Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Worst Fears

More like one huge ginormous fear that's been bugging me for the past few weeks: Where will I be going after college?

I'm afraid of graduating.  I know, I still have two years left, but it's going to fly by SO quickly and I still have so much to hang onto.  I've been living in this bubble that is made up of Boston, OLs, chemistry majors, and InterVarsity friends.  I don't know what I'm going to do with myself after I graduate.  All of those things will slip right through my fingers and I have to start all over again from square one.  I'm terrified.  I'm scared of living alone, I'm scared of being in some unknown city all by myself with nobody to go to.  I'm afraid of being vulnerable to new people and having to go church hopping by myself.  And even if I just end up at home after graduating, I'm terrified of that too.  None of my friends are in the same places they were before I left for college, and everything has changed.  I don't where they will be and I don't know if I want to follow them to their new churches.  And even if I do end up back in NYC, I don't want anything holding me back from creating an entirely new life from scratch in the city I grew up in--because I know there will always be pressure to go back to where I came from.

Of course, it's all in God's hands, but it's killing me not knowing.  It gives me an uneasy feeling not knowing the stability of the future, and I'm constantly looking for just a hint of what's in store and what it might look like.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

How InterVarsity Changed My Life

As many of you may know, I am a Christian.  I grew up in a Chinese church that my parents brought me to and I was a leader of the teen fellowship all throughout high school.  I was always expected to know all the answers to Christian questions and I was always expected to teach well.  The pastor constantly reminded us that we were on a pedestal as a leader.  Every move we made would be examined and scrutinized by everyone in the fellowship and that itself was intimidating as hell.

Fast forward to college, and I'm on my own in Boston.  I didn't have the big weight of my home church dragging me down and I could start anew again.  The first place I went to was InterVarsity Christian Fellowship.  At first, I only went there to seek a new church to go to on Sundays.  I wanted to get connected to one as soon as possible to start growth there.  Little did I know that my church would later turn into not a building I went to every Sunday, but a group of students in a Northeastern classroom on Monday nights.

At InterVarsity, I wasn't expected to know anything.  They treated everyone like they were new and explained everything to its most basic detail.  At first, with all my pride and selfishness, I hated the way they did that.  I hated that they treated me like I didn't know anything.  But later on as I stuck to the group, I learned more because they started from the beginning.  The reason why I grew was because I wasn't expected to know anything and I truly did not know ANYTHING.  I was able to rebuild my faith from the ground up and now I am a stronger Christian than I ever was.  Now, I understand what this religion, or more so this relationship with Christ, offers and is all about.  I have grown more in the past two years than I ever have the first 17 years of my life!

Some key things that I've learned through InterVarsity are:

  • The love and healing power of Christ
    • The fact that the God that we love and love us is the same one that created this Earth, Adam and Eve, made it rain for 40 days and nights with Noah, led Moses and Egyptians out of Egypt blew my mind
    • The same love that he shows for Adam and Eve from the very beginning is the same love that he shows us every day.  It's okay to have dark hidden places in your life.  God doesn't condemn you.  He simply says, it's okay, and creates a cloth out of animal skin and covers you. (See Genesis 3:21)
  • The true meaning of grace through a new lens
    • The Prodigal Son tells of a story of a son who takes his father's inheritance before the father even dies (basically telling his father "screw you, I wish you were dead"), and goes off to spend it on partying and girls and everything sinful imaginable.  He runs out of money and ends up cleaning up after pigs just to eat what the pigs ate, and decides to go back home to serve as a servant in his father's house instead.  When he comes home, his father embraces him and throws a  huge party for him because he is finally home.
    • Most people would see this story as a way to represent sinners.  They don't need to come back home to God filled with guilt because God will always be there to embrace you, ready to throw a huge party for you.  What most people always forget is the older brother that's been there all along.  He's been working hard for his father all throughout the time the younger brother has been partying.  He's been devoted to his father all his life, and he doesn't even get this huge party for himself, ever.  But that's the true meaning of grace--you don't need to work hard to get the acceptance from the father.  This made Christianity so much more freeing to me.  Knowing that I don't need a full cover letter and resume as I walk up to the white gates of Heaven is the true meaning of grace and is the reason for the death of Christ on the cross.
  • God's omnipotence and power over all things
    • I'm a college student.  I don't really know what I want to do with my future.  I don't really know what's in store for me after I graduate.  I've constantly been battling this out with myself and with God, demanding an answer to a great job that I can love.  But the greatest thing of all is that it's not something I need to worry about.  God has it all in his hands.
    • We had an activity where we were supposed to think about ourselves objectively.  We were supposed to think like God and think about what He desires most in us.  This is where I realized that what I wanted from God was not a clean cut answer, but a desire to fill him in all of my relationships.  It doesn't matter where I end up in the next 5 years because my relationship with all the people around me come first, and I seek to be open about my religion and beliefs no matter what career field I'm in.
They seem like pretty basic things that all Christians would know (even ones that were believers for 19 years), but because I wasn't expected to know anything at IV, I was able to relearn everything.  Needless to say, I don't know if I will be returning back to my home church in NY.  In all actuality, I don't even think I'll be returning HOME in NY at all!  But what I do know is that God will always be growing me in ways that blow my mind no matter where I am.  I want to fall deeper in love with Him each and every day and I'm grateful for the growth that He's given to me the past two years.  Who would've ever thought that moving away from everything I've known would only lead to more?

Monday, May 21, 2012


I’m so jealous of each and every person training to be an orientation leader right now at Northeastern, living in Smith and getting to know one another. This time last year, a ton of us OL’s were in the “quad” where 4 beautiful girls all lived together in a ginormous room, and we were eating chips with salsa and spinach dip and life was beautiful. It was only the beginning of the best summer of my life and I miss it every single day. I miss dancing around campus and watching movies and cuddling in the basement of Smith making friendship bracelets. It was like sleep away camp, but better because there was absolutely no way you could ever feel left out.

Sometimes, I wish I could have cut co-op short and become an OL again. But I know that it wouldn’t be the same. The people would be different, the humor would be different, the environment itself would be different and I would only compare it to the best staff ever. But as the hashtag goes, #OnceanOLAlwaysanOL. I will always have ice breakers off the tips of my fingers for every single awkward situation no matter how early in the morning it is. I will always be ridiculously energetic to incoming freshmen and family even if I only got 5 hours of sleep. I will always be singing the wrong lyrics to multiple songs all because of the amazing cheer that we came up with.

OL staff 2011, I miss you and I love you.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

My Self Esteem (3)

I had a series going on previously on my other (private) Tumblr blog, of multiple times in my life where my self esteem was shot and how it affected me in the long run. This was my third post and probably one of the most vulnerable and "F*#! yeah I'm awesome" kind of moments that I'm really proud of and I wanted to share this with everybody on my public blog.  Enjoy!

Monday, May 14, 2012

The End of an Era

This weekend marks the last weekend I will ever associate myself with New York City.  I don't ever intend on going back there, unless I'm dead broke and have to live with my parents.  I have no connection back in New York, and no friends to go home to whenever I visit.  I'm never there long enough to hang out with friends, and the ones that do matter to me have begun planning everything without me.  They always ask, "when will you be back?" But honestly, I don't even know.  I won't have a summer break for a while, but at least I'm making some progress in life with co-op and classes.  Frankly, these are the least of my worries.

I can no longer say that NYC is my home because whenever I refer to home, I really mean my home in Boston.  It's where all of my best friends are and it's where I can truly be myself again.  Of course, this view will change as my friends begin leaving Boston to go on with their lives, but my home will always be where I feel the most belonging to.  Maybe in a few years when I move to another city for graduate school, that new place will be my new home.  But in the mean time, I am a nomad and my current home is Boston.

Monday, May 7, 2012

I Don't Belong

The one thing that I continually struggle with on a day-to-day basis is a feeling of belonging.  It's part of my personality to have a huge group of friends instead of one primary group of friends.  But with that kind of exuberant popularity comes a price: there isn't a group of friends that I can call my own.  If some of my friends hang out together without inviting me, I don't have the right to say, "well, why didn't you invite me?" because I'm simply not close enough to them to even be considered a priority.  Even with my roommates, who I consider some of my closest friends, I have no right to exercise that saying.  Sure, I might have a few close friends (who don't know each other) that I can spend hours and hours with without ever getting sick of them, but it still isn't a group of friends that I can ask to go anywhere with if I wanted to go check something out or go explore somewhere.  I've continually tried to find this group SOMEWHERE but I'm also afraid of being so close to them that if something were to happen with this group, I would have nowhere to go.  I guess both scenarios have its pros and cons.