hello just checking in

  • At the end of each week, I write down my first impressions of people: friends I made, ppl I want to be friends with, ppl who seem to suck, ppl i think are really good-looking, early clique formations, etc. It’s super candid because the more detailed and extreme I am in describing these people, the funnier I know it’ll be months/years from now. I’ve already had a good laugh at how wrong my perceptions from orientation were of a group of friends I made this week
  • Things I didn’t expect:
    • for half of our class to be in such a hurry to categorize themselves and others. I’m somewhere in the middle of being in a couple of groups of friends & having a handful of close friends I can always gravitate to easily (all of whom I really really like) and being a complete floater…
      • and also in the middle of not liking feeling a little rushed to make friends (bc i know friend groups will probably change around a lot over the next 4 years) and being thrilled about the random ppl i’ve grown close to and the ppl i have yet to get to know (man ppl are so cool here life is good God is good)
      • all of this is new to me bc I went to a really big high school & undergrad school
    • for us to have to sign up for leadership positions within the first 3 weeks of school, without even holding club meetings. Feel a little wary to be held accountable for a project that I’ve never participated in with people I’ve never met, but I’ll prob just do it anyway bc it will be fun and how bad could it be, knock on wood
    • I didn’t know that UPenn was so good about caring for Jewish students, and that they had so many Jewish students (this is a good thing, Jewish ppl are so smart and kind and down to earth)
    • to want to be in the party frat and to want to party so much all of a sudden
    • i am suddenly a lightweight and also i get asian glow after like 2 drinks
    • for my dreams for the future to quickly slip from [BEING A DENTIST] or [REPRESENTING GOD] to [BEING A BOSS IN DENTAL SCHOOL in terms of popularity, academics, having as much 20-something fun as I can] yes I know this is good and bad and also it is idolatry
      • for example, my first motives to sign up for a leadership role were
        • Do I have to do this to become popular? (prob not)
        • Do I have to do this to get my foot in the door for scholarships, the community service honors program, residency apps, and future leadership roles? (prob yes)
    • to get hit on by upperclassmen in the lamest of ways anywhere anytime (socially awk nerds will always be socially awk nerds)
    • for so many ppl to be taken, and how cute it is that there’s this unspoken rule to announce your taken relationship status within the first 15 min of meeting someone new
      • “yup i’m from new jersey, which is where my gf is so it’s not too bad”
      • “thanks my bf bought this watch for me”
      • “what was that? aww thanks my bf thinks i’m pretty too”
  • What I love
    • diversity of my class- so many interesting ppl from diff backgrounds. and it’s cool to hear ppl’s amazing stories/accomplishments/experiences and to think, “yup, that’s how you got into dental school, you one-in-a-million character, you.”
    • being surrounded by people like me aka people who are built for dentistry: nerdy, outgoing, did a bunch of extracurriculars since the 7th grade, like serving others, … and i think there’s more qualities but i forgot
    • Philadelphia, UPenn, and being in an academic environment. To have even one of those three would be great but I get to enjoy all three at once
    • living alone – i realized just last week that this is my first time living alone and it is pretty sweet
      • pros: can befriend anyone i want, live & clean however weird ways i want, don’t have to share fridge or anything with anyone, don’t have to stress out about random roommate convos that might come up (“hey…you need to stop hiding full trash bags in the living room for 3 days at a time…please. like how is this ok to you.”)
      • cons: walk home alone, could’ve gotten to know someone cool, cheaper, could’ve lived in a fancier newer place
    • teachers are so good and 70% of the ppts are well organized and detailed
    • having notes/study guides passed down from upperclassmen
    • knowing upperclassmen already and them reaching out to me and being able to ask them candid, “sketchy” questions
    • i can’t hate on the class material yet for being sooo much information bc it is really interesting and fun to learn
  • There are fleeting moments in which I feel anxious or not-myself, but it is SO EASY here to decide to distract yourself with something fun/novel (studying, social events, new friends). And this is actually a good thing, as long as it is balanced out with daily devotionals, and random personal reflections here and there. Because I know that the things I feel anxious about are going to be short lived with all the exciting changes that have been going on around here. And also that I tend to worry a little too intensely, too early, too often.
  • Finally, I wonder how I and my classmates will change over the next four years, and I am confident that there are upgraded, awesome versions of ourselves waiting to be tugged out in every which way in the crazy roller coaster/marathon/marathon-of-a-roller-coaster that is dental school, and I am really excited to see this take place

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