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!