junior year x reflection

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Junior year’s been confusing.

It’s over in a little more than three weeks, which still blows my mind. This year flew by. I don’t even know where it went: just a year ago, I was getting ready to embark on my three-month long Europe trip, and now a full year has gone by and I feel like it was just yesterday.

Throughout this entire year, I felt like I was in a weird funk. I wasn’t myself, not how I used to be, at least. It felt like I was wading in the dark for awhile, but I didn’t necessarily know what I was looking for. I kept up appearances – and I think I even tricked myself into thinking I had my stuff together most of the time – but to be honest, I don’t think I’ve found what I’m looking for. Part of me is attributing this confusion to coming back to the states after being abroad for three months, like, did it really change me? Is this extended reverse culture shock? I can only use my being abroad excuse for so long. Maybe I just need to face the fact that I really am in a transitional phase right now.

I’ve come to the realization that people are coming to me for advice now, and I should probably have things to tell underclassmen. I’ve given pretty good answers so far, but now that I’m thinking about it, what have I learned in my three years as an undergrad? What advice do I have to give that will help shape a freshman, sophomore’s time remaining? What can I say that will make them look forward to learning more?

My priorities are different now. I meet younger students and see my old self in them: curious, sheltered, and even a little naive. I think that’s when you know you’re not the person you were before. It makes me want to shake their shoulders and tell them to open their eyes because there is so much out there.

I hate how angsty I sound right now, but I’m really just shook by how much growth there seems to be in challenge. My classes were really hard this year, and I’ve been struggling. What used to be above-average grades are now transitioning into average, and even a few times, below. But there are so many other amazing things happening in my life that I can’t seem to justify to keep my grades at top-notch standards. Sometimes I really do feel like opportunities were lost because I had to stay in one too many nights to study for a test, and I really think I’m done doing that. Don’t get me wrong – school is still extremely important to me, but not just my classes: it’s about relationships and community-building, too.

And yeah, I was really good at maintaining my goals for the year for all of winter quarter, but then spring quarter happened and I barely R&Red – and it sucked. This past weekend was the first time in awhile where I got to breathe and have (almost) nothing on my Google Calendar. I watched Riverdale for three hours and it was awesome.

My proudest accomplishment? I think I helped a lot of people this year bring a lot of clarity into their lives. It sounds weird, but it feels really good to help other people. I love it. Giving advice and helping others reach their goals, especially when you know they have so much potential.

Was junior year the best year of college? No. I was mentally and emotionally exhausted all the time, but I think it was a realistic portrayal of post-college life. From here on out, I will have to continue learning how to juggle more things at a time and maybe even step my time management skills up a notch. I remember the days when I had a clear inbox; nowadays, I have to set aside time to answer all the emails I get. I must say that junior year has been my healthiest though: I’ve been sleeping a lot (6.5-8 hours every night!) and I haven’t caught any colds this year, so I’m pretty happy about that.

I’m excited about the things I accomplished this year. There were definitely some downs, but so many UPS! I think mostly every minute of hard work has paid off, and I know once I finish my last final, it’ll feel like a huge weight has been lifted. I’ve already scheduled some end-of-the-year plans with my friends to celebrate (they’re before my last final though, so, woops). I’m savoring every last bit of college because I’m graduating early from my senior year – what a thought.

How was your year? I’d love to know. And as always, thanks for reading.

Jen x

 

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top 5 things i’ve learned about being in a sorority

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Hey y’all!

How was everyone’s weekend? Mine was pretty busy: I hate using that word but it really was. I feel like I’m low-key struggling to stay afloat right now but I’m just trying to maintain positivity!! I have a midterm and a quiz this week in my classes so I tried to devote some time this past weekend to study, but my sorority went on a retreat this weekend!

I wanted to share the fun photos we took at Gasworks Park, but I also wanted to share with you all the top five things I’ve learned while being part of a sorority. I feel like people always have these pre-conceived notions about sororities, that it’s some cult-like group where everyone’s catty. People sometimes look down on sororities, but I’m here to prove y’all wrong. The sisterhood retreat this weekend was focused on – well, you guessed it – sisterhood, and I’ve had some time to reflect on what being in a sorority means.

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Obviously everyone’s experience is different, and being in a sorority is not for everyone. I’ve had a really positive experience thus far though, and if I can help ease anyone’s mind about going through sorority recruitment, that’s good enough for me.

  1. You grow outside of your comfort zone: In my freshman year when I wasn’t in a sorority yet, no one was pushing me to try new things, or I just didn’t feel like they were the right people to try new things with. In a sorority, I was more likely to find people who are somewhat similar to me, and wanting to try the same things. Having a buddy sometimes really helps, and finding the comfortable before doing the uncomfortable was just what I needed. I always like to emphasize independence, because I can definitely see how some young women can grow used to always having someone there to do things with and not being able to do things by themselves, but finding that balance has been pretty seamless for me.
  2. You don’t need to be outgoing and loud to be in a sorority: I was definitely worried about this going into recruitment. Being introverted and needing my alone time more frequently than others, I knew I might run into conflicts. I talked to one of my sorority sisters this weekend about it though – and she’s definitely one of the quiet ones – and even though that quiet time is needed, she was able to find it. She was also able to find friends who respect that time, and her personality. As long as you’re willing to listen, you might learn more than if you’re chatty all the time.
  3. Someone will always be there to listen: one of my favorite things about being in a sorority, to be honest. Even though I’m not 100% best friends with everyone in my sorority, I feel like I could talk to anyone about my problems, achievements, or just catch up.
  4. I love helping others: I learned that I love helping people through being in my sorority. I think everyone will discover their “role” in the house after a year or two, but through my leadership position in the house, I discovered that providing advice is really what I love to do. I’m still shook when girls tell me they look up to me as a role model. I’m humbled and it’s made me more inspired to continue helping people.
  5. I’m blessed with the most loving girls: Even though I have close friends outside of my sorority, I know that these girls will be life-long friends. As cheesy as that sounds, no one else will have shared these experiences and moments with me. I think it’s natural for large groups to gravitate into smaller groups; I’m purposefully avoiding the word “clique”. I have my closer group of friends in the sorority that just get me, but I know everyone tries to be friendly with everyone.

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I hope y’all gained something from my list of five; as always, thanks for reading!

Have a wonderful week,

Jen

PDX trip recap

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Hi all!

How was everyone’s latter half of April? I really needed that blog hiatus since April was just crazy busy (although May is going to be way crazier, what with all the end-of-year banquets). Right when I was taking my blog hiatus, I went to Portland for an accounting conference! I was there for less than 48 hours so it wasn’t much, but it was still fun. I took the train from Seattle to Portland with my officer team and stayed on the east side of Portland. The weirdest thing? The hotel we were staying at was hosting a haunted/horror convention (because April 13th was also a Friday, so spooky!). It was pretty much a full hotel with people in business suits (my conference) and the people in gory costumes.

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When we got there early on Friday, lunch wasn’t served as part of our conference, so we ended up at Garden Bar, a really healthy build-your-own-salad place. If you’re familiar with Evergreens, it was similar to that. I got the Bliss Detox salad which was so delicious and filling!

The rest of the conference was interesting because I was able to network with students from other universities from the Pacific Northwest. My friend and I presented in a case competition (and won first place!) so that was a relief.

After the conference, we headed to Voodoo Doughnut! I had actually never been, although student clubs on campus are always having Voodoo for fundraisers so I’ve had it through those. We anticipated the line being long since it was Saturday afternoon, but we only waited in line for 10 minutes. NOTE: they only take cash! But there is an ATM inside the store.

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All the pink boxes!!

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I had to get the classic voodoo doll of course!

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Overall a short, sweet, but worthwhile trip to Portland. I got to know my officers a lot better and I can tell I’m going to have such a fun time with them this year. I was trying to study on the train ride back for my three exams I had the following week, but the laughs and bonding time was better.

What have you all been up to?

Jen

two-week blog hiatus

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Hi all!

Seattle’s been pretty good at giving us some sun lately! It’s crazy how much better of a mood everyone is in with the sun out. I just wanted to pop in really quick to announce, sadly, a two-week blog hiatus. This weekend, I have to attend a conference out of town and then I have to take not one, not two, but THREE midterms back-to-back-to-back next week. I’m not too sure how I’ll survive, but right after that, I’ll be knee-deep in planning end-of-year banquets and events. The grind never ends, y’all. I finish interviews today though, so thank goodness those are over!!

Anyway, I do have a few photos from a photoshoot I did a few months ago with my good friend Amber. We got coffee and just chatted – she herself is trying to start a podcast/outlet to interview other #girlbosses. I think the photos turned out wonderfully so I thought I’d share!

(Side note: I’m having so much fun editing photos with my new ~aesthetic~. My Instagram feed felt pretty lost for awhile there!)

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See y’all in two weeks! Have a wonderful rest of April 🤗

Jen

 

life lately: spring positivity

Hi, hello!

Spring quarter is in full swing (or should I say, full bloom? The cherry blossoms are, at least!), and this weekend I definitely spent my time playing catch-up with all the homework I didn’t do during the first week. I also finally saw Love, Simon with my best friend and oh wow, it was absolutely adorable and probably one of my favorite movies this year. Nick Robinson did such an amazing job playing Simon. I have to say I liked the book more (under a different title, Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda!), but the movie was seriously so CUTE.

This week has still been pretty crazy since I’m still interviewing with a few accounting firms, but it’s all fun since they include social events usually the night before the interview. For example, tonight I’ll be going go-kart racing for the first time!

Anyway, today I felt like catching up with y’all since it’s the beginning of the quarter and I just have a lot of thoughts running through my head.

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from before spring break when the weather was so nice – sun, please come back!

I have to admit, I’m feeling pretty overwhelmed about this quarter. Earlier last week, I actually had a mini break down because I was looking through my calendar for the upcoming months and I felt like EVERYTHING IS HAPPENING AND I HAVE NO TIME FOR ANYTHING. Luckily, my good friend was able to calm me down because she knows I can handle it. And she is right: I’m good at staying on top of things and prioritizing. It’s one of my best skills.

One of the things I was really overwhelmed about is actually becoming President for one of the business clubs I’m part of on campus. So exciting! But also so much planning and meeting new people and managing. I haven’t been a president for something since my senior year of high school, and while I told myself that I would take things off my plate for my senior year of college, here I am. I thrive off of opportunity, I really do. It’s one of things I’ve learned about myself: I love trying new things to push my comfort zone so I can learn in different ways. I’m pretty excited about my team, and it’s going to be a great learning experience.

I don’t know about you, but back when I was in high school, it took me awhile to find my solid group of friends. It wasn’t until about midway through junior year that I felt like I had my people. Now in college, I feel the same way. Freshman and sophomore year, I didn’t really have my group of people, but now I’m really happy with who I’m surrounding myself with. I have a support group, and it’s an amazing feeling. These are people that I truly feel like will be my life-long friends.

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trying Five Guys for the first time over spring break. i definitely like In-n-Out the most, but this was great bang-for-buck.

This post is all over the place today, but I just feel like I’m in a good place right now and even though this quarter will get tough sometimes, a positive attitude (and a little coffee, haha) will get me through anything. I’ve been waking up before 8am every day last and this week, and I’m not sure if that’s been helping, but I feel like I’m in control of my life this quarter, if I have the right outlook.

How do you feel about spring?

Jen