Bye, Junior Year!

Hi everyone!

Time sure flies by quickly. I am already done with my junior year of college and on my way to senior year.

To sum up my junior year in one word, I think “rewarding” really ties it all together. Freshman year was more hectic, sophomore year more stressful, but junior year has been the best yet. Not only have I experienced living in an apartment for the first time, but I have also finally begun balancing school better than ever and putting my life goals together. I also have much better of an idea on what I want to do after college! Like many classmates, I think this year is the time when everything just starts fitting together and making sense.

pic of my lovely, goofy floor (my apartment plus the apartment next door)

I took really exciting classes this year. In the fall, I took “Contemporary Chinese Culture and Society,” “Intercultural Communication,” “Music of the African Diaspora,” and “Introduction to Traditional Literary Chinese.” In addition, I also conducted research in political science and participated in the Wash U symphony orchestra. This semester, I took “Chinese Civilization,” “Music Cognition,” and “Culture, Illness, and Healing in Asia,” in addition to my music classes. I loved all of these classes both semesters and have learned so much about the importance of cultural understanding, thinking outside the box, as well as communication as the key to overcoming differences. In the global realm, these are all very important in furthering mutual friendships among vastly different nations.

Aside from my courses and music ensembles, I also joined two new organizations on campus: Mortar Board and Order of Omega. Mortar Board is a national honor society recognizing college seniors for their scholarship, leadership, and service.  The current permanent project works on promoting literacy in the community and around the world. Order of Omega is another honor society, focusing on recognizing juniors and seniors who have exemplified high standards in scholarship, leadership, and involvement within their organization, campus, and local community. I was inducted into both organizations this semester, and I look forward to participating in both next year!

all the new members received roses

Outside of school, many “life-changing” moments also happened. Not only did I *finally* get my driver’s license, but I also took my citizenship exam and finally attended my Naturalization Ceremony! On that big day, I had two Wash U friends come support me while I went up and got my certificate. They waited for me in the rainy weather for 3 hours in a ceremony with over 100 people representing 47 nations! #truefriendship

we took this at Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site (around 25 minutes from campus)

This summer, I plan on taking the June 12th LSAT exam and doing research for my senior honors thesis for next year. Although I am still unsure whether I want to go directly to law school after graduating or take a gap year, I think taking the exam this summer will help me make my decision. After June, I plan on conducting my own research here in St. Louis. I will be interviewing first-generation Chinese immigrant families on the importance of classical music education and why it is central to the education of their children. This is such an exciting topic for me because as a musician myself, I have always wondered what the social, political, and economic reasons are behind such a strong push for musical education in the youth.

I would also like to take the time to thank each of you for following me these past two years as I powered through college. I know we are all under so much stress to strive for the best and make a difference in the future, and as young adults, it is not always easy to be perfectly satisfied with how grades, extracurricular activities, and even friendships are going at the moment. However, the best piece of advice that I can give is to let time play its magic—I know it sounds cliché, but everything happens for a reason. Even the worst surprises can turn into awesome miracles.

throwback to Halloween (aka midterms time) when we still managed to smile and dress up amid exams and presentations

Lastly, this is my last blog post, and I will miss all of you! I wish everyone the best of luck this summer. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or just want to have a fun conversation. 🙂



Nancy <3