That's a question that I asked myself when I finished my last spring final. Sophomore year was definitely a challenge and has tested me in more ways than one. My spring semester wasn't as crazy as my fall semester, but it was busy nevertheless and I really didn't get to explore Austin that much. However, I did get to check some things off my Austin bucket list. I finally had a chance to go to the 360 Bridge and the second time I went, I even went on a picnic there. The sunset was beautiful and view was breathtaking. It was nice to distance myself from the busy city and really just enjoy what God made. I also had a chance to throw a football (not as poorly as I thought I would) at Zilker Park as well as hike the Green belt. I really love being outside and both places really helped me enjoy the different free activities I could do in Austin. I also had a chance to try different coffee shops all over Austin with some friends which was also really fun because 1. I love coffee and 2. I love finding new places to study. I tried two 24/7 coffee shops: Bennu and Strange Brew and two other coffee shops: Seventh Flag Coffee and Flight Path (I'll write another post about these later).
Well if you know me, I love food and luckily I had a chance to try different food/dessert places around town. I went to Ice Scrapers behind the drag and ordered the S'mores ice cream. It was good, but a little too much for my taste. There was just so much going on to me and I didn't even get to finish. I'm sure the other flavors they have is really good from what I heard! ALSO! I decided to go on a quest to try to find the best ramen place in Austin. So far I've tried Ramen Fukuya on the drag, Ramen Tatsuya and Michi Ramen! So far, I would have to rank Michi Ramen as my favorite. I will keep y'all updated on this quest. My friends also introduced me to Hay Elote and I got a Mangonada and honestly, it was the perfect pick me up. You should also try the Mango Hill (Warning: very sweet and fulfilling).
Concert wise, I had the chance to see City and Colour at the end of January. He mostly sang songs from his new album which was really good, but when he sang my favorite, The Girl, I fangirled. Even though it was really cold that night (and I really didn't dress warmly), it was blast especially since I went with a friend who has never attended a concert!
This semester, I had a chance to develop new friends since I joined a new small group towards the end of the year. It was wonderful getting to know my fellow sisters in Christ as well as my new small group leader, Sarah! I had a blast hearing their stories and what God has been doing in each of our lives and knowing that there were girls out there praying for me. Although, I didn't get to know them very long, I had a chance to bond with these ladies especially when we had pizza night and decorated mugs with our favorite bible verses.
Although there were various tragedies that occurred this semester as you may have read on the news, I tried my best to hold on to peace. As cliche as this sounds, it made me realize that life was short and that I needed to really appreciate all the blessings I have in my life and the wonderful people in it. The tragedies that occurred at my school affected me as well as my friends and classmates, but it helped me realize that even if my school has over 50,000 students, we are all just one big family. I am blessed to have found a beautiful place to call my new home while I am away from my loving parents and sister. Throughout the semester, I would keep this verse in mind because during the times of anxiety and stress, God was the only one that could really give me peace about everything.
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
I took organic chemistry with Dr. Iverson this semester and I learned so much in his class, not only about organic chemistry, but as well as physical wellness. He really emphasized that we should take care of our bodies by exercising and by his favorite, running. So I signed up for the Longhorn Run to run a 5k!! (Also I started going to the gym on a daily basis with various gym buddies, and wow it was really great and terrible!) Even though I had to wake up at like 6 am (way too early for me), I started the 5k off with my best friends so it was overall a really great experience. We even ate at Juan in a Million afterwards (which was my first time). Disclaimer: Juan in a Million is as great as everyone says it is.
Oh and one more thing. Organic chemistry lab was stressful and I hated writing lab reports because they took up too much time, BUT it was still a pretty cool lab because the experiments we did were pretty fun! I had a really cool TA from South Korea and I had a chance to show off my Korean words that I learned from my Korean dramas. I'm also really thankful for everyone in my lab who made it fun and not cutthroat competitive like they usually are.
Sophomore year has definitely been the most challenging year by far and made freshman year look really simple. Although the stress, eyebags, and sleepless nights played a huge part this year, I could not imagine this year going any differently (except for the stress). I definitely learned so much academically, but I think I've grown in other ways too. Here's to the next semesters with hopefully even better memories.
I'd like to thank my hardworking and loving family (especially my parents) for their sacrifices, support, and encouragement so that I can attend my dream school. I'd like to congratulate my roommates for surviving a year of living with me in our apartment (and the brownie incident) and thank my friends for the study dates and the support!
It's 1:18 am and I'm sitting in the living room with my organic chemistry notes scattered everywhere and a cup of coffee in my hand and I think to myself, "Wow this all better be worth it one day." It's obviously finals week here at UT and the stress levels are higher than usual. Although there are times where I just want to take an L and give up, I realize how blessed I truly am to even be stressing about finals. I have had the opportunity (thanks to my parents) to attend such a prestigious university (Hook 'Em) and I am blessed with a family that supports my dreams of becoming a doctor and friends that continue to encourage me. Yes I may be procrastinating on studying, but I just wanted to share my thoughts.
During these times, I continually have to remind myself that:
1. God is good and I just have to continue to trust Him that everything will work out for good (Romans 8:28)
2. Finals will not last forever
3. There is a light at the end of the tunnel called summer
4. All of my hard work will pay off one day.
I pray that everyone does well on their finals and to just hang on because we're almost done. To those who are already done with finals, I am very very jealous of y'all.
Good luck and Hook 'Em!
As summer rolled to an end and classes began again, the busyness of life hit me once again. Sophomore year rolled around before I knew it and the first semester flew by. I never really believed people when they told me that college flies by quickly, but it's kind of scary how it does. This semester was probably the most challenging for me as a pre-med student, but I had to keep reminding myself that all of this hard work will eventually pay off. I've been blessed with two wonderful and supporting parents and amazing friends that I know will always be there for me.
According to my RE for my FRI lab, sophomore year will probably be the most difficult year of college.It's the year where we realize that maybe our major isn't right for us, our future plans aren't really what we want anymore and where our studying habits really get tested. We don't rely on prior knowledge from high school like we did in our intro classes from freshman year since we're all faced with fairly new material. I think this semester was especially challenging because it was my first semester taking upper division courses/ pre-med requirements (Organic Chemistry and Genetics yay!) My classes for this past semester were completely all science classes which was different from what I had my freshman year. To some people, a semester of two labs and nothing but science courses sounds like a nightmare... but not for me. I didn't mind learning through the material because it's what I want to do and I couldn't imagine doing anything else. Yeah maybe my science classes don't come as easily to me unlike others, but it's alright because I'll just continue to work hard and trust God that His plans for me are far greater than I've imagined.
I've definitely grown in my relationships with other people, my family, and God. As cliche as it sounds, I found out who will make time for me and be there despite the busyness of their own schedule as well. I definitely had the chance to sort out who was an acquaintance and a close friend by the part they played in my life this semester. It's just sad when the friends I was close to my freshman year aren't around as often anymore, but hey that's life. Now that I'm getting older, I've become a lot closer with my parents and I know they're always there to check up on me. They are my support system they keep me grounded. I had to really let go of the plans I had for myself and really give it up to God, which again is easier said than done. Through the stress of school and being sick for the first two months, I had to remind myself that although things are not going as exactly as what I had planned in my head that God is always good and in control.
As far as clubs and organizations go, I stayed in the same ones I joined last year, but I joined two more! I joined FSA (Filipino Student Association) and Texas Public Health! I met really awesome and wonderful people through both groups and even had the chance to become a part of a family (shoutout to Ate Alan and Kuya Josef and the fam)! Texas Public Health really opened my eyes to the field of public health since I switched majors and although it was a lot of work, I really enjoyed myself. Oh right, I changed majors btw and I love it. I love seeing healthcare as a whole system instead of focusing on just the molecular and details behind the scenes.
So this semester I lived in my first apartment with three friends!! I even had my car this semester so guess who learned how to drive in Austin?! Living in an apartment has definitely made me feel like I was more "grown up" because I had the chance to cook for myself. It was a nice break from the UT atmosphere, which was always a plus coming home to a queen sized bed instead of the little bitty dorm I called my room last year! I also had the privilege of living with three smart and hardworking friends that loved to cook! I had a chance to eat Vietnamese, Nepalese, and Mexican food this semester thanks to my roomies (shoutout to Tina, Manshaya, and Emily!) It was also great having the same classes as my roomies because we were all in that same struggle with classes and we helped each other study. What I enjoyed the most though? Definitely roomie dinners where we would just eat good food, talked about life, and social media stalked our favorite people. Hahaha. Did I mention that we did Secret Santa? (It didn't really work out because I can't keep a secret so everyone knew who their Santa was, I apologize.)
As far as exploring Austin, I had a chance to go to the Austin City Limits festival! I only had a weekend one day pass on a Sunday so I only got to see Halsey, Vance Joy and The Weeknd! It was still really fun and a definitely great experience! They all sounded amazing live and I only fangirled a little bit. (; It was also a plus that these guys put my friends and I on their shoulders during The Weeknd's performance. Perks of being under 5'4 right?! I also had the chance to do lots of Christmas-y things once finals were over. The light show at Mozart's was really cute and the hot chocolate was sooo good and Trail of Lights was definitely a fun experience. It was a lot of fun getting to go with friends after finals were over!
Well those were the highlights of the first half of my sophomore year, thanks for reading!