia passes, and I realized the irony. All the pictures taken in January had such a bright sun in the background, and yet all the pictures that have been taken in June are so gray and gloomy. I know its childish to say that the sun is the source of happiness, but I truly find the heat more comforting than the cold. The present weather makes you feel alone and in search for warmth. Maybe that’s why more people are admitting to feeling sad for no reason. Just having one of those “Dark Blue” days.

Haha, well either way, I didn’t get my birthday wish to see my lover, the sun, on my birthday. :/ It’s alright though, the gifts, and more so, the PEOPLE made my 18th birthday so memorable. Words really can’t express what I felt (: One of my favorite things that I received was from my sister was this little bracelet from Knott’s that has my name engraved on it. Although it’s nothing fancy like from Tiffany’s or whatever, it means so much to me that I’ve been wearing it 24/7. However, I’m slightly afraid that showering with it will cause it to rust and break ): Let’s hope not . . . now in search for a necklace (:

Random thoughts I know. I think the senioritis/summer has jumbled my brain -.- Hopefully once I start up a “systematic routine” again, things will fall into place.

Until then, I need to buy a lotto ticket during Relay for Life tomorrow!

<3 A.

Merci

Hi kids,

So this past weekend was jam-packed with emotions. Right after 2nd period on Friday, I was so angry, I was near tears. Why you ask? Because Mr. Iwanaga refused to give me my password to check my grades online. He started making up this excuse of how he told us in the beginning of the year that we were supposed to make copies of our password and how the only way he could recite it to me is if I gave up part of my extra credit. Now really, I can totally take a joke here and there, but when a teacher stands between me and my grades and thinks it’s funny, that is definitely the last straw. Haha, I remember during lunch, I was ranting to all the IB juniors about how I was going to write a blog dedicated to bashing him.

However, by the time I finished practice and started getting into the whole Middle School dance, most of my steam had blown off. When part of my Leo family and I went to Cherry on Top afterward, they gave me hope that something could be done and April even offered to come in on Monday to talk to Iwi herself (which worked by the way). So things were starting to look up. But remember, this is life, and life is full of ups AND downs. So Saturday night, after spending a great time with Nancy and Eileen and looking forward to going to UCLA, I come home to find out that the entire Leo family won’t be at any event all together. Tim can’t make it to Relay for Life. Color Guard overshadows the Easter Egg Hunt, Diamond Bar Birthday, District Meetings, and Talent Show. And to top it all of, Daylight Savings was on Sunday. So at that time, Diana and I had succumbed to just saying “FML.”

But then Tim sends me something that just brings a whole new light. He sent me a link to a speech he made about gratitude FRESHMAN year: Tim’s Gratitude Speech. I mean its common knowledge to say “thank you” to those around you and give thanks for all you have. However, in the stressful lives we occupy today, sometimes, a little gratitude is forgotten. We often take for granted, the people who are near and dear to us, because we hold this conception that no matter what, they will always be there for us. But sometimes, a simple “thanks” is needed, just to let them know that you appreciate everything they do for you.

Likewise, one must also be grateful for his or her own self. We all contribute something to this great world and therefore we must embrace ourselves and be proud to be who we are. There is no “perfect” person. If all of us were able to gain perfection, life wouldn’t be as interesting anymore. Therefore, every flaw and impurity that our body contains must be seen as additions to the overall beauty of ourselves. I won’t go overboard and say that your body is your temple. However, we must treat ourselves with respect before we are able to show respect to others. Ultimately, follow-through with practices that make you HAPPY. Eat well, sleep well, excerise, explore . . . dream, believe, listen. Because, if you’re not happy, what’s the point of your life?

So the question of the week is, “Why do we have a Spring Break”? In actuality, I mean, why do we have long periods of “breaks” in general. But since Spring Break is on my mind, we’ll use that particular example. Why do we have such a week off called “break”, when it really isn’t a break from life’s pressures and demands? Schools give us this week in order to rest and prepare ourselves both mentally and physically for the last two hardcore months of the school year. And yet, we are still plagued with SAT/AP preparations, college decisions, and other worries. And to top it all off, school itself adds on about two week’s worth of homework and projects into this one week assuming that we’ll get it done.

How exactly is one going to respect himself and be thankful for who he is, when there is no break in between to contemplate upon all he has achieved? It’s funny . . . everything ultimately falls back to T.I.M.E. Oh Father Time . . . you and I need to have a deep discussion soon!

So, as Diana and I are still on that “gratitude high”, I just want to say thank you to ALL of you. Even if it’s just to the same two people who always read my blog, I just want you to know that I am so grateful that I was able to meet you and I couldn’t ask for a better friend. Thank you for always being there for me and just know that I absolutely, positively, undeniably love you! (: <3 (: <3 (: <3 LML.

<3 A.

Living and Loving

Hi kids,

Can you believe that the weekend we waited for, for what seemed like eternity, is almost over? It just goes back to what I said in my last post. The days drag on when you are anxious for something to arrive, however, whatever you dread comes by the quickest. Today marks the first day of March and with March comes both the acceptance and denial letters. So what happens when you’re both excited and hesitant about the arrival of something? Does time just stop? I wish . . it would give me time to organize  both the thoughts in my head and the unfinished responsibilities on my plate. However, even when it seems like a day can’t go by any slower, time is still moving forward. So thirty days until we all know which colleges we can choose from. And on March 31st, we’re just 30 days closer to graduation. Ah graduation, such a bittersweet thought.

Whether one may be anticipating or dreading graduation on June 4th, I think we are all in agreement that these next three months should be the best. So why start or continue unnecessary drama? Either reconcile or let it go. Because at the end, it is NOT worth your precious time. This same mindset applies to other situations. Don’t keep yourself in the dark or let fear rule your life. I’m all about “carpe diem” and assertiveness, so if you want something to happen, GO out there and MAKE it happen.

“Well girl I’m sorry for disappointing you
But I’m done
With being up and down and pushed around”

Yeah, I know. Ewwww, Jonas Brothers reference. But hey, after seeing their 3D concert movie in theaters yesterday, they’re on my mind. Hmmm, most people ask me, “Why are you so obsessed with the JoBros?” Do you honestly want to know? Because no, I don’t think their music is the BEST in the world. In reality, I prefer other songs over theirs. And no, I don’t think Joe Jonas is the hottest guy in the world, although he is quite sexy at times. So why? Well, have you ever felt so vulnerable to the point where you can’t pull yourself out? When you know that life is moving on with or without you and you would do anything to just grab hold of something?

This is what I was feeling around the end of Sophomore year. Especially near my 16th birthday. Ha, my not-so-sweet sixteen. So one day, I’m turn on the TV and Disney Channel’s on. It’s a commercial break and a music video of the JoBros singing “Year 3000” comes on. Now mind you, I had watched the video before and wasn’t interested then. However, for some reason, my vulnerable state clutched on to the concept that day. It was as if, as long as I had something that was there and I could focus on, I wouldn’t lose sight of where I was going. I mean, I know the Jonas Brothers are way out of my range, but it was the fact that they would always remain there, along with their music, which made me smile. And before I knew it, I had become a fan. I know it sounds crazy and idiotic, but I’m not lying.

So all those feelings I felt, especially those when I went to see them in my first concert, came rushing back when I sat in those seats with my friends, singing and clapping like there was no tomorrow. And after seeing that movie, we movie-hopped into Confessions of a Shopaholic.  And everything I stated above about the JoBros is what the main character, Rebecca, thought about shopping. Anyway, so at the beginning she said something about how shopping, unlike a man, would always be there and never let you down. But at the end, it changed to, a man will never decline you like shopping. Haha, so yeah, it was another hopeless romantic movie. Much better than “He’s Just Not That Into You”.

“Dreamers, you see everything in color
While the world is getting darker
Love is on its way”

Damn, I sure hope love is on it’s way. Speaking of love, I have a question that’s been bothering me all day today and was asked by my brilliant mentee Diana. What is the difference between a boyfriend and a REALLY close guy friend other than physical means? So as to say, does physical means define the crossing over from close friends to boyfriend? I told Diana that in order to be in a relationship with someone, you need to have that emotional connection with them. Because without that emotional connection, you’re just friends with benefits. But then, what is that emotional connection that you can’t get with a really close friend? Something to think about.

I would write more, or at least something more inspiring, but I’m near tears right now as Diana and I talk about our last Leo moments together. Part of me wants to ask Tim if I could make a speech to the Leo Club at the end-of-the-year banquet. And it wouldn’t be a formal speech. It would be me addressing all those special moments we all had together. But 1.) I am 100% sure I would start crying. 2.) That was Arya’s idea and I really don’t want to rip it off. I have to do something though, because Leo Club isn’t just a club. It’s my life.

<3 A.