This will be an ambitious post. I just looked through my What’s Up section, and it’s looking like my What’s Up posts have become semester check-in posts. No matter, I will do my past to highlight the essential (and big) updates, in the manner I know best – by ear. This post will probably be long, but I’ll keep it recap-based.
So much has happened since my last update in February, and for the most part, it’s been quite an amazing and memorable final semester of college. Looking back at the past few months, I’m thankful I was able to achieve most of the goals (serious and fun) that I’d set out to do at the start of semester. I finished college feeling very content and fulfilled, and that in itself I consider a greater personal accomplishment than grades, awards, and the like.
I’m looking through my Yelp check-ins at the moment because I realized most of the fun activities I’ve done have included good food in the mix. It’s quite strange and feels surreal…memories of snowboarding, Napa Valley, music festivals, bouldering, and just having a blast with friends float through my head. But enough with the nostalgia – I’ll save it for a future post. The bulk of this What’s Up update will be about the weeks leading up to and following my graduation from UC Berkeley.
Dead week this year was a bit more low-key than dead weeks of semesters past. In the past, I used dead week as catch-up week with various friends and tried to get in as much fun as possible while (attempting) a balance for finals studying. This year, I did have some dinners/hangouts with friends, but I also spent more time with myself and with roommates, which I considered great because it would be the last time the four of us would be the Piedmont crew.
A lot of fun study sessions and food runs later, I entered my last finals week feeling pretty relaxed, even though I had some tough (and some easier) finals. I definitely didn’t worry as much about my tests, and even went on a 25-mile bike ride next to the Berkeley Marina the night before two of my finals. Finals turned out pretty good, about where I expected them to be, and I was officially done with school!
The week following finals was a strange one, kind of an “in limbo” phase, since our major graduation was slotted later for the following week. I started this week with an 1,100-mile drive to and from San Diego for Sun God Music Festival, met some really cool people, and grabbed lunch with my family. Then came the various activities in lieu of cleaning out our apartment for move-out: shooting ranges, movies, go-karting, and food runs. And of course the many, many graduations and receptions I attended to see friends graduate from other majors. All very fun and festive stuff.
Before realizing it, my graduation rolled around, a feel-good time with plenty of celebration, family time, and pictures. Graduation was something special, and I’m not sure I’ve completely processed the enormity of its implications – I would never again experience what I experienced during my undergrad years, but at the same time the possibilities were many and great. I realized that this was a high point – before the exhaustion of work and the “real” world, the time when dreams and ideals were at its purest. I’ve been doing my best to savor this, and I’m determined to keep it rolling, despite the roadblocks that will appear.
My family stayed for a couple of days after graduation, and we had a fun time exploring the city, trying out some great restaurants, and checking out the area where I’ll be working in the fall. After they left for home, I found myself with a huge task – cleaning out and moving out of our apartment of three years. The process wasn’t pretty, but we made it out with good time to spare before the end of our lease.
I couldn’t believe how much crap we accumulated over the years, and it made me genuinely question the importance of personal possessions. I think my goal from this point forward is to accumulate things as sparingly as possible, which may be tough in this day and age under the ideals of this culture. But I think it will be healthy and actually lead to more happiness, plus I will never have to go through what I did during this apartment move-out, ha.
The positives that came out of this was making some extra money from selling furniture and unwanted stuff. I ran a business on eBay in high school and I’d forgotten just how thrilling and great it felt to make that sale. I got rid of a lot of things, gave others the opportunity to make good use of them, and used the extra cash to eat out and hang out with friends. A win-win-win. I also got to experience some roommate bonding as we shared the mutual pain from cleaning and moving. I’ll never forget the night before officially moving out, packing the elevator and throwing out 30+ bags of garbage while racing against the clock to get a tiny bit of shut-eye before our drive down to SoCal.
Home has been great. I went camping and shooting in the desert over the past weekend, this time sleeping in the open air since it was nice and warm at night. The stars in the sky were breathtaking and watching shooting stars before drifting off to sleep was an unforgettable experience. Add to that an intense basketball session and a fun hiking trip with my friends from church, and my time at home has been pretty eventful. Best of all I get the time to just relax and not have to do anything in particular.
I’ll be attending my brother’s high school graduation and a friend’s wedding in the coming week, and after that will be on my way to Europe for a month-long backpacking trip with two of my roommates and another friend. We’ve been planning and prepping for the trip, and I’m so excited for adventures that lie ahead. In the meantime I’ll continue to relax and enjoy each day as it comes. I am truly grateful for this summer (and semester), and I’m determined to make it a summer well-rested and well-spent!
Caught up at randomtidbitsofthought.wordpress.com.