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September 29, 2010

Don't Stop Till' You Drop

So remember last week when I said you hit the ground running? Yeah, I'm not stopping. This weekend was Taste of Asia, Asian American Alliance's benefit dinner. As part of the executive board, I was responsible for getting up at 9:00AM to help start setting up for the event. For the most part, I was holed up in a meeting room putting together a short video to play during dinner. This movie was supposed to introduce the theme of AAA, so obviously it was ... kind of important. With my luck, right when I was supposed to show it, my laptop freezes and shortly thereafter, decides to not save my project. 15 minutes of frenzied working and a sweat-drenched dress shirt, I came out with the same movie, just not as well made as I initially intended. I've never been so stressed in my life. I could honestly feel my chest trying to jump out of my rib cage (which, after studying till 4AM for my pharmacology test, I realized was a sign of a panic attack… oh how nursing rules my life now).

Overall, the night was a success. The event sold out for the first time in three years. We raised almost $300 just from the donations during the event. Barely any food was left over (one of the main indicators that the night went well), and the audience throughly enjoyed our emcee as well as our performers, another aspect of Taste of Asia that usually doesn't always go too well.

As this week goes on, I can't help but think that I was a part of a group that held a dinner for 300 students. I helped raise $500 for dance marathon, and I found out that I don't handle stress too well. Nonetheless, holding this event was an amazing experience, and I doubt I would've had this opportunity anywhere else. Until next next semester: AAA Night.

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September 27, 2010

On Growing Up and Responsibility

The realization that I will be a teenager for only another four short months really sank in with coming back to Case this fall. Having the opportunity to watch the new incoming freshman get settled and acclimated to college life, created quite the feeling of nostalgia. The adjustment to life away from home, combined with a new arsenal of friends and a course load to die for (hopefully not literally) creates memories that will be with you for the rest of your life.

Round two, or sophomore year, is very similar, yet much different at the same time. Similar to the extent that I still keep the busy from sunrise to sunset schedule I carried last year. Maybe this isn’t everyone, but generally that’s how I conduct my everyday life here at Case. My friends from the year haven’t changed, if you don’t count the new acquaintances from this year. However, there is a lot that has changed. For example, responsibility comes with age, and well, I’m now older. I’m not saying it’s necessary to give up fun, however balancing everything is more important than ever. It’s a challenge and I’m embracing it. It’s a pretty cool feeling knowing you’re growing up.

I strongly believe Case facilitates maturity to a whole new level. I have little to compare to, Case is the only university I have ever attended, but I’ve kept up with many friends from high school. I am not taking away from the work that they do, but I strongly feel that Case Western challenges you to the limit. This process brings the best out of you as a student. So yes, even on the bad days, you can convince yourself it’s worth the effort. I also think by being challenged to the extent that we are, it forms stronger relationships with friends because you are sharing the same tough experiences.

In no way shape or form am I trying to turn anybody off of going to Case Western. Rather I look at it as a challenge to you as a prospective student. I say this as a student who has experienced Case for over a year. If your future is important to you (it sounds obvious, but I know many people that live for only the present), I highly recommend coming here; the challenge might just make you exceptional.

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September 26, 2010

Welcome Back, Have a Flu Shot

Hello everyone!

It's awesome to be back at CWRU for another year, and even more awesome that I get to blog about all of my sophomore year shenanigans. My summer was pretty uneventful (work, work, more work, and some work), so it's really exciting to see friends, have fun, and...you know, that school thing. I'm living in the Sigma Psi house this year with my lovely sisters, and I've got a whole bunch of exciting stuff lined up. Get pumped. I know I am.

I do have to say, however, that about 7 weeks into being back at Case, I am NOT excited about one thing: I'm sick. Like, legitimately sick. The whole feverish, hacking and coughing, please-kill-me-now kind of sick. This could not come at a worse time, considering this is the start of a string of busy weeks and even busier weekends, and I totally can't afford to be sick now. Ugh.

But since the inevitable has happened, and I did actually get sick, I think it's worth it to let you all know just what you should do if you find yourself shivering, sniffling, and generally miserable while at school. So here it is, your survival guide for being sick at CWRU:

1. You know what your mom will tell you: get rest and drink fluids. You probably have a cold, or something similar. If so, there's not much that will do you better than keeping hydrated and putting down the textbook so you can get some sleep. It's worth it. Trust me. If you keep pushing yourself through all nighters to study, you will only get worse.

2. Go to Health Services. They can hopefully let you know if your sniffles are something more serious, and if not, they can give you some advice on how to get better. I know that the last thing you want to do is to leave the comfort of your bed, but it'll be better to treat that upper respiratory infection now rather than later when you've coughed up a lung.

3. Call or email your professors. They may be willing to offer you an extension if you're too infirm to finish work on time. It may help for them to simply know that you won't be your bright and cheery self in seminar. Or, depending on the class, the course schedule, and how disease-ridden you are, their advice may simply be "stay home".

4. Don't be afraid to say no. If you're like me, you're over-scheduled on a good day. When you're sick, it may be hard to tell someone that you really can't make that SI session, or that the fliers for your club will have to wait another week. But at this point, it's better to wait until you can give your commitments 100% rather than not putting your best work forward due to illness.

5. Don't stress. You'll feel better sooner than you think. It's not the end of the world if you miss an assignment. Your GPA won't suffer, I promise. You're a capable human; you can make up for lost time. Focus on feeling better, and getting the work done will come easier.

Stay healthy, readers. And if you don't, don't worry -- these tips should get you back on your feet soon enough. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go take some over-the-counter meds, eat soup, and nap for a couple hours. At this point, I think it's just what I need.

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September 20, 2010

Hit The Ground Running

The same air terminal, the same flights, the same rapid, the same stop, but oh how different could Sophomore year be. I'm no longer asking where to go check in, but rather if the friends I made last year have moved in yet. As a sophomore, I have moved past the "roommate" and upgraded to the "suitemate." 6 of them to be exact: 3 guys, 3 girls, 1 bathroom. I have moved past that welcome week phase where the only sentence you really say is "Hi, my name is Kevin. What's your name... It's nice to meet you, [insert name here]" (and then promptly forget that person's name). I have moved past finding friends and my identity. I have moved to southside, top of the hill, up the elephant stairs that so many people despise. Most of all, I have moved up the social ladder of college into Sophomore year.
I've heard stories of it. A lot of people, especially nurses, say that this is the hardest year (8 hour clinicals a the Cleveland Clinic to say the least). It's the hill everyone has to climb. This hill is, of course, filled with decisions. More specifically, decisions about your major and whether or not you like it, love it, or hate it. This is the time where your classes start getting real. There's no more Freshmen Forgiveness (all freshmen can drop their class at any time during the school year and not get penalized for it), so you must be careful of what classes you sign up for. Any mistakes now, and it will be forever engraved into that singular sheet of paper that lists four years of your academic accomplishments (or failures). It's the time for you to buckle down, get your act together, and start working towards your future.
So, the first month came and went. My future was the last thing on my mind. I was more worried about having enough food in the suite for my midnight cravings (4 boxes of ramen and a $27 case of peach green tea did the trick), attending weekly executive meetings (Asian American Alliance), planning social mixers (Phi Kappa Psi), and looking for jobs (I work for SOURCE as a graphic designer now) than the first pharmacology exam, of which I got a C on. Great way to start off the semester eh? The thing was, I planned for these distractions. I enrolled myself in 13 credit hours, 1 more than the minimum required hours to be a full-time student. Yet, at the same time, I'm typing this post at 4AM in the morning, the day of my 30 minute presentation on Electrification for my SAGES (Technology in Society). What am I doing with my life you ask? I'm living it to the fullest while sacrificing my sleep and my sanity.
And that is what makes Sophomore year different. You hit the ground running and you don't stop. You don't have to use your time looking for friends, majors, clubs because you already have them. Most of all, you've already built that foundation of who you are on campus: the things you're affiliated with, the reputation amongst your friends, the study habits and the grades you normally get. You've taken a year to realize who you are, and now it's time to worry about accomplishing your goals and working towards the future.

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