Life Update 6/3/18: Finals Are Coming!

Hi friends! Long time no talk! I hope you all have been doing well! I, for one, am going through a pretty stressful phase, with the commencement of finals less than 24 hours away. I’m sure many of my fellow college students can hardcore relate.

So, what’s been going on in my life since we last spoke, in my post Enamored and Intoxicated? Well, I’ve had several dance performances, and I thoroughly enjoyed all of them. The experiences all corroborated my love for the stage, and I am convinced that I want to make the art and science of live performance one of the cornerstones of my life’s work.

It’s so interesting how, even with the mood stabilizers helping me out, my moods can still fluctuate so. In my last blog post, written about three weeks ago, I was definitely riding the tall wave of one of my highs. But alas, all waves do crash, and, shortly after the post was written, I was soon in for a rude awakening. I’m not necessarily in a depressive period at this moment, but my head is definitely a lot more grounded in reality than it was a few weeks ago. Which sucks, because I love feeling the high. But it is this very high that makes all else– including reality– pale in comparison.

Apologies for the tangent. Now, where was I? Oh yeah– finals. At this point of the year, I’m feeling pretty burnt out. I had a pretty tough courseload, coupled with my commitment to a hip hop dance group, as well as ballroom dance lessons. I am currently enrolled in a 6-unit research methods course, which has held the long-standing, notorious label of being the “weeder” class for psychology majors. The class is all about SURVIVAL. I’d honestly be happy with a B in the class, which I wouldn’t say about any other class at UCLA. So far, I haven’t done great in the class. I got a little above average on the first exam (76%), and average on the first submission of the research paper (65%). Tomorrow morning at 8am, I have the second exam, which I’ve been studying for all weekend, so I’m crossing my fingers that the hard work will pay off (PLEASE). The upper division adolescent development class I’m taking is not easy, either. Professor Juvonen’s exams are tricky. I only got an 86% on the first exam, and am hoping to score near perfect on the second exam, to hopefully get an A- or A in the class. As for my philosophy class, I am so far behind on lectures, it is not even a laughing matter at this point. You see, I have philosophy class every Tuesday and Thursday, and dance practice every Monday and Wednesday night. Practice often goes until the early hours of dawn (we’ve gone until 2am, one time!). That’s why, on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, I usually choose to sleep in instead of go to lecture, which, in any case, is podcasted– so in theory, I can listen to the lecture from home if I happen to miss lecture one day. Unfortunately, the system fails when people like me lose motivation to listen to lectures online… and thus starts the cycle of falling behind. The good news is, I did very well on the first philosophy exam, so I have some buffer room, in case I don’t do very well on the second exam.

Bottom line is, academically, I’m pretty stressed right now– as expected, during finals week. I haven’t been taking good enough care of my physical health– eating all sorts of junk at strange hours and not exercising nearly as much as I should be. The only good thing that’s been happening is that I’ve been sleeping a decent 7-8 hours a night.

Mentally, I’m neither great nor terrible. As I said before, I’ve come down from my most recent high point, and am currently grounded in sobering reality. Reality is boring and, at times, uninspiring, but it’s also the state I’ll be spending most of my life in, so I’d better get used to it. I need to be able to find motivation and inspiration without the assistance of my hypomanic episodes.

It’s currently 8:10pm on this Sunday evening as I type out this post. At 9pm, I’m going to an a capella concert. Bruin Harmony is the group that’s performing– UCLA’s only all-male a capella group! They actually won the a capella title at Spring Sing, UCLA’s biggest music/dance talent show and competition. The concert finishes at 11pm, and after that, it’s straight to bed. Gotta wake up early for my 8am final. Urg. There’s so much more I wish to tell you guys, but I should get some last minute studying in before I get ready for the concert.

I’ll talk to you guys soon!







Enamored and Intoxicated

Hello, friends! It’s Friday May 11, 2018, and I’m wide awake at the ungodly hour of 2:55am. I have a really, really bad cough that’s keeping me from finding sleep, so here I am instead, writing away.

Tonight, I watched a video of Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, two-time Olympic champion ice dancers from Canada, skate their gold medal free dance to the Moulin Rouge soundtrack at PyeongChang. I kid you not— every time I watch them perforM… EVERY SINGLE FREAKING TIME— I end up bursting into tears. It’s truly special, what these artists and athletes are able to impart to others… Passion, emotion, inspiration. And so, so much more.

When I watch them skate, I think of all the hard work it took for them to get to the unrivaled level they reached at the pinnacle of their competitive career. My heart is filled with great respect and tremendous inspiration at the very thought of little Tessa and Scott, who first started skating together at the ripe ages of 6 and 8. 20 years, they’ve been together— the greatest of partners, and the best of friends.

I wasn’t destined to become an Olympic champion. It just wasn’t in my cards… wasn’t in God’s plan. But looking at these two-time Olympic champions from afar inspires me to try my hardest in all I do, with hopes of reaching my own greatest potential, just as these skaters did in their craft.

And so I write to you guys, completely enamored and utterly intoxicated with inspiration… ready to take on all challenges thrown my way!

How’s school going, you may ask? Well, the workload is definitely ramping up. I have a research paper due next week, and I NEED to do well on it to ensure a decent grade in the class. Whew. Pressure is on. Being sick has caused me to miss a whole week’s worth of lecture for my adolescent development class. And don’t even get me started on my philosophy GE— I’m so behind in the readings! No matter. I will get all my work done, eventually. The priority right now is to recover from my sickness.

My parents and brother, Chris, are coming down this weekend for Mother’s Day! They’ll arrive Saturday evening and leave Sunday afternoon. I’m so excited to see them— especially Chris, whom I haven’t seen since winter break, back in January!

Well anyway, seeing as sleep isn’t coming easy tonight (it hasn’t for the past few days), I’m just gonna work on my research paper while listening to the Moulin Rouge soundtrack. Wish me luck!





Waitlisted at Columbia University

Hey guys! I hope you all have been doing well.

My first round of midterms are finally over, and I couldn’t be more relieved. The relief is slightly soured, however, by the subpar grades I received on my three exams. The grades weren’t terrible– I scored average on my research methods course, and an 86% on my adolescent development class. It’s just that I expected I’d perform better. The saddest thing is when you walk out of the exam room confident and assured, only to realize you didn’t do as well as you expected. I only worry that there is a fundamental conceptual misunderstanding on my part that caused this poor test performance. I’m looking forward to Monday, when I can look over my exam and see what I did wrong.

In other news, I found out on Friday that I got on the waitlist for Columbia University as a transfer applicant! Last December, when I was still convinced I wanted to pursue a dance career, I had planned on transferring to a university in NYC– the mecca of ballroom dance. So, I applied to Columbia, without any expectation of getting in. It’s especially difficult to get in as a transfer applicant, with only a limited number of spots available.

I was surprised, then, when I actually got on the waitlist, instead of being outright rejected! In any case, even if I miraculously get off the waitlist, I most likely won’t be attending, as my path has once again changed. It just doesn’t make sense from a practical and tactical standpoint for me to transfer to a private, out-of-state university as as pre-med student. I gotta save my father’s resources for med school! Moreover, pre-med at universities as competitive as Columbia is INSANE. I’ll actually have a better chance at getting into med school at UCLA than an Ivy League.

So, as flattered as I am at getting on the waitlist at a top university, I don’t think I’ll be leaving UCLA anytime soon.

Alright guys! It’s 11:48pm– bedtime for me. I’ll talk to you guys soon!





Back to Pre-Med

Hey guys! Hope y’all are doing well. I apologize for not having written in so long— life’s been pretty hectic. When is it not, though?

Anyway, I have some big news for y’all. I’ve decided to hop back on the pre-medical track (for like the sixth time!).

For some, this major life decision may not come as much of a surprise. In fact, many of you must be face-palming so hard right now, thinking to yourselves, “Really Belicia? AGAIN?!”

I’ll tell you guys why I’ve decided to make medical school my goal once more. At the most basic level, I’ve always been one to aim high. It is simply in my nature. Being a pre-med student at UCLA is probably one of the most ambitious paths to take. I am ambition, and ambition is me. Simple as that.

Let’s go back to spring quarter of my freshman year of college, when I first renounced pre-med. What propelled me to make such a drastic switch in career paths? I had taken a couple quarters of chemistry and biology. During those two quarters, I practically lived and breathed studying. I was not dancing nearly as much as I wanted to. As is often the case with me, my life was completely out of balance, with academics consuming a disproportionate amount of energy in comparison to other important life pillars. I came into UCLA a crazy pre-med gunner, so utterly determined to get into medical school. My long-term goal blind-sighted me, and I lost myself in the tunnel-visioned pursuit. I gave up my passions and threw my mental and physical health under the bus. Two quarters into my pre-med journey, I had already burnt out.

So, I decided to take a break from the pre-medical track to explore other career options. My first instinct was to turn to dance, if not medicine. Dance was the next-most familiar thing in my life, and, as one who does not sit well with uncertainty, I figured that to have an idea of what I wanted to do was better than having no clue at all. So, after renouncing pre-med, I set my eyes on a professional ballroom dance career.

At one point in time, I truly thought that a dance career was what I wanted. I went so far as to almost leave UCLA after my first year to pursue my artistic dream. There is no doubt in my mind that I love dance. This art has done so so much for me, and I wish to spread my passion to as many people as possible. But to make dance my livelihood, my means of survival? That is a whole different story.

The summer between my freshman and sophomore years of college, I took to immersing myself in the world of competitive ballroom, learning anything and everything I could about the life of a professional dancer. I was quickly disillusioned— behind the glamour and glitz of the ballroom, the dance world is an ugly one, ridden with politics, drama, corruption. I decided to return to UCLA that fall.

Come sophomore year, I still wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. Despite seeing the true colors of the dance world, I still couldn’t let go of the possibility of becoming a dancer. I didn’t want to live my life regretting not going for my dreams, while I was still young and capable. I knew that there was no such thing as the perfect profession. Everywhere you turn, be it medicine, performance arts, academia, there will be politics and there will be stressors. Such is the way of life. I couldn’t let that stop me from pursuing dance, now could I?

By then, though, my burning passion for dance had fizzled out, lending way to doubt and hesitation and the sobering recognition of reality. It wasn’t so much a question of could I become a successful dancer, so much as, did I even want to?

Fall quarter of sophomore year, I switched my major from psychobiology to psychology, so I wouldn’t have to take any more science classes. So negative my experience as a premed student was the year earlier, I was convinced that I hated science. Upon further reflection, though, I’ve come to realize that maybe I don’t hate science— maybe I just went too hardcore during my freshman year with studying science, causing me to burn out. Maybe, if I gave chemistry, biology, and physics one more shot, making sure to go slow and steady this time around, I’d actually find enjoyment in learning about the workings of the natural world.

I am now seven weeks away from finishing my sophomore year. This past year, I’ve taken mostly upper division psychology classes, further corroborating my interest in human behavior. What I’ve learned, though, is this— I miss the structure and straightforwardness of my STEM classes. You learn the concepts in lecture and solidify class material through problem sets. With enough drilling, you will do well. With reading-heavy psychology classes, however, there is not as much structure with regards to studying. Humanities classes have their own set of challenges, indeed. Try reading a thirty-page research article, eyes squinted and glazed, unable to comprehend the long text of scientific jargon glaring back at you. Or a fifty-page essay written by some old white dude from the 19th century. After this year, I realized that my ideal course load would be one with a nice balance between humanities and STEM classes. The idea of switching my major back to psychobiology is starting to grow on me.

More than that, though, I miss feeling the pressure that comes with being a premed student. As I mentioned earlier, I have never been one to shy away from challenges. Gymnastics taught me that. As a psychology major, I just didn’t feel challenged enough. Don’t get me wrong— when I first gave up pre-med and psychobiology, I was absolutely thrilled to fill my course load with so-called “easy-A”, non-science classes. Life was so much easier! There was no more pressure to get into medical school. More time to party, more time for fun.

Eventually, the initial euphoria of my newfound freedom wore off. Even worse, I began to lose my drive and motivation to study. I felt lost without the direction of medical school guiding me. I had too much time on my hands— time I squandered on maladaptive behaviors. I didn’t feel like my old ambitious, competitive, driven self anymore. I didn’t know what to look forward to when I woke up each morning. What was my goal? I had no idea what I wanted to do after college. All I knew was, I was so done with school. So done. I didn’t see the point of studying. I was past the point of bitterness. I grew ambivalent towards school, towards UCLA. I wanted out.

This Belicia I’ve just described— she is light-years away from the young, bright-eyed girl who first entered UCLA, two years ago. She has strayed far from her path, and is only beginning to find herself once more. And who is this girl, anyway? WHO AM I?

I am Belicia Tang. I am a fighter, a dreamer, a brave soul who does not cower from adversity, but tackles it with resolve. I am immensely goal-oriented, and work best when I have goals to keep me on track. Whatever I do, I want to do it to the best of my ability.

This reckless party animal and hater of school… this is not me. I know it isn’t.

Two days ago, I made the decision to get back on the premed track. Since then, I’ve found a part of myself once more. I feel… freshly motivated. Eager to study, eager to learn. I know the path to becoming a doctor is incredibly long and difficult. But I also know that such a path is one most suited for a person like me.

I can’t say that I will necessarily go to medical school. Perhaps my path will change again (and knowing my past history, it very likely will). So long as I have medical school as my goal, however, I will be forced to work hard in school, to fill my time with conducive extracurriculars, to develop leadership skills, to be on my A-game. At the core, what’s happened to me is a mindset shift. There’s a lot to be said about the self-fulfilling prophecy. I envision myself as a future doctor, and thus aim to live up to the label. The ideal of becoming a doctor… it is what drives me to approach my studies with a more positive outlook; to abstain from non-wholesome, self-harming behaviors; to wake up each morning with a sense of purpose.

I want to become a doctor because such a profession entails helping others in the most profound and direct way.

And dance… dance will always be a part of my life. It will surely keep me sane as I grind my way through medical school, residency and fellowship. I’d even argue that dancing will make me a better doctor.

And so, my narrative continues. I think getting back on the pre-med track this time around has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I can feel it, in my gut. This is right. At the very least, it has gotten me out of the rut I’ve been mired in, for the past two quarters. Time to get up, Belicia. It’s time to move forward in my pursuit of greatness.

Life Update: 4/16/18

Hi friends! Long time no talk! How’ve you all been?

It’s currently 1:43am on this Monday morning as I begin this post. I had planned on sleeping early and waking up at 5am, and sleep early I did! But I ended up waking up at around midnight, and was unable to go back to sleep since. So naturally, I decided to update you all on how my life has been going!

So, spring quarter has sprung. And it’s been, in all honesty, quite stressful thus far. This quarter, I am taking the notorious psychology “weeder” class, Psych 100B. It is a research methods course that teaches students how to write a proper research paper. While writing is indeed my strong suit, I much prefer creative over scientific writing. Past students have described the course as a “living hell”. Having heard all these negative remarks, I went in to the course immensely stressed and nervous, as I really want to do well.

In addition to Psych 100B, I am taking a course on adolescent development (also notorious for being a tricky class), as well as Philosophy in Literature, a very ready-intensive course. All of my classes involve a LOT of reading, more so than I’ve done in my life. It doesn’t help that I am naturally a slow reader. So, academically, this quarter is challenging, despite the fact that I’m only taking three classes.

The academic stress has taken a toll on my mental health. I find myself constantly irritable and on edge. Thankfully, dance has proven to be an effective outlet for my angst. As for extracurriculars, this quarter, I joined a beginner/intermediate hip hop team, Foundations Choreography. We have practice every Monday/Wednesday from 7pm-11pm, and are expected to practice on our own as well. During the first two weeks of the quarter, I used dance as a means of procrastinating from studying, which of course was a terrible idea, as I ended up falling behind in my classes. That is why I spent this entire weekend cooped up in my room, catching up in my studies.

I know I should be grateful to be at UCLA… but sometimes, I grow bitter at the very thought of studying. I wish I enjoyed learning more… I really do. But I’ve never identified as an academic or intellect. For most my life, I’ve had to suppress my inherently artistic nature, as my family and surrounding community conditioned me to believe that life as an artist was wholly unrealistic and unsustainable, and should never be one to strive for. Since moving to Los Angeles for college, away from the suffocating influence of my parents and upper-middle-class community, I’ve finally gained the courage to dig deep within my soul and be true to myself. Here’s what I’ve uncovered: despite being a skilled test-taker, I cannot call myself a lover of learning. I’ve always studied hard, but not because I genuinely enjoyed what I was learning, but rather, to get those A’s, because that’s just what I needed to do. I wonder how I can change my attitude in such a way that I can grow to love intellectual stimulation and classroom learning… but sometimes, I feel completely out of place in my college campus, surrounded by academics. It’s so hard to be an artist whilst in school… but, I recognize the importance of earning a college degree, as education is and always will be my ultimate safety net, in case my artistic career does not work out.

I am graduating one year early. Then I’m taking a break from school altogether, so I can focus wholeheartedly on my dancing. I’ll live at home to save money, and continue growing myself under the tutelage of my dance teachers in the Bay Area. Once I am ready, I will move to New York City to further my dance career, and hopefully find a dance partner there.

If dance doesn’t work out after a couple years, I will go back to school and study to become a sports psychologist. I am fascinated by competitive athletes’ ability to perform under tremendous pressure, and would like to study this phenomenon further. Such an endearing skill extends far beyond the world of athletics; in applies to everything, be it performance arts, medicine, business, law, and even everyday life. I sometimes think of life as a sort of performance… how does one deliver, under the face of pressure? Having experienced a career-ending knee injury that took me out of gymnastics, I also wish to help injured athletes cope with the psychological stress of injury– a phenomenon overlooked and misunderstood by many. In short, there are many reasons why I am drawn to sports psychology. With my expertise in the field, I can also help many professional dancers mentally prepare for high-stakes competitions and performances.

So, that’s a rough sketch of what lies ahead for me, in the immediate future. Of course, the only certainty in life is uncertainty, which means my trajectory is bound to alter its course. And that is okay! It helps me, however, to have a sense of direction to guide me and keep me focused on achieving my goals.

It is week 3 of the quarter, which means midterm season is fast approaching. In this coming week, I hope to be more positive in my outlook towards school, and not stress unnecessarily.

It was great catching up with you all, and I hope to talk to you guys soon!







Spring Break 2018!!!

Hey friends! I’m writing to you as I sit inside the San Francisco Caltrain station, awaiting the bus to Los Angeles. The bus was supposed to arrive at 8:00pm, but annoyingly got delayed to 9:00pm. So here I am, passing time by writing this post!

This spring break was definitely one for the books. My friends and I accomplished most of the things on our bucket list:

  • Karaoke
  • KBBQ
  • Beach day!
  • Hike to the Hollywood sign
  • Road trip

It’s funny, because originally, I was not planning on coming back to the Bay Area for break. One random night, in a flash of inspiration, my best friend Chiana and I spontaneously decided to take a bus back to my home. I notified my mother, who frantically prepared the house for our arrival.

After missing our 7am bus on Wednesday morning, we took the next bus at 10am, and arrived in San Jose at around 5pm. That first night, my parents, Chiana and I ate dinner at a Thai restaurant. The Pad Thai there was not quite as good as the one at Mr. Noodle in Westwood; nonetheless, we shared good conversation over a generally delicious meal.

On our second day in SF, my parents kindly chauffeured us around the city. We took pictures at the Palace of Fine Arts, the Golden Gate Bridge, and Fisherman’s Wharf. After sightseeing, my parents dropped us off at Union Square, where Chiana and I walked around and made fun of all the expensive, high-end stores lining the streets. We window-shopped at Jimmy Choo, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Burberry, and Neiman Marcus. I think it was inside the Jimmy Choo store, where one of the sales associates flirted with me! Apparently my jacket tag was sticking out. He pointed it out, then proceeded to reach his hand down my neck to fix it for me. I kindly thanked him, to which he replied, “Bye sweetie.” Don’t get me wrong— this guy was hot— but I didn’t appreciate being treated in such an objectifying manner, and most definitely was not flattered by his actions. Similarly, when Chiana and I were walking along the streets, three men from a white truck wolf-whistled at the two of us. At first, I didn’t think they were referring to us; it was only when they continued staring at us through a rolled down window did I realize what had transpired. Ugh. Men. What can you do? At 4:30pm, Chiana and I headed to the top floor of Neiman Marcus, where we had afternoon tea at the Rotunda. We felt like royals, sipping on our exotic teas with milk and sugar, while munching on the finger-food delights arranged meticulously on a three-tiered fine carousal. All was well, until we got the check— $45 per person! I thought the experience of high tea was worth it, though.

Friday morning began bright and early at 5:30am! My friend Jung, who also goes to UCLA, made the spontaneous decision to join me and Chiana in SF! At 6am, she came knocking on the front door, and I welcomed her inside, groggy-eyed and all. I then went back to sleep on the couch, while Jung took a much-needed nap on my bed after her 8-hour red-eye bus ride from LA to SF. After we all received sufficient beauty sleep, my mother drove the three of us to the SF zoo! There, we took many pictures and saw many exotic animals, including:  lemurs, monkeys, giraffes, penguins, black bears, Grizzly bears, tigers, hippos, rhinos, foxes, panthers, pigs, goats, sheep, and several insect species. The zoo closed at 4pm, so we saw as much as we could in the 3.5 hours we were there. After the zoo, we made a quick walk down to Ocean beach, where we dipped our toes in the cold Pacific Ocean water and collected seashells. Afterwards, we took an Uber to my favorite Pho noodle place. We enjoyed a great meal of hot chicken noodle soup. Aside from the grumpy demeanor of the waiter, we were very happy with the meal, and left with our bellies full and warm. After dinner, we made the 30-minute walk back to the beach, just in time to catch the 7:30pm sunset. The trek through the biting cold wind was definitely worth it— the sunset was a sight I will never forget. After taking our pictures, we took an Uber to the Bart station, where we took the train back home. We concluded the day with beautiful, heartfelt, vulnerable conversations and disclosures. Twas’ a memorable night, indeed.

Saturday (aka today) began around 8am. We spent the morning at Bay Club, the local health and fitness center I grew up in. I didn’t realize how blessed I was to have been a member of the Bay Club until I saw my friends’ reactions to the place— awe and wonder at the center’s bourgeois nature. I guess I kind of just took the Club for granted, having been a member since the age of four. At around 3pm, we headed to the Caltrain station, armed with all our luggage, and bade farewell to my mother, who, surprisingly, shed a few tears upon our departure. I later asked her why she got so emotional; she said that she knew how difficult college was for all of us, and seeing us walk back into the lion’s den of another quarter pained her But, the pain and suffering is all for a good cause… we are getting an education and opening doors to a brighter future!

At the station, we met up with one of Jung’s friends, Eddie, and headed to the city. There, we took an Uber to Ghirardelli Square (there’s an extra “r” in that word that I didn’t know existed), and bought a bunch of chocolate goodies for friends back at UCLA. It was definitely a hassle to lug around our heavy bags while maneuvering the crowded streets of SF, and I would be lying if I said I wasn’t frustrated at the situation. After Ghirardelli, we came across a modern art museum, and proceeded to culture our young and hungry minds. The curator gave us a detailed history overview of some of the artwork, and the whole experience was very informative!

We made it back to the SF Caltrain station at 7:30pm, where the Megabus would depart. The original departure time was 8pm, but, due to a series of extenuating circumstances, the bus was delayed until 9:15pm! I was quite irked at this change of plans, but hey, what can you do? We sat inside the train station, where it was a little less chilly, and waited until 9pm to line up in the bus line.

The bus ride back was pretty uneventful, aside from the one unexpected stop we had to make, due to mechanical malfunctions. I slept most of the way back to LA. We arrived at LA Union Station around 5am. Upon getting off the bus, I had the good fortune of running into a friend from UCLA, Clifford, with whom we split an Uber back to Westwood.

And so concluded our very fun and adventurous spring break! I definitely have no regrets, only beautiful memories to cherish forever.

Where Did My Discipline Go?

“We’re stuck but we’re more than free”.

Such are the lyrics to Tove Lo’s song, Got Love. They refer to the artist’s hedonistic drugs, party, alcohol, and sex lifestyle. She is mired in this self-destructive way of life, and despite how “free” she may feel in the very moment, she secretly longs to extricate herself from the jaws of this negative cycle.

Interestingly enough, at this time, I can relate on a million levels to these lyrics. This past quarter was one of delayed rebellion; I tried many things I’d never imagine doing, back in my innocent, wholesome high school days.

Man… high school. Seems like ages ago. I actually had a dream last night about being back at Carlmont High. I didn’t enjoy high school very much, as I never felt accepted socially, amidst all the superficial cliques and immature exclusivity.

Looking back, though, there are a select few aspects of high school I sorely miss. One is the structured and disciplined lifestyle I exercised in my teenage years.

Funnily enough, most 17-year-olds struggle greatly with self-discipline. That was never a problem for pre-college Belicia. At my peak, I’d wake up each morning at 5am to dance before school. After school, I’d head straight to the studio and dance for several hours, before going home and getting straight to homework. I’d be in bed by 11pm, then rinse and repeat the following day.

Back in those days, my life consisted of many healthy habits. I was consistently exercising, dancing, eating healthy, meditating. I wish I could say I was doing the same, right now at UCLA. Instead, after I left the bubble of my home, I’ve succumbed to the myriad of temptations around me, and I have never felt more lost in my life.

One of the hardest things I’ll ever do is to get back my discipline. The mere thought of waking up at 5am to dance is unfathomable, at this point. Most people become more disciplined as they grow older. I can’t help but feel I’ve sorely regressed.

I know I am, at the core, a strong person, and I will get out of this rut. It is spring break now, which is the perfect time to regain my former healthy lifestyle. It is time to find myself once more.