Friday, June 10, 2016

Sophomore Year

It's already the end of sophomore year! Well technically it ended last month, but I'm currently taking spring classes (summer for y'alls), so I'm still not quite done with the year.

Ugh. I still can't get over how fast time has been moving. The seniors have warned me that it's just going to get worse in junior year. So yep, got that to look forward to!
I was thinking about the past year, and it surprised me how much has happened since I came back to America in September.

Sophomore year in review:

Linear Algebra 
I think if you asked me what the highlight of my 3rd semester here was - it is definitely linear algebra. God. Linear Algebra. I swear that was the worst thing I've had to face. The weekly homework that I could just NEVER understand much less actually do it. And getting back 1/5 mark for my quizzes every week? Not fun. I admit, I've always been an overachiever, so going through something like that felt torturous.
I tried though, I really did. I studied a lootttt, did so much exercises, I went to office hours EVERY WEEK, I went to additional tutoring sessions - but I guess sometimes you gotta accept that you just don't have the brains for some things. For me it's conceptual subjects I guess.

I still remember after getting back the results for my second test, I cried the whole night. And it wasn't just little tears that slid down your cheeks, it was the full on hiccupy crying. That was a wreck. I felt like giving up at one point. My head actually felt numb cause I just could not do it.
But I still tried.
I kept meeting with my lecturer (who was also my supervisor at my job at the math lab lol), and he helped me a whole lot. My finals actually did improve (albeit by 6 marks), but I was content in the end. Didn't matter that I just was not good at it, I think what mattered most was how much I tried.

It was depressing. No kidding, every day during that semester was hard for me. With having to face other things in my life, it was just... hard. But I managed (with the help of my friends of course). Sometimes gotta bear through a little rainstorm to see that rainbow - cliche, but true haha.

Malaysian Cultural Night 
Oooooo this was challenging. Being appointed as Assistant Director of MCN was scaaary. Can't imagine what Zaryff (Director) was feeling.
MCN is big here in Umich (to us Malaysians at least), and being part of the organizing team wasn't easy. I had to make a few sacrifices here and there (including my sanity) (jokes, just my sleeping time). But I guess it was good for me.

Got to learn a thing or two about organization skills, about handling different types of people, got to learn the fan dance. And one thing I mostly remember is learning to stand up for your rights when you've been f***ed over.
Will not go into details, but had a little disagreement with a restaurant owner, but I learnt to solve it (maybe not nicely, but who would wanna be nice if you've been manipulated). I was proud of myself though! I have never had to do that, but I did. And I got what we wanted in the end so *pats myself on the back.

Other than that, MCN was a success! Thanks to all the people in the committee :D

Jama and Amirah made beautiful posters for this year's MCN!

Ya daz me dancin' guys.

Winter Break
I guess the last highlight of my sophomore year would be my winter break trip. I went on a trip with my close friends from Intec and we were planning for a road trip that included California, Oregon and Seattle.
Unfortunately, due to things that were out of our control, our trip looked like this:

It was specifically due to a snowstorm that hit us when we were driving up from Hoover Dam to Portland, Oregon (very very bad timing). It was a hell of a drive man. We were in two cars, and both cars skid separately. To imagine this: you must first know that we were basically in the middle of nowhere, driving through a mountain pass and it was really really dark (there are no lights on American highways). The first car skid into snow. That was scary cause I was in it. And there was a pole but Faris somehow managed to avoid it. So then the guys pushed the car out and stuff. Then around 1 or 2 hours later, the second car skid. It just, wouldn't move forward because of how icy the road was. And everytime it did, it moved to the side - where there was a gaung (idk what that is in English, ditch??? gorge??? beats me). 
One word: frightening.

We tried to stay calm and called 911 and etc. Stayed in the car for a few hours in the end until Highway Patrol came and helped us out. Idk what happened really cause I was in the other car, but the skidded car finally moved. And by that time, they already salted the road so that was good. We stopped by at a small town and ate breakfast and the guys bought snowchains for the cars and I was changing plans with hotels and stuff. Tense but it was alright. 
The nice thing is how nobody got cranky and everybody stayed calm and we talked things through. (Love my friends for that haha). 

So after things were settled, we up and went cause of a rumour that a snowstorm was gonna hit the town soon. It wasn't over yet though, cause from Reno to San Francisco, we had to go through another mountain pass and there was another snowstorm. Like a I-can't-see-beyond-5 feet snowstorm. It was just so tense and I think I was reciting different surahs the whole way. The fear was real people!!

Anywho, we finally passed through it and FINALLY ARRIVED IN SAN FRANCISCO. 
After that, there was no more snow for us and everyday was a sunny day in California (exaggeration but it felt sunny everyday after that horrible snowstorm).

Our drive basically 

Thankfully nothing else happened during the trip, except very minor ones like Najiy booking us rooms at what looked like a hotel prostitutes used (the shower didn't even work guys), me getting attacked by seagulls at the Fisherman's wharf, getting parking tickets, not getting to see Grand Canyon cause of the weather even though we spent a day driving up there. Oh and cannot miss about the time when I dropped Garret's popcorn on the floor at the Las Vegas airport minutes before boarding the flight back to Cleveland and also made a scene when I said that I left my phone at a shop, causing Aiman and Ariff to run back to the shop to look for it - only to realize 30 seconds later that my I was charging my phone at the seat in front of me. 

It was a nice trip. We caught up after a year plus of being apart, and we were definitely too chill, spending an hour to eat even though we were supposed to be somewhere. Idk how the heck we even became a group in Intec, but however it was, it's nice to have them now. 
It's nice that we got into only minor arguments (especially at the grocery store... especially the grocery store. Imagine 10 people deciding what to buy...), and we became closer than ever.

Knowing that I have 9 other people to help me out when I'm not okay or when I'm in trouble makes me feel happy :)

my patooties

One funny thing though was how during New Year's Eve, we went to Downtown Los Angeles with hopes of seeing fireworks. So we waited there and got really excited when the countdown started.
There were fireworks alright - but on a frickin screen. ON A SCREEN. No fireworks at all!!!
But it's okay cause they sparkle more than fireworks ha ha ha.

It has been a great year. Compared to how last year ended, life has definitely taken turn for the better (and I'm hoping it doesn't go too downhill again). 
I guess the most important lesson I've learnt that it always gets better again. Even if it isn't completely better, as long as you try to find the small joys in life, there's always something to smile about. 

It has been a great year, and here's to hopefully 2 more great years ~(^_^)~

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