College Year Three.

long overdue (end of jr year + china summer 2013).

it has been a really long time since i’ve last updated. i don’t think many people read my blog but that’s okay. it’s been a good way to keep track of things i’ve been up to for myself even though i haven’t written much this past year.

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junior year kind of ended in a blur. time seems to be going so quickly yet there were nights during junior year where i would sit in my suite, with none of my roommates home, and try to really take in everything. i only have one year left at the place i have really come to call home these past three years and i want to make the most of them. the end of the year came senior goodbyes, birthday celebrations, a spontaneous zipcar trip to plymouth, finals, and frantic packing. the friendships i’ve made here have been so incredible and i can’t wait to see what senior year brings. SENIOR YEAR. still in denial. 

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post finals, i immediately hopped on a plane and was off to china again! this time, mainly for my cousin’s wedding and to show my childhood best friend my culture and the other side of the world. needless to say, it was an amazing trip. we got to travel to multiple different cities (shanghai, nanjing, wuxi, suzhou, hangzhou, beijing) and spent a lot of time together, which was nice. picture updates below but if i were to sum up my two week trip to china in three words, it would be have to be some combination of popsicles, sun and besties. (:

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and now, back home in my new home of maryland where i’ll be interning at the office of minority health as part of the international leadership foundation program. also studying for the MCATs which is forever looming in my mind. excited for a good summer here near the district! the weather is VERY humid and VERY bipolar. today we had a tornado warning for about 30 minutes with insane winds and rain and twenty minutes later…it was as if nothing had happened. weird. but regardless, happy to be home and happy it’s summer!

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to one of the best cities in the world.

it’s days like today where things really get put into perspective. days like today leave me confused, sad, angry, but also thankful. how does something like this happen? who would think to hurt so many innocent people as they cheer on people who are reaching the end of a 26.2 mile goal?

i was in the midst of a hard midterm when news of the explosion broke out. phones buzzed in the exam room yet all of us relentless continued to scribble away about social networks. it’s incredible how quickly news can travel with all of these technological advances but seeing all the pictures and videos online made it all the more real. when large-scale tragedies like this happen, i am sad and contemplative but there is not usually a sense of familiarity as i browse through pictures, like there was this time. pictures of the street i’ve walked down so many times, of the marathon that i watched every patriot’s day growing up and of frightened people who were just there to be happy.

for now, we can be thankful that we are all safe and think of those who have been affected. as president obama said tonight, boston is a place of tough and resilient people and i know that we can all move on from this event together as a community. 

forever loving that dirty water because boston, you’re my home. ❤

two days in the wilderness.

for spring break this year, i decided to go home with my roommate to atlanta, ga for some nice weather. there isn’t too much to do in atlanta so in figuring out how to keep ourselves busy for the entire week, we decided to go on a backpacking trip along the appalachian trail with her younger brother and some of his friends for a couple of nights!

we were all packed and ready the night before with our backpacks! i had a tent, sleeping bag, clothes, food, a pot and the “poop shovel” in mine so it wasn’t too heavy but i had never gone backpacking before so i was pretty excited. when we finally got out of the car and ready to go on the trail, it was SO COLD. we were not expecting it to be that cold but as we hiked along, it slowly got warmer and warmer. we were hoping to stay two nights and hike a total of 20 miles over the course of three days. 

multiple snack/lunch breaks and 5.5 miles later, we finally made it to a campsite! it wasn’t really a legit campsite…just a place that had been cleared for tents and had a fire ring so we could cook! we set up our tents (it took us a while to figure it out…) and my roommate and i started to prepare dinner as the guys made a fire and went to scout out a tree to tie up the bear bag. we were told that the appalachian trail would have “active bears” during this time of year, so you’re supposed to store all of your food in a large bag to be hung over a tree while you sleep!

for dinner, we ate freeze-dried bagged dinners. DELICIOUS! …sorta. maybe it was because we had already been outdoors for so long at that point and tuna/crackers really wasn’t cutting it for lunch, but these dinners tasted surprisingly good. we boiled water in a pot over a small propane fire and these bags full of freeze-dried things magically became beef stew and spaghetti & meatballs! my roommate also decided to boil water to make some ramen for herself.

it had steadily gotten colder over the night and the wind made it rather difficult to get a fire started, but soon enough, the sun set and it got really cold and pretty dark. after huddling around the fire for a bit for warmth and watching it die down, we all retreated back to our tents for bed. it took FOREVER to fall asleep and i don’t think i have ever been more cold in my entire life. i literally slept with my head IN the sleeping back. the next morning when we woke up, we all collectively decided that while it had been fun, we were ready to head back to civilization and it was going to be way too cold to stay another night (the next night was forecasted to be even colder!)

so we packed up our things and hiked another 7.5 miles and were thrust back into real life. backpacking was actually a ton of fun and i’d love to go again!! but preferably in warmer weather…haha along the way, we met a lot of people (including an 11 year old girl with her parents!) who were hiking the entire appalachian trail from georgia to maine, which would take them six months! i can’t really imagine being out there for so long (it gets pretty scary at night…) but major major props to them.

for now, back to emails, texts and technology. until next time, great outdoors! (: 

C-A-B-O-T.

today was one of the best days of the year: HOUSING DAY!! 

so once upon a time, harvard was lovely enough to put me in pennypacker, aka the farthest freshmen dorm. but, on the bright side, i was randomly put with roommates who to this day, are still some of the best people i know. 

WOOHOOO P for PENNYPACKER!

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so when we decided to block together, we couldn’t imagine that harvard might once again put us into one of the farthest upperclassmen dorms, a house in the quad. i still remember when i first was quadded two years ago and felt like this immediately afterwards:

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but over the last two years, i am SO happy to have been put into cabot. the housing is pretty awesome but i would say that the community is one of the best parts. our housemasters are incredibly kind and i have met so many new and awesome people having been a part of the cabot fish community. 

so welcome to all the 2016ers! although, i don’t think i know of any freshman who read my blog. haha 

welcome to best house on campus. ❤ semper cor.

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photocred: michelle

can’t believe we’ve welcomed our second class of puddles already! oaasis love.

four and a half weeks later.

what a winter break it has been. i didn’t do anything super noteworthy or extra exciting, but it was just nice and comfortable to be spending time with my family in a new home. 

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family vacation to the outer banks in north carolina!

this winter break, i spent my time visiting north carolina for a couple of days, moving a lot of boxes, volunteering at some local organizations and just getting back into routine life with my parents. for the first time in a long time, i literally spent the entire winter break with just my parents (aside from the week my sister was home and the one weekend i went to nyc). like me, my parents don’t particularly enjoy sitting around home so we went to downtown baltimore for new years and spent our weekends trying out new restaurants, visiting national parks or driving down to DC for museum hopping. i am so glad my parents have started to love taking self pictures as well haha. sure, we had our occasional arguments as per usual, but i can whole-heartedly say that i’ve had a fulfilling winter break.

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awesome adventures in new york city with some of my favorite people. ❤ 

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great falls national park in virginia.

i didn’t get to do as much baking as usual and i definitely didn’t study as much as i had planned, but i think that’s okay. crazy to think that this was my second to last college winter break and it was surprisingly nice to not have crazy travel plans or anything super urgent to do. over the past couple of weeks, i’ve gotten slowly more used to washing the dishes or grocery shopping with my dad or having to make the rice before my parents come home from work again and i feel like it will probably be hard to get back into the groove of school.

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DC inauguration festivities! 

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selfie time! my dad still needs to master the art of taking self pictures.

i guess this post is just a scattered way of saying that home really is where the heart is, no matter where “home” may actually be. i’ve moved almost 400 miles away from where i spent the first 20 years of my life, but home is about comfort and family, not the location. my parents are happy here (and thankful for no snow! haha) which in turns makes me happy. i miss boston being my home, but maybe coming down here was for the best. 

also discovered some old family photos in the process. (: 

and now, on to adventures for  junior spring! third to last semester (WHATT). hopefully time will slow down a bit for once. but in that vein, hopefully time will speed up for my 12 hour journey from MD back to boston tomorrow. if there’s one thing i’m not looking forward to, it’s definitely <20 weather in boston. womp womp. see you later maryland! until next time. (: