I have one quarter left of my freshman year of college. I’m extremely excited for the warm weather that’s soon going to grace this campus, and to come back prepared to get stuff done. To say the least, this last quarter got off on a rough start, and then continued to be challenging on all fronts. I know this is all for good, and is helping me focus what I want from life. Questions of major, career path, the type of friends I want in my life, and habits really occupied my mental space. The unrelenting cold weather was definitely not helpful, but I’m proud to say I’ve survived my first East Coast winter. I knew it would be challenging, but I’m alive!
This spring break is going to be my most eventful one since I went to China over three years ago. I’m going to be surrounded with friends from Wesleyan and traveling to over three cities. I’ll make a separate post on it later, but that’s just a quick preview. Cheers!
Waking up has become somewhat of an elaborate ritual of inefficiency for me. My phone alarm goes off, I pick up my phone, and then I just lie in bed scrolling the endless content of news, tweets, and photos. This can last from two to 10 minutes, and after all this it still isn’t guaranteed I’ll get out of bed.
While this routine can seem fairly innocuous at first, I’ve come to realize there are some serious cons from waking up with a mobile phone in hand. Aside from the expected lament from the elderly that my generation is glued to our phones, my reasons against waking up with a phone in hand have to do more with clear thinking and stress.
Sleep is the anti-dote to the mess of ideas, decisions, and other types of thoughts that inundate me throughout the day. In other words, sleep gives my mind a blank slate to start looking at things with a sharpened and refreshed perspective. What I’ve begun to realize with waking up with a smartphone is that I’ve begun to feel less of the mental advantages sleep provides. By waking up in the morning with a stream of random and irrelevant content from the internet, I feel that I’m essentially throwing away the blank slate a good night’s rest has given me. I’m now being forced to think about and process content from the first waking moment of my day, without any time to think and reflect before I leave my room.
Stress is probably the most important factor on why I want to change this smartphone wakeup routine. The awesome mental reset that sleep provides every night also carries over to reducing stress and negative emotions from the past day. Starting the next day looking at the lives of my peers on social media and then the terrible tragedies occurring somewhere in the world, I’m waking up in a stressed emotional state. Even more so because of the morning’s negative effect on empowerment. For example, it’s hard to feel like you can change the world with bed head, grogginess, and pajamas.
Changing how I wakeup can have profound effects on my happiness and productivity this year. As I begin this larger search for better habits for my new life in college, I know waking up right will help me further along in this endeavor and the other things I’ve committed myself to. I’ll keep this blog posted and what wakeup routine I chose to adopt, and other things happening in this journey to improve.
From what I can make out from the past transitions in my life, it’s that there’s nothing like embarrassing mistakes and personal dissatisfaction when it comes to forcing change. It’s true, my old habits were once the shove to my push when it came to chasing goals—but alas they are no more.
Like any college frosh who hasn’t completely transitioned yet, during particularly difficult weeks I fondly remember the successes of life in high school. I relive winning first place at a hip hop competition with my team, or paneling a mayoral debate for my city. There was an airy confidence to understanding the system, and a can do attitude towards overcoming problems. Today, too often I the feel a sense of self-distrust that results from too many promises and goals for myself not being fulfilled. A feeling I could describe as the equivalent to waking up from a five hour nap that was supposed to last 20 minutes (totally guilty of this a few times).
Because of a combination of pressures: realizing that I’m mid-way through second semester, worrying over finding a major, and stressing over time management, I’ve collected enough will-power to start looking for answers. Answers to finding a better existence through my actions, and most importantly creating habits and routines that will bring me towards my goals. Stay tuned for updates on this endeavor, and hopefully other things as well.
tl;dr Summary: I love my college experience along with the incredible people I’ve met here.
(Communal watching of Parks and Rec, the best show ever!)
Wesleyan has been treating me well. I have made so many great friends here and have done some neat things these past few months. In the dance community, for instance, I help with the Milk and Choreo student group, a group that hosts free hip-hop workshops every Saturday and also does unifying work for the dance community. I also dance for X-Tacy dance crew, one of Wesleyan’s co-ed Hip-Hop teams. Currently I’m choreographing for the upcoming combined Fusion and X-Tacy dance show known as “FX.” Teaching choreo for the show has been a great experience, and has helped me improve upon my communication and leadership skills that are put into use when creating and teaching a dance piece.
(Shameless plug: Check out the Milk & Choreo facebook page here.)
tl;dr Summary: Orientation is hectic but very fun. Lots of strangers at first but eventually a friend group forms. Some people will likely be very good friends and others will probably find different groups to join later on. I won’t know until it actually happens. Now orientation is over and I have classes tomorrow!!
(Credit: Mizael Robledo)
Okay, so I’m not going to have time to do a detailed summary of orientation, but today is the day before classes start and it’s the last time I’ll be able to make an accurate account of what it was like. Well to start, orientation was filled with going places in which you knew absolutely nobody. Just place to place with people you hardly knew and tons of introductions. It was really just a big memorization game trying to get names down in addition to the same three questions:
1) Where are you living on campus?
2) Where are you from?
3) What are you thinking of majoring in?
So this may seem all bleary and boring but this is where things to start to change. Some people that were once just another awkward introduction start to reappear over and over again for one reason or another.
tl;dr summary: Post wisdom teeth removal slump inspires me not to mentally check out while I wait for college to start. Also, I became aware of my weakness in staying in touch and have begun my reappearance onto social media (twitter @alexgarcya).
It’s been over a week since I’ve spent any meaningful time outside my house. You see it was in that same time frame that my wisdom teeth were removed. Coincidence? Yes, actually. Well for the first week I’ll shirk off responsibility by saying I was numb and fatigued. But for this currently developing week I have honestly made few efforts to meet with friends.
So with that context I announce my pushback to an idea that came from the self-defeating part of myself. It suggested that I should just settle for killing time these next few weeks. Lay low and keep quiet until I have a new life in college. I’ve always had a dislike for this “checked-out” attitude and it brought me back to the not so distant memories of Senioritus.
2012 was a very politically active time for me. I was in Advanced Placement Government with one of my favorite teachers and I felt extremely informed. Earlier that year I had helped setup a mayoral debate and even fielded questions to the candidates with renowned reporters. Other events would be less glorious such as working the local polling station for the elections, and writing papers on important civil rights cases. Going to D.C for the presidential inauguration that year couldn’t have come at a better time.
(Group photo with San Diego U.S Rep. Scott Peters)
One of my priorities this year has been to understand our lack of discussion and understanding in regards to socio-economic status. It’s a common notion that in American culture everyone is “middle class.” I think this notion is a result of a very positive popular belief in equality under the law and in social situations. Basically, we all believe any person, no matter their economic position, should be treated the same under law and social situations. Think of David Petraeus, who was having an affair and subsequently resigned. He was the head of the flipping CIA and he was held just as accountable as some immoral teacher. This belief in equality has caused a subsequent erasing of class lines and hierarchy in American society.
Hi friends, random strangers, and employers stalking my web presence,
This blog is a collection of all my political and cultural commentary with sprinklings of my personal life. I’ll also repost things that I write on my more specific blogs such as my paperless initiative, and amazon or yelp reviews if they’re important enough to me. Basically expect things of this sort. Hopefully no matter who you are you’ll find something useful. Whether that be determining that I’m a crazy person that is negatively influencing society, to someone that amuses you, I appreciate your visit. Thanks!