a reflection of the past 4 years - scattered thoughts, reminiscing, and post-grad feels.
so i'm sitting in my room at my desk on my laptop... trying to think of something inspiring and cheesy to say about my college years. honestly, it's kind of hard to express everything i've been feeling without sounding like an emotional wreck/annoying but - it's been about two weeks since graduating from my four years at UCSD, and i still can't really put all my emotions into cohesive words.
but here i go anyway.
FIRST OFF - quick thank u to who ever's reading this LOL you a real one (or just bored which is also completely ok cuz i gotchu). i'm all about reflection and putting thoughts into words, even though i'm not always the best at it. so through here is where i can (try to) do so! i feel like it's a good way for me to express my thoughts whenever i'm feelin heavy. so basically, thanks for giving a shit
when trying to describe the past 4 years, i see it as a 360 journey: beginning as a lost, little freshman. graduating as an even more lost, old senior. as a freshman first starting college, i honestly would not have imagined that i would be where i am now. hearing/saying this now doesn't sound like a huge deal, but back then for me - it was.
it's safe to say that a lot has happened and changed since then.
so what happened? what changed? well, me, for one thing. i changed. and life happened.
4 years ago, i thought i knew what i wanted. i thought what i wanted was the best for me. i thought the best for me was also the best for my parents. but what i didn't know at the time, was that the best for my parents wasn't the only thing that could be the best for me.
i think the relationships we have with the people in our lives are important. what showed me this was alternative breaks. i honestly owe my college experience to AB, because it not only taught me so much about the world around me, but it also opened my eyes to something so much bigger than what i see everyday. and it's also blessed me with some of the most important people in my life right now. the connections and relationships i've formed with these people are some things i will always be thankful for. one thing i've learned through AB is that everyone has their own story - their own past. and whether it be beautiful or ugly, it is what shapes them - what makes them who they are. for those who have shared their stories with me, i want to say thank you. thank you for sharing your vulnerability with me. you may have showed signs of weakness, but to me - that is the biggest indicator of strength and character.
it was through these relationships and shared experiences with these people - that i was able to grow more comfortable with who i am. throughout these past 4 years, i was timid, i was scared, i was vulnerable, and i was stupid. but what matters is that these people have helped inspire me to be bold, to be courageous, to be strong, and to realize that we all make mistakes sometimes.
i met new people. i tried new things. i lost my focus, my motivation, my drive. but what i gained was genuine friendship, unforgettable memories, unwavering happiness, and clarity.
fast forward 4 years, post-graduation - and here i am, still lost, confused, and scared as ever. but as i get ready to walk away from this chapter of my life, i know what lessons i can bring with me.
- never stop exploring your passions. if you don't know what your passion is, keep exploring. your passion is the things that make you feel happy and good about yourself (yes sounds selfish but i believe its true). studying abroad at Sussex in the UK (s/o sussex squad<3) was hands down one of the best experiences of my life, and showed me that traveling and seeing the world is good for the soul. it was also the time where i was able to illustrate and identify what my own passions were. discover those passions, and always stay true to them, let them bring you peace and joy.
- cherish the time spent with your close friends and family. because pretty soon, it will become limited. i'm a firm believer that people come into our lives for a reason, and if they are meant to be - they will stay, or find their way back. strive to keep the act of deep conversation alive. be present, ask a lot of questions. sit down with a relative/family member and ask about their childhood or your parent's childhood. ask them to tell you the story of how your parents met, or how they acted when they were together. ask an aunt/uncle what your mom or dad was like when they were young - they might be more similar to you than you think. acknowledge that while you are getting older, so are your parents. take more time to be there for them, do small acts of kindness, talk to them, and most importantly, be patient with them.
- it's okay to be vulnerable. i think i battle a lot with this lol. pertaining to all the shitty things that have happened in my life, no matter how composed i appear to be, i'm actually all over the place. (cheese alert) but that is why we have our friends to put us back together LOL AMIRITE. i think this guard that i've put up for so long was broken, allowing more people than i wanted to see some of the ugly parts of me. but i realize it's okay to hurt sometimes and show the weaker parts of ourselves because only then, are we able to show that we can also overcome them. i realize that it's important to have good girl friends because we all get hurt in the same ways, by the same type of people. talking your feelings out is good because it can help you decide or even realize what you really want. it's okay to feel lonely and sad - but always remember that you have people around you, only if you let them, and that there are always more things in life to be happy about.
- strive for love AND happiness. both. fall in love with solitude and find peace within, but don't be consumed by it. love people, not things. i still don't know what being in love is like - but i like to believe that love is worth our time. i want to believe that love is wanting nothing but the best for the other, nothing but happiness. however, i think we cannot be fully responsible for anyone's happiness but our own. we can't feel bad for making a decision about our own lives that upsets others. "you can't just sit there and put everyone's life ahead of yours and think that counts as love." anyone who wants you to live in misery for their happiness shouldn't be in your life to begin with. in the end, and through all the rough patches, love should always bring you more happiness than sad. obviously i'm not an expert, and i know love makes us do crazy shit - but i believe that love and happiness should always coexist, and that one should never exist without the other.
- lastly, be honest - to yourself and to those you care about. try to be patient in frustrating times, and always remember to be kind.
i know it doesn't end here, and this isn't all i'm going to learn and experience. but i do know that i can always start from here. and it feels weird saying it, but i think i'm ready to see where it all takes me.
adventure is out there! and i'm on my way to the next one :)
one last toast to those taco tuesdays, late-night boba runs, and AB+PB thursdays <3
much love to those who helped make these past 4 years & forever leaving a mark in my heart.
[all photo creds: homeboi Nathan Cespedes IG @natecspdz check him out!]
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