It’s funny how life can never be predicted by your expectations.
Before I came to college, I expected to still be able to continue playing poker, while maintaining decent grades and a fulfilling social life and learning new skills (I particularly wanted to get involved in salsa and Brazilian jiu jitsu). During my first few weeks, this seemed an attainable goal. However, as the true workload of college hit me, I was forced to lessen the time I devoted to each my endeavors. Before I came to college, I played 3 to 4 hours of online poker a day, making a respectable hourly wage. At one point, I actually became bored of the money I was earning, as it became a mere digital figure in my bank statement.
Over the last year, I managed to attend exactly one jiu jitsu training session. I did manage to attend some salsa class, however, my mastery of salsa is far from perfect, I am competent in the basics but nothing more. As for poker, I have not played a single hand for significant money in months. On the other hand, my appreciation of money and what it can do for me in life has increased tenfold. I also feel that the strenuous workload of college has led me to cease wasting time as much (although my discovery of Facebook has not helped much in this regard). My grades have been acceptable, but I’ve also learned that I have a long way to go socially, and that is an aspect I plan to concentrate on in the future.
Peoplewise, I remember my first reaction when seeing my roommate information sheet - “Wow, this college has a lot of Asians”. While the preceding statement certainly holds true, I have found college to be a larger party-oriented environment that I expected, which is a good thing. My initial impression of my suitemates were completely off, but in general I feel I have been very lucky to have enjoyed the last 8 months in the presence of such excellent persons. Through them, I have managed to gain the inspiration to improve myself in many ways. One of my roommates is the nicest people I have ever met, another is excellent at Physics, yet another is a strong graphical designer and fellow blogger. Every one of them has their own strengths and unique abilities, and I have come over the last 8 months to thoroughly appreciate this.
As for myself, I could not have dreamed of taking a dance class before I came to college. Last semester, I took two. I would never have dreamed that I would one day be streaking across the campus, with only the protection of shaving cream, or that I would attend a massive underwear party with hundreds of attendees. I feel that in general, college has inspired me to push myself to do things I had previously never considered. Although trying new things is hard and sometimes fear-inducing, in the end, I have come out of most new things a stronger and more capable person.
It’s been a good year.