what I learnt yesterday /5/

I had been reading for most of the day yesterday, and before I knew it, it was 1:30 AM. I actually had intended to write this yesterday but I was just a bit too disoriented to continue on after essentially hours of non-stop reading.

Any ways, yesterday went well. It really did. I managed to save my lab after I had made a huge mistake, and the data I gathered turned out pretty good at the end of the day. Afterwards, like I said, I spent reading for most of the rest of the day. It had been the most relaxed that I’ve ever felt in a long time. These days in general, the home stretch before the end of the semester, are so relaxing. I really don’t want to say that it’s sort of the calm before the storm of finals, but who knows ? Maybe that will not be the case this year given the circumstances I’m in this semester.

That said, yesterday I learnt that it’s important to remember all the things that I’ve already accomplished that have led to my being here today. I know it sounds a bit bizarre, but it was a simple video call with my family back home that kind of helped me to realise that.

I look around me and I remember that six years ago, I never would have believed even myself that I would end up living on this side of the coast attending this school. Nothing was palpable for me back then and I never actually even dream of anything. Never did I have any sort of intention to end up here, and here I actually am now.

So how did I end up here any way ? First of all, let me reiterate that never did I have any genuine wanting to go to such a “prestigious” school. I never had any expectations, in other words ; I was just going with the flow and simply trying to do well in my classes. It was really my counsellor that urged me to apply to these calibres of schools. And so I did.

A few months later, I got the early admission letter from Brown. Most of the other schools of the same calibre didn’t notify me until a few weeks later, but that didn’t really matter because I got wait-listed from most of them. These rejections didn’t really impact me all that much, because like I said, I didn’t really expect any thing. However, on the brighter note, that made the decision making quite easy to do. And boom. I committed to this university and led me to where I am now.

I see now better that this unexpected admission really was such a great achievement, something that I really didn’t give thought to the moment I found found myself alone on the eastern seaboard. I never really gave myself enough credit, credit that I think really would have helped me go through those especially tough first few months. I was not kind to myself, and I admit that I still find it hard to be kind to myself. The only difference between now and then is that I see things clearly in retrospect. I was quick to throw so many pity parties when I should have just given myself more encouragement because that was what I needed from myself. I still do need to give myself more encouragement.

As I had the video call, it slowly dawned on me how far my “achievements” in high school have brought me—literally. Los Angeles had been all I had known in my life, and to completely pull out my roots and expect to plant them on the opposite side of the country so easily was slight error that I grossly miscalculated. Yet, I am here for still the same reason that I succeeded academically in high school and essentially earned at least a small notion to be happy where I am now. In retrospect, in this moment right now, it appears absolutely nonsensical that I was so harsh with myself, when in fact it was the time in my life when I needed to be the most gentle, and the least critical.













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