Tag Archives: life

Towards a New Beginning

Hello everyone,

It’s Gen here! Hope you are all doing well in the blogosphere. I decided to write a blog post about my experiences as an undergrad and graduation. Given that my words are not always clear, I wanted to see if I could describe the feeling I felt not so long ago.

Some of you may know that I graduated 2 weeks ago and some may not. I now understand when people say that “time flies” because these past 4 years flew in lightning speed. I can say that I took advantage of all the opportunities with my university and what I so proudly call my home. I was able to have 4 jobs, studied in D.C., had an internship at Justice, and was a chancellor honors student for 4 years! Through this course of my undergraduate career, I met people that have changed my life in the best way possible. I thought coming from high school I was knowledgeable and mature, but coming to college was a different story…

Background

I am a first-generation, Mexican-American, and a bilingual student. I am the first one in my family to graduate from a university. As the oldest of 10, there is a sense of responsibility and determination because my hard work is reflected among my whole family. My values have always been family and my faith. In college, I was truly tested by external pressures, but I never once did anything I regretted or was unsure of. I left home feeling excited, but some of the days I called my mother crying asking “if it will be better?” She would respond va haber sacrificios que tendrás que tomar. Estás aquí por una razón. Sigue adelante. To translate she said in life there will be sacrifices and you are here for a reason. Keep moving forward. Those words have stayed with me for the past 4 years to keep moving forward even through the challenges that life gives you. Normally, I am quite extroverted and take the initiative to start a conversation with the potential stranger, but I didn’t that very first semester. Here comes the sob story during my first-semester I attended classes and would head straight to my residence hall. I would eat in my room and would hardly socialize. My time consisted sleep, studying, reading for classes, and eating. I knew many felt the way I had been feeling and after my 2nd semester I was determined to be involved. I was going through stage of culture shock and I finally realized that being isolated wasn’t helping me grow or feel connected to my school.

Loss

No one ever prepares you for the unforeseen circumstances such as loss. I lost one of my close friends. He and I connected with some hall-mates in the residence halls in my first year. My roommate and I had an open door policy where we would leave the door open and people could come into our room and hang out. Most of the students back in 2013 did that; I have no idea if they still do it today. He knocked on the door and just introduced himself. He had a tendency to have his shirt off and my friend and I had commented about it.  All 3 of us started a conversation in the hallway another friend we had meet in the dorms also joined in. An hour passed, and we were still talking by the doorway the two gentleman had not come into our room until my roommate invited them in. That night we stayed up talking until 4 a.m. Even though it was 4 years ago, I still remember a lot of that night. We then made it a tradition on Fridays to have game night in one of the lounges. He taught me a lesson that I still have trouble following “to not take life too seriously and to smile more often.” I guess he noticed my stressed nights, bags under my eyes, and hesitating whether I should study more or grab a bite to eat with the group. Most of the invitations were yes because I wanted friends who accepted me the way I was all sheltered and naive and thats what they did. Accepted me for who I am and not trying to change who I was becoming.

These people came into my life when I needed them the most. I came to college to gain an education and to become a well-rounded person, but what I gained went far beyond my expectations. In November 2014, we lost HIM I remember that day vividly well. I don’t really like to talk about it because I want to remember him as that happy, goofy, game loving amigo. I know he touched a lot of people in the year and a half he was there. The grief was cyclical and it came with stages. I felt selfish trying to concentrate on my studies and knowing that he would never be able to study for a midterm, hug his mom, or marry his fiancé ever again. I fell in a state of not caring and it became harder for me to study or read for classes. I was thinking of taking a break, but I knew that Evan would not have wanted that. Yes, his name was Evan. He was a dreamer talked about becoming a veterinarian, marrying his girlfriend, and having children. He loved children and had a younger brother; he was not only pursuing education for his future, but also to help his little brother.

Those late night talks we all had were silly, but also deep and meaningful. We got to know each other as friends and I finally had a little family to call my own in a place that I had seen foreign my first semester.

I decided to continue my undergraduate journey this was not only for me, but also for my friend because he would never be able to cross the stage and even though it brings chills to this day I was able to move on with time. He will always remain in my heart and somehow I felt that he gave us something. To me– SPIRIT. A spirit to seize the day and be grateful of every encompassing moment. I only wish that we had taken pictures because he wasn’t one that liked that at all.

I wish I could write everything that I experienced these past 4 years, but a 3 page blog post would turn into a full book. I am published, so who knows I might dabble in writing something in the future :).

Lessons

I learned so much about myself like I have said in the beginning of the blog post. I think some advice that I would give past me would be to enjoy every moment even if its studying or taking that difficult game theory class. Enjoy every moment because our future is uncertain. Step out of your comfort zone because that is how you grow by making mistakes and learning from those failures. Be willing to be okay with being uncomfortable certain situations may not always be sparkly and that’s okay. Maintain a positive outlook and try to be open minded. The most difficult advice to follow has been to accept failure. A wise person once told me that we fail a lot more than we succeed. What I interpret from this is our failures shape who we become and allows us to grow strong if we are willing to climb that rock, wall, or tree. Know your values and who you are. This could be difficult because college at times challenges this notion, but at the end of the day remind yourself WHY you are here and the goals you want to accomplish.

I planned my future, but unexpected things have occurred and know I am in the process of self-discovery. Even though I am creating my own path I am leaving a trail so I do not get lost. I hope I ignite that passion and to keep my spirit high even with the upcoming challenges I will inevitably face.

Graduation 

The feeling was like nothing I ever experienced or truly imagined. I still couldn’t fathom that I was going to be a soon to be graduate. Everyone was asking me in the past week “how I was feeling?” My answer “nothing.” In reality, I was pleading that time would just stop and wishing for a teleport machine, so that I could look back at the moments that have meant so much to me.  Graduation meant more to me because I was finally going to be able to graduate from the same school all 4 years. This was something I was unable to do in high school. Merced had become home, a safe haven– my overall stability.

As I was putting my cap and gown, it became very real that I would never be an undergraduate student again. Each stole symbolized what I ended up contributing to  my school. As I was zipping my gown, all I could recollect were the memories that my university symbolized. My cap was not decorated it was an empty canvas filled with possibility sort of a parallel to the mindset I had as a first-year.  That morning I woke up with a smile and my heart began to race. My close friends who have become sisters and who I feel blessed to have met we all got ready together. We wore cake faced makeup and did our hair which most of the time is unbrushed and messy. I remember eating 2 donuts because I was not willing to be in a 3 hour ceremony with only water in my stomach. I do-nut wanted that to happen. That morning I didn’t know what to expect. All I saw was a sea of blue in every corner. Every student that I saw sported a different facial expression and I was curious to know what they were thinking.

We started walking with my class I couldn’t help, but smile and look forward. I was ascending to adulthood not the real world because I believe that the real world is college. I sat next to my best friends and we could not be happier. We were all feeling different emotions and we tried our best to understand each other. As my name was being called, I heard cheers and applause I couldn’t help, but just put my hands up and smile. On stage, everything sort of stood still as if someone paused this moment for me to recollect every movement and instant in the future. I am a public person and I shared everything through Instagram and Snapchat the power of technology is pretty mind boggling.

This has been an amazing experience and I feel grateful to have gone through this journey that many aren’t able to pursue because they reach the top of a ceiling. I hope to give back to all those young people who may not have the resources to pursue what they desperately want. Even though, I have finished my undergrad learning never stops. I feel confident in the woman I have become and will live my life the way I want to live it.

To all the people who are graduating it’s okay to not know where you are going. Everything happens for a reason. Watch USC’s Commencement Speech with Will Ferrell if I have not convinced you.

Thank you for reading!

Signing off,

Genesis

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Quote of the Week

“if YOU were born

with a weakness to fall

YOU were born with a

strength to RISE.”

-Rupi Kaur


Quote of the Week

Try to be a rainbow

in someone’s cloud.”

~Maya Angelou


Quote of the Week

“the only love i need is

the one i have for myself

and it is  STRONG  enough to 

heal everything that breaks

me. so i do not need a lover,

what i need is a friend.

someone who understands me

and someone who is not afraid

of the chaos my world brings.”

~R.M. Drake


Quote of the Week

“Give the ones you love

wings to fly

roots to come back

and reasons to

STAY.

~Dalai Lama


A Letter to the College Seniors

Dear Senior,

CONGRATULATIONS! You have finished your last fall semester of your college career. Never again will you be able to experience Fall 2017 and will only be able to recollect with distant memories and kept photographs. So much happens in a semester, a ticking clock ready to RING or that may be your alarm waking you up for your final. So open your eyes and start your day!

These past 4 years you have gone through breakups, heartaches, many anxiety attacks, accomplishments, had many opportunities, and coped with a loss of friends and years. You have made your university, a home, a place where you can feel safe and be YOU. I hope that you have that and if you don’t, know that the people that you may have interacted with might have given you an impact you might have not even realized it. People know that you are a senior because of the bags under your eyes and your resistance to use the cool people vernacular. You have been coined the term mom of your group, grandfather or grandmother because of your sleeping schedules. All nighters are no longer something that you can sustain and even if you try, you end up passing out by 3 a.m.

You have realized how precious time can be and how lucky you are to be here. You have seen students come and go. Passing by thousands ever to wonder if they are feeling how you are feeling lost, scared, and alone. You wave at the person who you always see, but have never stopped and asked for their name.

With each challenge, you have overcome so much and have become even stronger. You didn’t allow that D on your paper to discourage you or allow people bring you down. You made impactful connections and realized who was a friend and who was an acquaintance. You were your most vulnerable self as a first-year/freshman hoping that a group would notice you and invite you to eat. Instead of going back to your residence hall with your lunch telling yourself “it’s going to be okay.” You called your mom sobbing that you miss your family and you want to go home. Never realizing that this was your home and all you needed was time. Time to figure out who you are. Time to adapt. Time to learn.

You grew as a person. Became the best version you could possibly be. Your confidence grew with every passing semester flabbergasted by the challenges you overcame. You felt proud of what you have accomplished. You realized that dreams could become a reality and created a focus of what you wanted.

Now that your time is up or at least soon to be, look back at the memories you have created. Talk to that person you always see in passing. Print the photos stored in your photo gallery and hang them up. Hang post it notes about wisdom can be quotes from your mom, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and even quotes you have said. If you aren’t a wisdom kind of quote hanging person hang anything that will make you smile and energize you for the day. Tell the people that you love that you love them. Sometimes they need to hear that, especially your parents. Talk to your professors about your aspirations and learn about their history. Trust me, they have gone through similar things maybe even more than us since they have a PhD. Smile and count your blessings because there are some students who didn’t make it for various reasons.

The ALARM has RUNG time to get up tell yourself “I got this!” I wish you all the luck on your finals, projects, and papers.

Remember you got Spring of 2017 to figure things out.

I leave you with this..

Time is free. But it is priceless. You can’t own it, but you can use it. You can’t keep it, but you can spend it. Once you’ve lost it you can NEVER get it back.

-Anonymous

Sincerely,

Gen

COLLEGE SENIOR


The Ink Doesn’t Define Me

Hello blogsphere,

I thought it was important to start a conversation on something that has been quite controversial for sometime. Can anyone guess what that is? It is on tattoos. Now for those of you who do not have one please read this and for those whom do, I encourage you to read this as well. Instead of sharing my opinion about them I have decided to  to write a letter of those who don’t understand tattoo’s and have judged them. Thankfully it hasn’t been evident that I have been judged, but many people around me have.

______________________________________________________________

Dear person who has seems to have the decency to judge me, 

Yes, I have a tattoo so what? Why do you feel compelled to look at me as if I where a criminal or have done something horrible? I choose this and even though I tell myself that I do not care. I seem to constantly see judgments in thin air. Everyone has a story some people do get a tattoo for fun, others to tell a story to the world, or both. Some people wait a long time to get it and some choose it without even thinking.

Regardless, why has society think it is okay to judge based on what’s displayed on someone’s skin? It’s permanent. Years ago, tattoos were not acceptable people wouldn’t be able to be hired if they displayed some sort of mark in their skin. It’s being more acceptable, but people still face judgment. So I ask you why judge me for my own decision? It doesn’t hurt you. I am not doing anything wrong to society or to others. It’s my decision so please give me the courtesy and deal with it. Stop associating tattoos with gang or violence it’s solely based on action and I have not done anything wrong.  I don’t judge you by what you decide to wear or the car you drive. So why judge me? It’s my skin, NOT yours. 

This is a personal CHOICE and it means something to me. A word for some may just be a word, but it’s the meaning behind it that adds depth. An infinity sign or anchors are symbols that carry significance e and it serves as a reminder by how its marked on their skin. It’s a complex notion to understand clearly with your judgment it’s something you cannot fathom. So instead why don’t you ask the person about their tattoo or keep judging it’s not like I can change your mind just thought you could become a little more educated on this manner.  Studies have shown that tattoos actually help with one’s health a study was published in American Journal of Biology. 

______________________________________________________________

Best,

Gen

Thanks for reading please feel free to share it let’s create a conversation. Comment below I would love to hear your perspective on it.

Feel free to read more about the study here 


Quote of the Week

“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”

-George Bernard Shaw


The Vulnerability & Selflessness of Love

Dear whomever is reading this if you have not experienced being in love let me be the one to tell you that I have not either. If you have experienced love hopefully you agree with some of my thoughts and if you don’t let me know in the comments section below. I am not in love and I am okay with that. I believe in fate and destiny. It hasn’t been within my present situation to have a certain emotional connection to someone. I don’t feel pressured to be with someone because I am happy being on my own. I know that whenever it happens I will embrace it and hopefully be ready. I am open to the idea of love, but right now I am selfish. My time is to precious for me to share my time with someone else. I FEEL that when it happens, it will happen and it’s something that even I won’t be able to reject.

Here is my perspective of what love is and the implications that love has in one’s emotional state. For all things, love can be sometimes scary. Love is about being vulnerable and demonstrating all your feelings toward one person.  Vulnerability may not always be so easy because you are showing your true self even the things that you may not always like about yourself. In addition, because you are in love you are susceptible to having your heart broken and that that is scary for anyone. Some people put up walls so that they don’t become as emotionally invested for the fear of being let down or betrayed. Vulnerability breaks down those walls and you are left with your true self. Even a friendship I would argue takes vulnerability, but in a relationship it involves multiple different layers. There is a deeper emotional connection. It’s showing the good, the bad, and the embarrassing to that person and being okay that they love you for it.

It is okay to feel vulnerable; you are not letting your guard down. You are just opening yourself to someone and trusting that person. People who are strong willed sometimes, see vulnerability as weakness. Vulnerability should not be a weakness people should see it as strength because you are opening up yourself to someone.

We live in a world with mixed signals where people show affection by sending a text rather than giving a hug. That text could be a way that may show an emotional attraction, but it could also just be a simple checking up on you text. The new word of “talking” has formed as a way for a person to get to know someone else. Its an interest among both parties to start something.  There is some vulnerability that occurs during this stage, but the only form of communication isn’t well since a relationship one hopes is more than text messages. There are so many ways to interpret a text message that we never truly know the reasoning behind it, unless the person tells you directly what they were trying to say.  We are constantly plugged into our technology with no repercussions, but our own thoughts.

Love can emerge from childhood to friendships to caring about a person in a deeper level. I also think being in love is so beautiful because you are no longer on your own. You get to share everything with your significant other. With your partner, your goals become “our” goals. Your wants become each other’s needs. You don’t abandon who you are, but I think your significant other brings out the best in you and you bring out the best in him or at least that is what I hope that you want from them. “True love isn’t easy if it were easy we’d all have it” quoted by Snow White in my favorite show Once Upon A Time. I believe every word of that quote it comes from the most unexpected places and it finds you rather than you seeking for it. So be patient because the person that you are destined to be with will either find you or you will find him/her.

With love at times comes lust I have seen this from certain acquaintances. There is this ideology that you cannot live without the other person and need to be with that person 24/7 in order to be all right. Lust can become an obsession, which is dangerous. Lust could at times be disguised as love, but don’t think it is. Lust is unhealthy. You should care for yourself and then be able to care for your significant other. Lust only occurs for a certain time period, but then it ends and you are left with an uneasy feeling. We often associate lust in a relationship as the “honeymoon stage,” but it may depend on the relationship. It fades between the third or fourth month and then that is when the challenge emerges because of course there will be discussions and arguments. You are still learning about your person, and neither of you are perfect. It’s part of being in a relationship accepting the “uniqueness” of each other rather than seeing them as flaws or imperfections.

There is a constant saying that goes around when dealing with love “emotions are clouding your judgment.” It is implied that the person isn’t thinking rationally because they have their heart and emotion into it. Most of the times it has to do with problems in a relationship and the person is blinded by certain things in their partner because they are in love and cannot see it. This as well depends on the relationship. In psychology, we learn that affect and logic can sometimes be related to each other rather than always seeing them as separate. There is an interesting dichotomy within emotion and logic. Affect can help us with how we think and vice versa. So the next time you are questioning your emotions logic and rationality does play a role.

What I want people to get out of this blog post is for readers to see that being vulnerable is a part of love. That before you can learn to love others you should love yourself. That love is not easy and it’s a challenge that one-way or another we will have to face. That it is okay to be on your own until you feel ready to share your life with the other person. Also, that you should not feel pressured to be in a relationship remember that the most important relationship that you should have is with yourself. You should first know your wants, needs, goals, and who you are. It is okay to be selfish no one should judge you for it.

Best,

Genesis

 

 


Quote of the Week

“Guard well your spare moments. They are like uncut diamonds. Discard them and their value will never be known. Improve them and they will become the brightest gems in a useful life. ”

-Ralph Waldo Emerson