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.

Being the Subject of Gossip

Hi guys. I write to you all with a heavy heart, as lately, my personal life has been rife with petty drama surrounding a new friend circle I involved myself in.

I want to preface this post by letting y’all know that I am, largely, a drama-free person. I vehemently dislike conflict and find it very difficult to get mad at others, even if I have every right to do so. Instead, I internalize the conflict and ruminate over all possible things I could have done to instigate such discord, leaving me distraught and very upset.

Ever since coming to college and putting myself out there socially, I know people talk about me behind my back, be it good or bad things. That’s the price of being socially uninhibited– you open yourself to the judgement of others. You climb out of the safety of the trenches into No Man’s Land, completely unshielded from the open fire. But let my qualify that metaphor. High self-esteem, thick skin, and disregard for the haters serve as impenetrable, invisible shields to the blows. The only problem is, I am lacking in all three! Mind you, I am a very sensitive person, and tend to take criticism and negative judgement very personally. That’s where the rub is– I take strides to be as open and genuine as I can with everyone, expecting (hoping) that I will be accepted by all; but the reality is, not everyone will like you back.

Let’s get on with the story, shall we?

I recently began hanging out with a new friend group that I was introduced to by a good friend from class. I began spending more time at this friend’s place, first to study, then to just chill and have nice conversations with him and his friends.

Two days ago, my friend invited several members of his group out to eat sushi. He listed out the names of everyone he invited, to my face. My name was not amongst them.

Now, on a normal basis, this would not have bothered me— I understand that I am new to the friend group, and existing “members” might not be comfortable with me being all chummy and hanging out with them quite just yet. However, in this case, there were two other girls who were also new to the group. Yet the two of them were invited, but not me! I definitely felt left out that night.

The next day was Thursday. Earlier in the week, my friend had promised me that we would drink and party together Thursday night. The whole week, then, I had been looking forward to that night.

At around 8:20pm, I texted my friend, asking him what time I should come over. Twenty minutes later he replied, telling me that, as a collective, they had decided that it would be a “small group” thing. I was, in other words, disinvited.

I was hurt. I felt… unwanted… rejected… alienated. This is why I never liked cliques— the exclusivity of it all is, in my opinion, immature and too reminiscent of high school. Why can’t everyone just get along with one another? I love meeting new people, and I love that my current friend group is so open to inviting others to hang out with us.

I didn’t come to college to experience high school drama all over again. My close friends all told me to forget them; that I have enough genuine friends, and that I don’t need them. It’s so important to know who your true friends in life are, and to cherish them dearly.

All of this drama, as insubstantial it may seem, is still pretty fresh, and I still feel sad at the thought of it all. I keep wondering if I did anything to make these people not want me in their group. I was informed by an insider that they had a group chat, and that on the chat, they were talking about me. They said that I always left my things at my friend’s apartment on purpose, as an excuse to hang out with them.

This could not be further from the truth. Don’t worry guys, I am not that desperate. Yes, I did leave my things at my friend’s apartment on two different occasions, but it was out of sheer ignorance and forgetfulness on my part— absolutely no ulterior motives involved. I’m a very straightforward kinda gal, and I don’t believe in playing petty games.

Being rejected hurts. But friends, know this, and know it good. It is never your fault if someone else decides they don’t like you. That’s on them, and it is in no way a reflection of your own worth. Trust.

Spring Break 2018, Day 6: Morning Musings

Good morning, friends! It is currently 5:36am as I sit inside the local Starbucks located next to the Bruin Theater. Sleep did not come easy last night, so I said, “Screw it”, and dragged my baggy-eyed self out of bed to get an early start to my day.

Sometimes, it seems that the longest days ahead are the ones where you have nothing planned. I do know that tonight, my friends and I are gonna party hard at Tigerheat, a gay club. Before that, though, I have the entire day to myself. A blank page, a white canvas. How will I choose to write my narrative?

As I went about my daily morning routine, I had a thought. What if today was the day I began my first novel?

A little while back, I told y’all that I was working on my first book, an autobiography, which would be but a compilation of my blog posts. After talking to my fellow community of writers, though, I came to realize that the process of writing a book is rarely as simple as mashing together blog bits. I have since scrapped the project, and am itching to start a new one.

How cool would it be to become the next J.K. Rowling?! To entertain and inspire millions with my brainchild… My goodness, though. The level of Rowling’s creativity is out of this world. Literally. The Muggle world was too boring for our beloved author, so much so that she had to create a new, magical one where her unshackled creativity roamed as free as can be.

But first, baby steps. Blogging, journal writing, the Daily Bruin– all are ways in which I can perfect my craft as a writer. Not to mention the plethora of creative writing classes available to undergraduate students at UCLA!! Ahhhh, the bounds are endless in this beautiful world of words. I’m so excited to see how far I can stretch my potential as a writer.

Alrighty, guys. I’m gonna order a smoothie, then I’ll start on my morning journaling. Talk to you soon!

 

 

 

 

Love,

Belicia

Spring Break Day 5: Done With Finals!!!

Hi guys! Welcome to day 5 of my spring break! It is almost 4pm as I crunch out this post.

I took my last final exam this morning. It was for my abnormal psychology class. The interesting thing about this final is that it is optional. If the score you get is higher than the lowest grade of one of your exams, then the former grade will replace the latter grade. If the grade you earn on the final exam is LOWER than the final grade, then it will not affect anything. In other words, the final can only help your grade, not jeopardize it.

I thought the final was pretty easy, to be honest! The truth is, I didn’t study as much as I should have– mostly because I wasn’t planning on taking this final in the first place! When I decided, the day before, that I wanted to take the exam, I should have crammed like crazy. Instead, I spent the day out with my girlfriend, Ekayana, exploring Los Angeles and stuffing our faces with IHOP pancakes. On the day of the final (this morning), I studied for a good 1 hour before tackling the test. Turns out, all the information I needed was up in my head, already! I finished in about 30 minutes, though we had a full three hours for the exam.

After the test, I felt immensely accomplished. I called my dad, even, to brag about it! I’m so glad I decided to take the exam at the last minute. I could have just told myself, “Screw it, I’ll live with the A-.” But I know that’s not my kind of attitude. If there’s even the slightest chance I can improve my grade, I’ll jump at it. If I didn’t take the exam, I would deprive myself of any hope of getting an A in the class. Now, if I did take the exam and scored below my lowest exam grade, at least I can say that I tried my best and left no stone unturned. And so, I took the final exam, and am hopeful that I will be able to bump my grade up to an A!

I had left my Beats headphones at my friend Milton’s place the previous day, so after exiting the exam room, I walked through the pouring rain to Milton’s apartment. By the time I got there, 80% of my gray sweatpants were soaked, despite my efforts to shield out the rain with my rainbow umbrella. I blew-dry my sopping pants, and crashed on the couch while waiting for the rain to quiet down.

At around 1:45pm, I left the apartment to grab lunch with my friend, Jung. We talked about boys, boys, and more boys, over pho noodles and deep-fried shrimp chips.

After lunch, I headed to Jung’s dorm lounge for a bit, where we shared yet another conversation about boys.

Afterwards, I headed back to my own apartment, where I quickly took off my drenched clothing, and replaced them with warm and dry ones.

At around dinnertime, I walked over to In-N-Out with a couple friends, where we got burgers and fries. Cheat day everyday!!!

After dinner, we watched the horror movie “Veronica”, which actually is in Spanish! Thankfully, all of us are literate and know how to read English subtitles. That would really suck if we couldn’t, lol.

After the movie ended, my friends left the apartment, leaving me alone to muse about my life and its wavering direction.

And so, concluded my wonderful (and very, very rainy) spring break day! Hope you guys enjoyed following me along this journey!

 

 

 

Love,

Belicia

 

Spring Break Day 3: RELAXATION

Hi guys! Welcome back to my blog!

Today is the third day of spring break. So far, I’ve been relaxing and recuperating after a long week of finals.

At 12:00pm, I headed to Westwood to get my nails done! I figured, since it’s spring break, I may as well pamper myself. I got black-painted acrylic nails, save for my left and right ring fingers, which were painted sparkly gold.

After getting my nails done, I headed back to my apartment for lunch. After lunch, the food coma kicked in, and I took a two-hour nap. When I awoke, I decided to read the book, “7 Habits of Highly Successful People”. I’m hoping to finish that book by the end of spring break!

After my nap, I cleaned my room, living room, and kitchen. I also made a new YouTube video about growing up as a triplet. Check it out here!

At around 6pm, I walked to In-N-Out Burger for a wonderfully healthy meal of hamburger and french fries. Hello, dancer’s bod!

After dinner, I headed back to my apartment, where I chilled with friends and engaged in light-hearted conversation. At 8pm, I headed to my other friends’ apartment, where, in celebration of the end of finals, we broke open a bottle of Rosé and sipped it out of martini cups.

Later that night, I walked back to my apartment and took to bed.

What a relaxing day it was! Nothing too exciting happened, but sometimes, that’s just the way I like it– nice and simple, drama-free, content.

 

First Day of Spring Break 2018!

Hi friends! It’s currently 7:21pm, and I just woke up from a very peaceful nap. How are y’all? I know most of my friends are still prepping for finals, so I wish all of you guys the best of luck. The ordeal will be over soon enough!

It’s strange being the single individual amidst my peers to have finished finals before finals week even began. I finally get a chance to take a step back and take a look at what student life entails, from a third-person perspective. What are my thoughts?

I truly marvel at how hard everyone works at UCLA, and how much this school and its heinous grading curve pushes its students to push themselves. Heck, I AM one of those students; when its crunch time, I put the pedal to the medal and am able to laser-focus my way to an A. As un-fun studying may be for me, I eventually am able to lose myself in the class material and get things done.

It’s easy to look in retrospect and think, how the heck did I manage all of that studying? At least, that’s what I’m saying to myself, in this lazy couch-potato moment. I suppose the explanation lies in the fact that behaviors are largely shaped by the context you are in. When it’s finals week and everyone around you is studying like crazy, you will be unconsciously swayed to match your environment and study hard as well. Of course, there’s the fear of failure that drives many students to work hard at their studies. A select special few are driven to study by an internal desire to learn; I applaud these people, as I certainly am not amongst them.

So here I am, sitting in my bed, listening to Halsey while typing out this post. It’ll be a few more days until I can party with my peers, as none of them have finished finals yet! Until then, I am occupying myself with more constructive activities– dance, writing, cleaning, napping. Yes, I’m serious about the last one. Your girl’s been sleep deprived for nearly ten weeks; it’s high time I recover before the next quarter hits me like a train.

I am determined to not get depressed this break. I will set small goals for myself each day, instead of letting each day wistfully pass me by. I will also try my best to appreciate each moment I have away from the books. Take it in, revel in it, soak it all in. It’ll be a good time, I know it.

In other news, I currently have a date to get ready for! We’re gonna get to know each other over ice cream. So innocent and fun! I will talk to you guys very soon.

 

 

 

Love,

Belicia

 

Post-Finals Depression– WHY OH WHY?!

Well guys, it’s that time around again… the post-finals depression is hitting me. A little ironic– you’d think that I’d be ecstatic that finals are finally over (pun intended). And don’t get me wrong– I was. Initially. But that euphoria passed quickly, only to be replaced with a hollow feeling and questioning of what to do next with my life.

This has always been the case with me. After every major life event that I’d spent countless hours prepping for and putting my everything into– be it college applications, AP exams, finals, or a big dance competition–  I’d fall into a pit of depression, not knowing what to do next, without a concrete goal to give my life direction. Of course, there remains SO much in life I want to accomplish… I just don’t know where to start, though, and I feel a bit overwhelmed.

Perhaps I need a day or two to relax after a hard-fought battle. Destress and recover from a difficult round of finals. And then I can get back on track with my goals– dance more, write daily, pick up meditation and yoga, read a book. I shouldn’t overthink things… I must learn to enjoy and cherish each moment I’m alive.

Everything will be fine in the end, I know it. I just need to chill, treat myself kindly, rest and recover from this rough quarter, turn over a new page and start anew. The depression will pass. My good friend referred me to a therapist in Los Angeles, whom I will call to set up an appointment. She runs a private practice, so my parents would have to pay out of pocket for me to receive treatment… but if this therapist is good, I think it is worth the cost.

Alrighty friends, it’s time for me to go. Talk to y’all soon!

 

 

 

Best,

Belicia

Spring Break Excitement!

Hi friends! TGIF! It’s 1:15pm as I sit here in Kerckhoff Coffeehouse. I have a final at 3:30pm and am doing some last-minute brush-up studying. I’m taking a quick study break by writing this post!

Generally, I feel confident about this developmental psychology final. I studied consistently several days in advance and am very familiar with the material. I just wish I could take the final already, so I can be done with it, and commence my spring break!

I really lucked out this quarter. All my psych classes had their finals during Week 10, so I basically have nothing to do during the actual finals week– which means, two week spring break!!!

I’m not going home this break. History has proven that when I’m home for too long, I am likely to become very depressed. I need to keep busy and be surrounded with friends. I love my family, but I sometimes feel as if college has paved a divide in our relationship. I associate my family with innocence, something that I’ve lost since coming to college, and will never get back. It wasn’t until I came to UCLA that I realized how truly sheltered I was at home. I’ve since seen the other side of the rainbow, and part of me does not want to look back on my previous sheltered life. When I’m with my family, I feel an immense amount of guilt. Guilt associated with some of the things I’ve done while away from home, freed from the watchful eyes of my conservative, Mormon parents. This is why I don’t want to go home this break. It hurts too much.

Instead, I plan on spending break with friends. We already have a bucket list of activities planned:

  • eat KBBQ in Koreatown and sing karaoke
  • go to Six Flags
  • road trip to San Diego??
  • PARTAYYY!

I also plan on getting back into my dancing groove. I haven’t danced in a good month because of school… it is time to start up once more. I’ve really missed being in the studio, hard at work, perfecting my craft. Dance is inextricably tied to my identity, and to stop dancing is to lose a big part of my soul.

Alrighty, friends… it is time for me to start studying once more. Studying is no fun, and to be quite honest, I feel burnt out already, and I’m only a second-year. But I must push onward. Perhaps change my attitude to a more positive one, so studying is no longer such a chore.

 

 

 

Talk to you soon,

Belicia

 

Writing To Procrastinate

Good morning, friends! It’s 10:09am as I begin today’s post. I’m sitting inside UCLA’s Bombshelter, South Campus’s premier food court. I can feel the wind blowing from outside, and my thin denim jacket is doing little to block out the cold.

I have discussion at 11:00am and am just killing time by doing some much-needed writing! I really should be studying for my impending exams… but lately I’ve been struggling so hard with motivation, which is quite uncharacteristic of me. I feel relatively prepared for tomorrow’s abnormal psychology exam; gonna do some brush-up studying when I get back to my apartment. My main concern is intimate relationships– I got an 85% on the first exam, which was disappointing. The class is not curved, either, which means that what you get is what you get. The paper was a bit better, at a 92%… but not enough to offset the debacle of my first exam. I need to score near perfect on my final exam if I am to get an A in the class. Shit. Being the darn perfectionist I am, I can’t settle for anything less than an A or A-. Maybe I should change my attitude towards grades. Yes, I want an optimistic future, and good grades will indeed open doors for me. At the same time, though, because I want to pursue a dance career, I don’t necessarily need to get straight A’s in school, as doing so would not serve me as a dancer in any way.

Next topic– boys! I’m so done with them. Lol. I’ve had my fair share of fooling around this past month, and have since concluded that most men don’t deserve me. I am back to focusing on myself, my goals, and the people in my life who mean the most to me. I must temper my 20-year-old hormones and stop jumping at every guy who shows me the least bit of affection. I must develop my self-esteem from the ground up, and learn to stop seeking validation from the outside world.

Honestly, I love writing so much. I find that I’m always in my best mental and emotional state when I’m writing consistently. When I’m in a bad place, I sometimes stop writing, for to do so would be to turn the mirror inwards, giving me a glimpse into my tainted soul. But writing is the very thing that will save me from the dark times! It’s my primary form of catharsis and relief from my depressive lows. I thank God every day for blessing me with such a precious gift.

Ah, what to write about next? Honestly, I’m still talking to you all because I can’t bring myself to study any more. After my discussion, I will head back to my apartment, where I will study until my developmental psychology class at 3:30pm.

The quarter is nearing the end, which warrants a time of reflection. Academically, I was a little bit disappointed with regards to the classes I took this quarter. My favorite topic was social psychology, but unfortunately, I was stuck with a bad professor who, while very sweet, would simply read off the slides during lecture, which was disappointing. Abnormal psychology was interesting as well, but again, same problem– not a great professor. Intimate relationships was alright, but I found that the professor, while extremely knowledgable, oftentimes embarked on tangents during lecture, during which time I’d get lost and zone out. His exams are pretty tricky too; you really have to read the textbook in great detail if you want to do well in the class. Developmental psychology was just disappointing. The class material was dry; it definitely wasn’t what I was expecting. Moreover, the professor wasn’t a very engaging lecturer, though I do appreciate her occasional humorous interjections and anecdotal examples.

All things said and done, I’m glad that this quarter is almost over. It’s been rough emotionally; I feel like I’m almost always guaranteed at least one mental breakdown per quarter, which is pretty lame. I need to regain control over my constantly in-flux moods, and not allow them to take over my life and negatively affect my daily functioning. I would love to get A’s in all my classes, but I’ll live with an A-, and even a B+. The Earth will not shatter, and life will go on.

It is 10:32am now. As much as I love talking to y’all, it’s time to get back to work. Talk to you soon!

 

 

Love,

Belicia

 

Monday, March 13, 2018– Reflection

Hey guys! Welcome to today’s blog post! It’s 12:14am right now, but seeing as I’ve become a night owl, sleep will not come to me until later.

I fell asleep at around 4:00am last night (or this morning). So tired I was, I slept all the way until– get this– 3:00pm!!! YEAH, I KNOW… CRAY.  That’s the latest I’ve ever slept in my life! I even missed my 8:00am discussion and abnormal psychology lecture, which was a bummer.

At 3:30pm, I headed to a review session for my intimate relationships class. Unfortunately, I arrived late, just as the TA was finishing up.

Between 4:00pm and 5:00pm, my friend Milton and I studied for our intimate relationships final. At 5:00pm, we lined up to get tickets for the Foundations Choreography Winter Showcase! Foundations is a beginner urban/hip hop dance company, comprised of five separate teams. It was the company I really wanted to get into at the start of the quarter; unfortunately, they could only accept the first 200 applicants, and because I applied late, I did not get in. I plan on doing Foundations next quarter, though!

The showcase started at 7pm. Before the lights dimmed, I socialized with a lot of my friends and had a good time.

I enjoyed watching my friends kill it on stage! Let me just take a minute to express how proud I am of my best friend, Chiana, who was on the team SOL. She came into Foundations with absolutely zero dance experience. She had originally joined because our mutual friend, Tatt, urged her to do it. Tatt ended up dropping out of Foundations in the middle, but Chiana bravely decided to stay, regardless. Watching her legit dance on the stage was so heartwarming and inspiring! My friends and I couldn’t stop screaming her name. She genuinely enjoyed herself, and her improvement in dance skill level was tremendous. Chiana is an inspiration to me, and I love her so so much.

After showcase was over, we headed back to the apartment. Chiana and I shared a heartfelt conversation about our first impressions of each other. I learned that, when Chiana and I first met, she perceived me as the “popular” type whom she’d never envision being friends with. She knows I am much more than what I put out to the public, however; that beneath the sass and bubbly nature is a sensitive, deep, reflective soul. It’s so interesting, how many masks we all carry… Sometimes, I feel as though I’m putting on a performance for the public. Ever since I started college, people have perceived me as super confident, outgoing, energetic, charismatic. And because people expect that of me, I feel pressure to fulfill such a public image. Don’t get me wrong– I genuinely enjoy being in the company of people, and I pride myself in being a gregarious person. I know, however, that deep down, I am not as confident as many make me out to be… I am a deeply flawed human being, rife with insecurities. I am a self-proclaimed ambivert; very outgoing at times, but also socially inhibited and quietly withdrawn at other times. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with being introverted. It’s just sad, how Western societies value individualism and leadership; the introverts get the short end of the stick. It’s almost as if society shames us for being introverted, which shouldn’t be the case.

How am I doing, in terms of mental health? Unfortunately, I think I am mildly depressed at the moment. The good news is, I have started back up on my medications, but because of the latency period, the real effects of the meds have yet to kick in. I don’t know what exactly is bothering me at the moment. Perhaps it is all the stress of finals hitting me. As I’ve told you, I have four finals this week. Yuck.

My goals for spring break are to get back into my dance training; explore the greater LA area with my friends; take a break from boys and focus on myself; write every day; get back into my meditation routine; and simply have a good time. I truly want to be happy, and in spite of all I’ve been through, I have faith that, with time, I will find long-lasting happiness. It’ll be a long time before I reach that mecca; I first have to learn to manage my roller-coaster moods and get my bipolar disorder under control.

Alrighty, friends. I gotta get some shut-eye, even though I don’t feel the least bit tired.

 

 

 

 

Love,

Belicia