Goals for the Fall

I think this will be interesting. I always find myself, especially in college, to be pretty volatile in what I want to study and what I want to focus on. I’m easily swayed by the people I’m surrounded by, that one article I read that is simply mind-blowing, and by the rekindling of my old desires. With that in mind, it is always good to have a sort of end goal for yourself, and I think a goal for 3 months of school is pretty reasonable. (Sophia, I want you to have a similar post to this so that we can look back winter break and see how we may have changed)

2015-2016 FALL.

I’m going to be a junior. JUNIOR. I can’t wrap my head around that. Mainly because I think about how it was four years ago that I was taking the SAT, I was taking 5 AP classes, I was dying in SFSYO rehearsal as the director grilled into my head the principles of being a section leader… How was that four years ago? And now what am I doing? I’m in college. I’m studying for the GRE. I’m trying to wrap my head around a case interview and Fermi estimation… it’s all a blur. I remember when in high school, it seemed so obvious what I had to do–I had to go to college. And the beauty of being in college is that there is no conventional path (not that there necessarily was in high school, but it was perceived that way at least where I was from), so you can theoretically do WHATEVER you want, but that is also the scary part. How do you know if you’ve messed up?

No matter what, I think I’m looking forward to junior year, more than I did sophomore year. I think sophomore year, I was just so tired of summer and I wanted to be with friends again… not necessarily a concrete goal/desire in mind. But I have a lot (but not too much, I promise…) going on this year and this fall in particular that I’m ready to dive into.

Let’s start with classes: I will be taking a CS class on graphics and imaging, a CS HCI class similar to the one I took last fall, a Symbolic Systems class (basically the intro class to the major), and a ME class on design sketching. I’m most excited about graphics and design sketching because 1) I had not even thought about those classes until the end of the school year and 2) I’ve never taken an ME class although it has been a desire. After reading Creativity, Inc., I think the world of animation and entertainment has grabbed a hold of me because I’m a sucker for kid movies and their level of mastery. Can I be like that?

This is actually a lighter schedule than I’m used to. Before deciding to take the ME class, I was perpetually stuck at the minimum number of units. While I enjoy taking a lot of classes, I have become very conscientious of needing to focus on the three classes that are going to be used towards my major. In that sense, I think this will be a very freeing experience, and I’ll have more time on my hands (I think).

So what am I going to be doing with all that time? Let’s not forget outside commitments. I will be beginning a 2-year-long commitment to the advisory board for the Asian American community on my campus. Past boards have focused on faculty diversity and expansion of the Asian American studies program. As someone who hasn’t been able to delve too much into Asian American topics through my studies, I hope this will be a very informative experience. I will have two other undergraduates working by my side, and I hope I can gain the confidence of professionally interacting with faculty and adults in general (for too long, I’ve only been around people my age). I am also heading the concert committee of Listen to the Silence, an Asian American issues conference. I’m so excited for this and am already contacting singers and dancers to come join us for this event. For more information, 🙂

As one can see, I’m pretty heavily involved in the API community. This was totally unintentional and sometimes I do wonder whether I’m using my time wisely. I think what keeps bringing me back though is that I struggled with my ethnic identity for a really long time, and it was through the interactions within this community that I came to realize my Asian American identity and to embrace it. My dorm freshmen year was the Asian-American themed dorm. Aside from the theme, I found the best dorm community and am forever grateful for the people I met in this house. So you can imagine how ecstatic I am to be coming back this next year. People often ask me if I am all right with spending so much time in this one place. After all, it is a pretty far dorm. But as my priorities changed, I love meeting new people, but I do need to step back and turn to the reasons why I chose to come to this school, socializing not being one of them. It will be a great community, as freshmen trickle in and as old friends are also returning; I think I will always have a home here.

Now for another goal I am setting for myself this fall: violin. This has been a struggle for me. Knowing that once I came to this research university my endeavors towards a professional life in music were dismal, it’s been a whirlwind trying to understand what place music had in my life. But this fall, with the light schedule in mind, I’m going to take it more seriously. Seriously. This will be the most serious I have ever been in college. Mind you, I don’t think serious means more involvement in the music community. I have yet to decide whether I want to do chamber music, orchestra, etc. Because those do eat away my time, and I wonder if I will really grow as a musician in these settings. But I have become complacent. So I’m setting myself an aggressive goal to audition for an orchestra program that will meet over winter break for two weeks, with two concerts at the end. Honestly, I’m terrified. I auditioned for this as a sophomore in high school, when I was actually practicing 5-6 hours a day, and I did not pass. But I know if I don’t set this almost outlandish goal… I will never be more.

So cheers to the fall. Cheers to junior year and all that is waiting in store. I’ll be back to reflect.

Goals for the Fall

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