Tuesday, December 31, 2013

My List

I feel like the end of the year is a good time to make lists. It’s a time to look back on the year and evaluate: what happened? How have I grown and changed? What were my favorite and least favorite things? I’m the kind of person that needs to take a step back from a situation before I can see it clearly, so I love thinking back on the year and trying to find some major themes or ways I have personally grown.

In that spirit, here is a list (in no particular order and following no particular theme) of some of my favorite things from this past semester.

-This year I've really been able to develop some deeper friendships. It helps that I'm starting to focus more on studying specific things, so I see a lot of the same people in my classes and stuff that goes on in the departments. Since I live so far from home, it means a lot to me to have close friends at school.

-I officially declared a computer science major! I've known for quite a while that I wanted to study computer science, but this semester I made it official. I had to fill out a form with all of the classes I am going to take during my four years to fulfill all of the major requirements, and then ask a professor in the department to be my advisor and approve the form. It feels so great to look at my name in the directory and see "Computer Science" instead of "Undeclared"!

-I'm really bad at asking for help, and can be very stubborn about trying to figure things out on my own. In general, I really don't like approaching professors for help. This semester, between missing a few days of class, planning classes to take, study abroad, and declaring a major, I was kind of forced to talk to my professors more than usual. And, it was really helpful! I want to improve on this, Wellesley has amazing professors.

-For the last few weeks of the semester, my life was almost completely consumed by the final project for my computer science class. My partner and I spent SO many hours programming and testing our game. There were definitely frustrating days; one time our program stopped working, and we searched for about an hour to finally discover that we forgot a single character, which was causing the malfunction. Overall, though, it was one of the most enjoyable things I have done in a long time. I love being hands on and making things that actually work and do something. It really confirmed for me the fact that I want to study computer science.

-I co-led a first year small group this semester as part of Intervarsity Christian Fellowship. I've been part of Intervarsity since last year, and I love the community I have found there. Leading the group was a challenge, because I've never done anything like it before, but I learned so much and I formed a lot of really great relationships.

-My parent's house in Minneapolis is undergoing some major renovations. (As I write this I can hear noise downstairs from the construction.) In some ways its frustrating, because right now I don't have a bedroom or really any space to call my own (I'm sleeping on an air mattress on the living room floor). At the same time, this project has been in the making literally since we moved into this house about 17 years ago, so it's thrilling to finally see it being done! Next comes painting the walls, and I'm really excited to help with that.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Coming Soon...

Midnight breakfast and primal scream - I guess finals week does start tomorrow, huh? (By the way, moonlight breakfast = one of my new favorite finals traditions.)

Anyway. I promised myself that this week I was going to write a blog post! And I started, more than once, but couldn't come up with the right thing to say. With finals and projects and packing and flying home this week, I don't know when I will have the opportunity to write next. I just wanted to acknowledge that I realize how long it has been, and that I will have a real post soon!

One small thought. This morning in church, the pastor talked about joy. According to Merriam Webster, joy is "the emotion evoked by ... the prospect of possessing what one desires." This time of year can be crazy. For students its finals, for others it might be family issues, money issues, just plain the busy nature of the Christmas season - feeling like you need to get everything done in time, and done perfectly. Joy can feel far away in all of that. But too often we mistake joy for happiness - it's okay not to feel happy all the time. Joy is acknowledging that we might not have what we desire right now, but we will someday. We can hold onto that hope and feel joy in the present, despite our current circumstances, because we know that at some time in the future our circumstances will be what we desire.

Personally, I cannot wait until finals are over and I am back home again, with my friends and family! And I can have joy in that, despite what the last couple days of the semester might bring.