5 Items on the To Do List of a College Senior

1. Take all the classes in the English Department.

In case anyone needed clarification, this is a slight exaggeration. I don’t plan on overloading myself with classes, but I don’t intend to slack of my last two semesters either. There are still so many classes I want to take, and I can’t believe I only have two semesters left to do everything I wanted to do.

Fall semester 2014 in review
Fall semester 2014 in review | Photo by Courtney Cheng

I know everyone says that, and I know my expressing this sentiment on Berkeley’s 2015 General Commencement loses a lot of its charm since there are seniors at Berkeley who are beginning their week of revels, but still—simply because one person has a particular experience doesn’t invalidate anyone else’s.

My current plan for Fall 2015 – academically, extracurricularly, and occupationally (Is that even the right word here?) – I am happy to say, is putting me right on track to check this item off.

2. Learn how to be an adult.

Just because the law regards me as an adult doesn’t mean I actually feel like an adult. There are so many things I still don’t know how to do when it comes to “real life.”

In less ambiguous terms, I need to figure out what all those words and numbers on my bank statements mean, aside from the balance in my bank account. Enough said.

Photo courtesy of Death to the Stock
Photo courtesy of Death to the Stock

3. Take time for myself.

For an introvert, I take very little time for myself. There are few minutes, let’s not even talk about hours, where I actually have time to sit down and empty my mind. At school, I’m busy always thinking forward to the next thing or actually walking to the next thing. There’s never not anything around the corner, which means my body and mind are constantly busy every day.

Taking time for myself has been a recent development that started this past semester, though, not precisely of my own choosing. I have made the point of leaving campus more often between classes and meetings just for the opportunity to sit down in my own bedroom and my own space, even if it is only for an hour. At the same time, I’ve also made an accidental habit of lying facedown on my bed for about half an hour just before I go to bed.

Yes, I spend 30 minutes of my life before bed actively avoiding my going-to-bed process, just to do nothing. It may sound dumb, but it’s actually once of my favorite times of day. Because at that point, I’ve either finished my daily to do list, or I’ve worked to a point where I no longer want to look at my to do list, lying there aimlessly is actually so fulfilling. My mind is empty, I’m not worrying about doing another chapter of reading…

Doing nothing is fantastic.

Photo by Irene Kim
Photo Courtesy of Irene Kim

4. Spend more time with the people I love.

During dead week, I holed myself in a room and buried myself in my books unless a social obligation pulled me away. The only times I left the apartment were for review sessions or extracurricular events. I did meet up with Luke to bake on Wednesday, but I was technically in the comfort of my own home so… We’ll let that one slide. Otherwise, seeing people was not a necessity for me.

Friday of dead week rolled around, which is when I actively sought out human company and I attended the UCBSO concert. Afterwards, I found myself being greeted and hugged by a not-small number of orchestra friends and although this introvert was surrounded by people—she was happy about it.

It’s taken me six dead weeks to realize this, but I actually really enjoy my friends’ company, and I definitely do not prioritize it anywhere near high enough at the current moment because somehow I always think I’m never going to finish my work on time.

Note to present and future self: Your work will always get done. Go out and see someone. Drink, laugh, and be merry. Have revels.

5. Take better care of myself.

Photo courtesy of Death to the Stock
Photo courtesy of Death to the Stock

I do take pride in being a foodie and maintaining a mostly healthy diet throughout the school year, but there are still some things that I let slip that I’d like to rectify in this coming year.

I’d like to be less self-indulgent on my homework snacking because minimal as they are, they’re not exactly health foods right now. This, however, would be more forgivable if aforementioned snacks were healthy. (Makes notes on future grocery lists.)

I want to hit the gym more often. I go at least three times a week to run, but there are other parts of my body (I’m looking at you, nonexistent arm muscles) that I think also deserve some extra loving. This isn’t to just be in shape for the sake of being in shape. I want to do this for myself, because I know this will be something I’m proud of. And ultimately, what’s the harm in that?

I want to be less negative. I like to complain. A lot. My go-to excuse is that I’m a writer, and in order for a story to be interesting, there has to be conflict—no one wants to read a story where the happy ending starts on page one. But regardless, being so negative on a day to day basis isn’t healthy for myself, and this is a habit that has required attention for a long time coming.

So here’s to another summer and year at Berkeley. May the odds be ever in my favor.

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