Look at all these smiley faces! I hope, just from this, you can see that I've been having a tremendously happy time at college. Sometimes, when I call my mom to tell her the fun things that I've been up to, she laughs and asks whether I'm at a summer camp or if I'm actually learning things as a college student, too. I don't know how I've had such an amazing time here, but I think it's because the people here are such a great fit for me.
The first two photos at the top are from my first visit to China Town in central Philadelphia. This was one of the trips to had to the city, and I happened to be the only one who never went over to China Town. We had a blast here, eating Korean food at an authentic Korean restaurant, getting boba tea, going to an arcade to play bowling, etc. I was a little scared to go to the city before, but after this trip, I found out that with a bunch of friends, it can be fun to travel there!
The photo on the left of the second row is a picture taken on the weekend before Halloween. Swarthmore has a pretty funny tradition called 'Screw Your Roommate', where someone can set their roommate up with a different person's roommate on a date/friendly meeting. There's more! If that wasn't exciting on its own, the people getting set up need to appear in 'matching costumes'. Think 'peanut butter' and 'jelly', 'beach ball' and 'parasol'. With the help of Sho, we matched up 12 people (6 couples) for the day, and I was in charge of getting all the ladies to the place of meet & greet. From the left, we have themes of 'blue-colored food', 'football', 'famous painting', 'prep school', and 'pirates'. I didn't participate myself (way too busy sorting things out), but it was very interesting watching all of the newly matched couples interact with each other. This was... a unique experience to say the least!
The photo to the right on the second row was taken during the time Tehya, Sho, Yang, and I went to an escape room in Philly. I became a fan of escape rooms during my Stanford Summer Session days where I completed an escape room with a bunch of my summer camp friends. The theme that we went for was a dystopian, futuristic sci-fi room where it's 2084 instead of 1984 (reference: book by George Orwell). The basic premise of this room is that a new AI agency called 'Invisicom' evolved and became the ruler of the world. It makes everyone happy... but you don't have a choice about it. Mother Computer is watching you..! As you can tell from the photo, we did escape!! In 49 minutes and 38 seconds, to be precise. This is what being a Swarthmore student is all about 😝 I had so much fun, though I was also freaked out by the sound effects at times. Great for building trust among friends.
If you're in the Philly area and you know you have time to spare, try out the escape room we went to! It was a lot of fun, and there are multiple themes you can choose from. You'll probably need a reservation, though :)
The photo of Tehya and me looking pretty in masks and dresses is from the masquerade ball Swarthmore hosted. I've always loved parties of this particular theme and was very excited that I could finally use a mask that I bought on a whim just because it was so pretty. I thought it might come in handy at college, and it actually did! I stayed there for quite a while, unlike other parties where I run off after 30 minutes because I feel like I'm going to be trodden on. I would say I liked this party second best. First place goes to the rather small outdoor dance party for mainly freshmen where I literally just danced for 2 hours and a half straight.
The photo in the middle where I look like a queen from medieval England or something was taken during a Halloween party. I dressed up as the Queen of Chess (I even drew a little bishop on my face!). Everyone was thoroughly impressed by the extent to which I put the costume together. I had the crown fit for a queen, a black and white dress, and the little bishop on my face was a total hit. It was a great experience, partly because it helped me finally overcome my rather tragic incident of being traumatized by Halloween when I was 5 years old. That's... a story for a different time. I never really liked anything Halloween related after that, but I always missed the costume part of it. At college, I got to live my dreams.
The last picture is an odd one. You probably couldn't guess it even if the fate of the world depended on it. That's because it was a special 'event' called 'Shovember' which caused that photo to be taken. So, at the start of the month of November (or a few days before that in October), Sho was making a big point about being mindful of what we eat, and was very invested in holding a month where people could challenge themselves to be vegan, nothing official, but all the more fun. This turned into a bigger thing when some people suggested that this should be more official. I got onto creating 'Sho Points' with my face on the 5-point bill and Sho's face on the 1. People were able to get Sho Points by doing good deeds and making healthy lifestyle choices. After accumulating the points, people could trade them for an orange or a banana. Although what I'm writing about seems pretty... out there, but man, people were so excited about it!! Even though 'Sho'vember's almost over, I think the hype will live on. Now I have people paying 'taxes' in Sho Points. What a world I live in 😆
This is probably not the end of my adventures, but this seems like a good place to stop. I'm sure I'll have countless more fun things happening as soon as I publish this post, but at least I'll have these written down.
All the fun I've had so far