I spent this past Thanksgiving weekend at home in Los Angeles… here is a recap of those exciting 72 hours!
I arrived at home on Wednesday evening around 11pm, and went on a quick boba run with some friends. Oh, how I’ve missed good boba (and my friends too… I guess :P)!
My first meal back in LA on Thursday was Din Tai Fung<3 (big surprise, huh?)
Boba #2! (Milk tea slush with ice cream and boba from TeaBar)
Celeste and I made oatmeal chocolate chip cookies from scratch on Thursday afternoon (I’m bringing them all back to school! hehe)
Carpus, Celeste, and I met up at Tap that afternoon (that place reminds me so much of senior year) where I had my third boba! (green tea with mango star jelly :D)
Asian fusion Thanksgiving dinner with the family!
That night, Carpus and I made a spontaneous decision to go Black Friday shopping at midnight. Celeste came along too, and we battled the hoards of crazy people scrambling around the mall until 4am. I’ve never been Black Friday shopping, so I wanted to go just to get the experience. Let’s just say I had enough of an experience to compensate for the last 18 years LOL
Fourth boba in 24 hours! Mango slush from Lollicup :P
I had lunch on Friday with some of my high school speech/mock trial friends at President Thai! I haven’t had good thai food in so long… I miss pad see ew and thai tea!
Shaved snow at Tasty to Go with Katie! I’m crossing my fingers for those med school interviews so you can come visit! :)
My friends and I have been planning a trip to Boiling Crab since the summer (but have failed multiple times). We FINALLY made it to Boiling Crab for Friday dinner and had a huge feast of…
3 pounds of shrimp “the whole shebang non-spicy,” 3 pounds of clams “the whole shebang non-spicy,” 2 pounds of shrimp “the whole shebang mild,” 2 pounds of clams “the whole shebang mild,” 1 pound of shrimp “the whole shebang medium,” 1 pound of clams “the whole shebang medium,” 18 corn on the cobs, and 6 raw oysters.
Boba #5 :D almond fresh milk tea with honey boba and pudding from Half & Half!
How can I visit SoCal without making a trip to In n Out?
And how could I visit SoCal without making a trip to the beach?
Friday night/Saturday morning, Winnie, Irene and I made a spontaneous midnight decision to go to the beach and visit Santa Monica Pier! Spontaneous adventures are the best hehe
On the way home, we decided to make a stop at USC and Winnie gave us a campus tour LOL
Saturday morning dim sum at Capital Seafood with the family! :)
Boba #6! Wintermelon tea with boba from AU :D
I caught up with Andrew over Kabuki in Old Town!
…and had Fosselman’s for the first time!
First home cooked meal in three months<3
My last night at home, Michelle and I went to TeaBar to get our favorite drinks (ice cream milk tea slush with crystal boba). It was also my seventh (and last) boba of the weekend! I know, I know… I am a little insane.
I hadn’t been home in three months, so I had such an amazing time spending time in Arcadia with familiar faces. The weather was gorgeous (it was 80 and sunny), my friends were all home, and the holiday spirit resonated in the air. I am so glad I decided to spend thanksgiving in LA this year, and can’t wait to go home again in three weeks for Christmas :)
I love this holiday because it gives people an excuse to reflect on their life and show appreciation for aspects of life they normally take for granted. And it’s always a humbling reminder of how fortunate we really are.
What am I thankful for this Thanksgiving?
I’m thankful for my family. I don’t see them everyday anymore, but it’s nice to always know that they love and support me unconditionally. They are the best parents, grandparents, and brother I could ask for.
I’m thankful for my friends. Everyday, I feel so lucky to have such amazing friends. They can bring a smile to my face on the darkest of days, and it’s impossible to express my gratitude for their presence in my life. I actually arrived at LAX just a few hours ago, and I am sitting here writing this feeling so happy because I just had a quick boba run and catch up session with some of my closest friends (and I am still smiling because of it).
I’m thankful for my Princeton experience. It has only been three months, but I am convinced that I am one of the most fortunate people on the planet because of this magical orange bubble on the east coast. Even though school is kicking my butt, I have met the most amazing friends and professors, I am taking the most interesting classes, and I am making unforgettable memories. And it’s just the beginning :)
I’m thankful for the educational opportunities I had in Arcadia. It was only after I visited and heard about other high schools around the nation when I truly understood how lucky I was. I wouldn’t have achieved anything without teachers who cared and classmates who pushed me to reach my potential. I firmly believe that Arcadia provides one of the best environments for students to learn and grow.
I’m thankful for my health.
Honestly, I’ve sat here for the past hour trying to come up with a more extensive list. I know I am thankful for way more things than are listed above, but it’s hard to put that appreciation into words right now.
Inspired by my friend Theo, I’m going to try to extend the spirit of thanks to my everyday life. To do so, I’m going to write something I’m thankful for each night on a Post-It note, and put it on the wall next to my bed. That way, whenever I am feeling down, I can look up at my wall and find reasons to be happy. And by the end of this year, I will have 150+ things to be thankful for :)
Anybody want to take up this challenge with me? :D
Two months have whizzed by, and now we’re already in the second half of the semester. October was a jam-packed month… here’s a summary :D
I visited Carpus in the first weekend for his birthday, and we went winter clothes shopping. As Southern Californians, we were woefully unprepared for the cold (the thickest article of clothing I owned was a hoody…) so we bought (for the first time) peacoats, jackets, scarves, snow boots….
Happy Birthday Carpus!
Jon Ma and I joined a group on campus called the Princeton-Trenton Debate Partnership where we teach debate and public speaking skills to underprivileged schools in Trenton, NJ. It’s a very eye-opening experience to get off campus and spend time in an underserved community, and it’s so rewarding to work with the students. We drive down weekly, and the growth in progress and confidence in the students is remarkable.
The next weekend, I went to New York to see my former Speech & Debate coaches put on an original production called “Tempest Toss’d” as part of the New York Musical Theater Festival. I posted before about their inspirational story, and we can all learn a lesson from their selflessness and kind hearts.
It’s Alex! New York is exciting :P
A few weeks ago, Justice John Paul Stevens came to campus and spoke about his career as the third-longest serving Supreme Court Justice. I don’t know much about the Court, but hearing about Justice Stevens’ independent thinking and bold opinions was a testament to his strength and determination. Janie and I were also lucky enough to be one of twenty undergraduate students who got to attend a private reception the next day where he spoke in a more intimate setting (but they didn’t let us take pictures :( so sad).
Dinner with my TASA family!
My parents and little brother came to visit me over Freshman Parent’s Weekend, and it was really nice to see familiar faces and spend time with family.
David (my roommate) and I went to New York one night to see War Horse, a beautiful story of war, adventure, and love that won five Tony awards this year! What’s cool is that Princeton subsidizes trips to New York City to see shows and musicals on Broadway (it’s $25 for the ticket+transportation, which is a huge steal considering a train to NYC is $33….). If you’re in town, I would definitely recommend this play!
Some people in my building planned a birthday surprise for Jenna. I think it’s awesome how tight-knit Buyers Hall is in comparison to other halls. They can be jealous :)
If you have any connection to Arcadia whatsoever, you’ve probably heard that our very own Jon Ma (ASB President 2010-2011) was elected this month to be President of the Princeton Class of 2015!
Most stressful and crazy part of October? Midterms week! Midterms at Princeton are run kind of differently from other universities… most classes have one midterm, and almost every class holds their midterm within this four-day span of time, so the entire campus is stressed and scrambling in the same week. I seriously spent more time in the library than anywhere else combined (including sleeping in my own room). But now that it is over, I can say that it was fun in a weird way too :P
Last weekend was my first snowfall! It was so exciting to wake up and see a blanket of beautiful, white snow covering campus. I probably will never be as excited ever again (because snow = cold :( and cold weather is not nice to Southern Californians!)
Getting out of Newark Airport in the snow was a disaster. I counted, and this past weekend I took 16 lengths of train or subway in the craziness that was “Snowtober.” While it was quite inconvenient, riding a train in the snow made it feel like I was on the Hogwarts or Polar Express, traversing through a mysterious white abyss.
When I found out my flight was cancelled, I called Julia who goes to school in New York. She offered to let me crash in her apartment for the night, and was an awesome host. It was also really nice catching up with her because we hadn’t talked in quite some time… thanks for being an awesome friend :)
After battling an intense security line, I finally embarked on my trip to St. Louis! Look at the beautiful view of the city covered in snow<3
I’ve spent the last few days hanging out with Michelle here at WUSTL. It’s been interesting experiencing life at a different university and it’s awesome catching up with my best friend :) fall break is passing quickly!
I can’t believe it’s November already! The school year is over 1/4 over, and Thanksgiving is in less than three weeks! I’m super excited to come home :)
i know this is a very vague question: but what do you think was crucial for your getting accepted to princeton> like ecs, gpa, sats. what were your stats?
I’m not going to talk about my stats, but I didn’t have straight A’s and some of my test scores were in like the 60th percentile. Rigor of coursework is almost more important than grades, and test scores don’t matter that much. Recs matter. Essays matter. Everything matters, but it never has to be perfect. Just be yourself (this is the best advice I can give). If you have more specific questions, you can email me.
For some reason, I decided on a whim to scroll through all the 324 posts I’ve liked over the last three years as a user of Tumblr. Memories and emotions instantly flooded back to me- summer 2011, graduation, senior year, junior year, stress, happiness, frustration, hope… and I’m reminded of why I blog…
To capture memories
To articulate emotions
To reflect on my life
To connect with others
To understand myself
To understand others
To find myself
People often ask me why I spend so much time blogging. Honestly, the answer doesn’t come easy and is very difficult to explain. Even this post doesn’t fully capture my passion.
But ultimately, I love this place for what it’s done for me. From event summaries, to funny conversations, to self-reflections, and meaningful lessons, blogging for me is a puzzle made up of 2,500 pieces and growing that has helped me form a better picture of myself and gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for the beauty that lies in this world.
Honestly, it’s been hard to keep up with Tumblr with my busy schedule in college, but I’m aiming to post once a day. If you’re out there reading this, please keep me on track. I never want to lose this important part of my life.