Post-Morocco life has brought on significant work, stress, and freezing temperatures. But as we bear through the”polar vortex” and dismal days, and January comes to an end, the excitement of the rest of the year is beginning to kick in. The next few months include a string of “carrots”, from Cabo San Lucas in February, to college letters in March, to post-AP relaxation in May, and, finally, graduation in June. From here on is the home stretch.
Returning from a place of mid-60’s temperatures and fervent sunshine to the brutal cold Vermont has been undoubtedly difficult. Despite having lived in this state for 13 years, I just can’t bear the cold anymore. All I can think of are the sunny skies of Mexico in February or what the summer will bring. But on the other hand, transitioning into the second semester of senior year has let me shift my priorities. While previously, I was scurrying to complete college applications and maintain my grades, the new year has given me more of an opportunity to return to my creative writing. I started brushing up an old, abandoned short story a few weeks ago that I had originally written during my time in the Sunderbans. I’m in the midst of writing my third Huffington Post article. I’ve begun to read The New York Times in its entirety every morning. It seems like everything I’ve ever wanted to do throughout high school is finally coming into action this semester.
One of the newest aspects of second semester has been PIWA, a world affairs class that is required for seniors at my school. While the class itself is abnormally large and consists of extra busywork, it’s allowed me to focus deeper on topics that absolutely fascinate me, from U.S. relations with hostile countries to the history of Middle Eastern conflicts. Much of what we read and learn reminds me of my time at Yale this summer, focusing on counter-terrorism and, specifically, the Middle East. As I delve into Fareed Zakaria’s editorials and Zeke Miller’s reports, I’m starting to develop my own opinions on these issues. And moving closer to college, I’m also realizing what I want to pursue and what I am interested in.
In other news, my blog celebrated its third anniversary earlier this month, which, at this point, feels unreal. For the past three years, I have not missed a single month; TR has always lingered in my mind. And as I get ready to leave high school, TR feels so much more meaningful to me; it’s helped me develop a voice. Writing this sounds cheesy, but before TR, I was reserved— I had dreams of writing, but never pursued them. When I created this blog, I finally had the chance to learn and write and discover and inspire. Three years, nearly 12,000 views, and 20 followers later, TR represents how I’ve grown, changed, and blossomed throughout high school. [End of my monthly sentimental TR moment]
If you’re feeling particularly generous, inspired, or bored tonight, check out some of my travel photographs (Morocco and more) on my National Geographic page! And if you’re a photography guru (or not), feel free to critique.
Wrapping up this post with my current musical obsession (which changes every week):