Sinking

Hey friends. It’s 5:31am on this Tuesday morning. I wish I could say I was doing well… but lately, I’ve been consumed with thoughts of regret, constantly wondering whether or not my past decisions were valid. Living in the world of hypotheticals. Wondering, “What if I had done something differently in my life? Would I be better off than I am currently?”

I’m drowning in my own thoughts. Suffocating. Living in the past and not appreciating the present.

Another source of my worry and negativity is the midterm I’m taking today at 3:30pm. It’s for my Psychobiology of Sexual Behavior class. Never have I felt so unprepared for any exam. I am still behind on two whole lectures and have not completely mastered the three other lectures I’ll be tested on. A big reason why I am so behind in this class is because for the past two weeks, I’ve been putting all my resources into my two other classes that had midterms last week. On top of that, I had a dance competition in Santa Barbara this past weekend, which took away from my study time. I tried my best to study over the long weekend, but my depression came back full-force, rendering me completely unable to focus on my studies.

I am sinking. I am in disbelief at how much I’ve regressed since coming to college… in terms of self-discipline, social confidence, and dancing. My college journey is ending in a little over two quarters. I really thought I would grow so much more than I have. When I first began college, I was hungry for self-improvement. I was determined to break free from my former shell. And break free, I did. I excelled academically and was the most confident I had been in my life. I was an unstoppable force, powered by rocket-fuel. I felt as if nothing could stop me from my rapid ascent towards success.

I am not 100% sure what happened in my life that brought my progress to a halt. I suppose it all started with the bipolar diagnosis. When I realized that most of my freshman year of college I had lived in a state of hypomania, I questioned so much of my identity. I didn’t know how much of my past actions and achievements were attributed to mania, and how much was the actual Belicia talking. I questioned EVERYTHING. Everything I thought I knew about myself may have been a lie.

Perhaps it was the identity crisis that drove me to bury myself in all sorts of vices during my sophomore year of college. A part of it was a normative part of my development as an individual– delayed rebellion, shall we say. I had lived such a disciplined life before college, it was almost inevitable that I would snap, at some point. Gradually, I lost my self-discipline. I began to party and drink to excess. Thus came my second identity crisis. All my life, I had identified as as hard worker. Sophomore year completely changed my self-perception. Who was this new person who, once so pure, was poisoning both her body and mind on a daily basis? I lost a big chunk of myself, sophomore year of college.

Add to the mix my utter lack of life direction in terms of career plans. Sophomore year, I had no idea what I wanted to do in life. Medicine, dance, psychology, writing… What could it be? Instead of facing this psychological dilemma head-on, I found it much easier to avoid it. For the first time in my life, I chose the easy way out. And gradually, the easy way out became a pattern. I started drinking to suppress my anxiety and depression, when really, I should have been seeing a therapist and dealing with my mental illness in a healthy way.

I gained a significant amount of weight during my sophomore year of college. As a former gymnast and dancer, body image is something I have always struggled with. I don’t know a time in my life where I loved my body. I place so much weight (hah… pun intended) on the way my body looked that when I gained a few extra pounds, my self-confidence plummeted. The summer going into junior year of college, I refused to step foot in my local dance studio for fear of being judged by those who had known me back when I was thinner.

I watched my dance videos from this past competition and am shocked at how far my dancing technique has regressed. I mean, what could I expect? I haven’t been taking lessons or training regularly for almost a year now. But to see how far a step backwards I’ve taken, I was… shocked. Regretful that all my past hard work had been wasted.

I am sinking, guys. I’ve dug myself into a deep hole with no idea how to get out. I am seeing a therapist next week (literally had to book an appointment two months in advance). Perhaps I should turn to God for help. Go back to church. Surround myself with a kind and loving community.

The one light in my life right now is figure skating. I am picking up the hobby once more and find fulfillment in my rapid progress.

I’ll also be going home for the next three weekends, which is another thing to look forward to. Perhaps being back with my family and roots will do me some good. I definitely need to get out of the school environment and all this academic stress. Yes, I do believe a change in scenery will be good for me.

Alright guys. It’s time to continue cramming for this exam. As much as I don’t want to study this stuff (it’s literally all about cells and hormones and molecular biology), I can’t avoid it.

I need to change. I need to rebuild healthy habits. Regain my focus. Build up my confidence from scratch (oh, if I had a penny for every time I had to do that in my life).

Have a wonderful rest of the week!

 

 

 

Belicia

 

 

“Why Columbia” Transfer Essay

Please provide a statement that addresses your reasons for transferring and the objectives you hope to achieve. You can type directly into the box, or you can paste text from another source.


When I first chose UCLA, I had defaulted to the linear pre-med track, silently resigning my passions for writing and Latin-American dancing to mere hobbies. Two quarters into UCLA, I realized that, while I did well in my STEM classes, my heart laid as far from science as the Bay Area is from New York City. I am drawn to human emotion and spirit, with my transformative therapist serving as a beacon of what I aspire to become– a soul-healer. Medicine, something I had always envisioned myself doing, was not for me. Many a sleepless night followed my renunciation of pre-med, but eventually, I learned to stop seeking comfort in a path of certainty, familiarity and societal approval, and start living one of authenticity, risk and faith. Freed from the illusion of needing to follow my father’s footsteps into physician-hood to attain career “success”, I opened my mind to the exploration of other fields beyond medicine, living with my heart as my compass. During my third quarter at UCLA, I took classes in theater, explored improv-comedy, continued writing for the Daily Bruin, picked up competitive dancing once more and offered free private dance lessons to UCLA students. Through exploration and experimentation, I affirmed my suspicion that I was indeed an artistic soul, drawn to all modes of creative expression– dance, writing, music, and theater. What better place than New York to pursue my penchant for performance? At the close of my freshman year, I knew this much: pre-med was out of the picture for that moment. Psychology sounded promising, as the field aligned with my interest in human emotion and motivation. Whether or not I pursued a degree in English, I was certain writing would forever remain an unshakeable life pillar, grounding me during turbulent times. The same went for Latin-American dancing– my primary mode of performance.

English has been my strongest school subject since the second grade, but my writing did not blossom until the start of college. I started my personal blog during junior year of high school as a cathartic means of grieving, after a career-ending knee injury uprooted me from my ten-year gymnastics career. For the past two-and-a-half years, I’ve been documenting my life journey on this public platform and found the experience both rewarding and empowering. To write is to inspire, comfort and humanize the universal life struggles we all face. Every time someone tells me, “Belicia, you literally conveyed the story of my life through your writing,” I am at once humbled and fascinated by the positive impact I can wield on others through my words. Having only recently discovered my voice through writing, I hope to find greater opportunities as a writer in New York, as therein are where the necessary connections and valuable internship opportunities lay for aspiring writers like myself.

My second passion after writing is competitive Latin-American dancing, which I started during junior year of high school. Going into UCLA, I expected Los Angeles, one of the world’s greatest entertainment capitals, to be a hub of Latin and Ballroom dance. Dishearteningly, I was unable to find a good-fit dance instructor within 10 miles of campus. The difficulties of commuting on and off campus without an efficient means of transportation also negatively impacted my dancing, as I was unable to take regular lessons. Dancing in LA, then, became costly, time-consuming and a large source of stress.  The greatest opportunities for ballroom dancers in the U.S. undoubtedly lie in New York. The Empire State is home to the best dancers in the world. Former world champion Latin-American dancers can be found in the heart of Manhattan, there to build up the next generation of artists.

My dream would be to move to New York to continue my undergraduate education at a reputable school, whilst pursuing my creative passions under the mentorship of the world’s greatest academics, writers and dance instructors.


 

I ended up getting waitlisted, and ultimately did not make it off the waitlist. Here is my second appeal to Columbia University, which I wrote after getting waitlisted:

It’s been four months since I pressed the “submit” button on my Common App portal, and, in spite of my mercurial moods and occasional bouts of youthful indecision, my heart has stood steadfast in its longing for Columbia University. In addition to keeping up with my academic performance at UCLA, I continue to dance day-in and day-out, dreaming of the day when I finally get to live in the Empire state– the mecca of ballroom dance. Wherever on this Earth I may be, I aim to inspire and impart happiness through sharing the craft that has done so much for me. These past four months, I’ve busied myself with giving private Latin ballroom dance instruction to members of the UCLA community. Winter quarter was, admittedly, shaky, as I was learning to balance my newfound commitment as a dance instructor with a rigorous course load of four upper-division psychology classes, as well as my own dance training. I’ve since grounded myself in better time management skills, and am happy to say that I am performing a lot better in my studies this present term. I continue to write on my blog as often as I can, sharing my day-to-day triumphs, tribulations, worldview shifts and enlightenments with my tight-knit, loyal band of readers. Even in the realm of writing, I dream of moving to New York City, contributing my talents to Columbia’s Daily Spectator whilst interning at some of the nation’s top journalism firms. Really, there is not much else that needs to be said regarding my sentiments towards transferring to Columbia University. Nothing has changed since December. I am still a young and hungry idealist; slightly too naive for my own good, but oh-so filled with passion and love for what I do. Could I still dance, write, and earn a college degree at UCLA? Of course. But, if I could choose, I would do all of those things and more at an institution of the highest caliber, where the dancing flourishes, the writing opportunities abound, and the quality of education remains unrivaled.

Life Update 11/5/18: Midterms, Figure Skating, Ballroom

Hey guys! It’s 12:25am right now as I sit in my bed typing away. I’m honestly so tired, but I felt the need to update y’all on my life.

Midterms are STILL going. I have two this coming week– one on Tuesday and one on Thursday. The one on Tuesday is for my really hard class, and it’s 45% of our grade. The Thursday one is a little bit more chill, but I still would like to do well so I can opt out of the final (of the three exams, our lowest grade is dropped, so if you do well on the first two, you basically can skip the third exam altogether!). I spent the whole of today studying, from around 1pm to 11:30pm, with food and youtube breaks in between. As drained as I am right now, I feel very accomplished at my hard work and am confident that I will be able to deliver when exam time comes around. A few weeks back, I stumbled across an instagram post by Mariah Bell, a US figure skater. In her caption, she stated the importance of “trusting your training” when it comes time to deliver. Honestly, these words are so true. Under high stakes and stressful circumstances, things may not always go as planned. The only thing you can control is your training that ultimately prepares you for such moments.

Speaking of skating… my latest obsession is this year’s figure skating Grand Prix circuit, a series of international competitions featuring the best skaters in the world. I went so far as to pay the $60 for an NBC Sports Gold subscription so that I could watch the Grand Prix live. Honestly, I love figure skating so much. I love anything that involves creating beauty through movement and the expression of music. I am certain that one day, possibly very soon, I will be on the ice, skating at adult amateur figure skating competitions. I know that when I love something, I get SUPER obsessed with it, which leads me to work hard and improve quickly. My biggest problem is commitment. I am a very impatient person who wants to see results fast. Unfortunately, it is this impatience that leads me to get discouraged easily and want to give up prematurely. But no. Things are changing. I am Belicia Tang, and I am no quitter. I must choose my battles wisely– namely, pursue the things that matter to me– and tread forth steadfastly with unwavering resolve.

In other news, I have a ballroom dance competition this coming weekend! My first time on the floor in over a year! I am very excited to compete and perform once more… but a part of me is also very insecure about getting back out there. I’ve gained a considerable amount of weight since my last appearance, and though I realize that most people will not care, I still feel self conscious, because that’s just me being human. I also haven’t been dancing consistently, with my academic responsibilities consuming most of my time, so my dance technique has deteriorated. So I’m worried I’ll get judged for THAT. I am just such a worry-wart. I wish I didn’t worry so much… I wish I could just have fun with what I do!

Today, my dance partner and I had a discussion about why I didn’t seem to enjoy dancing during practice. I explained to him that it wasn’t that I didn’t enjoy dancing… it’s just that I get very serious before competitions, as I want to train hard so I can put out my very best performance on the floor. In gymnastics, training was never a time to have fun. It was all work, work, work. No talking. No laughing. Do either, and you’ll get reprimanded. So is it really that surprising that I don’t smile or laugh during dance training?

The hardest part of ballroom for me is not learning the technique– it’s dealing with a partner. Seriously. For basically all my life, I’ve only had to worry about three things– me, myself and I. Gymnastics is a highly individualized sport. You learn to become a very self-sufficient athlete. You develop a training system that works perfectly well for you, and you alone. You are completely confident and at ease with your own ability to work and compete. How well you did at competition was completely in your own hands. In ballroom, you are only as good as your partnership. You can be the best dancer in the world; but if your partner is sub-par, or your connection is not there, then you’re screwed.

In gymnastics, I’d oftentimes get frustrated and emotional at training. In these moments, I’d run to the bathroom, cry a little, wash my face with cold water, then get back to work. I’d let my volatile emotions run their own course, with me as the only person caught in the cross-fire. In ballroom, when I get frustrated, I find myself taking out my emotions on my partner, whether or not he had anything to do with it at all. It’s a terrible thing, I know. But honestly, transitioning from 10 years in an individual sport to one where I must rely on another individual is NO JOKE. It’s like learning a million new skills at once. Adapting to a whole new way of operating. Ever since dancing with an amateur partner, I’ve learned so much about myself and my ability to work with others.

First of all, I learned that I have a lot of pride. Sometimes too much. I like to be right, all the time. And if I get criticized by my partner, I react in one of two ways: I either jump to defensive mode and start listing all the reasons why I disagree with the criticism, or I internalize the criticism, which gives rise to negative emotions. Really, what I should be doing is listening carefully to what my partner is saying with charity and an open mind, and seeing how we can fix the problem in a rational, emotion-free way.

Secondly, I learned that I can be very domineering in my ways. It’s always me dictating what to do next. What our practice plan should be. How many times we should repeat the dance before moving on. Even down to what music we should play. It doesn’t even occur to me to ask my partner what he thinks about all this. And most of my past partners have let me boss them around, just like that. Like I said, I am so used to operating on my own terms, that bringing another person into the equation is such a huge adjustment.

If there’s one thing that’ll hinder my progression in ballroom, it’s the whole aspect of partnership. If I wish to succeed in mastering this art, it is integral that I learn how to be a good partner. Otherwise, I’ll just spend the rest of my dance career either jumping around partners or dancing with my professional teacher– neither of which are very appealing options.

I also wonder how this translates to my ability to have a personal relationship with someone. If I struggle so much with maintaining a ballroom partnership, how in the living heck will I be able to deal with a serious boyfriend or husband? I am very rigid in my own ways, and I feel that introducing a whole other person in my life and integrating his life with my own would simply create a huge mess. Well, I’m too young to be thinking so far ahead.

I’m gonna go to bed now. Good talk, friends.

 

 

 

Belicia

 

Heartbroken…

Hi friends! It’s currently 3:05am on this Saturday morning. I just came back from a Halloween party and felt the urge to write this blog post.

Before we get into the meat of today’s topic, I thought I’d share a little update on what’s been going on with me. Well, really, not much has changed since I last blogged. I’ve been studying hard, and it’s surely paid off, as I got a 29/30 on my Psych 188B midterm! 2 down, 2 to go. Gotta keep up the good work for my last two classes. I have one midterm next Wednesday that I gotta study hard for this weekend.

So onto today’s topic. You may be wondering why I’ve titled today’s post, “Heartbroken”. That word is so powerful… tragic… Surely something terrible has happened in my life to warrant the use of this word?

As I said, I just got back from a Halloween party. My suitemate’s film fraternity hosted the party. There were drinks, good music, fun people. But in all honesty, my heart was not in it. It was a mistake to go– I wasn’t even planning on attending the party, but a part of me wanted to challenge my social anxiety by getting out and meeting new people.

At the party, I ran into some old friends and classmates. There were two former classmates– Kim and Mooj– who were in my GE Cluster class two years ago, during freshman year. I didn’t recognize them, but they recognized me. Kim came up to me and asked excitedly, “Wait. Is your name Belicia?!” Slightly perplexed, I replied, “Yes! Have we met before?” She replied that she and Mooj were in the same class as me during freshman year, and that everyone in the class knew me as “British accent girl”.

I’ve told this story a couple times before, but in case you haven’t heard it, I’ll tell it again. One day, back in my freshman year, I had the sudden indescribable urge to adopt a British accent, kind of as a social experiment, to see how people treat me with vs without the accent. That day, we had a guest lecturer– a dentist– speak in my human aging class. I figured that because this lady had no idea who I was, I could pull the British accent trick on her, and she would have no idea I was faking it (well… that was the hope, at least). So in class, I purposely raised my hand to answer a bunch of questions, just so I could show off my newfound accent.

Well, from that day on, I went down in GE Cluster 80 history as “British accent girl”. I learned from Kim and Mooj last night that everyone– students, TAs, and professors alike– knew who I was. I was unaware of how popular my accent was with everyone! Kim showered me with compliments about my confidence and utter disinhibition, going so far as to say that she “aspired to be me”. Wow. Now THAT was a compliment gave me the feels. Thank you, Kim!

Goodness. How far I’ve regressed from the brave soul I used to be. Ever since the bipolar diagnosis, my social confidence slowly drained away, as the reality of what it meant to live with bipolar hit home. I came into college a changed person. No longer the shy and inhibited girl I was in high school. But what if that change was not a signal of learning and personal growth, but rather, an actual physiological shift in brain chemistry? I know now that the rapid life transition and new environment of college triggered my mania. Most of my freshman year of college, I was manic. One of the key symptoms of mania is a marked decrease in social inhibition, which manifests as social confidence. What if, all that time, what I thought was me breaking out of my shell, was in fact my bipolar talking?

Once I got on mood stabilizers, my manic episodes disappeared. I was grounded in reality once more. But I had lost something special– my social confidence. Perhaps that social confidence wasn’t real. But surely, it FELT real, that short time it lasted. I was on fire… a girl who shone so bright and spread her light to those all around her. Maybe that’s why people who knew me freshman year of college look up to me so much. It’s because no “average” person would pull some of the social stunts I did, back when I was manic. I was on fire. Literally, my brain was on fire. Manic. I felt unstoppable. Life is so, so beautiful, from the eyes of a manic person. I must be careful, though, not to romanticize bipolar disorder. At the core, bipolar is an ILLNESS. Mania, as good as it may feel, is an illness. And I mustn’t forget the crippling depressive episodes that inevitably follow the manias.

That bipolar diagnosis was the best and worst thing that happened to me. On the one hand, it explained a whole lot of my past erratic behavior. It explained my constantly in-flux moods, my emotional instability, my rash and impulsive decisions. In tagging me with the bipolar label, my psychiatrist was able to come up with a treatment plan to help me become stable.

On the other hand, the bipolar diagnosis shook up everything I thought I knew about myself. I didn’t know what part of me and my past experiences were attributed to bipolar, and what part was actual Belicia talking. It wasn’t just about the social confidence. It was about my past achievements… all those countless hours spent studying and dancing to the point of obsession and exhaustion… was this a sign of an iron work ethic, or was it the mania that drove me to workaholism?

There’s this phenomenon in psychology called the self-fulfilling prophecy. Your thoughts and self-perception drive your behavior. If you believe you are a certain way, you are more inclined to behave in a way that aligns with your mental perception. During the time I was manic, I truly believed I had finally broken out of my shell. I perceived myself as this super confident and outgoing person. I believed I was confident, so I made it a point to ACT confident and BEHAVE in ways that confident, outgoing people do. I started saying YES to opportunities that forced me to get out in the public eye, ’cause hey– I was confident, and I could handle it. Being the “socialite” of my friend group; being “Miss Popular” on my dorm floor; working as a barista; teaching dance to UCLA students; auditioning for a musical and an a capella group (while I had no singing training, whatsoever); hosting a Latin dance workshop for the UCLA gymnastics team; adopting the British accent. I behaved in ways that aligned with my newfound self-perception. So yes, while the mania was the mechanism that underlied my lack of social inhibition, it was my behavior and experiences that fueled the confidence. For a time, before the bipolar diagnosis, I was truly a confident human being, beyond the mania.

It is a mistake for me to believe that all that social confidence during my freshman year of college was the mania talking. It was partly the mania; but it was also my continuous effort to push myself outside my comfort zone. Mania may have given me the initial push, but after that, I put in the work. I need to believe that I can be confident and accomplished, without the help of my manic episodes.

Where am I, now? Well, last night really put into perspective how much I’ve changed since my freshman year at UCLA. I am heartbroken at how much I’ve seemed to regress socially. Shy, insecure high school Belicia is creeping up again. Conversations with strangers, parties, answering questions in class, public speaking– they are all ordeals, once more.

Why has this happened? It’s partly the mood stabilizers that have taken away my precious manic episodes. I’m no longer manic; my brain chemistry has changed in such a way that has taken away my socially uninhibited ways. But I believe 90% of my social regression is mental. I have the belief that my former social confidence was completely FAKE. That I really haven’t changed much from the shy girl I was, three years ago. And because of that, I now identify more with the shy, low self-esteem Belicia than I do with confident and outgoing Belicia. This identity shift has shaken my ability to confidently handle social situations, because I don’t believe in myself, the way I used to. I no longer take risks. I no longer make it a point to put myself out there. I used to be the one who stood out in the crowd. Last night, at the party, I sat alone by the drinks table, reluctant to speak to new people. The only time I felt freedom was when they put on some of my favorite songs to dance to. Then, and only then, was I able to let loose and have fun. So, in spite of all that’s happened, at least I’m still confident in the realm of dance. Dance and writing. My two biggest anchors, after family.

At the end of the day, I’m grateful for the bipolar diagnosis. It’s stripped me of all delusion of grandeur. I am grounded in reality. I can build social confidence– genuine social confidence– from the ground up. I would hate to live my life reliant on manic episodes, because what would happen every time they disappeared and were replaced by depression? Would I be social butterfly one day, and a social recluse the next? It’s an unstable way of living. If I could somehow manage to build unshakable confidence, separate from the mania, that would be the ultimate marker of personal growth, learning, and stability. Now is when I must be brave and put in the work. I need to put myself out there again, this time without the help of mania. It will be scary. It won’t be easy. But I believe I am a strong person, with or without mania. I can do this.

Alrighty guys. Thanks for reading this. I need to stop procrastinating and start studying. Got a midterm this coming week, and two the following week (plus a dance competition!).

Midterm Season is Upon Us!

Hey guys! It’s 5:35pm on this lovely Monday afternoon. I’m sitting a Jamba Juice located in UCLA’s Ackerman Union. It’s so cold in here, and goosebumps line the entirety of my arms. I’m listening to Christina Aguilera’s song “Twice”– if you haven’t heard it, I’d highly recommend!

I have a midterm tomorrow afternoon for my human sexuality class. I’d say I am about 90% prepared. Gotta do some brush up studying when I get home, but after that, I should be good.

I am very pleased with my performance on exam #1 for my health psychology class. I got a 94%! I was so worried I would get below a 90% (not that there’s anything wrong with that, it’s just I hold myself to higher expectations). I’m still working on the whole “not equating my self worth with external achievements” thing. It’s much easier said than done, of course. A healthy dose of self-imposed pressure is good, as it pushes you to try your very best. But if you’re living and dying with each exam, dwelling on each failure (and victory) for far too long than is healthy… well that’s a problem.

It’s important in life to learn how to cope with failures and disappointments. The truth is, you can’t be at your A-game, 100% of the time. We all have our off days. Now, that’s not an excuse to not try your very best in all you do. But sometimes, even with ample training and practice, you just don’t deliver. It happens. You gotta learn how to block out those bad times and move forward. Learn from your mistakes. Investigate what went wrong, and don’t repeat the same error the next time around.

Here’s a case in point. I recently applied to this club called “Morning Sign Out”. It’s essentially a writing organization where students write about hot topics in medicine, and present scientific studies in layman’s terms, to make information accessible to all people. I wanted to join this organization because I wanted to write about mental health. When I was filling out the application, I thought to myself, “Man, I got this. I’m a shoe-in. I was a writer for the Daily Bruin! I’ve been writing on my personal blog for over 4 years! I’ve worked as a writing tutor / essay editor! My name was published in a medical journal! No way I’ll get rejected from this org.” I relied too heavily on my past laurels, and ended up phoning in on the writing portion of the application. I was cocky, and it was that cockiness that kicked me in the ass, at the end of the day. I was rejected. And I was furious at myself. But I learned a very, very valuable lesson from this experience. NEVER, EVER half-ass something, no matter how confident you may be. If you want to achieve something that’s important to you, you must give it your all, every time.

Okay guys. Time for me to “sign out”. Gotta go home, take a shower (I had dance practice before this), and study some more. Wish me luck on my midterm tomorrow!

 

 

 

Best,

Belicia

 

 

Junior Year, Fall Quarter, Week 3

Hey guys!

It’s currently 8:46pm as I sit in my warm, cozy bed, typing out this post. I hope you all had a nice, productive weekend!

Unfortunately for me, I managed to catch a little bug towards the end of last week and am currently fighting to get better before the start of this coming week.

In other news, I’ve got to say, I absolutely love my fall quarter schedule! No class Monday or Friday, so I get a four-day weekend each week! Tuesdays and Thursdays are a little bit rough, but I like the layout of my class schedule. Three classes, starting from 9:30am, and ending at 4:45pm, with 1.5 hour blocks in between each. I go to lecture, then use the time between classes to debrief on what I had just learned. It’s a good thing going.

I have my very first exam this coming week. I didn’t do very well academically last year, largely because I was so distracted with partying and other vices. Thus, my confidence in my test-taking ability has been shaken. I am determined, however, to get my GPA back up this coming year. I’ve been studying consistently everyday, reviewing my self-generated study questions, going through flashcards, and re-reading important concepts from the textbook. Sadly, I wasn’t able to do as much studying as I would have liked this weekend, because of the sickness. I spent most of today in bed, sleeping. It comes to show how important it is to take care of your health, while in college.

More good news– I found a dance partner! His name is Mert, he just moved to LA from Turkey, and he’s been dancing for about five years, a little longer than I have! We had a little tryout on Friday, and it turned out to be a good-fit partnership, so I am very excited to see where we go!

My hopes for this coming week are simply to recover from the illness, study hard, exercise daily (haven’t been doing enough of that, sadly), and limit my spending budget. Man, I love having clear-cut goals. You know what you want, and you know exactly what to do to reach them. I’m a goal-digger to the core. I love love love it!

Alrighty, guys. Time for bed. Gotta rest up for my study day tomorrow! I also need to get my phone fixed, as my clumsy hand dropped it in a hot tub. Really inconvenient, but stuff happens in life.

 

 

 

Have a good night!

 

Life Update 10/10/18: SCHOOL, SCHOOL, SCHOOL!

Hey guys, happy October! It’s been a hot sec since I last posted. I hope you all are doing well.

I’ve been so busy lately, and it’s only the second week of the quarter! Lots have been going on. My focus for this quarter (and academic year) is to get my GPA back up (after a rough patch last year), as my path, once more, is medical school. With this goal in mind, I’ve been going hardcore with my studying, and I’ve never felt more on top of my schoolwork than ever.

It’s so interesting. Last year, around this time, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I lacked focus and direction. And so, without a concrete goal to work towards, I felt… lost. Now, exactly one year later, I have found my path once more. And I feel so, so much more like myself. Driven. Focused. Passionate. I wake up each morning with a goal, a purpose. It’s an intoxicating feeling, and I’m absolutely in love with my current state of being.

It’s so true when they say that once you find your calling, you are unstoppable. You know what you want, and you will do whatever it takes to get there. But what people talk less about is the difficult path of finding what makes you tick. Finding your “thing”. Rarely are individuals born knowing exactly what they wish to do for the rest of their lives. It’s a long journey of trial and error, experience, and self-discovery, that ultimately leads people to understand what they truly wish to do with their lives.

For many, college is the place where that magic happens, which is why I’ve grown to appreciate my time here at UCLA, now more than ever. My time as a Bruin is finite. It is now. There are still a million things I wish to do on campus… so many ambitions, and so little time. I cannot believe I am already a third-year student! It gives me a shiver, each time I think about how the precious time has slipped through my fingers. I must appreciate each moment in its entirety. Is it weird, also, how I keep wondering whether or not I’ll run into my future spouse here on campus? LOL. I hear so many stories of married couples meeting each other at university, and I wonder if the same will happen to me.

But back to the topic of today’s post– what’s been going on with me! Besides school, I’ve been dancing consistently, almost every day. I’m getting back into Dancesport Club and hope to find a partner to compete with on the collegiate dance circuit. I’m in the process of forming my own dance club, Bruin Burlesque, where I’ll teach my fellow Bruins how to Burlesque! I applied to a couple student-run health magazines where I hope to be a writer/content-contributor. I auditioned and got onto an urban dance team, but unfortunately, I made the difficult decision of forfeiting my membership on the team, as my academic life takes precedence over all else. I know my own limits and priorities. My goal for this quarter was to get straight A’s. Would being on a dance team, as fun as it may be, serve me in achieving this goal? Maybe yes, maybe no. But I didn’t want to take any risks. The last time I was on an urban dance team, my GPA took a hit. I could not risk the same thing happening again, especially as my chances of boosting my GPA are wearing thin (I’m a third-year, gonna graduate soon!).

So… I have more to tell you guys, but my Psychology of Human Aging class starts in 15 minutes! Gotta get myself mentally prepared for the three-hour class! But I promise to talk to you guys very soon!

 

 

 

Best,

Belicia