UPDATE: A few spreadsheets, midterms, hangouts, and philosophical debates later…

So my last post was from a few weeks back about how much of a mess my life was and how even though I wasn’t unhappy I was very distressed about how my time was being allocated and whether I felt good about my priorities and what not. Quite a bit has happened since then, and it just feels like a good time to re-evaluate and to spend some time thinking about where I am now.

In response to the near impossible scheduling conflicts I’ve encountered week after week, I’ve gotten a lot better at figuring out what needs to be done and how. I’ve stopped going to CS lecture because I realized I learn just as well with 20 minutes looking over the lecture slides as I do spending an hour in class. I set aside an hour to dance in the mornings because I’m consistently free from 7am-8am…mostly general wake up time here is around 10am. I felt absolutely defeated by writer’s block for about a month or so, but instead of agonizing over blank Word documents I spent that time reading and reminding myself what I loved about poetry and what I wanted to bring to my own poems.

I was unhappy with how I was spending my time, and so I fixed it, as best as I could. It was actually incredibly weird to make that realization that I was unhappy because I didn’t like my priorities, and then to go and perform actions to alleviate the situation.

Honestly, that’s the biggest thing I’ve noticed changing about myself as I’ve gotten older. I’ve been able to wash dishes and buy groceries since I was like 12, that stuff doesn’t make you any more mature or wiser. The real difference between who I am now vs who I was in 7th grade is how much more aware I am of my patterns of behavior, and the inner logic that motivates a lot of those patterns. I can trace an angry thought back to an offhand comment from earlier in the day, and then dissect what it was about the comment that put me off so much, and then even predict and perhaps prevent whatever behavior is going to come out of me as a response.

Self awareness kind of feels like a superpower actually.A few years ago, this blog post would’ve consisted entirely of “IM UPSET AND I DON’T KNOW WHYYYYYYYYYYYYY.” Look at how much more of the world makes sense because I can make sense of myself. Hoping this will continue to expand as I get older.

Classes were another issue that weighed heavily on my mind last time I wrote a post. It’s currently Week 6 on this nonstop wheel of neverending midterms and class churning. I finished my last midterm on Tuesday and thought my workload was finally going to lighten up…then I realized I now have to do everything I put off doing because I was studying for my midterms. lol.

However, my classes have started taking on the shapes that I had wanted them to at the start of this quarter, both in part due to changes on my end and where we are in each classes’ progression. We’re finally through with all the biology foundations in Bio150, and moving into exciting talks about human sexuality and depression and violence and so on. Last lecture was wildly entertaining while still completely grounded in scientific method and research. I’m genuinely enjoying learning computer science, and although I definitively recognize it is not something I’m naturally good at, I’ve also been able to just have fun. I coded the game Breakout this past week, and there’s definitely a unique sense of accomplishment and wonder that goes along with “I made this little system of moving graphical objects.” I don’t see myself going further with CS beyond this quarter, but I’ve tried it and this little section of the world is no longer foreign to me.

When I first looked at my schedule for this quarter, I posted a joking status about how silicon valley was beating the humanities major out of me. It was funny, but it was also kind of real. What if I actually was acting on pressures to do something practical and employable?? Like mad respect for people who do STEM and love it, but I’m not one of those people. I was only taking one Linguistics course and didn’t really connect with it, and after declaring my major last quarter I was starting to doubt my hasty decision, and all of this contributed to this overall mood of “lost and confused” that dominated the first few weeks of this quarter. Lucky for me, the past few weeks of AAVE (African American Vernacular English) have completely debunked that. I’m a Linguistics girl, and will be through and through.

AAVE was a cool class to begin with, but spending weeks talking about phonology and grammar can get a bit dry, even if you’re madly in love with language like me. After our midterm, we’re started moving into looking at the history of AAVE and looking at the current day impact of AAVE, which has been AMAZING. We had a guest lecturer come and discuss the role of linguistics in establishing and subverting power disparities in freestyle rap battles, another lecturer talk about how miscommunication across AAVE and Standard English led to the escalation of conflict in Sandra Bland’s arrest, and then we had this fantastic reading about the same linguistic gap contributing to George Zimmerman’s acquittal, and all of these talks just felt so important and real and really reminded me why I loved studying language. It’s really just put me back in a place of feeling sure about my major and feeling so so excited about linguistics and all the ways it matters in the world.

In terms of community, I was definitely feeling a bit disconnected at the start of this quarter from everything, and missing practices and meetings exacerbated a lot of those issues, and alienated me even more from people that probably could’ve helped a whole lot with what I was wrangling through. I think dealing with my time allocation and just sucking it up sometimes and forcing myself out of the dorm solved a lot of these problems, and I feel happy and excited to be engaged in the communities that I’m a part of. Like I wish I had something more profound to say but honestly, my friends are cool and I’m glad they’re my friends.

So that’s me.  I’ve been absurdly busy, and will continue to be up until the end of the quarter, but I’m also happy. It’s immensely wonderful to say that with complete honesty.


2 thoughts on “UPDATE: A few spreadsheets, midterms, hangouts, and philosophical debates later…”

  1. This was actually really useful to read for me because I’m also overwhelmed by university at the moment (mostly due to poor work ethics on my part) which is affecting other areas of my life & I’ve just been feeling really numb/disconnected from it all.

    Good job on you for identifying a problem and being able to fix it, hopefully I can take something away for my own life haha.


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