Currently: Spring Lake NJ, Moving, & Summer Reads

June 16, 2021


Spring Lake, New Jersey

The day following my high school graduation ceremony, after a quick stop in New York City, my family drove to Spring Lake, New Jersey, to spend a few days at the shore before heading back home and preparing for our move. Though the forecast predicted constant rain for the last two days of our trip, we lucked out, as the mornings and afternoons were sunny and the showers and clouds did not emerge until later in the evening hours. While it was a very brief getaway, it was an enjoyable excursion and exciting way to celebrate the start of summer as well as the return to a relatively normal June. 




Moving Houses

The week or so since my family returned from our few days at the New Jersey shore has been spent preparing for our move. From packing up belongings and amassing donations bags to making round-trip delivery drop offs, moving houses is an arduous process. Despite the obvious physical labor as well as mental fatigue moving often entails, it is also an extremely exciting process. I have always loved changes in my environment, as it is in new spaces that I often feel the most creative, motivated, and emboldened to shift my perspective and embrace experiment. I am also very excited to decorate my new bedroom and to take on the challenge of designing a space that, despite its small size, can transform from an empty room into a corner of the house that feels both homy and inspiring. 



Latest Summer Reads

All of the novels I have read so far this summer are from the order of used books I purchased on Ebay in the spring, which you can see in this post entitled Book Buys: Spring 2021. As of now, I have read six of the thirteen books, and I am hoping to finish all of them before I head off to college in late August. My latest two reads from this list include Lilac Girls, by Martha Hall Kelly, and Behold the Dreamers, by Imbolo Mbue. Lilac Girls is a historical fiction novel set during World War II that weaves together the narratives of three different young women—an American living in New York City, a Polish citizen transported to Ravensbrück, and a German doctor who worked inside the concentration camp. Behold the Dreamers tells the story of a family of Cameroonian immigrants and the joys and sorrows they experience as the struggle to build a life for themselves in New York City. Both books were wonderful reads, and I would highly recommend both.

Graduated

June 14, 2021


Just over a week ago, I graduated from high school. The pushed back date for the graduation ceremony—one week later than a typical year—turned out to be a blessing in disguise, as the original weekend date consisted of abnormally cold and rainy weather but the forecast for the following weekend was filled with the customary warmth, baking sunshine, and blue skies of June. 


This year was undoubtedly a challenging one. From dealing with the fear of the COVID-19 pandemic, the uncertainty surrounding the state of our country in the aftermath of a contentious 2020 presidential election, and navigating a school year unlike any other due to the implementation of health precautions, for the Class of 2021, senior year was not an easy one. Amidst all of these anxieties, many seniors also dealt with both the excitement and unavoidable stresses of the college application process—a process which, as with almost all facets of life for the past two years, was unprecedented. My own college application journey was a difficult one. It was a journey filled with apprehension, unease, and daunting unpredictability. And yet, it was also filled with loud laughter, unanticipated growth, and valuable self-reflection.


It felt so special to celebrate commencement surrounded by family and friends after an especially tough senior year, and also to do so in a manner that so nearly mirrored pre-COVID graduation celebrations due to the timely loosening of state restrictions. I was also incredibly honored to have an opportunity to speak at my graduation ceremony. Though I felt nervous for days (well, weeks) prior to delivering my address, as I stood upon the platform and shared my story with my school community—the lessons I learned and joys I experienced as well as the struggles I faced—I was filled not so much with the paralyzing jitters I had anticipated, but rather a sense of contentedness and gratitude. While I am very much ready to close the chapter of my life that is high school and move on to the next journey that is college, I am so thankful for the experience that I had and, this year in particular, for the strengths I gained from the challenges I faced.