Good morning, good afternoon, what have you, Dear Reader. I come to you once again from the clouds in the sky as I sail across the continental U.S. in my rare and epic journey back to El Farm. (Sarcasm.) The gentleman in front of me has his seat entirely reclined and—as usual—I’m traveling Economy, so my laptop screen is pressed up just about as close as it can get to my face without sending my eyes crossed. I feel lucky to be here. (Not sarcasm.)
The past three weeks were the intermission to what is proving to be a phenomenal third school year, DR. I spent week one in Colorado with a bunch of great friends (see videos here, here), week two in my Spirit City, Miss. Rio De Janeiro (see video here), and the final week at home in good ol’ Barrington, Illinois with my three awesome little siblings. I’m just gonna drop a ✨ every time I feel blessed while writing this. ✨✨✨
I want to write a post in the upcoming weeks about my time in Rio, and maybe one about what it means to me to be an older sibling, but the purpose of this post is to get you, Dear member of the CiC community, up to date on how my first quarter as a Junior—and more importantly, first quarter as not a sophomore—went.
As you may remember, sophomore year was less than a highlight year for me. Geographic separation between me and my freshman year friends made me feel like the relationships that meant the most to me were not being preserved in a meaningful way and I suddenly felt academic pressure to pursue a path that was not aligned with my passions for the first time in my life. My parents were my saving grace; they were the only outside voice I trusted enough to believe that my major wasn’t going to define my life, and that defining my life was not something that had to happen at age 19. (Additionally, I received an outpouring of support from peers after publishing “W for Wisdom” who shared similar feelings, and faculty and alumni who wanted to assure me that I was not alone. To them, I will be forever grateful!)
But, as the side of me which I admire the most does, I toughed it out, changed my perspective, and had a much better end to the year than beginning and middle. I came home for spring break, spent meaningful time with my family, and returned to spring quarter refreshed and re-inspired. I am happy to report that Junior Year has been the continuation of such a trend.
One of the most defining roles for me this quarter has been my position as an RA in all-freshman dorm, Cedro. For those who are not familiar with how the RA role is at Stanford, it’s much different than how it is at other peer institutions. Often times, when we summon a mental image of a stereotypical RA, we picture a cheesy goober with a lanyard wandering into residents’ rooms and writing people up for playing music loud or leaving a can of beer out in plain sight. At Stanford, RAs are entrusted with a much more rewarding task: Build a community within your dorm, and support your residents however you can. (Cheesy goobery and lanyardness still applies.)
Being an RA has consistently served as a way for me to come home at the end of the day and feel reminded of the bigger picture. With each late night conversation, each soul-touching spotlight, each smile, each hello, I know that what really matters in life is loving and caring for others. ✨ I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
This wide lens has affected every facet of my life, including academics. Now, I feel more confident in choosing classes that interest me regardless of their perceived level of “prestige.” Sometimes I feel like I’m one of the only people I know who says “I am excited for my classes next quarter.” (As opposed to “I am completely f*cked.”) To be blunt, I think that’s incredibly sad. I suppose it all comes down to what you make out the purpose of college to be. If it’s to take classes that f*ck you as a means to meet some end, then I guess it makes sense. If you already worked your ass off in high school in bullsh*t subjects you didn’t give a sh*t about and don’t ever see a reason to go back to doing that in your life, then you might find yourself in a position similar to me. (Speaking of position, my left elbow keeps rubbing the arm of the woman next to me even though they are tucked in as close as they can be to my body without my jamming my forearms between my legs. Sorry, Lady. Cha girl gotta type.)
Let’s see, what else was new this quarter?
I got a cool new pair of glasses. Cath in College merchandise was produced and sold (still selling!) at the Stanford Student Store. ✨ I went to Boston for SWIB. ✨ I went to Vegas for Thanksgiving. ✨ I went to Half Moon Bay for champagne. ✨ I went to formal with Allan. We got a new president-elect. I wrote a post about the new president-elect. I made the 7th video in the “My ___ Quarter at Stanford” series, and gave a thumbs up to all the spin-offs I saw on YouTube. (Never get this wrong—I think copying is the sincerest form of flattery. A little credit to the OG does go a long way, though.)
Other than that, much is the same. Brows still fleek, nails still icy, yada yada.
Oh, and before I leave, since I got (way) over 500 likes on my recent Instagram post (see below for context,) I’ll be sharing an infographic about dog food very soon.