5 Items Checked Off the To Do List of a Graduand

Almost a year ago, I wrote a blog post titled “5 Items on the To Do List of a College Senior.” Big disclaimer, and a problem I’ve been having since I was probably around 7 years old: I definitely did not remember all five of these items consistently through the school year.

This year, I got lucky. Reading over my old blog entry made me realize that I, in spite of my forgetfulness, did get around to doing these things. (If that read a bit anticlimactically for you, no worries — that was the point.)

1. Take all the classes in the English Department.

I took my education at Berkeley very seriously. | Photo by Courtney Cheng

“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.”

So, I think what my just-finished-with-junior-year-self was thinking was that I just really, really wanted to take my thesis class. Because current finished-with-thesis-self is pretty okay with not having significantly increased the number of her “number of courses taken in this [English] department” on her course evaluations. (The answer is either “12+” or “too many.”)

2. Learn how to be an adult.

“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.” 

Slowly, but surely, I’m getting there.

3. Take time for myself.

Photo Courtesy of Death to the Stock

“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.”

Still doing this. Not every day, but a good several days a week. I don’t think it actually counts as meditation, but it’s very therapeutic, and it is most definitely part of the reason why my bedtime has been pushed to increasingly insane hours this semester.

I have actually spent a lot of this semester alone. (My professor wasn’t kidding when he said, “Writing is a very solitary task.”) But being alone and writing, or being alone while doing something, is not the same as being alone and doing zilch. And yes, even sleeping does not count as this designated alone time.

We spend so much of our lives just running from one place to the next as we keep up with anywhere from one to a hundred people at a time, thanks to texts, emails, and social media. It’s nice to be able to get proper head space just for me on a regular basis. “Doing nothing is [still] fantastic.”

4. Spend more time with the people I love.

We were going for the “family photo” look. | Photo Courtesy of Ashley Kim

“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.”

Went to UCBSO’s final concert again this weekend, and I can confirm: I still felt all those warm and fuzzies when I saw everyone.

This semester was very different from previous ones, probably because I made sure that I took the time to be that person who constantly texted and messaged you to check in with a “How was the midterm?” or a “Hope you’re feeling better!” and even the occasional “I feel like I haven’t talked to you in forever. What’s new?”

(Sidenote: I actually sent that last message to a friend. It had been about 24 hours since we’d last messaged. She thought I was being ridiculous — until she felt the same way a few days later, after another 24 hours of silence had passed between us.)

Every minute I spent out with a friend this semester has been more than worthwhile, and even though I may have lost sleep because of some of these plans, I have no regrets. Not a one.

5. Take better care of myself.

“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 enjoy cake too much to make this completely possible (#foodieexcuses), but aside from the dessert indulgence, it’s safe to say that I’ve made the most of my free RSF membership this semester.

Looking back at the ends of things often goes one of three ways:

  1. You feel incredibly sad that things are ending because you’ve accomplished so little.
  2. You feel incredibly sad that things are ending because you’ve accomplished so much.
  3. You feel incredibly happy that things are ending because you’ve accomplished so much.

…I’ve just written categories, expecting myself to choose one, and then realized that I don’t want to fit into any of them. #sendhelp

Let’s make a new category:

You feel both incredibly sad and incredibly happy because you’ve simultaneously accomplished so little and so much.

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