Leapdragon 2016 - Aron Hsiao Was Here

thoughts after a first semester  §

I submitted the last of my papers for the term last night. I’m frustrated because I know I can do better. Yes, they’re papers and no, I don’t think they’ll get me thrown out of the school necessarily, but one always hates the feeling that one has sold oneself short.

The problem is that my life has been so crowded this semester, and full of lots of pressure to socialize as well, some self-imposed, some imposed by others. It’s tough to move to a new town and get acclimatized to a new job. Everything just sort of conspired to suck away my time and suddenly at the end I was left in a mad week-long scramble to finish papers (while still putting in days at the office) and try to prepare to go back to SLC for the holidays.

Really I’m not sure I have it in me to do the “full time grad school and part time work and move to a new town all at once” thing. I sort of have a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach about a lot of things, like I let everything and everyone down—school fell short, work hasn’t been getting enough of my attention and is annoyed with me, friends feel as though I haven’t been available, and finances are weak.

I feel like I’ve been trying to spin plates, but they’re starting to fall and break. It’s a really disconcerting—and eye-opening—feeling.

Top things that might go some way toward rectifying the problem:

– Move closer to school in coming semesters to eliminate commute
– Put in a lot of hours at work early in the semester to pile up cash
– Be more organized (i.e. rational, in the sociological sense) about socializing
– Be better at saying “no” to people and not giving in when they harp on
– Start writing papers the moment the semester starts
– Recreate better—not just “going out” with people, but time for myself
– Figure out a food system in this kitchenless place that won’t run me $20/day
– Develop an even harder, more determined, more aggressive ass

The most important thing is probably the living arrangements. It sort of makes me sad because I like this neighborhood a lot and I like the building a lot, but I can’t live in I-House next year. I am just too far away from everything that’s my life right now. Work, school, and the consortium (NYU and Cooper Union) are all in or near the Village… yet here I am in Morningside Heights. And without a kitchen, which means that I have to eat out all the time, which is costing me a fortune. And without much space, which means I can’t really study well at home.

It’s just not functional.

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