Happy Wednesday! Today marks my first day of classes of my senior year of undergrad. It’s my last first day at UC Berkeley, and as you’re reading this, I may very well be sitting in class already back to the grind.
Ever since I can remember, the first day of school has always made me feel giddy inside. There’s so much promise in the start of a new year — every class is fun and interesting. I think by nature, I’m a learner…I simply love to be curious, and the first day brings fascinating tidbits and hints of what’s to come. Today for me, is oh-so bittersweet.
Something I’ve failed to touch on here are the hard days I experienced this summer. I’ve mentioned it before on YC, but I’m graduating college a year early. Since my freshman year, I knew I was only going to be in college for 3 years. Logistically it just makes sense. A big part of my summer was coming to terms with how my college experience is almost over. Time moves so fast, and I think I realized that more than ever this summer.
Because of my unconventional status, I feared that I would miss out on certain parts of being a senior. In my mind, my title of “senior” carried an asterisk, an addendum — “senior*.” It meant I had to justify how I was senior. It meant I would be excluded from senior activities. It meant my senior year wasn’t actually a senior year. These insecurities plagued my mind and heart.
Through it all, YC has pushed me to focus on what I can accomplish, what is in my control. And here’s the thing. I am equally excited and terrified to kick off this year. And I refuse to feel inadequate because my senior status isn’t the norm. I want to relish every moment, as trivial as it might be. I want to continue to pinch myself every time I see the Golden Gate Bridge when I walk to class. I want to worry less, and eat more. I plan on cramming as many experiences as possible into fall semester. I want to work hard, perform well in class, maintain YC, and always be building friendships. I resolve to make my year special…even if doesn’t come close to perfection.
There are so many memories flooding back to me today — walking a navy roller L.L. Bean backpack up the steps in first grade, entering my locker combination the first day of middle school, picking up my schedule on my first day of high school (I can still remember my outfit!). First days stand out in my mind, and I want this last first day of college to stand out too.
For my own accountability, I want a Bucket List. It’s doable, I think. But making it now will force me to look at it and check things off the list. 🙂
- Complete an internship in SF.
- Receive a job or fellowship, preferably on the East Coast.
- Go apple picking.
- Go to SF MOMA.
- Hit up all of my favorite bakeshops and new ones, including b. patisserie, Tartine, Neighbor Bakehouse, Le Marais Bakery, Padrecito, Jane on Fillmore, Cafe Reveille, Rick & Ann’s, and La Note.
- See the Bank of America sailing flag mural in Sausalito.
- Buy flowers at Ampersand.
- Go to the SF Farmers Market at the Ferry Building.
- See the Painted Ladies.
- Go to the Walt Disney Museum.
- Eat Sliver on Memorial Glade.
- Enjoy dinner and a movie at Foreign Cinema.
- Hike to Point Reyes in Marin.
- Eat at Sol Food again.
- Travel somewhere for a weekend with friends.
So here’s making the absolute most of senior year. No asterisk. No addendum. Here’s to this first day filled with butterflies and jitters. Here’s to the beginning of the end.
Do you have or remember any first-day feelings? Comment below!