Wonderful Academia Time Again

It is that time of year again when students return back to school and begin another year of academia. Perhaps it is the step of a new beginning or a returning experience, either way it’s going to be something to look forward to! For me, I am returning to university as a second year student. It is interesting to think back to where we were a year ago. Where were you a year ago today?

But first, breakfast!I had a OneBun with the black sesame spread, a nectarine and a baby cucumber. The sweetness of nectarines go with anything. One change to my photos is that I will be trying to take more photos using the DSLR instead of the digital camera. My pink Sony snapshot camera has served me well but it becoming very fragile.

Me? A year ago today I was a freshman struggling to adapt to early classes (8am is very early for me) and the horrors that came with commuting to school. My stress levels were up there, but I was so excited to meet new people who had similar interests. I enjoyed learning from passionate professors, very much appreciated the wonderful learning resources and always looked forward to those eye-opening moments. Socially, I had high expectations to meet many new friends who I could it hit off with–like being best buds.  I met all kinds of people and learned a vast amount from our conversations but I was still looking for something deeper.  Celiac disease/gluten intolerance, kale, how to eat quinoa, spelt flour, and chia seeds were just a few of the things I had heard about for the first time. Stereotypical beliefs were shattered as I learned from classes and my peers. One example is the case of vegetarians. In high school I thought that vegetarians and vegans were loving tree-huggers and people overly passionate about the environment and animals (hence “MEAT IS MURDER!!!”). Sorry if I offended anyone with that, I would be too if I knew what I know now.

I now know that there are deeper motives and values, many of which I have become passionate about myself. I learned to adapt to the city life and had my fair share of the public transportation do’s and don’ts. Approaching the end, I mucked up enough bravery to reach out to as many homeless people on the streets as I could by giving them food.  I always chickened out especially since I am usually walking alone when I see them whether there are other people around me or not. Through the span of that year I learned so much on topics of nutrition, and holistic aspects around health. The greatest thing I appreciated was being able to put that knowledge into my daily life. That was my freshman year in a nutshell.

As time goes by we all change and we all grow. I’m happy with some of the self-improvements that I worked on. I like that I am more comfortable with being open to new opportunities and activities. I worry less about being too busy because I want the most out of each experience. Why miss out when I am able to do it? I ask myself more often, what are you waiting for, Helen?  After Taiwan, I feel more confident with speaking up for myself, meeting new people and initiating leadership. I still get the shy’s when nobody breaks the ice first but I’m workin’ on it! I’m sure there is more to come of the self improvements.

It’s been a little more than 2 weeks since I came back from Taiwan. I am still eating the darn good black sesame paste that we brought back. Mr. Mark is a European style bakery in Taiwan, their products were whole wheat and multi-grain based and it is one of the healthier places to buy baked goods.  They also carried health foods such as raw nuts and trail mixes, fruit spreads, and light snacks. There was one located near my stay which made breakfast something to looked forward to every morning.

Did you know today is National Butterscotch Pudding Day? As enticing as it sounds I will pass.
Soon to come, more chocolate. And a simple, delicious nectarine salad recipe I have enjoyed too often.

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