I am in October, almost halfway done with my first semester of senior year and I wish the clock would stop for two whole days for me to catch my breath. But the hands keep spinning and I keep reading and writing and wondering how I became an adult before I let myself truly enjoy what it was like to be a carefree college kid. In truth, I think I came into the year not taking anything seriously. My focus in August was to keep myself healthy, mentally and physically. I told myself to enjoy my classes so as to curb the overwhelming essure to exceed  Overall, weeks went by and I felt really confident. I knew I was going to dive right into my thesis this semester but I had a strong foundation which helped keep any worries at bay. I actually did not expect to be so enthusiastic about writing one. But now months into the school year, having committed to various different activities and working full time and enrolled in more than the usual number of courses at Pomona again, I feel like I’m ready for Fall break. More than ready.

I know people say “Don’t try to do everything” when you come to college. You really shouldn’t. It could unbalance your life. But unexpectedly, my year has introduced some beautiful moments into my life despite the sacrifices I have to make to stay afloat. I think the most notable one is my internship I am conducting. I work in South L.A. at Community Coalition and my commute from my college campus to our headquarters is a hefty four hours every day. During the work day I research some policy data and then from 4pm-6pm, I tutor kids who are a part of our organization’s educational component. Despite feeling inadequate when I first started working there, I feel very welcomed into the space. And I now know how much I value working with youth and organizing in a capacity that I have never experienced before. It also has given me more energy to continue working through my school work this semester. Each of the efforts I have been dedicating time to remind me why I decided to pursue college and my degree in Public Policy specifically. I wanted to do so not only for my family but for my communities at large. In that regard, I think I’ve outgrown some of the pessimism I had my last two years about the future.

I want to keep nourishing this hope as the year goes on.