With the first week of 2016 upon me, the stereotypical look back at the past year in called for. Now, 2015 felt like a sleepy year even though I didn’t get to sleep most of the time. Perhaps its because nothing significant happened other than the fact that I started working to help with the bills and rent while I went to school. I was so busy working up to 40 hours a week on top of school that I rarely had time to do the things I really cared about like photography and my fashion blog.
If I had thought that my financial stress was a problem in previous years, nothing came close to this year. As I was nearing the halfway point of my 5th year in college, my university also began to phase out a lot of the grants I’ve received in previous years that by the beginning of spring quarter, my loans and what was left of my grants only covered tuition. I fortunately had a secure job at Buffalo Wild Wings and my wages (with some help from my family), covered rent with enough left over for food, savings for a new laptop, and a smidge left over for a clothing budget. I was constantly struggling to make ends meet and I’ll admit that I am the absolute worst person when it comes to budgeting because of my insatiable appetite for good food and clothes. A lot of sleepless nights were spent worrying about getting enough hours at work, finding time to study, and finding side jobs to make extra cash. By Fall quarter, I fortunate enough to get hired as a morning delivery driver for a catering restaurant. My mornings were then filled with deliveries, my afternoons with class, and my evenings with Buffalo. Needless to say, working such long hours at these jobs taught me invaluable skills such as patience and reinvigorated my motivation to do well in life so I wouldn’t be stuck in this situation again.
While I was worried that my social life would suffer, I was never short of love from the new friends I made this past year. They always managed to find ways to send their love to me whether its through our Facebook group chat, or rearranging their schedules to fit in a night out with me on the rare chance that I had the night off from work. I originally joined this group chat that consisted of people that attended the different asian christian fellowships at UCR. And while we originally began the group as a way to explore the food scene in the Inland Empire, the chat became a support group for all of us as we struggled through school, relationships, work, and our daily lives, all the while having the theme of food interwoven through our chats. It’s interesting how things work out isn’t it?
So were am I now? I just finished my college education a few weeks ago with both of my degrees in art history and photography and my minor in business marketing. Now I’m interning for a great brand and compared to the uncertainty of this past year, my future is looking more and more secure. I’ve said this before on the blog, but I felt like the end of 2015 consisted of a ton of endings, me ending my time at various student organizations, ending my undergraduate career, ending the Riverside chapter of my life, the beginning of 2016 will see a lot of beginnings such as the beginning of my career, the beginning of my adult life, and the beginning of the Los Angeles chapter of my life. There are very few moments in a person’s life when they are able to definitively see the end of a chapter of their lives and the beginning of another, and that feeling of excitement to start fresh feels so good. Good bye and good riddance 2015 and hello 2016!