Stumbling into the end

family in vegas

I had fun with my family in Las Vegas during winter break. Now it’s back to reality.

 ♪♫♪ When we were young, we used to live so close to it / And we were scared and we were beautiful…

It’s been ages since I blogged! I’ve been trying to write more frequently, albeit it’s rather sporadic. I finally forced myself to start a new journal, which is nothing new because I nearly always end up abandoning them after long periods without writing. Blogging, on the other hand, doesn’t come naturally to me and it takes a great deal of motivation to overcome my blogger’s block. Over winter break, I tried to start a couple blogs but ended up scrapping them out of dissatisfaction with their direction…I guess even after these years of blogging, I still can’t dissociate myself enough to just write freely for a blog.

I’ve had so much going on lately that it’s hard for me to process that this is my last semester in undergrad…despite counting down to graduation since August, it has still managed to creep up on me. It’s bewildering to imagine myself not returning to Student Center East, the Quad, and the dorms every day when they have been my home for over three years. But…now I have a much clearer of what’s in store for me next year as well. Essentially, I have two paths I can follow right now, both of relatively equal likelihood. Hopefully in a few weeks I can blog about it with more detail!

With my last semester, I also came into one huge change: I’m an RA in Commons West now. For those of you unfamiliar with the dorms, Commons West is primarily first-year housing, which is certainly not new to me since I was a Peer Mentor in Courtyard for two years. I made the decision rather suddenly, but it was a little bit of a no brainer. Sometime in November, I was contacted to see if I would be interested in being the RA for the Honors community in Commons West (first floor, west side). By that time, I felt like I had figured out some feasible plans for next year and I figured it was my last semester…what would be the harm of taking on the job? I am no stranger to housing and familiar with how duty is run, even though I was a PM. And with the utter lack of financial aid this year, the choice seemed simple: I accepted the position.

But…what I did not factor in (or rather just ignored at the time) were all the other commitments I would have going on! On top of the RA job (which is quite the handful now that several hours of desk shifts are required every week now), I also have to finish my Honors Capstone project, continue running the Ampersand, work part time at the Honors College front desk, and juggle my 21 credit hour courseload. Of course, I chose to do all of these — I made my bed and now I’m lying in it. Only about 15 of those credit hours are actually required for my Neuroscience major, which I have to finish before I graduate in just 12 weeks. In addition, I chose to take BIOS 454 (Biochemistry II) and PHIL 116 (Philosophy of Medical Ethics) out of my interest for the topics and thinking the material will prove useful to me in the future. It turns out that of all my classes, Medical Ethics (with Dr. Dave Hilbert, who I had in PHIL 204) has proved to be the most interesting for me so far in terms of reading and thinking about those topics. Later in the spring, I will also start an 8-week online course (BHIS 406) on medical terminology…I’m excited!

So with all these classes, it’s been a little crazy to say the least. But I haven’t completely lost my mind just yet. The first round of exams are upon us all, and I’m still struggling to find a balance so that I’m not desperately cramming the week of the exam. Being on duty as an RA has not been easy either; it’s actually rather psychologically taxing, and I respect RAs even more than I did before. But, I have survived my very first duty weekend (last week), which thankfully was not too tumultuous. All I know is that having the duty phone on me makes it very hard to ever lay down to sleep…it seems to have a tendency to sense when I’m entering stage 2 sleep and picks that moment to ring…Balance. That’s what I keep telling myself. It’s what I’ve ben trying to find and keep for the past four years, but ultimately I find that I am the sum of my imbalances, chaos and disorganization.

Good luck on the first midterms, everyone!

Oh when I get up, this is what I see / Welcome to reality ♪♫♪

(REALiTi – Grimes)

 

Sarah Lee (F)Sarah Lee is a senior studying neuroscience and Russian in the GPPA Medicine program at UIC. She’s still trying to figure out exactly what she wants to do, but some of  life goals include running a marathon, exploring Eastern Europe and becoming fluent in Russian. In her free time, she loves running, playing piano and guitar, and reading. A Naperville native, Sarah is a peer mentor in the Courtyard residence hall.

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