A Lot Can Happen in a Month

What has it been, a month since I last posted?! Ugh, that’s too sad. I was so busy with end of year activities, that I honestly just didn’t have the time or energy to blog. Fortunately, now all (or most) of that is wrapped up, so I’ve got a bit of time to fill you in on my crazy happenings from the past month! There’s no way I can fill in all the details, but I’ll do my best to highlight the important events.

  • Final Exams

Since I was only taking 3 courses this spring (Thesis counts as 2 classes), it gave me a slightly lighter exam schedule. However, I found myself needing to spend a good full 6 days or so studying for my final exam, Comparative Physiology, since it was a departmental and I really wanted to achieve a good mark.

I studied a ton and even brought my notes down to the squash courts so I could work between rehab and squash coaching! Plus, I found a table where I was able to spread out all of my notes to get a grand picture of the course.

IMG_6836A bunch of the squash kiddies walked by and I think they were thoroughly freaked out by the amount of notes I had hand written. Don’t worry kids, you’ve still got another 8 years before you get to this point!

  • Senior Week in Myrtle Beach

After exams, about 1/4 of the senior class heads down to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina for a few days before reunions and graduation start. Alex and I drove down in her white convertible Volkswagen bug, making the drive in about 11 hours including short stops.

IMG_6856
Taken at a stoplight in Virginia!

 

The weather in Myrtle was absolutely perfect. It was hot but not humid, and the breeze was strong enough to cool us off, but not so forceful as to make beach-walking unpleasant.

IMG_6863I was happily surprised at how active most of the students were during beach week. I was expecting the days to be filled with partying, followed by a nap, and then more partying at night. Much to my relief, I found that people decided to pick between day partying and night partying, which reduced my FOMO by a ton.

IMG_6879
Alex and me at the beach! How I miss the beach, the waves, and the beachy hair waves!

While I love going out and having fun with friends, there is really only so much partying my system can take, and I knew that I was going to have to pace myself going into the craziness that is reunions!

  • Car Crash

Heads up, this is where things get a little more serious. Alex and I were about 2.5 hours into hour 10-hour journey home from Myrtle, when we got into a car crash. No other cars were involved thankfully, but it was pretty serious, as we ended up hitting some trees on the left side of the highway at about 40 mph. I didn’t know it at the time, but the fact that we swerved a couple of times on the highway before heading into the ditch/trees saved our lives, as it allowed us to slow down a bit from highway speed.

IMG_6911
Alex’s side of the car

 

Long story short, I managed to get out of the car after about a minute or so of pushing and banging against the doors which had been barricaded by trees, and flagged down some cars for help. I was bruised and banged up, but fortunately, nothing was broken. With the help of some strangers who had stopped, we quickly rushed back for Alex, who had suffered some lacerations to her head and face, and wasn’t able to get herself out of the car. Ambulances rushed us off the a hospital in Raleigh, where I was discharged later that night, and Alex was held for surveillance for a couple of days because of her more severe injuries.

IMG_6886
Hanging in the hospital

 

Fortunately, I am happy to report that we are both alive and recovering. I had never been in a car accident of any sort, let alone one that was life-threatening. I’ll have to write another post on this, because I have much more to say on the matter, but I am very grateful for being alive, for not having suffered life-threatening injuries, and for friends who were extremely supportive during this time.

  • Reunions

Now car-less, I ended up flying home with a friend (shoutout to Bits!), and arrived just in time to have a quick shower, change, and head off to the Princeton Varsity Club awards banquet. Talk about a quick turnaround!

11391221_10153359785969402_6479687527910953847_n
The Princeton Women’s Squash seniors, class of 2015 (minus Alex). Hadley, Gail (coach), Hallie, and me!

 

We missed Alex, but she was there in spirit, and we cheered loudly for her when her picture came up on the slideshow!

For those of you who are unfamiliar with reunions, it’s basically a big 3-day party, where all Princeton alums are invited back to drink beer, see classmates, and march in the P-rade! Thanks to my 2 hours of sleep on Wednesday night, I was too tired to participate in the festivities Thursday night, and ended up passing out around 11 pm.

Friday I found myself much better rested, and had a great time catching up with recent alums and other soon-to-be grads like myself.

Although Friday was a ton of fun, Saturday was hands-down my favourite. Princeton puts on a “P-rade”, which involves every class marching down Elm drive with their class, starting with the oldest class, and finishing with the most recent. This meant that for the first time, my class of 2015 would be able to participate!

IMG_7050
Hadley and me at the end of the P-rade

 

IMG_6931
Bits and me at the beginning of the P-rade

 

It’s such an incredible experience, and I imagine many non-Princetonians could find it very overwhelming- it basically looks like Halloween on steroids! (Because of the black and orange, not because people are dressed up in costumes). I loved every second of it, and I am already incredibly excited for next year!

  • Graduation

For some reason, Princeton feels the need to stretch out our graduation ceremonies for a full 3 days. I guess it makes sense, given that we spent 4 years on the campus- it would feel anticlimactic to only spend one day saying “goodbye”!

IMG_7052

11250988_10205991451738488_821799633582653846_n
Chelsea, Rose, me, Matt, Blake after commencement

 

The Baccalaureate ceremony occurred on Sunday, followed by Class Day on Monday morning, Prom Monday night, and Commencement on Tuesday morning. And yes, parents attend all of these events, too! I suppose they must feel an obligation to come to all the ceremonies, since they would want to see where all (or some) of their money gets spent!

IMG_7006
Mom, me, Dad at Prom!

 

Ps. It rained for all of Commencement. While we were outside. That’s dedication, people! Gotta walk out the Fitz-Randolph gates, rain or shine!

IMG_7013
me n my umbrella-ella-ella

 

I still can’t quite believe that I have officially graduated from Princeton- perhaps it will finally sink in when I don’t head back in September!

  • Now: Job Search

Well! I have certainly ranted enough about the happenings from the past month. Now I am living at Hadley’s house in a suburb of New York, while I wait for my American visa to kick in (on July 1st), continue the job search, recover, and slowly get back into training.

More to come on current happenings throughout the next few posts!

Final Spring Houseparties

Well, it’s official. Spring is here, and this past weekend kicked off my final month at Princeton! The weekend between the end of classes and the beginning of reading period is always a fun one, because it’s filled with parties! The eating clubs at Princeton host formals on Friday evening for members and their guests, followed by semi-formals on Saturday, and finally Lawnparties during the day on Sunday.

  • Friday

IMG_6618
Hallie, Hadley, Alex, and me before Friday formals

I brought my friend Hadley as my date to formals on Friday. We had a little too much fun celebrating, making Saturday a rather rough day…

IMG_6793
Hadley and me!

 

The evening started off with pictures around 5pm in the residential courtyards. After we took enough photographs for a new profile picture/cover photo/Instagram/whatever the kids are doing these days, everyone headed over to the eating clubs for cocktail hour/hors d’oeuvres from 6-7 pm. Dinner and dessert follow from roughly 7-8:30 ish, and then there’s often a band or DJ that comes to perform. It’s a nonstop evening, but fortunately finishes on the earlier side since things get going around 5!

  • Saturday

I spent some of Saturday doing rehab, watching my friend Nana compete in the triple jump, and hanging outside with friends. However, before I knew it, it was time to get ready for semis!

IMG_6792
Me, Matt, and Chelsea

 

IMG_6682

After a lot of celebrating Friday night, I approached Saturday evening with a much calmer attitude, but still enjoyed the evening. It’s always fun to see people dressed up so nicely, and the warm weather most definitely helped put a smile on people’s faces (or maybe that was because of the beverages…;)).

  • Sunday

The final hurrah- lawnparties!

IMG_6744

Thanks to my rather tame Saturday night, I woke up Sunday morning feeling rather refreshed, and managed to make it out to lawnparties from roughly 11 am to 4 pm! Honestly, the weather was probably one of the biggest factors keeping me out there. I was tired and very dehydrated, but the bands playing were fun, and the sun was shining- you really couldn’t have asked for a better day!

IMG_6768

IMG_6764

I ended up coming home around 4, passing out/watching Gilmore Girls, and then dragging my butt to the gym to do some rehab. I was exhausted from the weekend, but knew that the only way my knee is going to get better is through consistent exercises, and so I managed to finally make it to the gym around 6pm. Hey, even small progress counts, right?

IMG_6772

This week has somehow gone by super fast, which is crazy considering I have barely done any work! I have a paper and a lab report due next Tuesday, so I need to get working on those, but the past day or so have been consumed with visa/job things, rehab, as well as some thesis odds and ends.

As soon as this post goes up, I’m heading off to rehab, and then will hopefully be able to crank out a few hours of work and produce an outline of my lab report! Should be another busy day ahead!

Questions:

A full weekend of parties- too much for you? 

What did you get up to this weekend? 

 

Tips for Healthy Studying

Happy Thursday everybody! My last class of the week is over (11 am Comparative Physiology), so I can happily say that it’s the weekend! And what better way to celebrate the weekend than to pop in and blog?

IMG_6479
Typical setup

 

 

Today I’ve got a post for you that I also submitted as my weekly article for the Daily Princetonian. This week I was asked to write an article about food, since that was the focus for this week’s “Street” issue. Since I’ve been spending a lot of time in the library lately staring at screens and papers, I decided to share some thoughts on how I try and beat the stress and boredom, without feeling like a sloth.

Also, shoutout to my friends and teammates who have been so incredibly supportive throughout the Thesis process. You guys rock!

IMG_6480
Thanks Tara!!!

 

Tips for Healthy Studying

What is it about studying, libraries and papers that make you want to do anything else but deal with them? And by anything else, I mean constant snacking. But snacking, combined with long periods of sitting at a desk, can add up — especially if you’ve been spending long hours in the library working on your freshman writing sem paper, a final project, or dare I say- Thesis. So, if you’ve found yourself with a case (or several cases) of the munchies, check out these tips to keep your mind sharp and your body strong.

1. Set water goals. When I study, I make a point of making sure I am constantly drinking water throughout the day. This not only helps keep “fake” hunger pangs at bay, it also helps keep my mind sharp and alert. Plus, it forces me to get up and take mini breaks to go to the bathroom! It’s a quick trip, but I find that a little break every hour or so helps keep me going.

Image

2. Keep the snacks light. I’ll admit, sometimes that history reading is just more interesting with food by your side. And if you’re trying to get through that entire book before seminar tomorrow, chances are you’ll be at it for a while, meaning you’ll be needing a substantial amount of sustenance! However, snack foods like chips and candy can make you feel mentally and physically lethargic, which will only make your reading drag on for a longer period of time. If you need something to munch on to keep your brain working hard, opt for something lighter, such as popcorn, grapes or baby carrots. All three of these foods are much better for you than Cheez-Its or Peach-O’s, so you don’t have to worry too much about polishing off the entire bag (oops… guilty!).

IMG_6178

IMG_6437

3. Give yourself a small reward. I don’t usually study with mounds of chocolate by my side because I know that I will end up turning all my attention toward the delicious treat and away from my work. That being said, I’ve found it quite comforting to come back to my room after a long session in the library and be able to enjoy a small piece of chocolate or after grabbing a couple of Murray Dodge cookies (a place on campus that gives away free homemade cookies) on the way home. Knowing I have something to look forward to at the end of the night makes the task at hand seem much less daunting! 

IMG_6486

4. Get caffeinated (or have another comforting drink). Seriously. Unless you see caffeine as a “drug” (hey — those people, a.k.a. my dad, exist!), or absolutely hate the taste, I really suggest you give it a shot. For me, now sometimes it’s not even about the caffeine content so much as the act of sitting down with my coffee, opening my computer and getting to work. Having that ritual really helps me focus, and I feel comforted with my lovely U-Store or Wawa coffee by my side. If you’re not into coffee, that’s fine too! You can substitute just about anything else, as long as it motivates you to commit to working. By that I mean it’s probably best to stay away from beverages you might ordinarily consume on a Thursday night and instead opt for tea or juice!

IMG_6029
I. Love. Wawa. Coffee.

 

While these tips will hopefully help you keep a focused and healthy mind, remember that it is natural for your body to crave high-fat and high-sugar foods during times of stress! So if you find yourself in the middle of thesis crunch mode at 11 p.m. on a Saturday night, and someone’s just brought you a gigantic chocolate chip cookie from Olives (ahem — I highly recommend it), go for it. I most definitely did!

My Thesis Alter Ego

Hellloooo!

Didn’t get a chance to pop in yesterday, but I’m here (briefly) today! My lack of blogging doesn’t reflect at all the amount of content I have to say- it reflects my lack of time! As I have stated in probably every single post for the past couple of weeks, my life has been constantly consumed by thesis- so much so that I even had trouble sleeping this weekend! (And I usually sleep really well…).

IMG_6471Anyway! Although thesis has turned my life upside down in some ways, I am finding joy in some strange ways, and kind of feel like a completely different person which is weird. Read on…

  •  Not getting hungry/ignoring/putting off hunger

I like to eat. You know that. However, when “more important” things get in the way (like shopping…or Disneyland!), I forget to eat, or just postpone it because I am so consumed with the task at hand. For example, yesterday I think I had a yogurt for lunch, and then a salad at like 9 pm. I have no idea what is going on with my body.

  • Running

Although running long distances hurts my knee (ahem… catch up post to come on that once thesis is done), I have been turning to it for physical exercise and a mental break.

IMG_6455
at least it’s a pretty library

Yesterday I think I just went and sprinted for about 45 minutes and swear I could have kept going. My mind never gets bored, and I am constantly thinking of things I have to check off my to-do list. 

  • Panera online ordering

Did this tonight at 9:30 pm after I forgot to eat dinner when I was in the library. Saved me. Food was ready in 10 mins. Panera, thank you.

  • Breakfast in library at desk

Fage 0% Greek yogurt + protein bar.

IMG_6477Not a bad way to start off yesterday morning.

  • Freshly baked cookies at midnight

IMG_6475

This building on campus called Murray Dodge offers free tea and freshly baked cookies every night from 10 pm -12:30 am. They are delicious. (Don’t judge their deliciousness based off of my subpar picture).

IMG_6476Sunday night, Hadley and I stopped by on our way back to our dorm rooms from the library. I had three chocolate chip cookies and felt like a million bucks.

  • Gratitude “Dream” Juice

IMG_6473My teammate, Kira, surprised me the other day by bringing my my favourite favourite favourite drink ever- Raw cashew, agave, vanilla and cinnamon juice! It really tastes like a creamy, cinnamon-y smoothie, and it’s pretty filling!

IMG_6474

It was so delicious, and fortunately I was able to savour it over a few days. Thanks, Kira –  you rock!

  • Ghee & Himalayan Salt Popcorn (sent from home)

I got a package the other day from home, a little unlike things you might usually order- organic, locally produced popcorn, from Victoria, BC!

IMG_6444You know it’s supposed to be “healthy” when it has chickens on the front- right?

Thanks Mom! I look forward to more of these packages :)

OK that’s all from me! Time to go study!

Questions

When you have academic stresses, do you find your body doing different things? aka does your hunger go away???

My First Week as a NARP (Non-Athletic Real Person)

Hello!

I can’t believe it’s been just over an entire week since I blogged last! It’s shameful, I know. But in my defense, this past week (and a bit) was absolutely filled to the brim with the following things:

  1. My last ever collegiate squash matches (last weekend)
  2. Resuming thesis (in a BIG way)
  3. Resuming class work
  4. Getting ready for midterms this week!

Part of me doesn’t even know how I’m writing this right now after having spent the past ~96 hours in complete thesis reading/writing mode. But time to take a break from that, so let’s start at the beginning, shall we?

1. College Squash Association Individual Championships

Last weekend, individuals were held here at Princeton! I was so incredibly excited to have them at home, and was even more ecstatic that our whole team and a bunch of friends came out to watch! To any of you guys reading this- thank you so much. I know that much of the reason I was able to play my heart out last weekend was thanks to all of your amazing support and cheering.

IMG_6330
Let’s ignore the fact that this is merely a screenshot from instagram… (please bear with me!)

 

I actually ended up doing much better than expected in the tournament, coming in as the #11 seed, and grabbing a top 4 finish! My goal going in was to make it to the quarter finals, so I was pretty bewildered when I managed to get 3 better-than-expected wins to put me through to the semis.

IMG_6321
And yes this was taken from snap chat. Thanks guys!!!!!

 

All thanks to the awesome cheering squad :D

2. Resuming Thesis

I have spent much of the past 4 days in libraries working on my thesis. A few days ago, the 2 month mark hit me, and I knew that with squash season over, it was time to get cracking. Seriously. So, I’ve spent almost ALL day (except for some eating and workouts) in more or less the exact same seat, drinking insane amounts of coffee, and listening to the same 4 Kygo remixes over and over again.

IMG_6334

Coffee and Kygo are going to have to get special shootouts in my thesis acknowledgments…they’re keeping me going!

3. Class

Not that I ever stopped going to class, but the week before midterms I figured you should probably make sure you are doing your absolute best to retain as much information as possible. All of that reading and intensive listening piles up!

4. Midterms (this week!)

Eeek! To be honest, since the past few days have been 100% consumed by thesis, I have barely had more than a moment to think about midterms. Fortunately I only have one project and one exam, but I need to make sure that I leave myself enough time to study for it.

Alrighty my time’s up here. This week look for a post on Greek yogurt, as well as a little personal piece on my experience as a female athlete. I’ve also got a post to write about Quest bars, which I’m hoping to do as soon as midterms are over! Oof!

Questions:

What’s been consuming your life lately?