Move-in Day Nerves and a Rough Sketch of My College Goals

college

College move-in day is only a little more than two weeks away. I’m about to be plucked from the lifestyle, city, and circle of relationships I’ve known since Elementary School and catapulted into a brand-new experience that, despite slice-of-life stories told by my drinking-age friends, is murky at best.

A LOT is about to change. My identity is so inextricably tied to the communities I’m a part of right now–Seattle, Bellevue, my high school, the way my friends describe me in their yearbook signatures. It’s going to feel weird to have to introduce myself again. I was never good at that… part of me wants to screw social convention and spill everything, but another part of me doesn’t even know where to start and can only mutter the simple: “I’m Sarah. How are you?”

Don’t get me wrong; I’m actually looking forward to the challenges and thrills of having to reinvent my identity, and become independent in all ways except financially. I’m ready to go to parties my parents would have never let me go to in high school but buckle down during finals and live in my sweatpants for a week. I’m ready to find an intellectual soulmate, a book buddy, someone who’s down to go to music concerts and grab midnight boba teas. At the same time, I know I’ll need to exercise more willpower to get everything I want done and to power through those inevitable feelings of inadequacy, and uncertainty.

Yesterday, I was skimming through a couple articles and came across this one: How to Live Wisely (who doesn’t want to live wisely?) and decided to take the advice and spend a couple minutes listing out my goals and priorities from the short term to the long term. Of course, this list is very rough, and bound to change, but at the moment, these are the things I want to focus on for the next four years.

Family

  • Medium: contact parents and brother each at least twice a week, and grandparents at least once a week
  • Long: Get in a better place with parents academic-wise and in terms of personal things. They’re not trying to discourage you or put down your dreams; they only want the best for you.

Schoolwork/professional

  • Short: 
    • learn 5 words of Chinese every day
  • Medium: 
    • Don’t compromise your love of writing. Continue to write frequently. You get stuck in a rut when you don’t.
    • Limit social media usage to half an hour a day. No YouTube surfing before work is completed.
    • Absorb as much about Computer Science and programming as possible. Seek out mentors. Don’t be afraid to ask questions
  • Long: Find a satisfying career that utilizes my combination of skills/strengths, is meaningful to me, and sustains the type of lifestyle I desire.

Community + Friendships

  • Short: Seek breadth in friendships. You’ve always been a serial monogamist in the past with friendships, which has its perks, but in college, actively seek out people who think and act differently from you. Don’t be afraid of that difference. Grow from it. Love them for it.
  • Medium:
    • Join clubs I have interest in and stay in them. Make friends within the club and let them be an important outlet.
    • Build meaningful relationships with professors. You’ve always been too shy to do this in the past. Be bold. No one’s judging you.
  • Long:
    • Keep in contact with all close high school friends
    • Build a broad network of acquaintances and friends but treat your real, closest friends extra special

Mind/Body/Spirit

  • Short: 
    • Meditation once every day
    • Continue to update memory box
    • Exercise at least 4 times a week
  • Medium:
    • Read a book every month, especially those not necessarily pertaining to classwork
  • Long:
    • Body peace
    • Anger/stress management
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