I'm a College Grad!

Wow! It feels like just last week that I applied to UC Berkeley. It has been a wild, wild ride, and I am so proud of all I have accomplished in this time. In commemoration of my graduation yesterday, I wanted to take some time to reflect on everything I have learned and how much I have grown.

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My love for Shakespeare. When I started at Cal, I was convinced that I hated Shakespeare. I had only read maybe two plays in high school and the experience was not good. "Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo," was pretty much the only line of Shakespeare's oeuvre that I knew. When I was told that all Berkeley English majors were required to take a Shakespeare class, I signed up for one the first semester so that I could get it out of the way and spend the rest of my time at Berkeley reading "better" things. Well, I fell in love and ended up taking five Shakespeare courses in four semesters. I thought I hated Shakespeare, but it turns out I love him. I guess it is true that the course of true love never did run smooth!

Strong women can be feminine too. I don't know why so many people seem to think that smart women have to squelch their femininity. I grew up in a time when it was widely accepted that feminine = stupid. Intelligent girls don't wear skirts, brainy girls never wear lipstick, smart girls absolutely do not like pink or glitter or flowers. In order for a woman to be strong woman, she must shirk any semblance of stereotypical femininity and exhibit only stereotypically masculine traits. This is certainly a sentiment in American society. And so, for a long time I too squelched my femininity for fear that people would think I wasn't smart. But since coming to Berkeley I have become more confident in my intelligence (see below). I no longer have to feel insecure when I wear a dress, or fear someone won't take me seriously because I am wearing lipstick. Of course, this still happens, but I have learned that that is more the other person's problem than my own. I have had to face this at Berkeley too, hearing other women make snide remarks about girls who wear makeup to school, and that school is not a fashion show. But now I am wise enough to brush off those comments and stand as a symbol of someone who embraces femininity while also being sharp as a tack. Women should not have to conform to any standard - be it wearing skirts or pants, shaving their legs or not, wearing makeup or going natural. All women, feminine or masculine, girly or tomboyish, and everyone in between should be respected.

Believing in myself. I know I have shared this many times, but I honestly did not apply to Berkeley of my own volition. I thought it was a waste of the $80 application fee to apply to a school I knew I wasn't going to get into. Aashish handed me his credit card, forced me to apply, and the rest is history. But when I got accepted, I still didn't believe in myself enough to want to accept the offer. Why go to a school that I will just fail out of? Again, Super Aashish to the rescue! He all but twisted my arm, promising me that I would do great, but that if I truly hated it I could transfer to UCSD. Now I am graduating with UC Berkeley with honors. I finally have started to believe in myself, to see all that I am capable of achieving.

Anyways, sorry it has been so long since I have posted! Now that I am not constantly trying to keep up with readings, hopefully I will be able to contribute more frequently!

Until next time!
Shayna

Yale University Art Gallery

Ah Yale, the alma matter of Rory Gilmore. As one of the top universities in my field, I decided to make this one of my first stops on the East Coast trip that I took last November. The campus was absolutely gorgeous, everything you would expect from an Ivy. While walking around, I mentioned to Claudia and Laura that it would be cool to go into a museum if we could find one. Well, it must have been fate becuase the second I said that I turned around and saw the Yale University Art Gallery. Get ready for a major photo dump...

 Exploring the halls. It was too cold to properly channel Rory.

Exploring the halls. It was too cold to properly channel Rory.

 Caught texting when I should be fawning over such beautiful pieces.

Caught texting when I should be fawning over such beautiful pieces.

 El Anatsui!! Think I can make one of these from La Croix cans?

El Anatsui!! Think I can make one of these from La Croix cans?

 Love Basquiat! Ignore my sassy face.

Love Basquiat! Ignore my sassy face.

 Pieced back together from over 90 pieces and over 100 chips, this is like a jigsaw puzzle for art majors.

Pieced back together from over 90 pieces and over 100 chips, this is like a jigsaw puzzle for art majors.

 Can I have this apartment please? Seriously.

Can I have this apartment please? Seriously.

 Ideal gallery wall to go in above apartment. 

Ideal gallery wall to go in above apartment. 

 Ancient sculptures and beautiful architecture.

Ancient sculptures and beautiful architecture.

One thing tha was so incredible about this museum was that it was completely free - to EVERYONE. Not just students. Not just New Haven residents. Everyone! I think it is so lovely that a private university of this caliber would provide access to the arts to the public.

Until next time!
Shayna

I ❤️ NY

I can't believe it has already been so long since I returned home from my trip to Boston and New York! It was really great to get to see Claudia and Laura, my oldest friends. We have all known each other since middle school, so being with them is like being with sisters. It was just the refreshing break I needed to come back ready to tackle finals.

All these photos are of the Manhattan skyline. Quite breathtaking, huh? The first two were from DUMBO Park in Brooklyn. The last one was taken while we were walking across the Brooklyn Bridge. It was such a beautiful little hike! I kept having to stop and remind myself I wasn't dreaming!

 
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Every trip I have had to New York has been much too short. But... while chatting with a few friends who live in New York (and not just New York, but Manhattan), I realized that it would actually be cheaper to live IN Manhattan than it does to live in the East Bay, let alone San Francisco itself! Crazy! But armed with this new information, Aashish and I are seriously contemplating moving to NY soon! It would put me just a short bus ride from Claudia, plus some of Aashish's closest friends live in NY too!

 
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We of course are still considering a few other destinations. We may just stay here in the Bay Area or go back to San Diego. We are also currently considering Boston, since there are tons of biotechs there for Aashish, as well as some amazing universities for me. But for now, I am keeping my fingers crossed for NYC!

Until next time!
Shayna

P.s. I took a ton of photos on this last trip, so expect a series of blog posts about the trip coming soon!