I’ve been home almost a week now, and I still haven’t written about graduation. But that’s because it’s difficult to write about a place and people that you love, and yet won’t be seeing for awhile. That’s kind of what this blog started out as: a way to reminisce about Paris, a place I love and enjoy so much. But even though I spent a lot of time in Paris and grew to love it even more than before, Rice is different in that I’ve cultivated so many friendships there, I’ve learned so much about the world and myself, and even though Houston isn’t my favorite place, it can be because of the people there.

Graduation took place this past Saturday, on May 11th. For months, my roommates, friends, and I had been talking about the weather, hoping that it wouldn’t be rainy or humid or hot. If anyone knows Houston, the weather can be four different things before 5 PM. And, since Rice holds their graduation outside, there are bound to be times when things just don’t work out. A few days before, the weather said it would be raining the whole morning of graduation, and then stop right after at noon. I thought to myself, “Really? Really?!” I didn’t want my family to be separated (each graduate gets two “Inclement Weather” tickets if the graduation has to be held inside, because there’s not enough space for everyone’s family and friends to fit in Tudor Fieldhouse, which is why it’s held outside on the quad) on a day that was meant to be spent together with one’s closest family and friends.

So I prayed that it wouldn’t rain. My parents prayed…everyone I knew was praying that the rain would hold off until after the ceremony! And what happened? On Saturday, not only did it not rain during the ceremony, but I didn’t see a drop of rain all day long. It made my graduation day such a blessing, and allowed me to focus on my last day at Rice.

It was a whirlwind of beautiful, hot weather, family, friends, smiles, and tears, and one that I wouldn’t change for anything. Congratulations to Rice’s 100th graduating class, the amazing Class of 2013!


This past weekend has been an absolute joy for me to experience in so many ways. On Saturday, two of my suitemates and I ran a 5K. It was our first official 5K (I don’t really think the Color Run 5K counts since it’s not competitive in the slightest), and something we were so glad we could do together as senior year comes to a close. It was difficult for me, no lie, since I run… never. I went out running the day before to prepare myself, which turned out to be a good idea, seeing as I didn’t feel like completely collapsing when I was done.

In fact, afterward, I. felt. amazing. We all did! The feeling of accomplishment, of pride, of unity, gotten from completing this simple event was palpable as we eventually made our way back to our room. I think I finally understand how running can give you that on-top-of-the-world feeling. I felt it all day long. (I’ve decided to embark on the Couch-to-5K plan to really begin my running regimen, too.)

In the evening, one of my suitemates and I went to Local Foods, this fantastic restaurant with fresh, organic, creatively-made food. The highlight of that meal? Not only did I enjoy conversation with my roomie, but when I went back up to the cash register to buy a cupcake after my dinner (the woman at the register was so happy that I was back to get dessert, that she yelled YAY really loudly), I handed my card over to pay and the guy looked at me and said, “It’s on the house.”

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About four or so days ago, I took the MCAT. I can’t express how HUGE it is for me: it seems that a weight was directly lifted off of my mind. Taking the exam really gets the ball rolling with my applications to medical school coming up soon… it’s all so much more real! I haven’t been able to stop smiling since it’s been over (seriously though, I’ll be sitting at my computer working and a smile will randomly creep up on my face; It feels great to be done). And I realize that many people despair afterwards, or try to forget it, or think about the next available time to retake it, but for me? None of that. All I’ve experienced is an immense sense of peace and relaxation. It’s truly a beautiful and joyful blessing for me to have had such a wonderful experience after completing the MCAT.

I really think that the already-large amount of warm fuzzies in my heart were greatly compounded by my family and the many, many friends who came up to me afterwards, asked how the exam went, hugged me, prayed for me, wished me well, brought me celebratory meals and snacks, wrote me notes, and overall rejoiced with me as I closed that chapter of my life. One friend said, “You’ve just made a huge step in becoming a doctor by completing the MCAT!” I hadn’t thought of it that way before; sure, the MCAT is important, but I didn’t think of it as a major achievement to cross off my application to-do list.

But now, I see it for exactly what it was. A true accomplishment. And I’m just incredibly blessed to have shared that experience with the many wonderful, amazing people God has placed in my life.

Easter 2013

These past couple of weeks have been ones full of firsts and lasts. I participated in my first 5K (half-marathon, here I come!), helped host a booth at my university’s Culture Fair (participated AND hosted), and performed a dance in front of hundreds of people for the first time for Soul Night (also my first time even going). I also attended my last Associate’s Night at Brown, and just had my last spring recess as an undergrad; I’m also looking forward to my last three weeks in college.

So many firsts, so many lasts (pictures below)! Eeesh.

Almost like how I felt when I neared the end of East of Eden (one of my favorite books, but just imagine your own favorite, extra-long book here), it’s exhilarating to complete one chapter and begin the next, knowing you’re so close to finishing it. For me, the last chapter of my undergrad career is fast approaching, and a new one titled “Gap Year Before Medical School” is coming up, which I’m extremely excited for (I know, I know… no one wants to graduate yet, but bleh I’m ready). It’ll be a short, yet pivotal one that I’m sure to enjoy, whatever it may bring. Besides all that, reflecting on all these firsts and lasts I’ve experienced recently moved my mind to the subject of this week: Easter.

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Emptying Tomorrow of Its Sorrow

Looking at a friend’s blog a week or so ago, I was struck by the sheer simplicity and truth emanating from a quote she posted by Corrie ten Boom: “Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.”

So poignant and true. Worry serves to take away our time from accomplishing what we should be doing now. We spend that time thinking of what we can’t do at the moment, rather than what we can do. Before you know it, you look at the clock, and somehow, time’s already passed by and more worry sets in as you realize that now, you really really must buckle down or be sorry. It’s a great reminder to me during these last two weeks of school and finals. Anytime I start to panic and think of the massive amounts of work due, I pray first to myself, “Jesus, help me. I need You.” And then I remember this quote and release any worries from my mind and get down to business. A sure way to release worries is in busying myself with what needs to be done. Accomplishing a long night of studying is exhausting, yet rewarding, because I know I’ve done my best to finish what is required of me.

It’s a blessing to know that on Friday, I will look back on this week and know without a shadow of doubt that releasing my worries to God and trusting Him was the only way I made it through.

Plus, worrying isn’t fun! It keeps one from enjoying life’s spontaneity because constant thoughts of “what if” cloud clear, thoughtful judgement and decisions.
And that just dumps sorrow on one’s tomorrow instead.