It's been a minute, and a year. I finished my coursework, passed my (doctoral) qualifying exams, got some work featured in The Chronicle of Higher Education (still a bit in shock), found out I'm going to be published as a solo author (a lot more shock), wrapped up the pilot of what hopes to be the groundwork for my dissertation, and the list goes on.
First year was hard. It was hard because I wasn't sure if I had chosen the right program/school (i.e. UCLA). But second year was harder in some ways because I wasn't sure if I had made the right choice in terms of the Ph.D. This year was the year that everything I had been theorizing, dreaming, thinking, became. It became more than my thoughts, it became tangible papers and proposals, and that scared the shit out of me. All questions of "am I good enough," and "why am I here" tormented me and paralyzed me in my work.
I looked over my Instagram the other day and realized I sound super sappy/corny/cheesy because a lot of my posts talk about how I wouldn't have made it this far without the people around me. But it's true. This year was harder in ways I think I'm still trying to (fully) understand, but I do know this: in this year of hardships (mostly mental), I had friends call me out on my bullshit, force me to eat and take care of myself, make me take walks when I wanted to try to just "push through" when I was clearly burn out. They introduced me to new games (Zelda), sent me texts/postcards/letters, and so much more. The light at the end of, what seemed to be an unbearably long tunnel of 2nd year, was the community that encouraged and supported me to keep walking~
In a year, I read somewhere around 100-200 books. I don't have a TV and I use reading as a form of escape, and I especially like reading outside of academia. It also helps with improving my writing :)
When I'm trying to concentrate, I like having background music that's super dramatic. For some reason, instrumental music is instrumental (pun!) in helping me concentrate. Most of the songs are Korean-drama OSTs (original sound tracks), w/ a few classical music scores in the mix!
I don't categorize anything other than my "random round-ups" because it takes too much work (insert laughing emoji).