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