The Last Hoorah

Well, here it is. My final blog post for UNIV 112. I want to make this post all about what it means to write down your thoughts into a meaningful, well-constructed paper for not only an audience to read, but for yourself to read as well. I have always been someone who creates lots of scenarios in my head about any random thing as the day goes on. These scenarios could range from fantasy, politics, relationships, etc. and they always seem to make me think outside the box compared to my peers. I believe that having this abstract thinking is what makes me want to write about whatever comes to my mind while actually enjoying it as opposed to those who write solely for assignment. I have talked about nearly everything that came to my mind throughout the semester and I have received very cooperative and positive comments that make my peers divulge into my posts and actually take an interest to them.

I really appreciate the format that these blogs were constructed in. Going on the Course Site and seeing a new variety of posts every hour allows for fresh content to be brought to our eyes as well as giving us the ability to comment about something different each time. I truly admire Professor Galligan for giving us this layout not only as an interesting assignment, but the ability for us to connect with each other across all of his classes. Completing each of these blogs has allowed me to feel at ease when I write and not have to worry about what others will think of my writing. In high school, timed writings were done side-by-side and when the grades returned, everybody wanted to compare with each other on how we all did. Immense stress was put on us for embarrassment sake and we each wanted to impress our peers with the best writing. I am glad that is no longer the case and that we can write about whatever comes to mind in a free environment.

I truly believe that I am only scratching the surface of my writing and that I will be able to do well on a majority of higher level college assignments with how much I have progressed this semester. I hope that more students feel this way and want to continue their own paths towards becoming better writers even if it is not their strongest intention. Best of luck to everyone else on their own journeys and keep the motivation strong.

The Responsibility of a House

Today, my friends and I put forth our payments towards our house for our sophomore years in college. We met with our realtor around 2:30 today and he provided us with the information on how to manage over the property. It is really exciting to finally be able to call this house our own and he have lots of ideas in store on how to decorate it to make it the right fit for us. It has four bedrooms and two bathrooms so no one of us has to share a bedroom in the house. Three bedrooms are on the upper floor while one is located right by the front door. Since Thomas and I both went and toured the house, we get the two better bedrooms which consist of the one downstairs and the one on the upper level that faces towards the street. The only knack on this house is that in order of get to one of the bedrooms on the upper level, you must go through another bedroom. That decision will be made up between our two other friends, Panchu and Dennis, who were too lazy to come tour the house with us.

The move in date for the house is relatively close on July 1st and we basically get a free first month’s rent from the place. There is a very nice backyard with enough parking space for two of our cars and our neighbors seem to be cooperative as well. This is our first real experience of living on our own: paying for rent and utilities by the month. Sure, anyone can get up for class and do their homework, but they have no real world expenses to pay or worry about for every month that passes. Thomas and I both have lots of responsibility in us and we feel like we will be able to manage paying rent on a piece of property successfully. Panchu and Dennis are more carefree but they will have to cooperate with us in order to make this work for the four of us.

I want to be just like my parents and this is a great opportunity to develop the skills I need to do so. My dad emphasized work and responsibility growing up, but he wants me to enjoy myself, after all the work is completed. Paying the bills for this house in addition to the quiet space compared to a dorm will allow for me to get my work done quickly while having plenty more time to do what I want.

Nature Trips

On Tuesday, April 15th, I am going to a cabin with my friends in Shenandoah and I am hoping that it is going to be a blast. I am planning to go to my classes on this day before we leave at 5:30 pm that evening. We have everything that we could want for this trip: family, friends, food, good weather, and the whole place to ourselves. We should arrive at our destination around 8 pm, where we will be greeted by our friend’s family and stay up and take lots of pictures around the area that we are staying in. I am not too scared of nature as I have been on many camping trips and late night outdoor events in the past, so this only furthers my excitement.

My own family used to know this group of people and we loved going to their house to camp on the weekends. Their house was located in West Virginia and it was one of the most open spots for me to play in as a kid. We entered through a muddy river, in our old red Ford Expedition, one of the only cars that was suitable for the job, and once we got inside it was so astonishing to my eyes. There was about 30 acres of just grassland and a lone house sat top the property, overlooking the scene for a breathtaking moment. My father and I used to set up our favorite games such as Spikeball, Kan Jam, and Volleyball to make our days so busy that we couldn’t resist not eating all of the delicious food that awaited us at once the sun set. After the sun set, we set up a giant fire with massive barks of wood and sang songs and then we went to our tents to sleep. If anyone was caught sleeping inside the house during this time, their names were written down and they had to eat breakfast after everyone else. Overall, it was one of my favorite outdoor visits growing up.

However, not all trips have been so smooth sailing. One time we went white water rafting with our neighbors and my sister and I nearly died because she got stuck in a waterfall and I almost hit my head on a rock. I am going to use my new knowledge to avoid any danger that may come my way and have a safe trip while enjoying myself in the springtime with those I care about.

Past Experiences with Birthdays

With today being Friday, April 12th, I am having a joint birthday party with my friends Chloe and Panchu. Chloe’s birthday is the 12th, Panchu’s birthday is the 13th, and mine is the following day on the 14th. We are having it at my cousin’s house on Grove Ave. and I am very excited to have a fun weekend with all of my friends for the first time in a long time. This will be my first birthday away from home and I am happy that I can spend it with people that I care about. Although it seems as if I have no worries about how it will go, I am always very anxious when it comes to my birthday for various reasons. Plenty of times throughout my childhood have things taken a toll for the worse when my birthday comes.

I feel as if on my birthday, I am the moist prone to wanting attention from everyone else even though that is not who I really am. The day usually starts off with me waking up and going downstairs to be welcomed by a variety of things to eat for breakfast. My family congratulates me on another year, we talk about happy things and then after about an hour, everything goes back to just the way it was. Several hours pass by and then I meet up with my family again and we go out to lunch and repeat what just transpired in the morning. I usually talk to some of my friends throughout the day and we all try and plan something, but they end up having work and can only talk for a few brief minutes. After the day has past with some events going on, dinner is typically the most interesting part of the day. We all enjoy ourselves with expensive food that we would not have bought any other day of the year and I get to indulge myself in a Carvel ice cream cake. Eating this cake is my favorite tradition, as both my dad and I really like the flavors and have incorporated it into our birthday routines.

So the long day ends up passing and it appears to have gone just fine right? Wrong. I still feel the constant need for others to check up on me for the special day and I go to sleep feeling like something was missing. Hopefully I can outgrow this narcissistic feeling and enjoy myself around thoseĀ  care about away from my family in an environment entirely on my own.

Transitioning into Sophomore Year

My goal ever since I have left my house to go to college has been for me to gain as much experience in a plethora of areas to shape me into a better human. I feel as if growing up, I did many of the same things each year and barely got to experience the many different things to do around where I live. It was not until my senior year of high school where I became comfortable with real friends and people that knew I was important to them and actually had a place in their lives. With my freshman year of college wrapping up, I am very curious to see how I can recreate this magic that made me so happy senior year in a new environment in my sophomore year.

Things truly will be different next year. No more dorms, close proximity, and constant social pressure. People will be able to stay on top of their classes much more due to this and I believe that it has a huge benefit to all of our lives. Of course, we will still all be able to hang out with each other, but it will be much less than before and have a stronger meaning knowing that we can still enjoy each other’s company even without seeing each other every single day of the week. I see some of the same people every single day of the week and I think I need some fresh faces in my life.

I plan on joining a fraternity with one of my friends from high school in the Fall 2019 semester. I will also be taking 18 credits, the hardest semester of my Electrical Engineering degree. I understand my workload will be insane and that I will be very busy, but I am ready for the challenge. I am prepared for so many things to be done and to be involved with people who care about me and not be in my dorm as much as I was during my freshman year. My biggest challenge growing up was how to “fit in” not necessarily with everyone, but even with my own friends. I have always been learning how to make myself feel appreciated and involved even though it might not be the healthiest thing to do. However, I have learned how to be myself even more than previous years, and it has given me the confidence to go out and make myself the best person that I can be.

The Race For Glory

All my life I have grown up around various sports such as basketball, soccer, football, and hockey. My dad and I are extremely invested in watching these sports live together and keeping up with the media surrounding players, trades, and signings that occur throughout the season. With my birthday being April 14th, the NBA Playoffs begin around this time and this season holds not as much certainty for who will win the title compared to previous years. The teams from the East are the Bucks, Raptors, Sixers, Pacers, Celtics, Nets, Pistons, and Magic. The teams from the West are the Warriors, Nuggets, Rockets, Trail Blazers, Jazz, Spurs, Clippers, and Thunder.

This season has seen the rise in the Milwaukee Bucks, as just last night they clinched the best record in the NBA as well as the number 1 seed in the Eastern Conference. They have added lots of depth and help to assist arguably the best player in the world, Giannis Antetokounmpo. I am excited to see how far they go in the playoffs after being a first round exit last year. The Raptors, Sixers, and Celtics have also added pieces to their teams which give them a great chance to pose a threat in the playoffs, but not as much as the Bucks can. I am very interested to see how many games the lower seeds can take from the higher seeds, and if one of them can even snatch a series as a surprise. The East is not as weak as it used to be, and this year will be full of entertainment for all eight teams.

The West, however, seems to be favoring the Warriors to roll through the playoffs and into the Finals for the fifth year in a row. I do agree that they will make it back again, but there are far more challenges that await them this playoffs compared to last. The Rockets are hungry, seeking revenge after losing a heartbreaking Game 7 at home in the Western Conference Finals and I know for sure they want the Warriors in that position once again. The Nuggets have far exceeded our expectations this season, rising to the 2nd seed after just missing the playoffs last season in the final game of the regular season. They remain a sleeper team and I would love to see them in the Finals this year. Other teams such as the Thunder, Blazers, Jazz, and Clippers are hungry too but their journeys will be much more difficult to handle.

My Finals prediction is Raptors vs Warriors, Raptors in 7 games, for their first title in NBA History. Lots of fun awaits, and it is just getting started.

Positive Attitude Towards the Future

Today I had my advising appointment with the Engineering faculty and it went very well. I found out that I have a large task ahead of me that includes taking 18 credits next semester compared to the measly 14 I am currently enrolled in. Next semester will include a majority of upper-level classes such as UNIV 200, Physics 207, EGRE 246, EGRE 206, and MATH 301. I will only be able to take MATH 301 in the Fall 2019 semester with full completion of MATH 201 at NOVA Community College this summer. My adviser made it perfectly clear what path lies ahead of me and gave me the confidence I need to be as successful in Electrical Engineering as possible.

One of my neighbors recently graduated from the VCU College of Engineering and also majored in Electrical Engineering. I have been discussing with him several options to be successful such as study habits, internships, career fairs, and fraternities. We have been extremely close for about 12 years now and it has been quite a ride for both of our parents to see just how much we have grown compared to when we first moved into the neighborhood. His dad told me that I have the opportunity to come and work for both of them once I graduate and I could not be thankful enough that they would be willing to accept me. However, I have much larger plans for what I want to do after I graduate college. I want to travel and gain connections with engineering companies overseas to see if I could perhaps land a hardware engineering job while also learning a foreign language. Learning a foreign language is something that provides a major boost towards job application with our world growing more diverse by the year. New problems arise that come from people that are not 100% fluent in the English language and being able to help these people out is a huge plus to my confidence and mindset.

It truly is amazing that students with the right motivation can tap into their potential at an alarming rate and want something more out of their lives than simply a degree and a job. I believe that more college students should explore their options about their futures, as I see most kids simply going through the motions on a day to day basis and not pushing themselves to do some extra tasks. Although most kids have no clue what will come about after these four years, and I am no exception, the easiest thing to do is be curious and maintain a positive attitude about all the possibilities that can be realized and implemented into our lives to make us stronger academic individuals.

Winter Depression Transitions Into Spring Happiness

As we transition into Spring 2019 new changes come waiting for us all in the new season. These changes can be beneficial such as positive change in attitude or detrimental such as having more allergies to deal with. For myself, spring motivates me to do more with my time instead of simply laying back and binge watching the shows that I love. The weather is much nicer and I can wear clothes that I am comfortable in instead of having to pick out an outfit that has to go with the cold, intense weather in the wintertime. I also love to play outdoor sports with my friends such as football, soccer, and basketball where I can exercise and play for a longer period of time.

The transition into springtime seems easy for me, but I know a lot of people that have the most difficult time getting out of their winter phases. One of my friends recently had a talk with me about his issue where he described wintertime and all the sue of things going on to go with the cold weather as “Winter Depression”. He told me that he seems as if everyone wants to relax after the handle their own responsibilities and no one wants to be with each other. He then went on to elaborate on his theory by telling me about his winter break where he attempted to hang out with hi friends but ultimately stayed home for the majority of the time. I told him that staying alone for a bit is never a bad thing and that reflection upon the his life during the Fall 2018 semester was normal. He responded with “Well how do I just *snap* into a new time in my life like you do?”. and I was just left in awe. I wanted to go off on a tangent about how my transition is no different from anyone else’s and that we all go through this time, but I refrained and we just changed the topic towards video games.

What I really want everyone to take out of this is that springtime is a time for expression and happiness and to embrace doing the things that you want to as the healthiest period of time in the new year. Winter Depression will only last temporarily and Spring Happiness will soon impact everyone’s lives in a positive manner. It might not be at the same time for everyone but the benefits towards happiness will be too great to pass up.

My Trip to New York

Over Spring Break I took a trip to New York City with my girlfriend and one of her friends. We had been planning the trip for a little over three weeks and once we finally put the whole thing together we were extremely satisfied and excited that we were actually making it happen. Our bus left Union Station in Washington DC at 12 pm on Monday, March 4th and we arrived at Port Authority in New York at 4 pm that same day. I do not mind walking all that much but the two girls were complaining nonstop because of how far our airbnb was from the station and how cold it was.

Once we got to our airbnb, several problems arose that made it not as exciting as it appeared in the pictures we viewed. Our main lighting was very dim, the locks on the doors were very loose, windows were very thin so we could always hear outside noise, and shower was disgusting. So after all of our complaints we decided to get some burgers since we were all tired and hungry from the bus ride. After we ate, we went out and realized that most of the places we wanted to go to we had to be over 21 so we settled at a ramen place then went back home and got ready for our next day.

The next day we went shopping in SoHo and we went to places that we have all been wanting to go to for the longest time. The girls went to Brandy Melville, TopShop, and Levi’s while I spent my time at Palace, OVO, and H&M. I spent almost $400 on just clothes before deciding to limit myself since we still had another day to do things. We all went to this shoe store called KITH where they sold merchandise, shoes, and treats where you could mix cereal with ice cream and toppings. KITH was truly one of the highlights of our day. Later that night we all relaxed with pizza and salads.

The following day included us visiting friends that lived in Manhattan and Brooklyn and sightseeing. We went to a museum near the Brooklyn Bridge, ate some great tacos from the Chelsea Market, and had ice cream late at night in the sub-20 degree weather. Overall, it was a great trip and I would love to go back in the summertime and with a little bit more money and time to get a full experience of the thing we did not visit. I feel refreshed and ready to get back into school with the rest of the Spring 2019 semester underway.

The Value of Anita

So this week I have been listening to an artist by the name of Smino. He is an upcoming artist in the hip-hop industry and one of my favorite songs by him is ‘Anita’ off of his debut project ‘blkswn’ which released back in 2017. Anita to Smino is anyone in his life that has impacted him for the greater good such as his girlfriend, mother, sister, friends, etc. Throughout the duration of the song he talks about the many values and benefits that come with being around these individuals as well as the euphoric moments he feels when around Anita. What I love is that Anita has multiple meanings and is not limited to simply one person and I believe that we all have an Anita within our lives.

Anita for me in college has been my new friends, old friends, parents, and my professors. New friends have allowed me to further expand upon my social skills while also allowing me to gain a better understanding of culture and interests from their diverse backgrounds. Old friends have allowed me to grow comfortable in an area where so much can happen in one day and have helped me realize the simple things that can make my day even better than how it started. Parents have continued to show me support with every call that I make to them as well as giving me the proper advice on how to handle a new chapter in my life. Professors have been assisting me with new ways to ease myself while attempting to solve both school and personal life issues and I cannot thank them enough.

I value the fact that I have been able to find Anita at college where I believed that it was going to be hard to find. College has been quite the rocky road to start off but I am maintaining my composure as well as possible with help of my Anita. Every college kid needs to define their Anita while reflecting through any rough issues that they are going through while also keeping in mind that they could possibly be someone’s Anita. Having this mindset will allow for all of us to go about our responsibilities in an orderly way while keeping our minds relaxed and calm. Anita is essential for everyone’s lives but making sure we are aware of who it could be even in the simplest aspect can boost our moods creating a much happier society.