Spring Quarter 2016 Recap

Life is really good. With this being my last quarter at UCLA and everything, I’ve really committed myself to the “I’m going to do absolutely everything” mindset.

Weekend 1: Basketball tournament in San Diego. Although we lost 2 out of 3 games, I had such a blast. I definitely felt as if I got to know some of the NSU basketball girls a little better and felt much closer to them than I was before.

Weekend 2: China Care Staff Retreat. It was really nice exploring the Sherman Oaks area of SoCal. Ashley and I didn’t feel up for the laser tag portion of retreat, so we walked around and stumbled upon the Urban Outfitter Surplus store. I still remember how her walking speed suddenly sped up to twice what it was before and how her eyes lit up when she saw it. I don’t blame her though. EVERYTHING WAS SO. CHEAP.

Weekend 3: Coachellaaaaaaaa. What a weekend. I had a blast third wheeling with my friends Amy and Inje allllll weekend and am truly grateful that they did not mind one bit. I will never forget when we sneaked out beer from the beer garden and the level of inebriation we experienced because of it.

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There are also two very specific moments of Coachella that I will never forget. During those moments, I felt as if absolutely everything was right in the world. The first one was during Of Monsters And Men. We were near the back where there was ample room for people to move around. I remember looking around to see that everyone around me was dancing, laughing, and smiling without a care in the world. The second moment I won’t forget is when Edward Sharpe closed his set with “Home”. Every single person in the crowd was singing along and as I observed everyone around me, it gave me goosebumps as I realized the hundreds of people who were all enjoying this one, very specific memory with me. We were all brought together to that moment because of our mutual love for music. Ain’t that a beautiful thought?

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Weekend 4: Moar basketball, free swipes, and studying. What can I say, I’ve played a lot more ball these past two quarters and have made some underclassmen friends in the process. Free. Swipes. FTW. Also, these two quarters have reminded me of why I love basketball so much. I regret not playing more in college!

Weekend 5: Joshua Tree. After Spring break, my obsession with hiking and the outdoors has intensified. Some of my favorite moments of this trip:

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1) Taking our sweet ass time and not being able to find a campsite at our location of choice, yet all being chill about it and just going with the flow.

2) Getting to the campsite to realize we had nothing to cut wood with and no lighter fluid to make a fire with.

3) Going on two random hikes which felt as if we were on different movie sets. Enduring changing weather conditions, crazy steep hills that made me regret not ever doing leg day at the gym, and climbing random rocks. The view that just opened up in front of us, showing miles and miles of the natural J-Tree landscape.

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4) Playing car games and laughing about stupid shit (Smashbox 21, bad singing, etc)

5) Failing at making a fire/running out of firewood

6) Bombass homemade burritos. Who woulda thought of making burritos as camping food?! We did.

There is just so much about this trip that made it memorable.

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Weekend 6: Going home for Mother’s Day. This time around, I didn’t drive alone because one of my best friends, Jeff, drove up with me to surprise his mom. I definitely got to know Jeff better as we spent basically 10 hours together during our drives to and from LA. He also treated me to steak in SF for my driving troubles and I met some of his home friends which was pretty awesome (: Besides that, we stopped in Palo Alto to visited Kevin, our smart, Stanford law student friend. I’ve missed him! He was my first friend at UCLA and will always hold a special place in my heart because of it. Anyways, home itself was relaxing and perfect as usual. I had some much needed family time that I need to take advantage of before I leave for my abroad adventures. Did I mention that I will be moving to Beijing after graduation? More about that another time.

Weekend 7: Now here I am at the end of my 7th week at UCLA. This quarter really has gone by much too quickly. This weekend, I had a much needed break from my hectic weekend plans. I have forgotten what it is like to have “Elaine time”. Right now, I am sitting here listening to an awesome playlist a real cool cat made for me while sippin on a Kirin beer that was on sale at Mitsuwa (7 bucks for a 12 pack!!!) Life is real good. I’m glad I decided to take a break from busy weekend plans. Now I am recharged and ready to celebrate my friends 22nd birthday tonight.

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“If music is the color of life, then I wonder what my palette looks like”

Graduation is just around the corner. In exactly 4 weeks and 4 days, I will be walking across the stage, accepting my “diploma”, that empty folder of a thing that represents the completion of my undergraduate degree.

With that thought in mind, I’ve been trying hard to spend as much time with my friends as possible. However the sad reality is that a majority of these friends I am making time for, those people who were such important parts of these last 4 years of my life, are probably not going to be of such importance post-graduation. I used to let this get me down a lot, and it still does, but my friends have helped me wrap my head around this situation by putting it into perspectives that I have never thought about.

One of my best friends compares friendships as running a hostel (lol) where different people come, go, and stay for different periods of time. Some come back, but some never will, and that’s okay. For him, he will always be there running that hostel, welcoming returnees with open arms if they decide to come back. For me, that has always been an issue. When someone decides to walk out, I tend to close those doors and not want to let them back in. Maybe it’s a pride thing? I don’t know. But from his point of view, why not let these individuals back in? Life happens. Sometimes it just doesn’t permit some friendships from lasting. If some people do decide to wander back and “put in their fair share of work in the hostel” why not let them stay?

Another close friend of mine shared that many of his friends never know where they stand with him because he tends to keep his emotions to himself. I am exactly the same. Just like him, I wondered if people I hope and want to keep in touch with after graduation actually know and feel the same way. While he was at a music festival and high off life and music (among other things, haha) he decided to express his feelings to one of his friends, telling his friend that he really appreciated their friendship and no matter where he ended up after graduation, he really wanted to keep that friend in his life. He realized that he just needed to do the simple thing that we often forget; share how he felt to the people he felt those feelings for. Let them know because if you feel that strongly about them, they most likely feel the same.

Anyways, /endrantaboutfriendships. I am truly grateful for everyone that has stumbled into my life in the last four years. Whether big or small, ya’ll have played a role in my college experience and if that is the end of the road for us, I’m learning to accept that. If not, feel free to step back into my hostel some time. I’ll keep them doors open with some tea, cookies, and good stories to share.

Random side note: If you were wondering about the title, it has nothing to do with the post. I just thought it was an extremely interesting way to use color as a metaphor for music that a friend shared with me today. It makes you think, doesn’t it?