College Update #1

Updated: Sep 16

It’s been a while since I’ve written on this blog because I’ve been swarmed with the pressure of adjusting to college. I’m currently entering week three of school, and I already feel so overwhelmed with everything.


There’s so many things I love about this place though. It’s so wonderful to wake up to sunny weather every day with a cloudless sky hanging over my head. The campus is MASSIVE and I feel like I haven’t explored even half of it yet! The food isn’t too bad either 😉


I went into this quarter with the intention of taking 17 units of classes, but ended up not getting any available spaces for one of my communication classes, so I added two more small classes for a total of 15 units. If you really must know my class breakdown, it goes as follows:


Psychology – 5 units

Design Sketching – 2 units

Social Dance – 1 unit

Prisons and Performance – 3 units

Art Theory – 4 units


Now, if math has served me right (because I’m clearly not taking any math classes), it’s 15 units of classes times the 3 hours we should take into account for each unit making it 45 hours of work per week total. On top of that, I’m currently in one of my school’s biggest shows called Gaieties which has rehearsal almost every night for about three to four hours. I’m really struggling to stay on top of things, and I’m really tempted to drop a class.


But this is where I love and hate myself.


I don’t want to drop a class because I love all the classes I’m taking. Where else can I learn this stuff? What if I miss out on something valuable that will shape my entire career in the future?

I guess you could say I have FOMO (fear of missing out) when it comes to learning things. I need to take every class and learn everything I can at the cost of anything.


I think part of this whole fall quarter experience is also proving to myself and my family that I can kill myself and still make it out alive. I know it sounds super cheesy and kind of poetic and yes, I’m kind of proud for saying that so eloquently. I don’t want to be slacker.


I had this really deep conversation last night about how I feel like I am beginning to stop caring about how other people perceive me and I just want to focus on what makes me happy and what will help me accomplish the most in life while gaining the most satisfaction and knowing I gave it my all. That’s why I believe a lot of my pressure is internalized and I am my own biggest critic at times like these. I keep pushing myself and telling myself that I’m not good enough so I will be motivated to do greater and greater things.


But is there a point where we reach limitations on how great we can really be?


That’s the question I plan on exploring during my first year of college. I can tell you right now that duck syndrome is very much real, and I’m experiencing it right now. People always tell me that I seem to be so put together since my room is always neat, I strive to wear more than sweatpants, I have my next three quarters planned out in terms of classes and shows, and I’m balancing five classes in addition to a show and still maintaining somewhat of a social life. But no.


The reality is that I’m going to bed at 3AM every night, barely finishing only half of my homework, and stress eating (pro-tip: if you stress eat, try mini peppers. It’s just water and there’s no weight gain!). I show up to lectures without doing the reading, praying that my fancy words will cover up the fact that I really don’t know what’s going on. I have a psychology exam coming up at the end of this week, and I still haven’t memorized any parts of the brain.


You know what I’ve come to terms with, though?


It’s okay to not be okay. It’s perfectly fine to not be perfect. In high school, I let my activities and grades define who I was, but I’m reaching the point where the college transition has made me question who I really am and who I can aspire to be in the future. I will be okay if I don’t get an A in class, but it doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t try. College is all about creating your own world within your sphere while extending it out to meet others while not really breaking the barrier of your own value and worth because that shouldn’t be affected by what other people define as their own value and worth.


I attended a Q&A panel that was hosted by a bunch of seniors in my cast, and one person brought up a really good point that resonated with me because I feel like it was such a critical topic in high school that I would escape when I came to college.


He talked about how we look down on fake people and shun them from our world if we ever suspect them being anything besides who they really and who we make them out to be. The reality of it all is that we’re all fake, and it’s okay because we don’t know who we are yet. That’s why the persona we put on in public may be different from the persona that our friends and family see when we’re in private spaces. The whole phrase “fake it until you make it” isn’t just a concept that’s exclusive to only theatre or school. It’s essentially a principle of life that explains why everybody is different.


It feels good to write on this blog again, and I feel like I got a lot out that I needed to release in terms of pressure. Classes are rough, and adding extracurriculars on top of that is even worse.


But I love every second of it.


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CHLOE CHOW

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