I've been working on this one for awhile now. I meant to make it my final blog after I left Arizona, but it's taken me the entire summer plus some to figure this out. I know it's probably going to be a bit tedious to read, but here it goes.
Top 10 life lessons I learned in Arizona:
10. Don't ever choose a college just because you want to move away and start anew. Choose it because it has your specific major, as well as others you are considering.
I chose to go to ASU for all the wrong reasons. I wanted to get out of community college as fast as I could and get as far away from San Francisco as possible. I wanted a fresh start. I found out that's never truly possible. I met new friends who, of course, wanted to know all about my life so I couldn't really leave behind all of the pain and joy I wanted to in San Francisco. I must say that even though I did have to tell my new friends everything about me, it did make me realize that I had MORE than I thought I did. In other words, YOU'RE ALWAYS LUCKIER THAN YOU THINK YOU ARE.
As far as choosing ASU for my major, that didn't really work out either. I changed my major to political science only because I wanted to go to ASU and it was one of the only available majors that I liked. After coming to ASU, I realized I needed to stick with what I originally wanted to pursue, broadcast media/multimedia communications. Don't get me wrong though, I've changed my major so many times in the past year and broadcast media is the only one that has stuck with me. I went from majoring in fashion merchandising, to graphic design, to kinesiology and finally decided that broadcast media was right for me. If you're like me, and don't know what you want to do with your life, stay in community college, no matter how hard it is. YOU'LL SAVE TONS OF MONEY!
9. Sometimes you ACTUALLY need to do things for yourself.
ASU was the first REAL thing I really felt that I did for myself. It was my life dream to go to college out of state and I decided to go despite the fact that I would be leaving everything behind. Doing this ONE thing for myself allowed me to regroup myself and find out exactly who I was and what I wanted in life. I finally figured out what direction I really wanted to take my life in.
8. Long-distance relationships are tough.
Everyone will tell you that long distance relationships are tough in the beginning, but they are tough throughout. Trust and communication play a big part. SO make sure your relational partner is trustworthy and available to talk when you REALLY need him or her. I found out this year, that it's best to keep yourself busy and not be so available all the time. Also, if there's a time difference, don't stay up and wait for him/her so often. You'll only get a great pair of Gucci eyebags and disappointment (if you find he/she is too tired to talk). Technology is a plus too! Texting, videochat, social networking sites and email REALLY help to ease the time apart. So keep up communication, keep conversations light (as in, don't fight so often!) Also, it sucks to feel like you're the last person your partner wants to talk to. Try to text them throughout the fun things you are doing to make them feel like they're right they're with you instead of after, or the next morning. Now i'm not saying you should text him/her every minute but it's always nice to get a "I thought of you when this happened," or a cute, " I love you, " text. This honestly builds so much more trust than a "Sorry, I was too fucked up and having fun with my friends," text the next morning. AND always try to text goodnight, even if your partner doesn't respond. Don't get too heartbroken if you can't talk every night/day though. Remember, the best reward is getting to see each other after a long time of absence! I love you Jolo!
AND when you do get back home, things might be a little different or hard to adjust to. They may or may not work out but remember, everything happens for a reason.
7. It's never too late to find your faith.
If you've ever visited the Tempe area of Arizona, then you know you can not walk 5 steps without running into a church (or a bar). One Sunday, I realized I hadn't been to church in over 5 years, minus going to Catholic school of course, so I decided to attend a Sunday mass. I know I'm going to sound like a complete dufus here, but this experience was the most amazing thing. In that first mass, I cried for some reason, but these were tears of joy. I think it was God telling me that I wasn't as alone as I originally thought I was.
Every Sunday after that, I continued to go to attend mass. In the beginning, I thought that it was the Newman Center's angelic choir and the boy that looked like Peter Petrelli that kept bringing me back but it was much more than that. I found that, God really does pull us through, even through the hardest of times.
6. Attend Friendship Games at least once in your lifetime.
Even if you're not Filipino, you will experience one of the best weekends of your life! I know most people just go for the afterparty, but if it is your first time, you must go for the entire day. There is definitely something about the SPIRIT, PRIDE, UNITY, and FRIENDSHIP that will make you return in the following year.
I joined the Philippine American Student Association not really knowing what I was getting into but after this weekend, I found that it allowed me to meet some of the coolest people you will ever meet!
5. Live in the moment.
In the beginning of my time here in Arizona, I spent a lot of time thinking about how my life was so much better in San Francisco. Although, I still do this alot, I realized it is a TOTAL WASTE OF TIME. Experience what's around you while it's there and don't dwell on what has has already happened. I do like it, maybe even LOVE it so much more in San Francisco, but Arizona introduced me to so many new things I will never forget. I'll never forget: The Villacorta Resort and Spa, Eba, Saturday night car meets, Mill Avenue, airsofting, and biking on flat surfaces.
4. Get the most out of your college experience.
To be frank, Arizona would have completely sucked if I had not gotten involved in any school activities. Participating in these activities and events, such as "ASU's Undie Run," the Blaze 1260AM and finals breakfast, allowed me to meet an array of new people. If you sit in your dorm, apartment, home, and do nothing, school will just be school to you. I experienced more than I ever thought I would in my lifetime at ASU.
3. Maybe it's not a great idea to move-in with a friend, but IT IS a good idea to have someone you know at school with you, especially if you're somewhere where you have no family or friends.
One of the hardest parts about being at ASU was that the only person I knew before I got there was one girl from my high school. I think the whole "college situation" would have been alot easier if I had one friend out there with me. Don't get me wrong, I can do things by myself and am VERY independent but it's nice to have familiar company in a foreign place. There were so many times I would think to myself and wish my closest friends were right there, by my side, experiencing some of the things I was doing.
2. If you feel like you're missing out somewhere else, then you're in the wrong place.
I'll admit it, I had an amazing time in Arizona, but I always somehow found myself really jealous when I heard about all of the things my friends and family we're doing back in San Francisco. I started to think that it might have been because there wasn't really anyone in Arizona that had the same interests as me. Although, I did find joy in experiencing new hobbies, I somehow always brought myself back to the thought of being home and doing everything I had grown to love .
1. You're not always going to know what comes next.
Right now, I'm in a position where I'm not really sure what's going to happen next year. First, there's school. As many of you already know, I'm not attending ASU anymore. I took a big risk attending Academy of Art this year but I don't regret anything. I still have no idea what's going to happen next but I'm taking it one step at a time. For example, with my friendships I'm not really sure where anything is going but I'm sure it'll end somewhere good.
Ok, two more:
.5. Listen to Gabe Bondoc
If you're ever feeling down, youtube this man! He always has a song and a soothing voice that will help you get through your day. For instance, his song, "My Plan," has helped me so much in the past couple of weeks. I can really see why so many people have loved him for so many years. I wish I had someone tell me to listen to him while I was in AZ! It's would have made a huge difference!
0. Learn to adapt. It's going to be really hard when you get back home.
This is probably one of the biggest struggles I've been dealing with. Everytime I came home, during the year, it seemed like everyone was growing closer together while I was drifting even more apart from them. I found myself going from the outgoing, chatty girl to the girl that was just there, shy and sitting in the corner. I never wanted to be that. I'm learning that to be a well rounded person you must learn to adapt in many uncomfortable situations. Sometimes the outcome will work out for you, while other times it may be a let down. Learn to deal with it.
THANK YOU FOR EVERYTHING! You have a huge place in my heart!