So it’s been a hot minute since I’ve done anything on here. But let’s do a quick recap of how my freshman year is going.
My classes are all pretty easy and fun, so academically I’ve been able to take a breather, especially after the intensity of high school.
Emotionally, I had a pretty rough first 3 weeks. I missed home like crazy, and rarely left my dorm room. I spent a lot of time crying, and went through quite a few boxes of tissues. I’m driving back home almost every 2 weeks and I’m glad to still have a job at CTA. I love my CTA family and being on the field is one of my favorite ways to spend time in Austin.
I went to my first football game. No, don’t worry, UTD doesn’t have a football team. Instead, I went to the first LBJ football game to watch Amanda and the band. I’m not one to care about football. I literally went just to watch the band. I’m amazed to see how much they’ve been able to accomplish in such a short amount of time.
I joined the UTD archery club. Granted, it’s still growing, but I’m glad that I’m able to get out to the range at least once a week and shoot. It’s not much, but I love the sport and I’m glad I get to continue it on my own.
I turned 18. Finally, I can sign all my own waivers and stuff. However, that did mean that I had to go renew my drivers license, so one of the Fridays that I had at home was spent at the DPS. Not the best way to spend a Friday in Austin, but at least I got that done.
I’ve spent way too many nights staying up and studying, and hanging out with friends. Like way too many nights. But these are the nights that I am going to remembers. Usually, we give up studying around 1-2am and then spend another 2 hours just talking about life, watching random youtube videos, and just spending time together.
Last weekend I made my first trip alone. Granted, it was only a 3 hour drive to College Station, but it was a pretty big deal for me since it was also the 4th USAT of the season, as well as the 2nd stage of the Olympic Team Trials. I’m so grateful for my friends, especially Hannah for letting me crash on her couch and introducing me to her archery friends and letting me tag along to shoot at the A&M field, and crashing her team dinner. This is the reason why I still shoot. I’ve met some incredibly amazing people through this sport and some of them are my best friends now.
Today, I finally got my hair highlighted by the amazing Marisol at Ulta, and I love it so much. It’s different from the previous times that I’ve colored it. It’s now more caramel/brown highlights and more subtle. It’s amazing and I’m so glad that I took the chance today to go get that done. Seriously, I’ve been waiting for like 4 months to change up my hair, and thought that since I just wrapped up outdoor season, I’d do something. (I usually cut/change my hair after a big tournament.)
I’ve taken 2 midterms, survived lots of boring lectures, made some friends that I really enjoy spending time with, and overall, really been able to adjust to college here. I don’t think that Dallas will ever truly become home, but I’m happy with the adjustment that I’ve made.
I think that’s a pretty brief recap of what’s been going on. Time to get back to studying!
Real talk, I don't know what I'm doing right now. This post is just a bit of the rambling and I have going on through my head.
I'm in that weird phase of my life, where I really don't have any direction of what I want to do. I've graduated high school. Yea, cool, a huge accomplishment I guess (I'll talk more about the value of a high school diploma in relation to how I was raised in a later post). I've been accepted into a wonderful 4-year university and am set to attend in the fall. But at the same time, I just want to stay in this moment forever.
So far this summer, my days have comprised of waking up rather later in the day, doing a little bit of work on my computer, then heading to the archery range for the majority of the day. I've spent most of my time at the range, whether it's coaching, shooting, or just hanging out. I feel like all of my friends are the people at the range, and the field feels more like home than home actually does at the moment. I've done the things to make myself enjoy life a little bit more. I've eaten that piece of cake, gone to that event, hung out with people, and made decisions that weren't as carefully calculated as I usually would. I've said the words that's made me vulnerable and have gotten shut down and rejected. I've put myself out there. There hasn't been a structure. For the first time, I've gotten to enjoy my summer the way that I want to.
At the same time, I feel the impending doom of summer ending. I have just under a month left before I leave Austin and make my move to Dallas. There's the fear of how I will manage living alone, in a new environment. I just want to stay in this exact moment. I just want to hit pause.
It’s May 1st, so you know what that means, it’s the national day of college decisions. I am excited to announce that I will be attending the University of Texas at Dallas to study Information Technology and Systems, with the Academic Excellence Scholarship that covers a full tuition as well as gives me a stipend each semester. I’m excited to see where this next chapter of my life takes me!
Before I start, here's something that you should know, I shoot archery. Now that you know that, please continue reading:
Putting it bluntly, Indoor Nationals was not what I have hoped for. I struggled, and my mental and physical strengths were put to the test.
I came into this weekend not prepared at all, and with a desire to not be there. I love indoor nationals because of all the people I see there, people I only ever see at tournaments, so it wasn't a shoot that I really wanted to skip, but in terms of shooting, I was not ready. I hadn't shot the 2 weeks leading up to it, and I wasn't entirely sure of my equipment. Nonetheless, I sucked it up, and got into A&M late Friday night, just 12 hours before I had to shoot the next day.
Saturday was okay, I pretty much shot my average from SYWATs this season. I had some good shots, but my main struggle was with the clicker. I just couldn't get into the rhythm of shooting, and my draw arm started to hurt very quickly, a sure indicator that I was not drawing back with the correct muscles. I loved my balemates, they made shooting fun and a little easier. I spend the rest of the day watching the JOAD line, and coaching one of the students I used to coach through her first ever indoor nationals. Sunday was a little worse, score wise. My shots were feeling good, I got a little bit of my rhythm back, and I was shooting with the clicker, but the scores just weren't translating how I was shooting. I survived, and that was the end of my second Indoor Nationals, and my first season as a Junior.
The one thing that I had no problems with was my equipment. I didn't have to worry about my sight or stabilizers coming loose, or anything to be wrong with my riser or limbs. That just goes to show that good equipment is really necessary, and I have full trust in it.
This entire indoor season wasn't what I planned or wanted. I had shoots scheduled for almost every weekend, whether they were SYWATs or larger tournaments. I followed through with it for 2 months, before college apps, music and school work hit, and I had to redirect some of my energy. This was also my first season shooting without the help of a coach, simply because it wasn't fair for whoever was working with me to have to deal with my insane school schedule. I shot blankbale inside my house whenever I could, and that was about it. The rest was just hoping for the best.
My other option was to take a break for this season. That was going to be my last resort, in fear that if I took a break, I would never come back. I wanted to return for this upcoming outdoor season, and in order to do that, I needed something to keep me going. Do I regret anything this past indoor season? Certain aspects, yes. I wish I spent a little more time training. I wish I went out to the range to shoot the full 18m a few more times. But I was able to accomplish everything else I needed to do, while keeping up in this sport. So, no. I don't regret shooting this indoor season.
Now it's time to look forward to outdoor season. Many more changes are coming, and I'm excited to spend some time out on the field.
Rejection sucks. There, I said it. It’s out there now. Can’t take it back.
No, but seriously, rejection hurts so much. Being in the college application stage where all I can do now is sit and wait for results, I have to mentally prepare myself for the rejections I’m bound to receive. Having already received a few, I’ve experienced the devastating crush of reading “We’re sorry to inform you” and it doesn’t get any easier.
I know I set myself up by applying to so many top tier schools. But on the other hand, would I rather feel regret in 6 months, wondering what if?? At least by applying and getting a rejection, I know that for sure, they didn’t want me. Wondering what if might be even worse.
Is it bad for me to stay emotionally unattached to a school? To protect me from feelings later on. But does that show that I’m uncommitted? I don’t mean for it to come across that way. I’ve very interested in each of these schools and I’d be happy and would excel at any one of them.
Each time, it is worse and worse. Each rejection is another door closing. Another option is gone. Poof! Just like that, my pool of options diminishes. Leaving me with less time to look for more options. Hoping that deadlines haven’t passed.
Pretty much, moral of this is, no matter how many times I have to read those 5 words, there are always other things coming my way, and it’s not the end of the world. Somehow, through all the disappointment and the heartbreak, I’ll find something that I’m happy with.
My only hope is by the end of all this, I’ll find the school that I want, and they want me back.
365 days of endless possibilities. This is the year of ME. An open road with only myself to figure out where to go.
So many things are happening this year. I’m graduating. Finally leaving the public school system that I’ve been in for so many years. This also means, that I’m leaving behind friends, and other friends are surpassing me to go to bigger and better schools, thousands of miles away.
This is also the year of the unknown. It won’t be until May that I know where I’ll be in September. And even then, there is a lot of uncertainty. Who will I be rooming with? What major am I going to be studying? What classes will I have? What city will I be in? Am I going to be fine without my parents? And the friends that I’ve counted on for years. Even right now, there are quite a few people that have committed to schools, and they have their next 4 years planned out. This makes me a little nervous, it’s such a big decision and I still haven’t heard back from many of my schools. Additionally, I would be leaving the safety I’ve had for the past 7 years of school and routine.
Along with that, there’s also archery goals. As much as I want to put more time and effort toe the sport, I have a feeling that archery and competing is going to be taking a backseat for this year, at least while I’m finishing senior year. There are a couple of tournaments that I really want to go to, but as of right now, I don’t know how feasible that is.
With the amount of work that I’ve put into graphic design last year, I’m finally going to take the plunge and start my own freelance business. Along with that, I want to put myself out there and apply to graphic design positions with local agencies. This has potential for a lot of rejection, but I will never know if I don’t try.
I’m willing to give it my all, and see where I end up.
This year is unwritten, blank pages of a book left for me to fill in the blanks. I have ambitions for this year, and plan to fill every page with memories and accomplishments.
Well, another year has passed. So here's about 50 pictures that shows some of the highlights of this year. Beware, there is an enormous amount of pictures of food, archery, and selfies. Actually, that's pretty much all of the pictures here. But that pretty much summarizes this year for me. Can't wait to see what next year brings!
Here's to an amazing 2019!
As it’s the end of the year, it’s time for me to reflect on some of the changes I’ve made since August.
Of course, the biggest change is that I no longer work as the administrator, nor do I coach for the training center that I previously mentioned. This parting was my decision, as bigger things were coming my way and my schedule didn’t allow it anymore. This isn’t a bitter decision and I wish the training center the best. They are, after all, the ones that started me on the path that I am on now in archery.
While we’re on the topic of archery, that has also taken a back seat in the grand scheme of things. I no longer spend most of my time at the range training, but instead have set up a ‘home range’ with a bale at 3 meters. After outdoor season, I made it a point to go back to basics and work on form, and this was the best way to do that. With that, I also bought myself a new setup, with the Hoyt Faktor HP riser, Formula 720 limbs, Axcel sight, Shrewd aperture and Beiter plunger. This is the setup I am probably going to be shooting for a long long time, and I absolutely love it. It’s been a few months but I still don’t have a name for it. I might do a separate post later about the details of it just because I love looking back on these and reminiscing.
The second big change, is my transportation. I don’t ride the bus at all. I either drive myself, or I stay after school until someone can pick me up. Driving is so nice, I can leave immediately afterschool and go home before 5. The only problem is that it takes quite a toll on me. I often don’t get enough sleep to safely drive so that doesn’t happen very often.
These two factors are the biggest changes since the beginning of the school year. I simply don’t have the time now to do it all, and I’m content with what I have now.
Always a great way to start off the trip: waking up at 2 in the morning to get to the airport by 3:30 to catch a 5:30 flight.
It turned out to be a slow start, as we had a couple of weather delays. This meant that there was a good possibility that we would miss out connection flight in St. Louis, but luck turned out to be on our side as we all made it (there was about 7 of us going from Austin to Ohio, except no one really coordinated anything but there’s only so many flights from Austin to Ohio within a certain time frame.
We made it to Columbus Ohio around 11:30, and everyone was re-united with our bows. Oh yea, and our other luggage too, but the only thing we really cared about was our bows. There’s always that slight scare while flying that your bow doesn’t make it, because in several states, a bow is classified the same as a firearm and TSA doesn’t need a good reason to pull a bag from flying. Also with that flight delay, there was a chance that we would be leaving before the ground crew had the chance to transfer our luggage.
Going into this shoot, it was quite intimidating as I knew of many of the top shooters, and I knew where I stood. During the official practice, I was shooting with quite a few of the JDT or RDT team members. It was cool to talk with them though.
Qualifications was not the weather I had planned for. It was quite cold and windy, a weather condition that I had never shot in before. I didn’t have too high expectations for my score, but what disappointed me was my lack of endurance. By the last few ends, I was struggling to get through the clicker, and about 2 arrows every end, I had to shoot without the clicker because I was running out of time from letting down so many times.
Here is a quick list of some things I learned but is definitely not the full list:
This tournament was also the first time I ever shot eliminations. However, since my eliminations were on the same day as qualifications, I was very, very, very, tired and then there were some more weather delays. Needless to say, eliminations did not go well for me and I got out during my first match.
This tournament was my first ever USAT (US Archery Team) Qualifier series tournament. It was a very fun and valuable experience, and a wonderful tournament to cap out my first outdoor season. Not only that, but this was the cap to my first competitive year, and was my last shoot as a Cadet. Now it’s time to focus on school for a bit before indoor season starts!
I’m usually not the sentimental kind. Or the kind to keep any kind of souvenir to remember anything by. Sure, I have a few journals here and there with random memories in them, but nothing consistent. But this is an important milestone in my life and I want to have some way of remembering it later on. My last summer as a high schooler.
It is currently the day before school starts, and just thinking back, I’m crying, tears of joy, of sadness, of regret, all of the above.
In so many ways, this summer was one of the best. I didn’t do anything too memorable or application worthy (let’s be honest, summer before senior year is for doing stuff to put on applications) but I managed to accomplish so much. What I’m writing about might not seem like that, and many people, even those that know me very well, wouldn’t know how bug a deal some of these things are, such as Nationals.
With that said, I spent the first 6 weeks of summer studying. I took Government and Macroeconomics at ACC so that I could have an off period this school year. This was a little difficult for me only because it was purely self learned and we had tests each week with some other homework assignments during the week.
I spend the first half day of summer at a Starbucks, studying for Gov and Econ before going to Amanda’s middle school graduation. The next day, I spent it at Starbucks studying with Sarah, and then APL as well as Trader Joe’s.
The second weekend, I went to Dallas for my first ever Star FITA tournament, which was also my 2nd time shooting 60m. It was a great experience and I shot a personal best.
I spent the first full week of summer driving Kevin to basketball camp, and the second week at Baseball camp. I spent the majority of my time at these camps studying or doing assignments. The third and fourth week I drove him to SoccerZone. I also spent a lot of time at the range, mostly working as an admin. There’s nothing too notable to say about this, it’s the same thing that I’ve been doing.
That’s all of June for me.
July started nicely, I had about 4 days before I left Austin for the next 3 weeks. I spent a lot of my days going out to the field whenever I could (I even went out there on July 4th) because the first weekend of July was Outdoor State in Houston. That was something new for me because it started raining the first day and we had multiple lightning delays and a lot of wet clothes and muddy shoes. Despite the rain, I shot a personal 36 arrow best. The second day was bright and sunny (although the ground was still muddy) and we finished quickly and I headed back home.
I was home for about 30 hours, which included a lot of laundry, washing muddy shoes, equipment maintenance (fletching arrows, making sure I have everything), and packing, I was ready for JOAD Outdoor Nationals in North Carolina. This was a huge deal for me because it was one of my big goals for my archery career this year. The past year had all been building up to this. I have another post that details Nationals which I will link here.
I was in North Carolina for a week, and I visited Duke, which was a beautiful campus, with amazing architecture. I flew back to Austin on a Monday, after a few flight delays and close scares of missing the flight home, we got home around 10pm. That gave me just enough time to do laundry, and repack before leaving for Seattle the next morning at 2:30am. While it was for way too short of a time, it was nice to sleep in my own bed.
Seattle was our family vacation of the year and was really nice. I learned that while traveling and sightseeing was fun, by the end of the week I was glad to be heading home. Traveling and dealing with jet lag is exhausting. I have blog posts for each day that I was in Seattle and that are linked here: [SEATTLE 2018]
That’s the entirety of July for me. State, Nationals, and then Seattle.
A large part of August was spent catching up on the sleep that I lost in July. I know, I know, that’s not how this works, but you know what? I wanted to sleep so that’s what I did.
I spent August working, shooting a little bit just so I didn’t lose my strength, watching a lot (A LOT) of TV shows, and hanging out with friends. I spent a lot of time playing the flute as well as the piano, which was something that I had not done in a very long time. I also started being a little more active, going on walks with Sarah or with my parents while walking the dog.
I made the absolute last minute decision to sign up for Buckeye Classic, a National level tournament that would take place the first weekend after school started. I felt like that would be a nice way to really end out summer, with my last tournament of the outdoor season, and my last outdoor tournament in the Cadet division.
I met up with a friend who I had not seen for 9 months, and we talked the afternoon away, going back on memories, and catching up on what we had been up to. This inspired me to get back into my creative groove, and start doing more graphic design projects, as well as starting to look for freelance work.
On the last Friday of summer, I watched Crazy Rich Asians, 2 days after it came out in theaters, and it is the best movie I have ever seen. I might do a movie review post on this later? We’ll see. But this was a really nice way to cap out summer. The same day, I attended a coaches meeting, where I got really excited about the prospect of my new job, and who I would be working with, and all of their goals.
Now it's time for another chapter of my life. Senior year. So scary, but I'm excited about what's to come.
Summer 2018. So much was done. Thank you for being so good to me, and filling every day with a new adventure. This is a summer to never forget.