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I nearly made the biggest mistake of my life.

Leading up to the college visit trip I took last week, I was adamant about applying and going to NYU. So adamant in the fact that I was prepared to apply early decision, meaning if I got in I would have to attend.

When I tell you I was saved by a thread I mean it. I was millimeters away from making the worst decision ever.

NYU was not the place for me. I had thought that going to a school without a campus would be fun, my experience this summer in New York made me feel free, and living in New York and attending school seemed ideal. This was mostly because I was with one of my closest friends whose sister went there, so we spent most of our time shopping and eating rather than being students. It was a whole different story at the school. The tour guide talked more about her getting cut from the quidditch team than student life and did many other similar things, making me realize that maybe I wanted more of a college experience.

I had just gone to see Michigan before NYU, where I went tailgating and sat in the student section at the Big House. My friend who goes there showed me around and showed me what it is like to be a student at a big school. I had the best time and realized that this is something I can’t go without in college. I also thought the traditional campus layout would make studying easier, everything was just more simple.

These two factors combined and made me realize what an idiot I had been. Judging my college choices on a fun week I had without considering schools, sheerly basing the biggest choice I will have made in my young life on location.

I feel super relieved I changed my mind about applying to NYU early decision, and that I went on the tour as the feels at the schools were different than the ideas in my head of what they would feel like. It feels surreal that I was that close to making such a big choice based on nothing.

PC: Knight Photography

I had Covid

I tested positive for Covid over winter break and it t’was not a fun experience. I had no symptoms, except I slept for 13 hours the night I tested positive. I had to quarantine for 10 days and it sucked. The only good that came out of my quarantine was that I came out of retirement for my Fortnite career. Having Covid was not an enjoyable experience, I could not hang out with friends, I could not go to the gym, and I could not go to work. I highly recommend not getting Covid.

Food Safety and the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) | FDA
pc: fda.gov

James Webb

So, as many of you already know, the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) launched a couple weeks ago. Now that might not seem like such a crazy thing, but it most definitely is. This telescope is the most complex telescope humankind has produced to date, it has the ability (hopefully) to see the first light emitted from the Big Bang 13 billion years ago. Now that fact is confusing to some, how can we see back in time? Well, basically, light has a speed of 299 792 458 m / s to be exact (approximately 670616629 mph). We measure this in terms of distance, as lightyears. Say a super bright lightbulb is turned on somewhere ten light-years from earth, it would take ten years for the light to reach us so that we could see it. Now if we take that principle and scale it up, the further we look, the longer it’s taking for us to see that light, so if we look at something 13 billion lightyears away, then we are seeing 13 billion years in the past, and since the universe is constantly expanding finding something 13 billion lightyears away is not very difficult. Anyway back to JWST, it will be in an orbit we have called “L2” which is just behind the Earth so it will constantly be in Earth’s shadow, it will be 1.5 million km (1 million miles) from the earth, which is far past the moon. From that orbit, it will take pictures. A lot of pictures. Of course, our time with the JWST is limited so NASA has allocated certain hours for researchers for an approved project. This telescope will bring in a new era of research, we may learn the origins of the universe, and if not we will still learn so many things from this telescope. Things like planets with potential life, we will learn about the formation of galaxies, and many many more things. I am excited to see the pictures this incredible telescope will take.

James Webb Space Telescope: how our launch of world's most complex  observatory will rest on a nail-biting knife edge
Webb's Orbit

Photo credit: Space. Com

My top three

For this week’s blog, I’m going to go back to the pokemon theme and pick out some of my favorites to share with the readers of this blog.

To start Pokemon are a type of imaginary creature that has been incorporated into games cards and tv shows that have run for many years, starting in 1997. I have loved Pokemon since I was first introduced to it in middle school when a classmate gave me their old 3ds. The game omega ruby (a Pokemon game) was the first game I ever played. Ever since I have followed pokemon and tried to play as many of the games as possible. It means borrowing someone’s Nintendo Switches just to play the game and give it back is worth it to play Pokemon.

The first pokemon on my list is Toxtricity (low key form) This pokemon is an electric poison type, the primary reason for this pick is that it is one of my favorite pokemon and that it is powerful. Toxtricity is fast and it can poison enemies with poison-type moves.

Photo credit: Bulbapedia

The second pokemon in my dream team is Salamance. I chose this Pokemon for its dragon flying typing and its sheer power. this pokemon is a large blue dragon that is just super cool looking.

Photo credit: Pokemon. com

The third member of my team is going to be Swampert because he is my favorite pokemon. He’s a starter, this means that it is likely that I would have had him from the beginning of the game. Swampert is a water and ground type pokemon with the ability to learn very solid moves. Mudkip Swapert’s primary evolution was the first pokemon I ever got as a starter and has been my favorite ever since.

Photo credit: Pokemon Database

Homesick

“Do you miss home?” “Do you miss your parents?” As an international student, these are the questions that I receive most often from people. My answer has always been no, and inexplicably, I’ve never missed home while I’m in a foreign country.

But that answer has changed recently.

During Christmas break, I lived near the LA area, where large Chinese community exists. There, you can find almost anything from China and other places in Asia. I never knew that there could be such a place in the US.

When I had authentic Chinese food in one of the restaurants, I suddenly realized that I do miss home. Or more precisely, the two years of my life in China before I came here. I miss my old school, my friends, and my hometown Nanking. I had a sudden urge to book a flight and go back at that moment. But after 5 seconds, I remembered that my friends are not in China either, they are in Germany, Ireland, Canada… just the same as me.

The feeling of nostalgia was something that I never experienced, and I now I finally understood how other people felt when they say they missed home.

Photo Credit: https://www.welikela.com/

Covid decides to run it back

As of last week, I have now gotten covid two consecutive winter breaks. My take on Covid, at least how it affects me, is that it is more of an inconvenience than anything.

Not being able to taste sucks. It makes food borderline unenjoyable. I have been postmating food from all over trying to get a taste of something, but it all tastes like nothing. It straight-up sucks.

Other than that, I am congested and whatever, which isn’t too bad at this point, and I have brain fog. Maybe I don’t have brain fog but it is a solid excuse to procrastinate.

The most annoying parts are not being able to see my friends, play soccer, or stay caught up on school because I have a LAUNDRY LIST of shit to do, half of which I don’t even understand.

I am kind of concerned about OVS’s covid approach. Without guidelines changing, I predict that school will just become a place where the new variant spreads semi-easily. I hope that school provides online as an option at least, as leaving students who are sick in the dark about their schoolwork makes it very difficult to keep up, and if I hadn’t already had covid I would want to have the option to not have to go to school and get covid.

photo credit: CDC

My 3 Favorite Songs Right Now

My music taste fluctuates a lot, and I’m constantly finding new songs to play on repeat until I hate them. Here are the songs I’ve been playing nonstop for the past week or so.

Tend the Garden by Gang of Youths

This song has such beautiful music, and it’s pretty sad. I mean, that’s to be expected from Gang of Youths; they did also make the song Achilles Come Down. Like Achilles Come Down, it’s a narrative, and it’s sang from the perspective of a father who presumably did something horrible and won’t ever forgive himself for having to leave his children. It’s a really poetic song and there’s a good amount of fairly obscure Biblical references, so if you’re into that kind of thing, definitely give it a listen. (Or a million listens, like I’ve done.)

Gang Of Youths Share New Song "Tend The Garden": Listen
https://static.stereogum.com/uploads/2021/11/2138_EFS_EFStudio_GangofYouths_AngelInRealtime_Cover_1500x1500px_221021-1636497071.jpg

Sanctuary by Joji

This song is so fun to listen to. The music is a perfect blend of upbeat and chill. Joji has such a beautiful voice, too. It’s a really sweet love song and isn’t really sad. Good to listen to if you’re just looking for good vibes.

Sanctuary (Joji song) - Wikipedia
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/2/2e/Joji_-_Sanctuary.png

Black Barbies by Nicki Minaj

This song is totally different from the other two, but it’s so good. It’s basically another version of Black Beatles by Rae Sremmurd. The rhymes in it are super clever. If you like artists like cupcakKe, Megan Thee Stallion, and Cardi B, you’ll probably like this song.

Black Barbies by Nicki Minaj | Song | Free Music, Listen Now on Myspace
https://a4-images.myspacecdn.com/images04/1/1a41d7c226154bda9a766dae5aae0d26/300×300.jpg

Those are my favorite songs right now. They definitely all have very different vibes, but I listen to all of them all the time. I hope if you check them out, you like them too!

What Video Games I could Survive in

As someone who has over 5,000 total hours on video games and absolutely no survival experience, I figured it would be fun to take my favorite games and which of them I think I could survive in.

Dark Souls 3: Being my favorite game of all time, I figured I would start with good ol’ Dark Souls. If you’re not a masochist, and you don’t know what Dark Souls is, it’s a fantasy game that’s generally regarded as one of the most difficult video game franchises. And as a masochist who has now beat the game countless times, I can confidently say that there is no way that I would even be able to kill a single enemy. I mean, the first hard enemy you fight is a giant crystal lizard dog that would beat me into a pulp before I could even lift my sword.

Image credit: Dark Souls III Wiki

Hollow Knight: There is absolutely no way I’ll die in Hollow Knight. I mean everything in that world is literal bugs. If I can’t beat a couple of bugs, I don’t know what I’m doing in life.

Image Credit: hollowknight.com

Portal 1 & 2: As someone who considers themselves a pretty solid puzzle solver, I can confidently say that I can beat both portal games. Not only am I a decent puzzle solver, but Glados stands absolutely no chance against these hands. I mean all of her wires are always exposed. Ever heard of unplugging their wires? I mean if Chell can beat both games without thinking of that obvious loophole, then I can easily find my way through the Aperture Science Labs.

Image Credit: Games Radar

Do You Remember That Time… 2020…

Photo Credit: Tuscaloosa News

Do you remember when we got an alert about the new virus, the Coronavirus (COVID-19), and we were all so scared about it in 2020? People die every day, plus, we know nothing about this new virus. We stayed home and used Rubbing alcohol to spray everywhere when we got home right away. We began to lose the ability to connect with the other person. Sometimes we call our family or friends saying Hi to them and talk about how they are doing recently just to try to imagine we were talking to a “real” person. After a year in online class or work, we lost the motivation to do anything, we only have that little energy left to keep scrolling on our phones. Watching the public prank videos on Youtube from years before, and started to imagine when am I going to talk and meet new friends after the pandemic. At last, we all laughed and cried to celebrate the 2021 new year at home.

It’s only been two years but feels like it happened a long time ago.

When Omicron came up almost at the end of  2021, it didn’t scare anyone much. I noticed that people started to see this type of virus as a common cold. People don’t wear masks around, even gather with another person in the same room. People tell others that they have COVID, but they don’t care about it as long as they know they are fully vaccinated. Time has changed the way we see or think about the virus. The Covid deaths have begun to spike quickly after people gathered to celebrate the 2022 new year without putting their masks on. However, I wish we could go back to “normal” life when we all go to school or the amusement park without having our masks on.

Photo Credit: ABC News (2021)

Covid

So, as of right now my test results haven’t come back, but I’m pretty sure I have covid. My mom and dad both came back positive when they were tested, and seeing as I have been quite sick over the last week I’m pretty damn sure its covid. My mom is holding out hope that I’m negative so I can go to school, but I’m less optimistic. The actual sickness hasn’t been all that bad most of the time. The worst part for me are the headaches and the dizziness. Plus I’ve had these weird things I call “brain shocks” that I normally get when I miss my meds. I really don’t know how to describe them other than brain shocks. Thats like what they are, they suck ass though. When I was taking a different medication, Pristyq, they would get so bad that I would blink and get them. They suck, a lot. Anyway, I’m hoping I can go to school soon but I kinda doubt it. I probably won’t be back till next week, which sucks because I’m gonna get behind in AP chem and that is not good at all. Luckily it gives me more time to work on my research paper for english that I still have not finished. Anyway, long story short, don’t get covid, its not a vibe.

Sick Flu Vector Illustration Poor Guy Stock Vector (Royalty Free) 43639450

photo credit: shutterstock