2018 — A Year of Transitions
Today is the last day of me being 18 and well, 2018 was kind of a crazy ride.
February 10th, 2018
This was the day that we made it, because after all that we have been through over the past year, it finally paid off. Time after time, we watch other teams progress on with robots of mindblowing functionality, and for once, we are to be seen at the same level. This is an achievement that I will always remember through the countless number of nylock screws and shaft collars that we have had to deal with. The repetitive testings and sensors that just won’t listen was all worth dealing with.
February 24th, 2018
This was the actual Provincial competition day in Niagara was much less exciting but none the less a date to be remembered.
Getting Into Berkeley!
March 29th, 2018
I didn’t think it was possible, no one thought it was possible, but the second I opened that letter of decision, I was faced with a screen of confetti. I called my parents and screamed. I looked at that letter for so long, thinking it was a mistake. Why would Berkeley admit such a dummy like me? Would I even survive? Being an international student from Toronto, the acceptance rate is low, just so low. It was a 10% of a 10%, so basically 1% was what I was facing. But it actually happened.
When I joined that freshly admitted Facebook Group where everyone was introducing themselves, there was this energy that I didn’t think exist at a single Canadian University. Everyone felt so eager, so talented, and wonderful, they were everything that I wanted to be and to learn from. Going was so tempting, but there are so many uncertainties remaining.
April 4th, 2018
It was only 5 days after finding out, but I knew Berkeley was where I wanted to be, and where I was meant to be. The idea of going into the 4th best school in Mechanical Engineering in the ENTIRE World excited me, but also scared the heck out of me. California is on the whole other side of the continent but it’s been my dream since the fifth grade, hence my tumblr URL of “take-me-to-cali”.
It was a crazy timeline because within 2 days, I found a roommate, and together, we Facetimed and accepted our next four years together. I was caught up constantly with messaging new people and meeting everyone from Toronto and the rest of the world.
Even as I was checking off all those terms and conditions, I could not believe that this was actually happening. It really didn’t kick in until I was actually at campus that all this was real, that there wouldn’t be an email in my inbox the next day telling me that they made a mistake.
Prom and Graduation
I was so happy during these last 2 months of high school. I found myself in two amazing friend groups that I can always count on, crack jokes with, and just have fun and be myself around. It was something that I didn’t want to leave behind, not knowing where these friendships will go afterwards, who I see, and who I won’t anymore. Nontheless, it was 2 months that I enjoyed to the greatest capacity. Regardless of the dumb drama and problems that happened, it was a time to be remembered.
My first real trip away from home, without my parents. The first week of July, beginning of summer break was the best Grad Trip that I could ask for. With a group of friends we had a week of adventure, relaxation, bonding, and ever so amazing food. I ate bugs for the first time, but I also had Fois Gros for the first time. There was fantastic sushi owned by non-asians, an endless number of ice cream shops, some basic Montreal smoked meat sandwich and definitely the good old Canadian Classic poutine. There were also times where we learned to be independent and cooked our own meals. Pasta, cheese, zucchini and bacon made great dishes.
We stayed near the serene Gay Village of Montreal near Rue Saint-Catherine and it is quite beautiful. There is a nice street of shops where they have a rainbow of stringed balls hanging on top, making a gradient through every colour of the rainbow. In Montreal, there exists amazing culture, food, music, and livelihood and one day, I would really like to return.
First Semester Of College
When I visited last year, I didn’t think I would return for a long while, but it was less than a year since I last stepped on campus. California is so surreal and til this day, being there still is. As the semester began, I went through personal struggles and academic struggles. Being physically far away from the people that you are so used to seeing every single day is hard and maintaining those exact relationships takes so much more effort than I ever thought they would. Academically, I was hit with math that I didn’t understand, because as I walked into that lecture room at 8AM in the morning, I sat with a face of confusion for the next 90 minutes. It wasn’t that there was never a time that I didn’t understand the content, but this time was different. I felt like I didn’t know how to study anymore. With the two things combined, I felt a little lost, not knowing what will happen to me, my relationships and where I end up in the future.
Berkeley has been a wild time and there was so much that I learned this semester that I don’t think that I would have anywhere else. I’ve met some incredible people, and some not so much. I’ve done things that I never thought I would try in my entire life, good and bad, and I don’t regret a single thing. It was everything that I have ever imagined Berkeley would be like. I joined a dance team, and even performed. I went to my first rave, had a crazy amount of fun, and died a little. Although some things (like my grades) didn’t end up where I wanted it to be, I learned through these struggles of what I need to do better next semester and into the future.
Winter Break has been my time of reflection, and my time to get ready and prepare myself for everything that I have coming for me next semester. Every single time that someone asks me how is Berkeley, I always tell them that there is always so much going on, because that statement cannot be more true, in every direction. I hope for growth, and I hope for happiness. 2018 was a little rough, but I know 2019 will be just fine.