Memory is fleeting. I can't even remember how many peppermint tea re-fills I had this morning (I'm on a caffeine detox) so I wanted to commit to paper (or the blogosphere) some highlights from first semester. Part of me still doesn't believe this experience is more than half over. I wish I could ask Father Time to pause, just for a little, but he keeps chugging along at the same, constant pace.
In terms of schoolwork, the material itself isn't so challenging, but the volume can be a lot to manage. A little bit of stress is healthy though, right? (except lately, I've been burning the candle at both ends and am recovering from being sick so that's what I'd call too much stress) Not going to lie, there have been times where I've felt completely overwhelmed, in-over-my-head and question what the hell am I doing (maybe even cried like a girl...) but sip-by-sip I eventually swallow the self-doubt soup and remember why it's all worth it!
I really love learning again. It feels like a sneaky luxury. Being back in school has been so refreshing. I get to read and write. Two simple things I love but haven't had the luxury of time to focus on before. It's pretty wonderful. My mind feels like a car with a dead battery that's been jumpstarted.
Writing is a very solitary activity; it differs from business school where part of your grade is determined by how well you work in teams and on case studies together. This might sound strange but I relish in the independence. I thrive on working alone and being allowed to swim around in the pool of my own thoughts. I don't know if it's for everyone, because you do give up a lot of social freedom. I've become quite cozy in my Boston bubble. The thought of re-entering the real world is almost daunting (although tackling something new both excites and frightens me).
In undergrad, there's a big push to be sociable. It's almost more important than whatever you're studying. Building a network and making lifelong friends over the course of four years; that's what you remember. (Unless you're hoping to go to Med School or something, then on behalf of potential future patients, I hope you at least get first-year biology down pat...)
In graduate school, most people are here because they love to learn (or they don't know what they want to do with their life...same thing). Making friends isn't the main emphasis (although a welcome side effect). I have made a few chums while here at school (I swear mom & dad) but I've also enjoyed having a lot of visitors from home to explore the city with me. In looking back at first semester - aside from shoving in as much knowledge and wisdom as my mind (and pockets) can carry from this magical place - there were lots of fun times (and good eats) with various visitors who deserve some special shout-outs for helping shape this experience.
- Mom & Dad - Roadtrip from NYC to Boston to move me in / experience the chaos of Harvard Yard "move-in week" (you really are the best...ever - THANK YOU!)
- Stockfish & Co. - Most luxurious AirBnB of my life (pretty sure Tom & Gisele were neighbours...), drinks on the patio of Tory Row, Legal Seafood and dive bars that I can't remember the names of (?) who finally accepted our Canadian IDs (Note: Massachusetts has a very strict law and only accepts passports if you're from out of the country. They wouldn't let me have wine at dinner because I only had my license...yesh! I always thought bringing my passport out was a liability but it's a necessary evil here, they don't budge at most places)
- Jesse Girl & Liam - Sunny sits in Harvard Yard, finding friendship bracelets in Harvard Square :)
- Tasha - Cape Cod / Martha's Vineyard Birthday Weekend Roadtrip (adding this adventure to the TRAVEL section soon! Illegal amounts of fun)
- Grace & Meredith - 131st Harvard-Yale Football Game (I miss my sister suffragettes!)
- Alexandra & Marcie - Witchy visits to Salem, MA, Homemade patron margs, autumn strolls down Cedar Lane (incl. the First Aid Kit song), photobooth snaps, lotsa love & laughs
- Ivey Girls Reunion (Kayla, Kristen, Alexandra, Cestnika) - we all crammed into my apartment for a weekend-long sleepover (incl. Marseille the Shell), underground pizza deals, long overdue ketchup (hold the mustard) sesh and engagement celebrations! Not to mention the incredible grub:
- Sweet Shelbs - gifted the coolest coasters (so thoughtful), explored Harvard Yard (snuck into a couple classrooms), Harpoon Brewery (my first semi-brewery experience!) The Lincoln, Gilmore Girls catch-ups & vino :)
- Jesse Buck Willy - traveled far and wide (coast to coast!), honey tasting at Follow the Honey, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee (and the James Brown documentary!), modeled some sweet Harvard swag at The Coop, "Boston's Best Hot Chocolate," Beacon Hill strolls, mexican fiesta night (with sushi appetizers & fancy french cheese/wine; very culturally diverse dining)
- All of the amazing memories with the visitors above (not all listed, too many events to name)
- Great Gatsby Party with Sash (this Harvard Business School event was like nothing I've ever seen before)
- Halloween at "The Kong" with Hil (costume: Ziggy Stardust)
- Train rides to NYC (T.Fox Run with Laur, HIGHS show with A.O + Keens + Ol Joel + Cousins)
- Barbara Walters at Harvard Kennedy School!
- Lunch/Dinner dates with Steve-o (and frozen yogurt!)
- Harp Lessons (but not the bus ride 1 hr each way...)
- Microwaved dinners and some odd (yet interesting) convos with my 84 year old landlords
- Widener & Boston Public Library (I don't know how you can't sit in those reading rooms and not feel inspired)
- Coffee mornings & cozy nights with the fireplace
- Having time to start AND finish books (for fun, not forced)
- Bubble baths (I never used to have time to treat myself to such a luxury...so relaxing!)
- I'm missing a million things but this is getting long! (It has been helpful to jot this all down, probably boring for you out there! Hopefully you stopped reading awhile ago and spared yourself the boredom...if you're still reading, I'm sorry)
- LASTLY - The wild Boston snowpocalypse and record # snow days (this is actually the start of second semester...so I guess I'll get to those highlights in a few months when it's all over...bah, not ready to think about that just yet! :)