August 25, 2013

On the Road: Case Western Reserve University

Dress, H&M ($5)// Shoes, China ($7)// Necklace, Macy's ($5)// Glasses, prescription Ray Ban

"Augh! This is the hardest decision I've ever had to make!" The sound of beeping watches complemented my distraught complaint as my teammates and I began our last summer run.

I was vaguely aware of how ironic--or simply histrionic--my lamenting was. It was a simple schedule conflict, but logic and emotions clashed violently inside of me.

I wanted to take AP English Literature, AP French Language, and AP Physics this year. Problem number one. It turned out that these three classes were all offered in the same two periods. Something had to go.

I solicited the experience of graduated seniors. I explained my worries to my cross country teammates. I emailed my counselor long-winded paragraphs. I pondered my options with my parents. I even called my former chemistry teacher for his advice!

I finally decided to drop AP French and try it flex credit or perhaps second semester post-secondary. I was leaning towards becoming a lawyer, or perhaps an engineer like my parents had always wanted. French was the least of the evils.

But something nagged me. I couldn't do it. I couldn't drop the class I loved so dearly. So I emailed my counselor and met with her a second time. I want to take French...put me in regular Physics! I told her ardently.

I had to come to terms with the fact that I don't want to be and can't be what my parents have always wanted. The hard sciences, while I can do well in them, frustrate me rather than invoke a thirst, an excitement to learn.

I hadn't taken a regular class since Freshman year--and that was only because an honors class wasn't offered for Global History. But I dashed forward, full speed ahead.

But something bothered me again. I wanted to attempt to take Physics C post-secondary second semester. But then I recalled the rather unsuccessful physics labs Freshman year in Physical Science. And my high school offered so many AP science courses. Why not take advantage of at least one?

Take three. I emailed my counselor once more--the subject line? Schedule Change #5021. I'm probably wearing your patience thin, and I definitely don't blame you, but I'd like to take AP Chemistry instead. I typed feverishly.

There were plenty of logical reasons. Many colleges don't even grant Physics B credit for a high school on the AP exam. The score distribution for 4s and 5s on the AP Chem exam was higher last year than on the AP Physics B exam. I couldn't possibly manage the stress of driving half an hour to campus and back in the middle of the day on top of my already-hectic schedule. A few of the colleges I'm interested in have foreign language requirements--French definitely needed to be in.

Then there were the flowery, feathery, emotion-based reasons: I don't really enjoy science as much as I enjoy the humanities. I've always wanted to become fluent in French (hey, who doesn't want that awesome accent?) I love small classes, and French would only have eight people. I've always yearned to travel the world, perhaps volunteer in Haiti and sample pastries in the bustling streets of Paris, and French would definitely help.

So I jumped right back into my final year of high school. Six classes--five AP and one orchestra. It seemed like we had never left school. Tests and quizzes already loomed ominously in the first week. I visited my old chemistry teacher to break the news about my schedule to him.

"Hey, I came to find you to tell you that I'm not taking AP Physics anymore--I'm doing AP Chem instead," I told him somewhat sheepishly.

"So you've come to confess your sins, huh?"

I laughed. But I believe that if I am happy, if I enjoy my classes and what I'm learning, then everything is just right. And so far, it is.

It's been a crazy week already, friends. I feel like from sun up to past sun down, it's just go, go, go! I have outfits and more interesting stories in store for you soon, but I wanted to quickly update about school and post some photos from my in-state college visit to Case Western.

I went into the visit expecting not to like it. After all, it was in-state and in an urban environment. But I felt rather comfortable there and was happy to meet up with a friend who graduated two years ago. It's definitely a viable option. But I keep reminding myself that me picking a school is only half the battle--they have to pick me back! For some reason though, I want a school that scares me a little. As dearly as I hold on to the past, I want plunge into the uncertainty of a new environment, a school hundreds of miles away, a new life. We'll see how all this turns out--it's terrifying, but I'm ready to scream at the top of my lungs, exhilarated at the countless prospects and the final decision. Can I please just fast forward nine months?

A few housekeeping details--I will reply to comments as soon as I find a little down time. You never fail to make me smile, lovelies. I strive to reciprocate the warmth I feel from reading your little notes. Also, I failed to mention that I revived the ol' facebook page about a month ago. Like away if you'd like to see updates about posts! And finally--I added a new section for blog buttons. If you'd like to swap, just give me a holla!

Have a beautiful week.

Join the conversation!

  1. Haha oh Lily, you and your indecision remind me so much of myself! Good luck to your crazy school schedule, you super smart gal :)
    Also, your desire to immerse yourself into college is totally relatable. I want to go out of state once I can afford it, but for now, I must remain close to what I know. Sigh. Ah well, makes it easier on the wallet!
    Love your cute leopard dress and the casual Converse you paired it with :)

    The Dragonfruit Diaries

  2. I only took regular German classes in high school. By the end of German II grammar got to be unbearably difficult, so I didn't sign up for German III.

    I later try to self-teach myself Japanese through books, and software, but it's more for fun than school. I always hated being set on a time and pace and be graded on learning a language. Seemed a little wrong.

    Lovely leopard dress by the way.

  3. You look super adorable in tis leopard little romper!! How are you enjoying your summer?

  4. Lily! You must have gone through a lot with your indecisions, haven't you? Man, but you sure do show so much interest in all your subjects and always wanting to get the best out of your education, and I love that about you. Always reaching for the stars, Miss Lily (and going way way past them, too!). Do what you love, but I think you've already figured that out for yourself.

    And now comes the part where I want to write down the lovely little phrases you wrote in this that made me go "oh, what nice writing skills this gal has!"

    "reciprocate the warmth"--oh, such sweet words, and such a tender way to write "reply to your heartfelt blog comments." Hehehe.

    Okay, that dress is really cute. I love the print, cut, and collar. It is definitely something I would wear. Your glasses are adorable with it, too. LILY, you are one cute lady. KEEP ON DOING YOUR THING!

    (wishes you luck for an awesome week)

  5. I had a lot of trouble figuring out/balancing my senior year schedule too, and I actually took French as well! I loved it so much that now I'll be taking a French course in my first year of college, I'm hoping to go abroad to France my junior year! It really is an incredible language, and I would love to be fluent. And as for being interested in far-away schools, I say GO FOR IT! I have so many high school friends who chose their "safe" schools and ended up staying in-state to be closer to their current high school friends. And I've honestly felt quite overwhelmed and intimidated by my move to New York, but I love the feeling, too. I get butterflies every time I walk around the city. There is so much inspiration everywhere, and I know that if I were back home I'd just be hanging out with my old friends, rushing at sororities, and not expanding my horizons at all. I chose an arts school in NYC because I knew how terrifying it would be, and I knew I could handle it!

    Xo, Hannah

  6. Good for you! Try out what you want to do! You only love this scary and beautiful life ONCE! :)

    love, polly

  7. Man, you are one smart girl. 5 AP classes? You go girl. I took AP French my senior year in high school too!

    xo, Yi-chia
    Always Maylee

  8. you know, every time I read posts where someone is talking about choosing classes I think: why oh why didn't I have this opportunity in high school?! we could not choose anything and it was kind of frustrating and that's why I was so glad when high school was over.
    I did take Italian in university though :) and several courses while working, stuff that was completely new to me. anyway, I'm happy to read how seriously you take choosing the right subjects and courses and how big effort you put in it. and if you're happy with the outcome then it's even better and definitely right!
    by the way, obviously I like leopard print and your necklace is gorgeous. love it too! and you should totally come to Estonia someday! you would love the thrift stores ;)

    Maikeni blogi - part of me

  9. Coot leopard print dress - looks so good with those pink chucks! =)
    - Che

  10. Geez girl! I don't think I took any AP classes...haha. You are one smart cookie! Good luck with the whole picking a college thing! I'm sure any school you want will want you back! You're amazing!!
    As for the outfit, I'm loving that gorgeous necklace and it's perfect with that casual dress. I love that you got this whole outfit for so cheap too!

  11. Woah, you look great in that dress, Lily! I would also love to learn French... haha

    Freedom & Its Owner -

  12. Can I ask what an AP class means :) We don't have them in the UK (or maybe we do under a different name haha). I think you made the right choice though and I'm the same-I'll decide something then change my mind constantly! Personally I would have gone for French-I'm not a scientific person!

  13. I love that dress... can't believe it was so cheap! You look quite lovely:)
    My goodness, you must be one smart girl, aren't you? Last year, I finished up my last AP classes with APUSH... I'm glad I ended my AP experienes with a high note. But it seems like we have had the same problem this year... I a scheduling crisis to deal with as well! Anyway, good luck with your classes... especially AP Chem! Heard that one was a toughy.
    Hugs & Kisses,

  14. Lily, you are too funny! I love your dilemmas, it reminds me of when I used to be in your shoes and went through the same indecisions. Also, I think the BEST decision you will ever make is move away for school. I really regret staying in the city and going to the 'most convinient' school.. how else will you experience being independent, meeting new people and perhaps having a fresh start? I'd say go for it!

    On a sort of related note, your dress is beautiful (how the hell is it only $5?!) and I love that you paired it with sneakers.

    Also on a last note, you are such an eloquent writer! hard to believe you are so young sometimes :)


  15. I love your writing, it's so interesting and amusing!! I always have trouble picking my subjects, I think it's just one of those things in life :) nothing ever goes according to plan!!

  16. Classic Lily style. Nice dress with the light pink Converses. Cute hairstyle and cute smile.

    As far as for your studies, I hope you are able to go to a college or university where you feel most comfortable as well as have the best chance to make something of yourself and your future. Good luck to you moving forward.


the 'gram

© imperfect idealist.