Sophomore year reflections

It is the Thursday of Dead Week – sorry, Dead Day – and I’m sitting at the edge of the Starbucks at Tresidder, watching a steady stream of people coming in and out of the shop. I received a doozy of an email a few moments ago, and having been so thoroughly distracted from reviewing what Bayesian classifiers are, I thought it’d be nice to take a step back and reflect on this past year (sounds daunting, I know).

There’s so many things I’ve already likely forgotten about sophomore year, so many emotions and thoughts and experiences that I wish I had the foresight to document better than the monthly (if at all) entry into my journal. But I think despite all this, the prevailing notion I felt in living through this year was that of change.

Sophomore year was a brisk change of pace for me compared to the semi-aimless curiosity I characterize freshman year with. I began to question a lot of things that I once were rock-solid about me: my friends, my majors, my interests, my place here at Stanford. And in fearing the so-called sophomore slump, I ended up bringing on elements and aspects of that which I was desperately trying to avoid. Go figure.

In fearing the so-called sophomore slump, I ended up bringing on elements and aspects of that which I was desparately trying to avoid.

But there was also a lot of exploration into who I was, what I valued, and what I wanted to prioritize in the coming year. With all that in mind, I felt enegized and centered once more – my break from some of the commitments I’ve had for the past two years will give me some time to reflect on how they’ve been such an integral part of my Stanford experience, while there’s new challenges in store for me to get excited for. I can’t wait to dive head into all of it.


It is now Friday, Day 1 of the gauntlet that is Finals Week. I’m now at Coupa at the GSB (history doesn’t repeat itself, but it sure does rhyme) and I’m definitely going to be kicked out within the next twenty minutes for having ordered a small elephant chai and then taking up space for the next five hours. Nevertheless, I’ve come back to wrap things up with a small update on where my life is headed next. So many good things are happening over the next few months:

  • In 11 days: I head home for perhaps the shortest™ period of time I’ve been able to go home. Family, friends, and Disneyland are all on my list of priorities while I’m down there.
  • In 17 days: I’m beyond excited to start working at CESTA on campus, where I’ll be helping create a geodatabase based on this awesome archaeological map made in the early 20th century! Classics and CS combined into one oh my god–
  • In a little over 2 months: Staff training begins, at which point it’ll really start to sink in that I’m going to be responsible for 120 humans next year.
  • In a little over 3 months: Stanford! Gaieties! Talisman! CS! Classics! Theater! Junior year!

This year has been a process of reflecting and growing and self-loving and surviving and thriving, and to distance myself from any further anxieties I have about the future would be a disservice to me and my growth. Sophomore year didn’t exactly pan out as I had initially imagined, but that’s okay. I have so many fears crossing the halfway point of my Stanford career (!), and that’s okay. I’ve learned and am continuing to learn that the mindset you carry affects your outlook incredibly, and I’m holding on to my view that I’m all right in the ambiguous space I am now and that I’m in control. (We’ll see how accurate that is next year, anyway.)

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Peace out sophomore year, it’s been a blast. ✌️

Until next time,

Scan Mar 19, 2018 at 7.04 PM

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