Saturday, June 6, 2015

I Met Mindy Kaling, I Graduated from College Three Times, and I Changed, A Bit

Before I dive into ~deep, reflective mode~ in my last post here (omg. actual sob. I am very sad about this) here are some random updates I feel compelled to say here:
In my old posts, I talked about my love for Mindy Kaling a bunch of times. In true full circle, I MET HER AT BOOK CON LAST WEEK!!
Let me rephrase: I pushed myself to the front of the line, begged her to shake my hand while people swarmed her, and shouted "I'VE HAD NIGHTMARES ABOUT MEETING YOU!" at which she looked at me and said, "Nightmares?!" (The nightmare was that you didn't like me, Mindy Kaling!) But hello, I got her attention!!!!! So much success. Also, one of my favorite books, Attachments, is about this guy falling in love with his coworker from reading her emails (his job is to monitor emails). I told the author how much this resonated with me and how much I loved emails and she and I shared a moment of mutual appreciation and she thanked me for loving it so much!!! Ugh I love authors!!! Also, last thing, my english multicultural lit professor told me at the end of my presentation, "Very engaging. I didn't know you were that funny." THIS COMING FROM THE MOST ENGAGING, FUNNIEST PROFESSOR I'VE HAD. I died.

I think I have to discuss my post-grad plans here, bcuz it's probably relevant (or is it? Isn't Mindy Kaling much more relevant?)

I graduated with a Nursing major and English minor. I'm going to start prepping for my NCLEX exam to become an RN soon. I take the exam sometime in July. If I pass, I want to travel in August. Starting tomorrow, I have to apply to jobs, hopefully get one with a nurse residency program, and then IDEALLY work as an RN in September and hone my skills as a new nurse. Once I work for about a year or at least half a year I want to decide for sure what I want to specialize in (geriatrics, I'm thinking) and figure out a grad program. Hopefully the hospital I'm working for will pay for it if I'm working there. Then like, I will attempt to understand what a 401K is and get an apartment with my brother somewhere? I will attempt to cook and do adult-ish things like pay for ...light bills or something. And like, work. Maybe I will buy wallpaper, because that strikes me as ~independent!~ and ~adult!~ although mostly I just want to buy flowery wallpaper! Additionally, I have grand plans to learn ASL, Arabic & or Hindi, go back to the trumpet & piano and learn new skills. Also I plan to buy lots of YA books with any money I make. And movies. Basically things for sustenance. Right now, I am nervous to become a nurse, but also determined!

Ok, now for my thoughts on ending college (whoa, hope this post doesn't read like I take myself too seriously, hope it reads like I am trying for some semblance of organization):

In yearbooks, and the nursing yearbook, people usually write "Never change!!" I used to think it was sweet, but after nursing school, I is about change and adapting to it. I would even go so far to say that, arguably, the point of life is change. "Love change or die!"

In college, I don't know how much I changed. I guess I would say that I finally bloomed a bit. Oh god, that sounds SO. VERY. CHEESY TO SAY. But, it's true. I realized the value of combing one's hair and putting effort into one's appearance. I became a less awkward dancer, I dressed better, I went more places and didn't shrivel into awkwardness when talking to boys. I think I continued to talk very loudly wherever I went, though. I don't really have much poise or a sense of propriety, but I have a bit more than I started with. I gained more confidence, I acknowledged compliments rather than refusing to take them and I think I became a bit more emotionally mature. Or not, because a YA novel can reduce me to tears in minutes, but let's go with that for now.
While I'm glad about these changes and definitely a purporter of change, I don't mean to suggest that inherent personality traits should change. For example, Colin Firth & SRK would be devastated if I lost the romantic part of me that passionately loves them from afar. And lots of neighbors would be very sad if the decibel of my voice was to be lowered! And who would librarians have to fine, if not for my late returning-ways?

Last year, I attended the Hunter Bellevue Nursing graduation and wished desperately that I would win an award upon graduating and be in the program, and I wished that I would get to speak at graduation. How lucky when the things you dream for come true! I graduated with honors, a nursing award in school leadership, and got to speak at graduation! I think I'm most proud that I went after the things I wanted, unwaveringly, even if it scared me (to go to India alone after a breakup), even if no one valued it (an English minor is less useful than a Spanish one), even if no one knew what it was (Book Con is amazing and I need everyone to realize that), even if no one read it (the HBSON newsletter, possibly this blog, but JK, people actually read this, yay!), even if it broke my own heart (breaking up), even if I had to swallow my pride (fixing friendships) and even if it was hard (doing an externship. Becoming a nurse). You can't always do what you want, because it's selfish and can hurt others. But I think college is the time allotted to do exactly that, and I feel happy that I did. I hate having regrets, as does the average person, and whenever I made a decision I wondered if I would regret not doing it later. For example, defying my professor's recommendation NOT to selfie on stage at graduation - would I regret not doing it later? Yes. Did I regret that it was embarrassing? Yes, but I'm more glad that I had the guts to do it. And make 500 people stand up for it. Oh, god.

On graduations: the real stress was finding 3 dresses for 3 days of graduation!! (Secret: I wore one dress twice. I know, fashion police, I know!! But no one saw it under the gown.) 
I won't lie. I am TOTALLY really proud that I'm still 20 years old (right, with my maturity level it's really undetectable I know) and graduated from three programs (technically, ok, lol) this year. I loved being a part of three awesome schools - CUNY Hunter, Hunter-Bellevue School of Nursing, and Macaulay Honors College! My first grade teacher had me skip a grade and I graduated a bit younger and sometimes I was pretty immature and I still don't have an ID and I finished college and sometimes my classmates treated me like a little kid but, but, it feels nice to have finished before 21.
Here is a poem I wrote about graduation:
all around
oh, how they abound
and flow without sound
they also make us look round

Graduating was great. I pretended everyone was my fan and I waved princess-style to them. I hollered to my friends. My hair was consistently fabulous. I wore heels. Selfies were warranted, practically required! It was nice! The Hunter graduation was so emotional and inspiring, the Nursing one was sort of the best day of my life, and the MHC one was a sweet ending.

Today I posted an fb album with photos of friends from graduation and the photos sucked me down memory lane. I've been making it a point to tell all the former & current friends I met in college what they meant to me over the years. As in writing them a yearbook entry via note under their door, verbally saying it to their face, or posting a fb picture and saying what I loved about them. What's the point of having feelings or appreciating people if they don't know it?

This post should have direction, but like every post I've posted on here, it is severely lacking in this. I'll attempt some, though, through a list:

Things I Learned in College:
1. How to appreciate fruits
2. How to have one-person dance parties
3. How to have 8-person dance parties
4. How to not really attend any other kind of parties
5. How to have a boyfriend
6. How to not have a boyfriend
6. How to grow to appreciate weekends at home
7. How to cook bland and American meals
8. How to run 2 miles without stopping
9. How to swiftly navigate a run to Hunter College
10. How to be a nurse
11. How to cite APA
12. How the body works
13. How important sleep is
14. How to blow-dry my hair
15. How to have more self-confidence
16. How to keep friends
17. How to lose friends
18. How to flirt with waiters
19. How to spend a lot of time on facebook
20. How to be a better person
21. How to LOVE TV SHOWS
22. How to fall in love with professors
23. How to maintain no drinking
24. How to travel alone
25. How to document my life, way too much
26. How to be alone
27. How to be at home the city
28. How to love myself more.
29. How to appreciate my parents and my grandparents more.
30. How to value high emotional IQs
31. How to do scary paperwork and pay for things and be tax exempt
32. How to be a better leader!!

I am sad that the "best years of my life" are over, but I know that I tried to enjoy and appreciate them while I had them. I also think and hope that more beautiful times are to come (iA). This last week was an emotional week. I moved out of Brookdale forever, I graduated from Macaulay, I read my best friend's yearbook entry to me, and I saw my nursing class as a group for the last time & signed yearbooks with them. I feel sad, but not just because our time living together and being this group together has ended, but because I feel drowned in nostalgia and memories. But, such is life. I will keep them with me.

My friends mattered so much to me over these four years, and I lost some, kept some, and in the end, I look back at it so fondly. My MHC friends were so similar to me - values, goals, interests, and I loved meeting people who were like me. My nursing friends gave me a different kind of friendship, which was just plain love for people who are there during the hardest, toughest parts of school. That bond is too real.  I don't know how many friends I'll stay in touch with and how close we'll be, but I loved the four years we had together.

Mostly, I feel lucky to have had my family. I would be nowhere without them.
To incoming freshmen - cherish your time as much as you can! Appreciate what you have! Use your opportunities fund. GO AFTER WHAT YOU WANT.  Why not? What is holding you back? If you don't get it, you don't get it. But you tried!

Finally, thank you to Macaulay. I don't know what else to really say except that I was so blessed to be a part of MHC. From the first day I heard about it, it was my dream to be accepted. To be in the city, live for free, attend school for free, study abroad for free, and study for four years in a diverse school for smart, hardworking kids. I am sitting here and shaking my head at how fortunate I am. Thank you, Macaulay. For the laptops. For the advisors. For the opportunities. For the support. For this part of my life. I hope and plan to give back and the alumni network seems popular so though I won't be filling this blog with my ramblings, I will stay a part of this amazing AMAZING AMAZING BEAUTIFUL BLESSED SCHOOL!!! We are so lucky.

It's been a real pleasure writing for this blog, even if my posts were ridiculous and irrelevant and mainly about TV show recommendations. Thanks for reading, and good luck.

Amirah Yasin

P.S. If you have no ideas how to decorate your hat (as I did) simply photoshop your face & your favorite actor's face together and you will be a hit!!!
Ah. If Shahrukh only knew.

P.P.S Book recommendations:
-An Ember in the Ashes by Saba Taahir, think Hunger Games + Divergent + Finnikin of the Rock but still original and very good!!! It's been out for a month and already picked up to be a movie...GO YA BOOKS
- All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven. Mental health, teens, much feels, much cry, very well written
-A Court of Thorns & Roses by Sarah J. Maas (who I met at Book Con GAH). Retelling of Beauty & the Beast with hot faeries (ew, did I just say that? They are in the book though), a much more kickass and grumpy Belle, and good romance!
- P.S I Still Love You this title just seems like something I'd love. It totally is, even as I tried to mock this book series by Jenny Han. It's adorable, ok, and good if you want to read some cutesy good HS comfort books.
- Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta. My favorite fantasy book series in the world.
Also please everyone, watch Outlander and The 100. Only watch The 100 if you read Sarah Rees Brennan's parody first, below: 
And also if you love Bob Morley's face. He is Australian.  His name in the show is Bellamy. He likes to be tough and kill people but have a moral compass!! He is everything. I need to go to Australia.

Friday, June 5, 2015

The End

Hi, everyone!!

OMG. My last post ever.

It won't be a long one because I started a full-time job on Wednesday, and I'm already exhausted. haha. It's a great job though. I'm working in a doctor's office as a medical receptionist, and I've already learned so much about how a private practice functions. Did I mention that this is my first job ever? Like ever. haha. I've only ever done volunteer and/or internships that were paid for via the Opportunities Fund. This is my first time actually having a salary and working 9-5 PM 5 days/week. It's been exciting and overwhelming and fun too. I'm looking forward to seeing how it progresses! :)

Speaking of work, I had an awesome lunch at Bareburger today. Their burgers are so good! They offer all different kinds so definitely try one out.

Macaulay graduation was the night before I started my job. It was beautiful and just as great as I thought that it would be. (It was in Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center.)

I've talked about this fountain so many times on this blog.
 Definitely one of my favorite places in the city. 
Macaulay building! About to go in and get my honors stole before graduation.
That morning, I also visited my high school and the office that I used to monitor for. It was great catching up and telling them all of the exciting things that have been happening. Every time that I go back there, it feels surreal to have to wear the "visitor" sticker. The four years that have passed have just flown by.

Back to Macaulay for a sec. I'm so incredibly grateful for all that Macaulay has given to me. These four years have been such a blessing. Or more accurately a series of blessings. The Opportunities Fund. My amazing advisors: Adrienne Fitzgerald, Jodi Caplan, and Charlotte Glasser. My seminar classes. My fellow Macaulay students. The fact that I graduate with no debt.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

And a huge thank you to Celine Joiris (Macaulay Hunter '12) who started this blog in 2009.

It's been such a pleasure to tell you all about what's going on in my life for the last 4 years. I now have the pleasure of looking back on 150 posts worth of memories as I continue my journey. You know, it's funny. Growing up, I was never good at keeping a diary, but I never missed a post on here. I think that's because I know that I'm writing for an audience. An audience of prospective and current students and random strangers who come across this blog. (hello, random stranger!)

Thanks for reading. :)


For this last semester, I've decided that I'll share one cool/interesting/thought-provoking thing that I happen to run across during the week:

Friday, May 29, 2015

The End is Here?

Hi, everyone!

The title of this post has a question mark right after it because I still have one more big thing to do before I can say good-bye to college: Macaulay graduation. Ahhh.

I had my Hunter graduation this past Wednesday. It ended up being a great day, but we were running late the whole day. haha. My hair appointment was scheduled for 11 AM, but I didn't end up sitting in the chair until about 50 minutes later because it took an hour to do the curls of the girl before me. But anyway, my mom and I got our hair done and rushed out of there to go home and get dressed. We got home at the time that we originally wanted to leave for graduation. :p We got dressed and hightailed it to the train station. We got to MSG a few minutes after 2 PM (which is when they recommended everyone to show up) so the timing ended up being fine. But then it was kind of a mess at MSG because I couldn't figure out where I had to go to line up. My friend from middle school (who was graduating with me) ended up running into me, and we eventually found our way to where we had to be. haha. Thank God for her.

The ceremony was absolutely beautiful and emotional and lovely. Sitting in the theater at MSG, watching President Raab highlight so many amazing students in our graduating class, hearing the words of encouragement from the speakers, and watching the confetti coming down on us (and hearing "A Sky Full Of Stars" at the same time) are all things that I'll never forget.

A piece of confetti, the program, and a pom-pom. haha
I had to get that MSG shot. Forgive the misplaced hood. I couldn't get it to sit quite right. haha
Floral all day. 
For the last few weeks, I've been telling everyone that finishing college hasn't hit me yet, but I think it's finally hitting me now. After graduation, we came home, we had shish kebabs, and I posted a picture of myself in a cap and gown on Facebook, but it was only yesterday that I said the words "I'm a college graduate" to myself and had my own OMG moment.

It also hasn't felt like the end because I'm applying to med school, and I'm still at Hunter all the time taking care of business related to that. It's not a clear good-bye like it was in high school. I think that's actually a good thing though because I'm blessed to still be able to use my Macaulay advisor post-graduation to figure out this whole med school thing. I also just want to be a great alumna and to give back my time and money to make Hunter (and Macaulay Hunter) a continuously better place for students.

Plus, even though I had a more solid good-bye with high school, I've gone back to visit a bunch of times. I went back three times during my freshman year and once every year since. haha. What can I say? When you spend so much time in one place and the people there mean a lot to you, then you should make the effort to continue those relationships.

Both Macaulay and Hunter ask graduating students to contribute to a senior class gift as a way to give back for all that we've received. They ask for $20.15 (in honor of our graduating year), but students are welcome to give more or less than that. I was happy to give $20 to each, and I hope to continue giving back in the years to come. And hopefully in greater amounts as I start to make money. haha

Some things that make me proud of my college experience:

1. Getting over my fear of escalators. Before I started college, I avoided escalators like the plague. I have a lifelong fear of heights, and escalators had always freaked me out with their dizzying heights and unstable nature. When I first visited Hunter as part of a campus tour at the end of my junior year of high school, I freaked out about the escalators in the main building. Just weeks into my freshman year at Hunter, I was over my fear. haha.

2. Never pulling an all-nighter. Seriously. I've only stayed up until 12:30 AM.

3. Working directly with patients. I remember the butterflies in my stomach before walking into my first patient room. And then, how quickly it began to feel natural.

4. Working in a lab. Working in a professional lab gave me a lot of respect for what scientists do everyday and made me comfortable in the lab environment.

5. Making good friends. I'm happy to say that I'm still friends with people that I met during my first couple of weeks of college. My friends have given me a lot of good memories and opened up my world more than they could know.

6. Being in a study group. One of those friends that I met during that semester is the one who started our bio study group. The five of us (others joined us for some sessions but didn't stay permanently) studied together for two semesters. I didn't believe in study groups before this one, and now, I tell everyone that they're a great idea if done right.

7. Love. That's all I'll say about that. ;)

8. Re-imagining my style. I started adding more skirts and dresses to my wardrobe and just paying more attention to what I wear. It's been a lot of fun exploring my style.

9. Picking myself up after Orgo I. I had difficult first half of my sophomore year because of my struggles with taking Orgo I along with 4 other classes. But then, I came back that second semester and got myself an A- in Orgo II. One of the happiest moments in college.

And finally....

10. Not giving up. I kept on going through all of the anxiety-ridden moments. I stayed and persisted and just kept moving. And believe me, there were a number of times when I felt like I was drowning in anxiety. But I've made it my mission to learn how to deal with whatever is thrown at me. I haven't mastered it yet (and maybe I never will), but just paying attention to my breath and giving myself time to rest has done wonders.

Only one more post left...


For this last semester, I've decided that I'll share one cool/interesting/thought-provoking thing that I happen to run across during the week:

Commencement photos