College Graduation

 

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On May 9, I received my B.S. degree in Computer Science! Back when I was starting my senior year of high school I never expected to be out in San Diego for college, and I especially never thought I would pursue a degree in Computer Science of all things! College was a great time; I felt like every year was extremely different. Freshman year everything was new and exciting, but the highlight of my time in college was certainly studying abroad in London my sophomore year. Junior year was my time of  experiencing the biggest shift in growing up (a necessary evil), and senior year was busy but ultimately a blast since I lived across the street from the beach. For the most part I enjoyed all my classes, and I am a little bit sad to be done attending them (for now?).

I decided to stay in the San Diego area for the near future…working as a software engineer. I start my job in June, but Joe and I are heading off for a Europe trip first (my graduation present to myself). Here are a few pictures of my graduation. Thanks to all of my family and friends who made the weekend so much fun!

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Talking About Feelings

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Anyone who has read any type of advice about relationships knows there are essentially two skills one must learn to have a successful one.

  1. How to communicate your feelings
  2. How to listen to others communicate their feelings

Talk and listen…it seems simple enough. Most close and loving relationships are usually born from this simple exchange – you probably liked what the other person had to say because you were listening, and the feeling was presumably mutual. However, it is common knowledge to those working on relationships that mastering these abilities can take years of practice and be incredibly difficult.

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Christmas 2014 in Flagstaff

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This year Joe and I were lucky enough to have one Christmas in Flagstaff, AZ and another in Santa Fe, NM. Funnily enough, these two towns share similar climate and small-town feel. While we were in Flagstaff, we woke up to over a foot of snow. Though it snowed all of New Years Eve and ruined our New Years plans, we were both glad to get a “White Christmas” before we headed back to ever-sunny San Diego.

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Senior Year?!?!

I know it has been a good length of time since my last blog post, and it has been difficult to keep in close contact with everyone lately, so I thought I would write to update my family about my start back to school. I can’t believe I am a senior; it has actually made me strangely nostalgic. I see the big groups of freshman girls walking around campus with the cafeteria ice cream cones and I remember being one of those girls. I remember going everywhere with my entire hall, like every other freshman, and not missing a single campus activity that served food or frozen yogurt. I also remember marveling almost daily at the sun setting over the ocean (I always got a great view on the walk back to my dorm.) The best part about being a freshman is that you’re constantly meeting someone new and making a new friend; how exciting was life back then! Though I never missed freshman year until now, dwelling mainly on thoughts about dorming, I do have to say I miss pieces of it. Here I am starting school my first day of college.  Continue reading

Summer 2014 Almost Over

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As I write this, I’m just beginning to enjoy the part of the summer I have been most looking forward to. For another three weeks I am free to wake up at any time I please, spend an entire morning reading a book, or stay out late without having to feel sluggish doing “thinking” work the next day. (I am also free to work on my 21-item to do list). My co-writer is quick to remind me that the time I have before school starts is the entire sum of vacation he is allotted per year. He is also quick to remind me that this will most likely be true for me next year, so rest assured I am making the most of this break.

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Scheduled Summer

June is over. I am sad that the first of my precious summer months slipped away so quickly, but I think I put in a solid effort to make each and every day count. The weekends were busy with trips to place likes Palm Springs and Julian, but the weekdays were even busier as I packed in a combination of work, friends, studying, and activities. I’ve also been meeting my health and fitness goals for the summer thus far. To do all of this, I’ve had to optimize my time very carefully. How do I keep track of all this? Spreadsheets and very careful planning.

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Kenley’s Graduation

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This past weekend, Joe and I took a quick trip back to Flagstaff to see my little sister graduate from high school. We arrived about 11:30 on Friday night, so the fun didn’t start until the next morning (because I can’t actually remember arriving). My parents just bought a hot tub, so Joe and I woke up early as usual to try it out. Everyone soon arrived at our house for peaches and cream french toast – we used a friend’s house to accommodate all the guests. Upon hearing that Kenley was a bit nervous for her graduation, Joe and I set off on a coffee mission to get her out of bed in time for breakfast!  Joe then left to go mountain biking with a friend (he came back saying he only went over the handlebars once!) while I had the chance to catch up with my family.

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Summer 2014 Officially Begins

Each passing semester of school feels like a new chapter for me, but summers are usually markedly different. It couldn’t feel any more like summer now that I live steps away from the beach and an increasingly crowded boardwalk! I love hearing all the beach-goers walking by and being reminded that San Diego is the best place to be in the summer (I hope to remember this once June gloom sets in). I am definitely looking forward to all of the free weekends I currently have on the calendar…it has been months since I’ve seen one of those! Lastly, I am excited for a change of schedule, even though it means waking up at 6 am. Maximize daylight hours, right? My favorite thing about school being out is no little voice in the back of  my head reminding me that I should be studying, but this summer I must keep listening to it as I have to study for the GRE!  As annoying as studying in the summer is, I am also doing a full-time internship – which is basically like getting paid to learn! Joe and I now work at the same company (though we are across the campus from each other) and can take embarrassing (and blurry) “first day of work together” pictures like this.

first day of work

Let summer 2014 begin!

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Time of Change – Moving and Finals

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My junior year is complete! It sounds far too cliche to say “It feels like just yesterday I was sitting at freshman orientation…” and I know I’ll be saying the same thing a year from now when I graduate…but it is true! I have a summer internship starting in a week, and I just finished moving into a new house. Not only did I move to an entirely new part of San Diego, but I am now living by myself.

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Junior Year Lessons

Every year of college has been different and has taught me incredible lessons, but if I could characterize my past year of college in one way, I would say it was my year of growing up. Not freshman year? Not the year I went out of my home state, met all new people, and tackled college classes for the first time? Not sophomore year? Not the year I left my family and friends behind to live in a new country, and re-learned an entire culture? I certainly was exposed to a long list of different things and was forced to grow up in those years, but junior year has been my year of deepest growth. I’ve felt like it was a year of taking all the experiences I’ve had so far and putting them together. There is something more insightful in discovering how you react in the familiar rather than the unfamiliar – when you aren’t constantly reacting to new stimulations you have the chance to understand how you react in the pattern. You learn your true passions, fears, frustrations, and are able to combine them all into a clearer picture of yourself. It has taken a great deal of introspection, but finally being comfortable has allowed me to get uncomfortable with myself. Here are a few things I have realized about myself this year, and am starting to accept:

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