about me · Life Update · lifestyle · writing

Post-Graduation Plans

So I’m a just about a month away from graduation. If we’re being specific (and I have been) it’s 37 days away.  That’s five weeks away. That’s thirteen days of classes away.

I won’t lie, as excited as I’ve been for graduation this entire year, I’m a little nervous. School is all I’ve known my entire life. And I know there’s so much more life to live outside of school but there’s something about the routine of it that’s comforting. Tomorrow, I’ll wake up and know exactly what I’m doing. My alarm will go off around 7:30. I’ll get dressed, go to campus, probably get Starbucks, sit outside my classroom, do some work, go to class. Then I’ll go home, eat a late lunch, and get ready for the weekend. In about a month, life won’t be that predictable anymore. And now, making graduation plans, it seems very, very real.

And now, making graduation plans, it seems very, very real. Yesterday, my friends and I made an appointment to have our graduation pictures done. Next week, I’m buying my cap and gown. I’ve picked out my cap design and we’re planning and wine and cap decorating night. There’s plans for senior week: passdowns, a dinner, a sunrise hike. We’re making plans to do things for the last time: dinner at our favorite restaurants, Greek Sing, vineyard and lavender farm trips. In 37 days I’ll be moving away from the place I’ve called home—despite my mixed feelings about it—for the past four years.

But 37 days also starts a freedom I’ve been looking forward to. For four years, I’ve lamented that I didn’t have time to do the things that I wanted because I did school work instead. As of right now, these are my post-graduation plans:

  1. This blog. I’ll be focusing a lot more time on my blog. With no school work or classes to attend to, I can really work on growing it and taking it into the direction I wanted but haven’t had the time to put into it.
  2. My Instagram. I have been focusing more energy into my Instagram that accompanies this account but I think that’s because it’s quicker and on the go. It fit into my hectic college lifestyle a lot better. So maybe not necessarily more time but more focused time. I’m hoping that the freedom of no school will also give me more time to travel and not miss out on things that I’ve missed in the past.
  3. Writing. Arguably, the most important thing I’ve focusing on. I’ve given up a lot of my writing time to school work and I am so excited to have days devoted to working on my next book. I have about forty ideas in various stages of completion and I cannot wait to start working on them.
  4. Your Novel Year. While this focuses on writing, it’s like school. There’s assignments and readings and study questions every week. And since the program is mainly online, sometimes, it gets lost in the shuffle of my more immediate in-person classes. Without school, I’ll have more time to focus on that work and the book I’m working on through that program. I’m also excited because when this eight-week block ends for YNY, mentorships begin. We get to work with a published author on the book we’re writing and I’m looking forward to having one-on-one time to go over my work.
  5. Editing and Publishing. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m working with an editor to get my first book ready for publishing. I’m sending off my manuscript for her to review, and when I finish school, I’ll meet with her discuss it. I haven’t had a ton of one-on-one time for my writing in my college career so I can’t wait for it post-graduation.

The road to graduation has been long and filled with laughs, tears, stress and good times. And now I’m on the final stretch, the sprint towards the finish line. I’m excited and nervous and scared I’ll trip at the ceremony. But I’m really looking forward to what’s coming after.

about me · writing

I Want to Write Forever

At one point in my life, I wanted to move to Boston and be a clinical psychologist. I had it all planned out. I would live in a cute little apartment while I got my Ph.D. and eventually did a residency at Mass Gen. Why Boston? That’s where I wanted to go to college but didn’t get accepted. But I had visited the city and completely fallen in love. In my extended reverie, I was going to meet my future husband in the hospital cafeteria. He was going to be some kind of doctor. We would bond over random things like the bumper sticker on our cars and our mutual love for Chinese food. We’d date, we’d get engaged, we’d move to the suburbs—my eighteen-year-old self had her heart set on Weston—and then we’d live a happy life with two kids, a dog, and a Pinterest-worthy house.

And then I realized I hated psychology. Okay, hate is a strong word. I realized that I only liked a small section of psychology. I realized that I didn’t want to do four to six more years of psychology. I realized that I liked writing more.

I was writing analysis papers when I wanted to be writing fiction. I was reading textbooks when I wanted to be reading novels. At the end of the day, I was so exhausted that all I could do was crawl into bed and fall asleep. It didn’t take me long to figure out that I didn’t want to do this for another day; let alone for the rest of my life.

A couple days later, I told my mom I didn’t want to go to grad school and instead, I wanted to focus on trying to publish a book. I prepared for her to tell me that I had to go to grad school. I thought she would get mad and yell and try to “put me back on track”. But she didn’t. She said, “Okay, if that’s what you want. I’ll help you get there and support you along the way.” And to this day she has been my greatest help, my biggest cheerleader, and the best momager I could ask for.

Now, I don’t want this to sound like the reason why I want to write is so I don’t have to do more school. Or because I picked a major I wasn’t completely in love with. I want to write because I had to choose my happiness over the traditional path of college, grad school, Ph.D., job.

I wanted to be happy. I didn’t want to wake up every morning and loathe going to work. I didn’t want to wish away my life by begging for the day to be over just so I could go home and sleep. I didn’t want to be living for just two measly days off only to have to dread the ending of the weekend. I’m a firm believer in loving what you do. And I love writing. Writing doesn’t make me wish I could just go home and crawl into bed. Writing doesn’t make me want to extend the weekend out five extra days. Writing makes me happy in a way that nothing else does.

So that’s the long way of saying: I want to write forever.

about me · writing

Why I Write

In fifth grade, I switched schools. My new school had a creative writing elective that everyone had to take. It was essentially an intro to creative writing where our English teacher taught us the basics of plot, characterization, setting, point of view, and other building blocks of writing. Some days we had prompts, some days we had free writing, some days we could read what we wrote to the class. I never did that.

Everything I wrote in that class was a rewritten version of whatever Disney Channel Original Movie was on the night before. I borrowed lines, characters, plot lines. If you’re curious, the movies I borrowed from was Twitches and Wendy Woo: Homecoming Warrior.

I remember listening to other classmates read their work to the class and thinking how creative all their stories were. I, too, wanted to create something all my own. So in sixth grade, I sat down and I wrote my first “book”. It was titled Everything, and it was about a girl who had everything but the boy she wanted. It was a simple story: there wasn’t any character development or any kind of arc, the plot wasn’t that great, and the setting wasn’t clear. But I was proud of it. I printed out each page, cut them to size, bound them together with pink craft string and a sewing needle I borrowed from my grandma. For a week, I carried it around with me everywhere.

Every summer afterward, I took writing classes. There I learned how to write fiction not just the building blocks of a story. I’ve been obsessed with writing ever since. I’ve found that there’s no feeling better than writing something and then loving it so much that you’re in disbelief that it came from you.

I love writing because I love creating. I love creating people–people that I want to be, people that I don’t want to be. I love creating places–towns I wish I lived in, cities I wish I could visit. Bost mostly, I love telling stories.