Wednesday, 15 January, 2014
I may have mentioned on my blog once or twice before that I am a part of a four-year leadership program at UNC-Chapel Hill called North Carolina Fellows. There are no words for what this program means to me. Perhaps it will suffice to say that I would not be the same person if not for NC Fellows, that the people in this community have challenged my perspective on the world and helped me to gain a greater sense of self-awareness, that joining this program was the best decision I’ve ever made in college.
A few days ago, we lost someone who is and always will be an integral part of the Fellows community. Ovik Banerjee was a 2012 UNC-CH graduate, a Venture for America Fellow, a North Carolina Fellow, a true friend, a brother, a son and so much more. In NC Fellows, he served as a student director and a teaching assistant for the senior capstone course. He was always everywhere (but mainly the CLD office), and he was just so Fellowsy. Even after Ovik Banerjee graduated, his presence still lingered in the Carolina Leadership Development (CLD) office and in our seminar room. But Ovik’s impact doesn’t stop at Fellows – he was a priceless gem of UNC-Chapel Hill.
Thursday, 02 January, 2014
#DailyWings: “Nothing truly innovative, nothing that has advanced art, business, design, or humanity, was ever created in the face of genuine certainty or perfect information.”
For what might possibly be the first time ever, I feel like it’s time for a new year. So much happened in 2013 that it seems only natural to “turn the page” and start a new chapter of this book that we call life. (Technically, “Chapter 2014” refers to the 2014th year of the Gregorian calendar rather than that of my personal life…I’m 21, not 2014, years old after all!) Note – this doesn’t necessarily mean I’m ready for 2014. On the contrary, my body experiences all sorts of physical reactions – my arms quiver, my heart palpitates at an alarming rate, my mind goes into panic mode – whenever I even think about life after college. There’s one more semester left. Graduation is in May. Anything beyond that is up in the air.
Wednesday, 01 January, 2014
: “It is never too late to be what you might have been.”
It’s really not going to be that long. Just give me two minutes. That’s all I need to virtually hug my readers and say, “You’re still here, then, after all this time?” Has it really been more than three months since my last published post?
If my blog still makes it to your news feed and you’re reading this, thank you for sticking with me. My queue has eight partially written drafts rotting away, forgotten and obsolete. Every time I sat down to write for myself (either on this blog or in my journal or as part of an unfinished piece of work) this semester, guilt weighed down in the pit of my stomach as I thought of all the “real writing” that needed to get done – feature stories for the newspaper, online articles and so forth. One of the most crucial lessons I have yet to learn is that writing for myself is just as important as writing for others.
You’ll read more about my new years resolutions (many of them are writing-related) tomorrow – I’m a big fan of themes, and thus 2014 has been dubbed the year of literary frenzy – but before that I need to give a proper recap of 2013. Here’s my annual…
Monday, 23 September, 2013
#DailyWings: “This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
I’ve started a new blog post several times (each with its own headline and Daily Wings quote), but it wasn’t until multiple friends came up to me and said, “You haven’t updated your blog in a while,” that I realized my hiatus had to end.
Even though it’s already September, my mind is still stuck somewhere in July. This summer was supposed to be a chance for me to mentally catch up with the past three years of college and figure out what the hell I’m going to do with my life. In the end, I only got busier.
Since the June 30th flood, which many Chapel Hillians are still recovering from to this day (including myself), I have completed summer school, an internship at Personify and a freelancing job with Raleigh Public Record. Thanks to the awful storm, the carpets and drywall in my apartment were all removed; for several weeks, I was forced to live in three different places, including a hotel as well as another house and flat where two of my friends were kind enough to let me stay. It’s hard to believe I hopped homes for nearly a month while still managing to drive 45 minutes to and from work every day after class. Despite everything, I’ve made it to my final fall semester of college.
Friday, 05 April, 2013
#DailyWings: “Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
A few weeks ago, my ethics professor forwarded to our class an article from The Daily Tar Heel about a new student organization that promotes disabilities awareness, Advocates for Carolina. I was so incredibly happy to hear that a group had been created for students who must find alternative ways to live, and joined without hesitation.
What I love most about UNC-Chapel Hill is that there’s something for everyone — a major, an organization, an outlet for self-expression. I felt welcome since the first day I arrived at Carolina; never before had I been a part of such an accepting community. In particular, North Carolina Fellows has taught me how to be comfortable with myself. I’ve learned that sharing my story doesn’t push people away; often, doing so brings me closer to them.
But as one of those students who has lived with the “disability” label for years, I’d always felt there was one other thing missing from my college experience: a space in which to share my story and learn from others in similar situations. Advocates for Carolina has filled this void. We emphasize on accessibility, advocacy and awareness. We seek to remove stigma, educate others about disabilities and provide each other with validation. Although we may live with different circumstances, this community reminds each of us that we aren’t alone.
Monday, 14 January, 2013
#DailyWings: “Life has many ways of testing a person’s will, either by having nothing happen at all or by having everything happen all at once.” -Paulo Coelho
A person’s mood is like the waves of an ocean, a cosine graph
. It fluctuates in a gradual manner. We all have our bad days, brought forth by a spilled coffee or perhaps traffic. And then there are great days, when everything seems to be falling right into place and we can’t help but smile at the good fortune this world has brought us.
Lately I’ve been living on a high. Wonderful things have happened, left and right — an editorial internship at Chapel Hill Magazine’s THE WEEKLY
, reunion with my closest friends, excellent fall semester grades, beautiful 70 degree weather, a position as Arts & Entertainment Editor for Blue & White magazine
, inspiration for poetry, enjoyment of the masterpiece that is “The English Patient”
. I can’t help but wonder how I have been able to deserve this good life. (Or rather the past two good months, at the very least!)
After weeks of straight studying for exams that never seem to end and pitching stories and tackling writer’s block, it’s incredible to see what has come out of it all. I feel like I’m moving forward. Then again, it could be that typing this all down will lead to a jinx. *crosses fingers*
To ponder over Paulo Coelho’s words: Last semester, it seemed like nothing was happening. Every day was just about the same, with minor changes such as in pizza toppings or class seating; I didn’t do much about it except keep going. Now that everything has happened all at once, what is
next for me?
Thursday, 20 December, 2012
It’s been a week since I took my last final exam in social psychology and came home for the holidays. After reuniting with my family, receiving notice of my class grades and hanging Christmas stockings up by the fireplace, it feels like everything has fallen into place. Things are as they should be. I’ve taken the last couple of days to relax on my favorite couch at home with Mockingjay
in one hand and a mug of hot chocolate in the other. Life is good.
And yet, there is a small tug in the back of my mind, reminding me that something’s not quite right. I have never been able to sit still for very long without getting antsy — especially if I’m not doing work. Leisure is wonderful, but winter break wouldn’t be the same without some productivity, too. Even as I immerse myself in the world of Panem, the thought of internships to apply for, blog posts to write and stories to pitch and always sucks me back into the real world.
Sunday, 16 December, 2012
#DailyWings: “I know it feels like you have all these options and when you make a decision, you lose a world of possibilities. But the reality is, until you make a decision, you have nothing at all.”
In light of recent events, I want to express my condolences to the families whose loved ones were killed in the Newtown elementary school shooting in Connecticut. When I first found out about what had happened, the news had spread all over social media. News outlets were reporting updates every couple of hours, and people all over the country were sharing similar reactions of grief, shock, horror. I didn’t — couldn’t — post anything about it because just the thought of the shooting made me feel sick. Robbing children of their futures isn’t just monstrous; it’s detestable, and can never be justified.
Saturday, 15 December, 2012
: “I thought I understood it, that I could grasp it. But I didn’t, not really. Only the smudgeness of it; the pink-slippered, all-containered, semi-precious eagerness of it. I didn’t realize it would sometimes be more than whole, that the wholeness was a rather luxurious idea. Because it’s the halves that halve you in half. I didn’t know, don’t know, about the in-between bits; the gory bits of you, and the gory bits of me.”
Being done with finals is like breaking the surface of a very deep lake after having been underwater for much longer than your body can handle. And there you are, engulfing buckets of air and grasping desperately at nothing. Once you’re finally at peace with the waters again, you look around and realize you don’t know which direction to take next. You’re just glad you were able to swim to the top.
This is how I feel.
The weird thing about freedom is, after you get over the excitement of finally having time to do whatever the hell you want, there’s that moment when you really don’t know what to do first. Catch up on “Glee”? Bake cookies — and eat all of them just because it’s been days since you haven’t eaten anything not prepackaged? Write a blog post about being done with finals? Get back into reading that book you started three months ago?
Or maybe you’re like me, and you start writing a laundry list of all the things you’d like to do before the year is over and another begins (if the Mayans weren’t correct, that is). Let’s swap? Here’s mine: