Winter Quarter in Review

Another ten weeks have come and gone, and over those ten weeks, I experienced changes, disappointment, and lots of stress eating. Ultimately, though, I dedicated the past ten weeks to self improvement and soul searching.

After the snafu that was Fall Quarter, I took it upon myself to make for a better quarter once Winter rolled around. Given that I was going to take 4 Math classes, I knew this was going to be a challenge, and once the start of the quarter came, my instincts were correct. My curriculum this quarter consisted of Real Analysis (a class dedicated to proving the theorems of Calculus), Number Theory (a class whose main focus is the set of Integers), Abstract Algebra (a class that, contrary to what you might think, has absolutely nothing to do with Algebra), and Applied Statistics. While I did start off strong in each class, the end result was less than desirable – let’s just say graduation isn’t so within my reach anymore. While I am still kicking myself about it, wondering what else I could have done to have done better academically, what’s done is done, and I can’t change what happened. This will serve as a lesson for myself (and anyone else that’s reading this) to try and not be so ambitious with my choice in classes. Too many times, I’ve bitten off more than I could chew, and everything came back to blow up in my face.

Academics aside, I’ve encountered so many opportunities and changes this past quarter that has otherwise made my entire experience a positive one. At the start of the quarter, I was faced with the opportunity to fly down to San Antonio for the largest Mathematics Conference in the world, the Joint Mathematics Meetings. There, I not only got to see what the world of Mathematics can offer me career-wise, but I was also able to experience San Antonio in all of its glory, all while making a few close friends along the way. To get a recount of my entire experience at JMM, you can read about it here.

Immediately after the conference (more specifically, the day I came back from the conference), I got to attend my first magic show at school with headliner Jim Munroe, entitled The Maze. Although I was entertained by the magic tricks he performed onstage, I was more captivated by the story he had to share – his battle with cancer and how it forever changed his relationship with God. Just as I usually do, I had to reevaluate my own relationship with God, and set forth to acquire the same passion and faith as Jim Munroe. Along this never ending journey to perfect my relationship with God, I got closer to my Bible Study group, and through them, met even more incredible people who are on the same journey as I am. Through God’s grace, I know I have made lifelong friends.

Like I said earlier, I dedicated this past quarter to self improvement and soul searching. It was over the past three months that I set out to find myself and who I want to be. Through the many twists and turns that life has thrown at me over the past few years, I have finally come to terms with the fact that not everything can be planned out step by step – and nothing ever should be planned out step by step. I’ve come to realize that some of the best experiences I’ve been through all happened purely by accident, and these things can never be planned out. I’ve taken the spiritual route on my way to find the path to my future, and instead of breaking my back figuring out what I’m supposed to accomplish along the way, I’m letting God take the reins, now understanding that ultimately He has the final say in what’s to become of me. Everyday I listen for His calling, and I continually look for ways to do His Will here on Earth as He guides me towards the path I was meant to take. And since I’ve found that new mindset and stuck with it, I feel so much more at peace with myself and my future than I ever did before. I now know how to look forward to things, I know to not get so worked up and stressed about things beyond my control, and I know how to be excited about life again.

Even though I won’t be graduating at the end of the year like I had thought I would, I’m not taking this as hard as I normally would. If anything, this is probably a sign to not work myself too hard, and to pace myself when it comes to school and work. This turn of events is also allowing me more time to figure out what I’m supposed to do with my life, and what steps I need to take to get there. Spring Quarter is just around the corner, and even though I’m going into it with a clear mind and a more positive perspective, I know there’s a lot more I need to learn about myself and how the world works – and I’m more than ready for that ride.


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