Saturday, December 20, 2014

my first semester of college

CC: Everyone who has put up with me from June forward.

SUBJECT: My Fist Semester of College
     This past week, when prompted to share feelings about my first semester of college, I have only been able to awkwardly hum while pursing my lips with eyelids wide open. Dissatisfaction with my academic performance, oscillation of emotions towards the relationship status of my institution, and confusion in relation to who-I-am/who-I-want-to-be all are/the-usual-existentialist-crisis all are influencing factors of this reply. Yet, now, four hundred miles away from Berkeley, I am able to honestly describe my first semester of college: turbulent -- making it difficult to decide to distinguish first semester as a journey completed opposed to one survived. Regardless of my inability to choose a verb, I am -- excuse my obligatory count down towards undergraduate freedom -- seven semesters away from graduation. 2018 shadows much closer behind than my limited view of the future allows and in knowing this I want to remember as many moments possible during my college career; hence, this video attachment below. ‪#‎IfYouReallyKnewMe‬ you'd know that I have been excessively recording for over twenty weeks to put this together. I, actually, was supposed to wait a year; but, choosing through so many memories to share would be hella challenging. So, attached is a video of my T E R B U L E N T first semester.


Tuesday, December 9, 2014


How, I keep incredulously wondering. How am I supposed to engage and study in an environment that features effigies hung at university landmarks and contains tear gas filtering in from windows slightly ajar? How do I celebrate the diversity my campus boasts, though I am aware that the population consists of less that 1,000 Black students' among the more than 31,000 overall? How am I supposed to proudly distinguish myself as a golden bear when, actually, I am a black bear undergoing the hazing of higher education in being spray painted golden. When my many unanswered questions are silenced, how?

Despite of how smoothly the defiant cry of "I'm not!" can slide through my lips, the realistic reply to my questions must learned to be as easily be spit out. Unfortunately, this response is along the lines of myself acting as expected of a student attending the number one public university in the nation, myself in accordance to the role of a low income, student of color privileged to be enrolled in an highly ranked institution. My first semester has allowed me to discover that within the rhetoric that my fellow freshman and I are emerged into when stepping onto campus there exists the assumption that all incoming students' exist as self motivated learners. This assumption violently steps on our academic achievement of high-school to announce — note: with failing encouragement — that we can repeat the success that has allowed for our current entrance to the university. I, now, understand this to stand in absence of the consideration of adversity. I, along with about 6,000 counterparts, am an "adult now" and I should "be able to care for myself". Yet -- yes, more questions -- how do I self care when the institution that profits from my very enrollment can only respond to acts of racially fueled terrorism with halfhearted offers of extended hours of counseling services, with additional dates llamas are brought to campus to be pet by students. Five seconds with a domestic animal will not delete the viral videos of students being brutally attacked by police officers in the name of their corruptly defined justice nor erase the viral pictures of effigies being hung at the exact same spot. However, in these brief five seconds, I can confirm that, like the llamas, we, the Black community, are only the center of attention when the university allows for us to be seen -- note: still not heard; again, like the animals. The administration continues with claiming that they have reached out to take firm grasp of the hands of our blacks students to aid us during this triggering time. But, when our hands have been chained to begin with, how can we accept this help that NOTE: has been highlighted in campus wide emails from the chancellor but invisible from the inbox of leaders in the Black community.

My words may oscillate between questions and complains; however, all remain unanswered. Should I take fault in asking how?


Sunday, October 5, 2014

b r e a k

I had never seen an abundance of stars so piercing in the night's pitch black sky nor a live body of water so translucent against the spilling light of the sun until this weekend. In addition, I had never witnessed a gathering of individuals physically young yet spiritually ancient and awakened until this weekend. I had never experienced the feeling of not belonging and welcomeness simultaneously until this weekend as well. 


Thursday, May 15, 2014

farewell, indian summer.

Autumn is long gone but the heat remaining in the last day of November has resurfaced. Spring of 2014 in Southern California is no ordinarily time period. Unlike many years before in the Los Angeles area it is unreasonably hot. 102 degree highs and 80 degree lows is what we're having right now -- but, wait, pause... This is not a weather blog. It, though rather lame, is my introduction to my reemergence. (By the way: Like always, I am not sure how often I will blog after this yet I feel that I will be trying harder to keep up.)

Similar to the suffocating heat plaguing SoCal (L.A., Southern California) right now the thought of blogging has been reoccurring since my last post. I did, in truth, forget about this blog. A high school senior, now, I have been faced with scholarships, college application, extra-curricular activities, leadership positions, stress, stress, and more stress. And, I focused so much on all this because it is those activities that have put me where I am today. What I I pushed ahead of my passion for blogging at its height is what has given me a stable present. (Holla, at a valedictorian and full-ride undergraduate student.) So, please, bear with me in bringing you all to speed with me in the past year so that I don't sporadically mention things later on that no one will recollect:


In this past year, a lot has happened. I visited South Korea, Maine, Ohio, Iowa, Northern California, and I'm hoping for more places by the end of 2014. I have applied to 30 schools -- rejected from five, no decision from two, wait-listed from three (Brown, Amherst, Williams), and accepted to 20 (including USC and UCLA). Ultimately, I have committed to the University of California Berkeley as a Regents' scholar, a distinction given to the top 1.5% of applicants and I will be graduating as first my high school class. I also have contributed to the Huffington Post Teen, Her Campus, and MTV. #productivity

I did miss blogging but experiencing this all came before sitting down  to write. In not writing I realized the importance in just admiring where you are in a moment; but, I also have realized that sometimes taking time to document will preserve memories for the future.

Expect me to document my college experience in these next four years at Cal. I may not note everything but I will be sure to keep you all at my side as I start a new chapter of my life. With thirty four days until my graduation I am becoming more nostalgic for the past and more invested in preserving what is happening now. I will share my upcoming Prom, Graduation, and whatever I can spend time to discuss on the way.

Go Bears and Always Yours,

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