Taking (and Celebrating) the First Step

In my last blog post, I wrote about my goal of making an effort to notice, appreciate, and celebrate the small things during my day and in my life. I began work on my thesis this weekend, a project that is due in its entirety on April 29th. My nonchalant first thought when I heard this was, “Cool, it’s not due until April”. However, that very quickly became a panicked, “OH MY GOSH IT’S DUE IN APRIL.”

One of my assignments for this week was to make a week by week plan with everything I need to do for my project leading up to Spring Break. As I was filling it out, I realized there are now only five full weeks until break. While I would usually be ecstatic about that, I am hoping for once that the weeks don’t go by too quickly. There are two reasons for this. First, because that means I will need to have all of my data collected for my thesis and be ready to begin the writing process, and two, because I will have that much less time with my friends and mentors who have become an integral part of my life.

IMG_9110So, in the spirit of my new goal, one of my best friends and I went out Saturday night to celebrate both each other and my small accomplishment: taking the first of many steps towards completing my thesis. We finally made it to a restaurant we have been dying to try since the first week of classes last semester. We had dinner at Xolo Tacos, and after being spoiled with authentic food from home over break, I had really high hopes for our meal. It was beyond my expectations! We sat next to the kitchen and had a front row view to all of the delicious food coming out sizzling and steaming away. It certainly made our mouths water and stomachs growl waiting for our own yummy dinners.

IMG_9112We had a fantastic night, and we made a promise to have more nights like it with our friends. While we were only away for a couple of hours, we got to break the Bryn Mawr bubble, get off campus, enjoy some truly incredible food, and make another night of memories. While the prospect of my thesis still feels rather daunting, it felt good to celebrate friendship and the first (however small) step towards finishing my project. I am reminded of a quote by Lao Tzu which has gotten me through many big projects, decisions, and of course journeys, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

No matter how small.

The Little Things in the Big Picture

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View of the Franklin Mountains approaching El Paso from a day trip to New Mexico with family

After my first winter break as a frosh, I struggled with a second wave of homesickness when I returned to campus for the spring semester. I was told by an upperclassman that it gets easier leaving home each time as you got older. That being said, you would think by this point in my undergraduate career it would at least be easier to leave home and come back to school. I can tell you that for me, it still difficult to leave home. Honestly, I feel like it always will be because after all, home is home. No matter how much of a home we find in the places we move to and live, there will always be something irreplaceable about going back to where you came from.


Mini high school reunion 🙂

It was particularly hard to come back this spring for two reasons. Firstly, because of my interview in Houston, I got home much earlier than I would have normally. As a result, I was home for just over five weeks, the longest amount of time I’ve been able to spend at home since I’ve been at Bryn Mawr. I am very grateful for this, as I was able to spend quality time with family and friends. The second reason was knowing that once I came back, it would be the beginning of the end. As I landed in Philadelphia it struck me that it could be the last time I was flying into the area, at least as a college student.

12439246_10205572381250883_1890383707971639523_nWhen I got back to school, I made it a priority to begin getting back into a schedule and routine to try and make settling back into the rigor of Bryn Mawr after over a month off as easy as possible. The semester started and if there’s one thing BMC’s academic and social culture doesn’t understand, it’s the idea of slowly easing into things. It’s only the second day of the second week and my calendar is already flooded with to-do lists, meeting times, and emails to send. Having received the green light to begin collecting data for my thesis, I also have that on my mind. While I am thrilled and extraordinarily excited about that, there is so much going on already that it is very easy to get hung up on what’s happening in the upcoming weeks and months that we forget to notice and cherish what is happening in the moment.

12631419_10205597246832507_3012348020186259017_nOne thing I am going to make sure to do this semester is notice and appreciate the small things… small accomplishments… things that would usually go unnoticed when there are so many other things we are trying to juggle. One thing that was impossible not to notice was the blizzard we had over the weekend! Winter Storm Jonas brought us mawr snow than we knew what to do with! (See what I did there? 🙂 ) There is certainly beauty all around us, snow or no snow, and I am going to be soaking up every bit of it the next four months.