June 25, 2013

On the Road: University of Pennsylvania

Note: I have not been accepted to any of the schools I blog about. College applications don't really pick up until late fall! These posts are only musings about my visits to the schools.

Whew, I'm on a posting rampage or something. But then again, my blogging rampage also happens to be other bloggers' normal posting frequency...but hey, I'll enjoy it while it lasts.

These here photos were shot on the beautiful campus of UPenn. When I stepped out of the dark parking garage and onto the bustling, bright street, I cringed immediately. We trekked a little less than a mile to reach the actual campus, but it seemed like an eternity as we hurried past several sketchy shops with the word "adult" in their names and the repulsive-looking brown river.

I. Don't. Like. Big. Cities.

Sure, I dream of visiting Paris and New York, but living in a noisy, cigarette smoke scented, hurried, crowded city for four years, maybe more? I absolutely refuse.

Then we turned the corner onto a small but busy paved path. I sighed in relief. The campus was freaking gorgeous!

Once the city was well behind us, the shaded campus with lovely architecture wiped the grimace off my face. But as gorgeous as the campus was, it had an open feel. Busy city streets cut through parts of it, and the buildings were spread out.

UPenn is a fine institution, but it's not for me. Something just didn't click when I visited; for some reason, I couldn't see myself happy there.

Where would I run? By the brown river? No way! 

And last time I stayed in a big city (Hangzhou, China), I had to stop every few minutes for a crosswalk, and it absolutely aggravated me...oh, distance runner probs.

Top, Sears (too old to remember)// Denim shorts, thrifted J.Crew ($8)// Shoes, China ($6)// Bow, Rire (won in TrendyTeal giveaway)// Necklace, c/o eFoxcity// Bag, thrifted ($3)
I've decided that I'm not going to apply, though that's not to say I discourage it. The odds are also against me for many of my top school selections, so I don't want to seem haughty or anything. What really matters is if a school will pick me when I apply--picking the school is only half the battle! I also would rather avoid the small possibility of having an angry or offended Ivy League official chasing after me, so I'll elaborate.

Some people embrace the city.Others just don't click with it. That's me. People in the city just seemed so hurried and it came off as rude--people brush by you without so much a word; if you almost run into someone and manage a genuinely apologetic "sorry!", they continue walking without acknowledging you. That's not to say that all city dwellers are like that, but good old Philly just happened to rub me the wrong way.

I suppose I'm just a suburban girl at heart.
Recognize this building? Students told us it was used in the Addams family!
I promised I'd tell you the story of how I came up with a viable career option, and what better post to do that than one about a college visit? Well, it all began with an argument with my mom about the laundry...and let me tell you before I begin that I love my mom dearly and she is a wonderful person, but when we both get frustrated, petty arguments like these happen. Just so you know, we forgave each other quickly after this argument too.

I sighed heavily when I saw the multicolored, printed shorts in the jumble of dried clothes. “Mo-om,” I whined, “Why did you put these in the dryer?”

“Oh, I just thought of it. Was it that pair of shorts? Will you still be able to fit your butt into those?” She smirked.

The Asian mother-daughter complex about weight and beauty has always tired me.  I huffed, shooting her a dirty look, and continued to mechanically fold the jumble of colorful, wrinkled laundry on the carpet.

I winced when I saw a recently-purchased black bohemian-style top with lace detail. “Aughhh,” I said impatiently,  “Mom, why did you dry this too?! You should look at things before your throw them in the dryer! I’ve only worn this once!”

“Hey,” She snapped back, “I check each time but if there are one or two things I miss, it’s not a big deal.”

“There were only two things that I didn’t want thrown in the dryer!” I retorted, “Next time, I’ll wash the clothes, and you fold them.”

“You should be washing them and folding them yourself!” She retaliated

“Fine!” I answered emphatically.

“We’ll get you your own laundry basket then. You only have a year until college and I’m still washing your clothes!”

“It’s not like I don’t know how to do my own laundry,” I responded bitterly.

“But you have all these problems!”

The few times when I forgot to use laundry detergent flashed in my mind.  I quickly suppressed those memories back into the depths of my mind’s intricate thoughts. “Like what?” I asked, once collected.

She hesitated, searching for an answer. “Like complaining!”

“Hey, when I do the laundry, I always make sure your clothes go to the right place,” I replied, unfazed.

“Then why aren’t you doing your own laundry?!”

“Because you never asked me!”

“Yes I did!”

“No you didn’t!” I paused, “I don’t remember that.”

She was silent for a few moments. “I bought those clothes for you, okay? Those aren’t your clothes. I can do whatever I want with them!” She was yelling now.

She had pulled the parent card. That was it. “Well it doesn’t make any sense for you to ruin the clothes that you buy yourself.” I looked up calmly from placing the clothes into piles.

“See?” She asked my dad forcefully, “Outside, they’re all so nice, and back home, they’re monsters!”

“And who’s the one yelling?” I asked pointedly.

“Stop it! Don’t talk to me!” She grabbed her green watering can and slammed the sliding door shut on her way out.

My sorting was again interrupted by her re-entrance.

“When your grandma was here, you yelled at her about the laundry too!” she emerged from the humid outside, “I didn’t mention that earlier,” She added triumphantly

“That was when she threw my shoes out,” I corrected her, unruffled.

“No, it was with the laundry too!”

“I don’t remember that.”

“Well I do!”

“I thought you didn’t want to talk to me.” I responded calmly, clearly victorious.

“Stop talking!” She fumed.

Now it was my turn to smirk. But my smug look slowly turned into one of awe.

There's always been something strangely satisfying about winning an argument...why have I never seriously considered being a lawyer?!

This is it, I thought. This is that epiphany that some people get when their calling finally dawns on them!

I smiled and began furiously typing the narrative you see above in case I ever needed it for an essay.

This is definitely not a for-sure thing--I've also been considering premed. It's funny because I used to shudder at the thought of being a doctor. But like Sara Bareilles said in a recent interview: "It's ironic -- the thing you think you don't need is the thing you actually need most."

I don't know if I can do it. Enduring at lest seven more years of school. 

Could I enjoy such serious professions when I'm such a lighthearted girl? Could I stand having people's lives and well-being on the line every single day? 

At this point, so much is unclear. But I know what I want, and it's a job where I'll be able to positively influence others. It's field that I'll enjoy studying every day of many years. It's a career that will make me excited to jump out of bed each morning. It's a life that I've always dreamed of living.

God has something beautiful in store for each of us. I can't wait to see what's in His plan for me. Will you come along for the ride?

Join the conversation!

  1. pretty pics :)

  2. Great pics and cute look! Kisses.

  3. Oh what a shiny day, I just read about pennsylvania at school today, and now you show me :)
    I love blue color and polkadots, somuch cute on you dear


  4. Oh wow, reading about your arguement with your mom totally reminds me of the way my mom and I go at things. The Asian mother-daughter thing totally gets on my nerves too! Especially since I'm so much more of an athletic, American-sized girl than a truly Asian one. But my mom has that same complex.
    Haha, and she pulls the parent card ALL the time. NOT the way you win an argument in my opinion :b
    Still, love her to death of course!
    Anyway, glad you're able to discern what college is or isn't you. I'm sure you'll find the right fit!
    And I say, if God's will is for you to pursue a job as a lawyer, He will open the right doors for you :)

    Trendy Teal

  5. One of my Asian friend's mom has the same problem with the size thing. I mean, I don't even know how that could come up with you because you're TINY! You're super tiny. I'd probably walk into your house and your mother would look me up and down and shake her head at me hahaha. Well, I think you're beautiful, and I hope you know that (IF YOU DON'T I WILL BEAT IT INTO YOUR MIND AUURHAJHSF) and I enjoyed your little story. Check you out, Miss Writer!

    Big cities freak me out, too. I'd be afraid of becoming one of the mass, you know? Maybe that's a fear of yours, too.

  6. Hehehe I like your cute mint T and the jean shorts! That lovely little bow in your hair is a lovely addition. How many more schools do you have to go? I hope you make your decision soon and best of luck too! :)
    p.s. thanks on comforting me with my "I don't know what to wear day" post haha. That was very sweet of you! (big kisses to you!)

  7. Oh my gosh, I used to fight with my mom about laundry all the time too-she would only dry the few items that I didn't want dried! haha. Oh, but now I get to do my own laundry all the time, so it's all good :)
    I like hearing about your college finding adventures! This campus is beautiful, I know you'll figure out what you want to do soon.
    I love your adorable necklace! I thought it was part of your top at first. Super cute.

  8. Thanks for your lovely words, it is much appreciated!
    Can I just say: I love this scenery and you are so pretty, too!

    Have a great day,

  9. Pretty look and place!

    Have a nice day!

  10. I don't like big cities too, it's wonderful to have such opportunity to trevel around the world, but living at a huge megapolis is such a daily stress! Thanks for sharing such a nice post! I also got to say that pictures are wonderful!
    Have a happy time!

    Best wishes, Alexandra

  11. Wow, that campus is gorgeous! But I don't think I would like a big city either. You look lovely, I love that necklace! Very cute outfit! And I want to be a lawyer too! That's funny! Great story haha made me laugh!

  12. You look adorable! And this is such an exciting and fun time for you. I can totally understand not really want to be in a big university in a big city, there are plenty of other options out there! :)

    xo, Yi-chia
    Always Maylee


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