Summer Loving

If I could find a way to see this straight, I’d run away to some fortune that I, I should have found by now…

After a looong week of hardcore studying, cleaning up and moving out, and saying goodbyes, I am quite mentally and emotionally drained as well as disoriented. Everything is just about wrapped up now…so what do I do with myself?!? I don’t have another exam to start studying for, or another program to plan, or somewhere I have to be…it’s the strange yet familiar feeling I get whenever a summer or winter break comes around. And I have a whole month of it before I move back to school for the summer 8 week session! I know I should feel content and relaxed for once and enjoy it – which I do – but I think my workaholic side remains a little too high-strung. It’s hard for me to just shake off the feeling that I have some deadline to prepare for. So I decided to make a short list of things that I could do to occupy myself – mostly things that I have pushed back because of school or other “priorities” that got in the way. If you’re also feeling restless, here are some suggestions for you as well.

  • Read a book. Seriously! I’ve been trying to spend more time reading books I just wanted to read for fun. The top of my list right now is the A Song of Ice and Fire series (aka what Game of Thrones is based on!) which I started last summer. But since each of the books are a thousand pages at least, I never got through the entire series. (I got lost somewhere in A Feast for Crows) I got A Dance with Dragons on my Kindle and can’t wait to get started…I have to stay ahead of the HBO show!
  • Watch a movie every day. I’ve had a looong list of movies to watch that only keeps growing. Thank goodness for Netflix – even if they don’t update their selection that often, there’s still plenty to keep me occupied. On my list at the moment are: American Hustle, The Wolf of Wall Street, V/H/S 2, and rewatch all Miyazaki movies (it’s been a while)
  • Learn a new instrument! I’ve been messing around with ukulele for a while now, and it’s one of the EASIEST instruments to learn! A cheap ukulele only costs about 40 to 50 dollars, and the quality is still decent enough to learn on. I suggest checking your local music stores to see if they’re in stock, or perhaps even looking online. I personally use a Makala uke, which is plastic and was on sale when I bought it, but it’s still decent to produce some mellow chords. After learning just a few chords, it’s super easy to just Youtube some simple songs or Google chord progressions.
  • Start a new show to watch! Again, Netflix makes it infinitely (and sometimes too) easy to marathon a series. At least now I don’t have to worry about homework or studying when I binge watch something…other than the remote shame I receive from spending hours in my bed nest when  Netflix prompts me with “Are you still watching ___? Click continue to keep watching.”
  • Go for a swim! It’s crazy to think that the weather was 50-100 degrees lower just a little while ago. (Although I may have to take that back if the weather keeps being unpredictable…) Enjoy the heat by hopping into the local pool or a beach. I haven’t been to a beach in Chicago for years, so that’s definitely on my list to do sometime this summer.
  • Cook/bake a new recipe. Throw something together and try something new! I’ve never been a cook, so I’m hoping to have a few meals down pat before I move into an apartment one day. Now that I’m home, my dad wants me to bake some of his old favorites again – namely muffins and bread.
Have a great start to your summer!


One more spoon of cough syrup now, whoa…

(Cough Syrup - Young the Giant)

Summer Suggestions

Whether you’re taking summer classes, working at an internship or part-time job, or have the entire summer off with minimal obligations, the 3 months is going to go by incredibly fast. Before you know it, we’ll be back in classes and buying books. Between now and then, there’s a good amount of time of which to make the most. Here are some ideas on what you can do to improve your summer and enjoy the time off:

1. Go places for the day. This is my favorite part of the summer. If you don’t have a vacation planned, this is an especially good idea because it always feels like a mini-vacation. Look up places to visit and plan a day out of it. I’ll share my favorite places to go in the coming weeks. This gives you something to look forward to and makes the summer a whole lot more fun. For years, my boyfriend and I have been going somewhere every Friday but now that he has a full-time internship, that has to end. I don’t think we’ll stop going places this summer, but we definitely have to change days. This is especially great if you look up places at the beginning of the summer and make a list of them. Each time you want to go somewhere, you can choose the one that works best for that day based on the weather and whatever other conditions.

2. Stay on a normal sleep schedule. Just like all of the other breaks, it’s very easy to fall into the trap of staying up into the latest hours of the night (or potentially the early hours of the morning) and then sleeping in until 12, 3, 5, or even later. Don’t become nocturnal this summer! There’s a lot that you’ll miss out on. I’m not saying not to have some late nights enjoying yourself, but don’t make it a constant habit. Try to get to bed within the same time frame each night. You’ll wake up around the same time, too, and as a fall back, you can set an alarm. Sleeping is great, and this is absolutely a time to catch up on all of those lost Z’s from the year, but do so wisely and in a way that you won’t regret later.

3. If you don’t already know, learn how to do laundry. Learn to cook and/or bake! Learning important life skills is important, especially depending on your living situation. While a lot of people are proficient in the kitchen and laundry room, there is still a fair amount of individuals who don’t know how to do one of these things. There is no excuse- everyone can do laundry or cook if they take the time to understand the process and learn. At this point, you have 3 months to figure things out, and there is most likely someone who can help you learn. Take time out to discover the art of making something other than ramen, and learn how to separate laundry so that you get the longest wear possible out of your clothes. Eventually, you’re going to have to take this step that is part of growing up, but it’s easy to push off. Don’t do that! Learn now so you can put those skills to work during the year.

4. Put your phone/computer/etc. down. Everyone has been talking about and sharing the Youtube video about the importance of looking up from your phone. Our cell phones have, sadly, become our best friends and our biggest support system. Believe it or not, there was a time we were able to function without them. Try walking away from your phone. I’m not saying to go out of the house or run to the store and leave it behind; that is why we got cell phones, after all…to be able to contact someone in case of emergency or if we needed to talk to them quickly. But why do you need to be checking Twitter at the beach? Or Snapchatting at the movies? Keep your phone in your pocket or purse and try living life through your own eyes with the people present in the moment. At home, put your phone in your room and don’t check it all day. You’ll feel incredibly liberated, and there’s a good chance you may see something you’ve never seen before because you were too busy on your phone.

5. Find somewhere to volunteer your time. It can be really difficult to find time to give during the school year, with the combination of school, work, friends, etc. Summer seems to always give us a fair amount of free time, whether or not you are working or in school. Think about what you’re interested and passionate about, and make a point to set up a volunteering schedule. Even if it is once a week or month, this will make you feel a lot better and will give you something to look forward to. There are a million options for volunteering. It’s just a matter of finding what is the best fit for you. If you don’t want to go it alone, get friends or family involved. That way you’ll all be held accountable to go volunteer, and it can be really fun doing this with them. This will no doubt be the most rewarding part of your summer!

6. Spend time with your friends. Living at school makes it hard for me to see my friends from home as often as I’d like to. It’s easy to start living a double life and separating the two. Reconnect with your friends and start making plans. There is a million things to do in the summer, and no reason not to spend time with them. Make sure you maintain your friendships- you don’t want to lose them simply because you’d rather lay around or be alone.

7. Meet up with your UIC friends. People at school are from so many different towns and states. If you’re able to, set up times or weekends where you can visit each other. This is one of the things I’m looking forward to the most. Three months is a long time to go without seeing the people you spend so much time with during the school year. If there is absolutely no way for you to visit one another, talk on the phone or video chat; don’t spend the whole summer just texting each other.

8. Start an exercise routine. What better time to get in shape? Take advantage of the weather and set up a routine, and actually follow it. So many workout plans fail just because people give up on them because they don’t see immediate results or for any other reason. Don’t be one of those people;it’s a lot harder to start something up again a million times than it is to continue it. While you’re at it, change your eating habits if they aren’t the best. I’m not saying don’t check out all the ice cream places. What I am saying is to grab the fresh, in-season fruits and vegetables at the grocery store. Summer is a great time to get healthy. What excuse do you really have not to?

9. Try out restaurants and bakeries you’ve never been to. I love finding different places to try out over the summer, especially when places open up their outdoor seating for the season. See what your neighborhood or the surrounding ones have to offer. Head out with friends or family and check out new places, or those places you’ve always seen but never gone to. You might find a hidden gem or a new favorite place.

10. Take time to think. I always recommend this, but for a good reason. Life moves too fast, especially when you’re distracted by tests, quizzes, and online assignments. Summer is the time to revisit your thoughts and determine if you are on track with school and happy with your life. If you are, this will make you feel organized and prepared. If not, summer is a perfect opportunity to set up advising appointments or change up your schedule. Don’t just ignore the real world during summer-make a point to be prepared. It’s important to know whether or not you are happy.

Denis Savard- Go Blackhawks!

In the past five years, my cousin and I have gone to countless Blackhawks game, attended different events like the Blackhawks Convention, the Blackhawks golf outing, and of course following the cup all over the city.  In all those events, I have only met a couple of the players (past and present). At the Blackhawks golf outing a few years ago, my cousin and I were walking around the course and all of a sudden a golf ball came out of nowhere and landed right next to us.  We thought, “Wouldn’t it be funny if it was Victor Stalberg’s ball?”  We liked Stalberg a lot.  Turns out it was his ball.  He comes walking over looking for his ball.  I was a bit star struck but my cousin said, “You’re ball is over there.  It almost killed us.” It’s something we still laugh about.

Last week, I went to Champps in Lombard to watch Game 3.  Denis Savard, a retired Hawks player, was there signing autographs.  I was very excited because even with ALL of my devotion to this team, I had yet to get an autograph.  THIS was my chance.

My boyfriend and I got in line and I asked to take a picture with him.  Initially, my boyfriend didn’t want to ask for a picture, but Savard called someone over to take the picture of the three of us.  He was so nice and personable.  I told him about when they won the cup in 2010, my cousin and I cabbed it all over the city to find the cup but never caught up with it because it was moving so fast.  We eventually took a trip to Toronto to see a game and saw it at the Hockey Hall of Fame.  He said, “You know there is a website that will tell you where it is everyday.”  I replied with, “Well, I mean right when they got back with the cup and everyone was drunk taking it from bar to bar.”  He laughed, signed my jersey and gave me a signed picture of him.

Savard was drafted by the Chicago Blackhawks in 1980.  He played with the Hawks from 1980 to 1990 and then he was traded to the Canadiens for Chris Chelios.  He then moved to the Lightening, but later came back to the Hawks in 1995 and would eventually retire with the team he began with.  In 1997, he retired from hockey and started coaching for the Hawks.  They retired his number (#18) in ’98 and he was inducted to the Hockey Hall of Fame in ’00. (Denis Savard).

Here’s hoping I meet many more!

                                                    GO BLACKHAWKS!!!!

Halfway done…

And if you stay I would even wait all night / Or until my heart explodes, how long?

We made it everyone! The semester is finally over, and summer is just around the corner. It’s unbelievable to me, but I’m halfway done with college. This isn’t that impressive, especially when I know people graduating 1 or even 2 years early and going on to graduate or professional schools already, but I still feel nervous knowing that half of my time here is an undergrad is done! I made up my mind when I came in that I wanted to take four years and try to do everything I can within them. On my first night after moving in, I made a long bucket list of things that I wanted to do here as an undergrad living in Chicago, like visiting all the museums in the city, going on an Alternate Spring Break/Global Medical Brigades trip, or even kind of crazy things like running the Chicago marathon or singing with a stranger on the El. And now I’m coming to realize that my second year is coming to a close, and my time has been whittled down to half of what it was and I have not made much progress on my list:

Things I Have Finished So Far…

  • Write for an Honors College publication (hooray for the Ampersand!)
  • Run a half-marathon
  • Continue learning Russian
  • Go to a ballet (Joffrey Ballet’s Russian Masters)
  • See a concert at the Pavilion (Paramore!)
  • Hold a tea tasting program

I try hard not to compare myself with others in my head because I know then I would start re-thinking and second-guessing myself on almost everything I do…it would drive me crazy! But when I look at this long list of things I want to do and realize I haven’t even made a dent in it, I realize it’s time to get myself in gear. What’s ahead for me? Just looking to this summer, I will be taking a couple courses and (hopefully if I can get a housing scholarship) living on campus again – so luckily, I’ll still be around in the city! I’m a little anxious about taking organic chem lab, but I’m still wrapping up with this semester, so it’s still a little early to worry about that, right? In any case, I think I’ll take a few weeks to myself and my family to just take a breath and enjoy my time at home. My summer classes don’t start until mid-June, so I have about a month to recharge and prepare myself mentally. My biggest fear right now is that I’ll be burnt out after taking classes over the summer to be recharged for the fall! Looking at the schedule of things, I’ll jump right from finishing my summer courses into RA/PM training and move in, with only a weekend in between; then after two weeks of training, fall semester starts right away!

But there’s a ton of things I want to do this summer – concerts to see, people to hang out with again, and movies to watch, places to explore – it’s hard not to be excited at what’s coming ahead.

Congrats on finishing your finals, everyone. Go get some frozen yogurt, see a movie, go to the beach, just take it easy – you deserve it. Have a wonderful summer!

Til we find our way in the dark and out of harm / You can run away with me anytime you want

(Summertime - My Chemical Romance)

It’s Over!

We did it! We made it through the year! Congratulations on conquering finals and making it out all in one piece. It’s an absolute miracle that we made it through this winter, let alone this entire school year! I hope you’re satisfied with the work that you put in and are looking forward to the future, whether it means more school or the real world!

Take a day or two to relax- we’ve all put in a lot of work this year, but it was worth it!

Instead of just talking very generally about the last 9 months, I made a video for you to incorporate the entirety of my junior year. I hope you enjoy it!

IAMUIC – Junior Year

A few things before I go

This is it, UIC. My last blog post, ever (unless I come back for medical school, then maybe you’ll see me again). I’ll be honest. I don’t know what to say or write at this moment. Should I talk about my finals? My pre-finals week? How my graduation ceremony will be? That my family expects me to come home, but I don’t want to because I want to be here and work in the city?

I’ve gone from K-12 to finishing my fourth and last year in college in a flash. Left to my own devices, I hope I continue to grow and learn as I have been taught over the years. As I mentioned in my last post, I have decided to restudy for the MCAT a third time and dedicate way more than I did my previous two times. Sure, it was naive to take it when I did the last two times. I think the pre-med mindset and characters around me pressured me into the idea of applying and taking it as I did. I’m so close to graduating and moving on with my uncertain plans, but I’m excited to be selfish for once and use the time for things I used to enjoy, like reading, drawing, playing violin or piano…erhu here and there…volunteering in my free time…so, a two-year gap doesn’t sound so bad if I spend it well with things I love to do!

I’ll still be working, or at least I plan to fit it all in. After completing my Honors College Capstone paper, I most definitely want to stick with research! Hopefully there is space in my current lab to take me in as a part-time worker. I’m sure if that doesn’t work out, then I can apply for another research lab position (I would have a B.S. in Biological Sciences for my qualifications, haha!). I’m keeping my ER scribe position as well, although I’m still worried about how I will get home at 2am. Maybe I can find a place in the hospital to sleep overnight…I don’t know yet. The crime alerts are occurring closer and closer to campus and it makes me nervous about living in the city. Too bad Campus Housing doesn’t let non-UIC students live during the year, haha! I’m sad my graphics and web aide position will end there. I can’t believe I’ve worked there since my freshman year in September! Everyone I worked with at that time have gone / graduated now. I’m really happy I lived on campus for the duration of my education here at UIC. I’ve been looking at apartments nearby and it’s really stressful! I think about transportation, security, cost and everything people normally do…I clearly have a lot to learn still.

Oh man, and the Writing Center. I was offered a job there over the summer too, and I really want to do it! But, I need to figure out the research / scribe scheduling first…and most importantly my MCAT schedule. I have to choose a date, and then start formulating a master plan on killing that test. I wish I could just live where I worked! Things would be so much simpler. There are so many great people I have met there, and it’s going to be super sad not being in the presence of the other tutors, staff and writers.

Polish! Did I tell you we had an oral exam last week? I was so worried because our professor told us we could use ZERO English and ZERO hesitation (no um’s, uh’s, etc) and…that was hard. I’m so happy I studied a lot for it since I got full points! Woohoo! I’m also super sad I won’t have formal instruction anymore for Polish (unless I disguise myself and come back in fall for POL 103, haha!). I plan to adopt a Polish grandmother to keep up with it (Polish friends, beware!) and maybe take up learning Spanish finally in my gap year. Maybe even Cantonese. My Mandarin is still pretty good, phew.

Let’s see…my classes this semester were really great! Genetics lab was fun and Human Physiological Anatomy II was packed with information (and great information that will help me when I become a physician!). I encourage any pre-health student to take it. Happy with my choices, and hopefully this will swing my GPA up. :D

There’s so much to say, and I’m sad I don’t have time or space to go in deep all of my experiences (because I’ve expressed it over time in my previous posts, dear readers!).

GAH! Still in denial this is my last post. I don’t even know how many readers I have, or if I have responded to everyone’s comments! I guess I should leave some ways to keep in touch?

Yes, that’s what I’ll do. This is not goodbye, dear UIC and my readers. While I don’t have a current blog I’d like to publicly advertise, I don’t mind sharing my Twitter! You can follow me at @lilmissmil. I made that username account in like fifth grade, so please don’t judge. xD At some point I’ll advertise via Twitter if I begin blogging hereafter…

Still frozen here in my thoughts. My mind is drawing a blank! Perhaps a few life lessons or things I recommend you all do before you graduate? I don’t know. Sure, what the heck. Here it goes.


  1. Do not date anyone your freshman or sophomore year (school is your priority and relationships are just going to suck the life out of you – you paid money to go here!). Once you’re a junior or senior, you’re usually more aware of what your goals are and hopefully someone you are interested in can share that goal with you.
  2. Don’t drink? Don’t smoke? Don’t attend parties? Neither do I and that’s totally OK! I’m proud to say I have never been to a college party or drank alcohol or smoked anything before. I love my liver and lungs.
  3. If you need help, there are plenty of great people to talk to. The UIC Counseling Center, your family, faculty, other students…or me! Bottling up your emotions or shame or whatever burden that brings you down and sinks you in your chair needs to come out! Rant, swear, boogie, I don’t know what it is that will do that, but for me talking things out with someone with my issues keeps stress off my back.
  4. Time management is the best skill to have.
  5. Multi-tasking, similarly, is the second best skill to have.
  6. Motivation plays a large role in your success (if you can see it, you can achieve it – how awesome is that?).
  7. Being honest in everything you do will make things easier. If you make a mistake, admit it and move on! Don’t make it again, unless it takes you three times to understand why you made the mistake. Then, practice makes perfect.
  8. Stuck in a crummy situation? So are those who don’t even have a chance to go to school. I’ve said this many times before, but at the end of the day – you are in a better place than most people in this world, and if given a choice, they’d switch places with you in a heartbeat.

I’d say more, but my brain wants to shut off because I’ve got finals to study for still (funny because I attended my graduation ceremony already). It doesn’t feel like I’m done with school, and that’s probably because I’ll be learning new things for the rest of my life.

All right UIC. This is it. I’m off! To infinity and beyond.

See you around,
Milie Fang

Time to say goodbye

As I sat around a bonfire with my friends a few weeks ago, we talked about how it’s crazy that it feels like we just started college a few years ago – and now, we are preparing to graduate. I found myself getting a bit emotional – that’s when it hit me that I’m graduating and leaving UIC. Saying goodbye isn’t easy. Especially when you’re leaving a school that has been the biggest part of your life for the past four years.

When I decided to go to UIC, I knew that whatever I experienced at the college would leave an everlasting mark on me. And I have absolutely no regrets of attending UIC – the school has blessed me with so many opportunities, education, and skills that have prepared me to be the 22-year-old graduating senior I am today.

Let’s be honest – classes were not a summer breeze. I can recall many sleepless nights during my first two years where I would sit at a computer screen with piles of books, trying to figure out the best next sentence of a paper. I can recall the long school days where I felt like a zombie hyped up on coffee. Endless papers, tests, and projects were bountiful. I also recall getting a hang of task management during my last two years here. I felt like a college-pro, being able to manage everything and anything. Now when I reflect on all the readings I read, the papers I wrote, and the exams I studied for, I understand why I did all that stuff. It was to make me smart – to instill in me the world-class education that UIC promised. Whenever I am working on new assignments at school or at my internship, I find myself going back and memorizing the things I have learned in my classes. I received a world-class education from UIC.

UIC also gave me leadership skills and a better awareness of myself through my involvement in student organizations. In particular, the UIC Undergraduate Student Government had the most impact on my personal development. After joining my first week as an undergraduate in August 2010, I have been dedicated and passionate for the organization. I wanted to genuinely raise awareness about the group and provide the most effective student government possible for the undergraduate student body. I had many positions that entailed me learning how be a leader: Chair of the previous Internal Affairs Committee, Vice-President for two years, and the Chair of the Communications & Recruitment Committee. I was also able to attend three conferences in Washington, D.C., including the Clinton Global Initiative University conference. I was also able to meet face-to-face with university administrators to develop new, beneficial plans for students. I organized several major events, including my favorite, the Undie Run. Through all of my experiences in the organization, I developed a unique, passionate love for the university. One that will make a dedicated alumni.

I truly am going to miss being a student here. But as I welcome full-fledged adulthood, I will never forget the experiences UIC has given me. And I would like to thank every single one of my I AM UIC blog readers for welcoming me and listening to me for the past two years. I will miss you all!

Until next time…



Go Blackhawks!

I feel like I’m having Deja Vu.  I am very excited about this playoff season.  The first series against the St. Louis Blues was a stressful first round.  The history behind the Blackhawks-Blues rivalry goes back to the 70s.  You can attribute a lot of it to only being 300 miles apart.  The Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals are rivals in the same way.  As a Hawks fan, I always felt more of a rivalry with the Detroit Red Wings.  I remember on my way back from Canada, we stopped in Detroit.  There was a Blackhawks game that night and figured we could go to Buffalo Wild Wings to watch it.  Turned out that they could care less about airing the Hawks game.  They only put one little tv on with the game all the way in the corner.

Nonetheless, the Red Wings are no longer in our division.  So, the Blues seemed to be a pretty good first contender for the first series.  There was stress.  There was anxiety.  There was a lot of superstition.  When the Hawks won the first game after the hit Seabrook gave to Backes (ultimately suspending Seabrook for 3 games), I decided to wear the same pajamas and sit in the exact same spot that I did when they won for the next game.  They won.  I thought, “There is no way I can not NOT wear these clothes for the next game!”  Coincidentally, my cousin got sick during that game.  The next game, my mom got sick.  I was told to “take one for the team” for the next game.  Thankfully, I was wearing my lucky pajamas and sitting in my lucky spot, I didn’t need to get sick for them to win. Can’t mess with the Juju.

Last year, before they won the Stanley Cup, my cousin took me out for my birthday.  We went all over the city, taking pictures of the signs that said “Let’s go Hawks!”  We took pictures with the statue of Stan Mikita at the United Center and with the Lions at the Art Institute with their hockey helmets.

Then the next day on June 24th,my birthday….THEY WON THE STANLEY CUP!  It was probably the best night of my life.  Multiple people recorded me crying tears of happiness.

We’re going to do it again this year!



Ready or not

I see my pretty face in his old eyes…

It’s insane for me to think that soon I’ll be moved out and back home again. All I really need to do is to survive this coming week with the one huge hurdle being the physics final. I’m relieved to say that I should be fine in my other classes, especially after taking the last couple of tests for them. It’s one of the rare times where I’m confident in my grade! Physics, on the other hand, is a whole other situation to worry about…I’ve been doing all the homework and practice problems though, so hopefully that will be enough to keep me afloat.

In the meantime, though, I’m mostly hanging in there by binge-drinking tea and still trying to keep a fairly normal sleep schedule from night to night. (Although I have a terrible habit of falling asleep in my bed with my laptop. Thank goodness I recently switched to a MacBookPro, which shuts down automatically after a while, because my old 5+ years laptop would never do that!) I’m luckily finding that the year is winding down in many ways that allow me to mainly focus on studying. For instance, I held my last program for the year as a PM; also, the Ampersand will soon release its last issue to pickup at the Honors College. With my responsibilities wrapping up for some other activities, I actually find that I have more time to study for once, which is really helpful….because I’ll need it.

Despite the craziness of this past week and the week to come, I managed to have a pretty fantastic week last week! Last Tuesday, I was able to go to the Bulls playoff game against the Wizards! I’m rarely this impulsive, but my friend Adithyan was able to get discount tickets and successfully rounded up a few friends from Commons West last year to go together! It was wonderful seeing them again. Whenever someone moves into an apartment or even a different side of campus, it can become much more difficult to see them on a regular basis, especially when we have none of the same classes! So this really was the perfect reunion event for all of us diehard Bulls fans.

Heartbreakingly, the Bulls lost in overtime (darn free throws…) 99-101, but I still had the best time with my friends just cheering them on until I nearly lost my voice. It’s been years since I went to a Bulls game, but I have always been a crazy fan of theirs. My dad and I have a habit of cheering them on at home (while my mom sometimes rolls her eyes at us!) and we can get quite heated when the score gets close like this. It’s a whole different experience to be a part of that crowd of fans though, and feeling the intense energy of over 20,000 screaming fans is crazy exciting. I rarely go out on school nights because I’m kind of high strung and think that it’s better to spend all my time studying or doing something productive, but this was the perfect choice to help me relax and recharge before buckling down for finals.

The next day,  on Wednesday, was the annual Campus Housing banquet, in which some of the best and most dedicated people on campus are recognized for all they contribute to make living on campus better for everyone. I’m so proud of my friends who were recognized, including fellow blogger Holly, who won BEST RESIDENT ASSISTANT for East Campus! I loved how all people affiliated with Campus Housing were congregated together because the staff members I see the most are of course the Courtyard staff. It was great to see the desk workers and the IT workers as well! My friends and I also had a great time visiting the photo booth again and again.

Finals are looming once again, but for the first time in forever, my spirits are high. Of course I’ll still be anxious over grades and whatnot, but I am nursing confidence within me and brimming with determination to finish the rest of the year strong.

May the odds (or the curve) be ever in your favor, friends!

Will you be my friend in my dream? / Take that pretty face off surely

(Pretty Face - Sóley)

Just days away

It’s late. It’s raining. I’m looking out of the window at the same sights I have been looking out at for about 3 years now.

We are days away from finals week and from closing another chapter of our time at UIC. For many, this year is the final chapter to the college experience. For others, it was just the beginning. But for me, the end of this year means I am precariously balanced between the very end of the road and one last go around.

When I finish my last presentation, check out my final resident, and load my car with 300 pounds of clothes, it’ll be the end to more than just my junior year to me. My last presentation marks the final semester of difficult classes and challenging courseloads; from here on out, I only have 12 credit hours and hope to spend at least 6 of them on an internship. Saying goodbye to the last remaining resident means I will no longer have residents…I will be done being a resident assistant, something that truly engulfed me for the past two years. The past two times that classes wrapped up for summer and I moved back home, I felt at peace, ready for a summer off to recharge for the following year. I was doing everything I wanted to each year and really felt like I was accomplishing all of the goals I’d hoped I would from the start. At this point, my plans for next year are finalized, and things are really going to change.

That isn’t to say I’m not incredibly excited for the year ahead. I can’t wait to take on every role I have worked for years to get to. That’s not what this is about.

The end of my junior year means I have one year left. One last try to do everything I’ve been putting off because it felt like four years would never end and that I would have plenty of time to accomplish it all. I’m shocked and incredibly anxious when I contemplate the fact that in mere months I will be a senior in college, millimeters away from the dreaded real world. It’s absolutely insane how quickly time goes by.

As I spend my last weeks here, I am trying very hard to take it all in and enjoy every second. Things are happening whether or not I am prepared. When I come back here in August, I will walk the same hallways I did as the freshman hall council president as the building’s senior resident assistant. I started out trying to figure out just what I wanted to do while here, and now I’m scrambling to make sure I can walk away feeling like I did it all. That view out of my bedroom window stayed consistent year by year while everything else constantly changed-for better or for worse. And I’m perfectly fine with that.

There’s a bird singing outside. At 3am, a bird is chirping nonstop. It’s funny, but at the same time, it helps me. Listening to a bird, no matter where or what time of day, links me to so much of the past and helps me stay on track. No matter how fast life moves or where it takes me, I’ll still hear birds chirping. And if they’re as happy as let on from their chirping about the changing of the seasons, I can embrace every change that comes my way and prepare for my last time around.

Here’s to the end of the year and big moves.

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