But first, a timeline:

7: number of days until I finish my last exam of my undergraduate career at Cal

9: number of days until graduation

10: number of days until my second summer job begins

2+: number of months until my sister’s wedding

4: number of months until I leave for WorldTeach Ecuador

With all these big events looming in the near and less-near future, I am (naturally, perhaps) spending a good deal of time thinking about the future. I’ve mentioned this in previous postings, but I tend to focus heavily on planning for what’s next. Now, I more or less have my immediate future planned out. That’s not to say there aren’t things I’ll have to do over the next few months, but it is to say that I’m fairly set, considering I have two summer jobs lined up and my year-long volunteering abroad opportunity.

And yet, even still, I find myself gravitating towards doing even more research, learning even more about WorldTeach, imagining what my life will be like in Quito, and spending all together too much time living in the future. Granted, It can be tough for any senior to not be thinking about life after graduation. After all, it’s undeniably a major life change for most new graduates. But I’ve decided I need to take a step back, take a deep breath, and reestablish some of my priorities for my last four months in Berkeley. I love this place. I love the communities I’ve developed here, I love the unpredictable weather, the views of the Golden Gate Bridge I have daily, silly French class jokes, learning about traditionally ignored histories, working with immigrant students, practicing different languages, going to concerts at Bay Area concert venues, exploring the Berkeley hills, sampling exquisite foods from all over the world that can be found so close to me, the intellectual conversations I have with fellow students, and the way in which Berkeley has profoundly shaped me as a human being.

I want to keep all this close to me, to savor my time in Berkeley and in the Bay. Though I plan to make the East Bay my permanent home someday in my late 20’s, the truth is that I don’t know if or when I’ll be back here. I can’t possibly know where my life will lead me in the future, and I want to keep this in mind as I spend this summer in Berkeley. True, four months isn’t long in the grand scheme of things, but it is still my life; it’s not as though my “real life” only starts in September. Real life is always happening, and too often, I think, many of us forget that. Thus, I’ve made myself a list of what I want to accomplish in the next four months of my real life:

–spend quality time with my closest friends, making the effort to visit them even when it’s not convenient

–try at least one new restaurant per month

–read books for pleasure, and books to develop greater awareness

–work out four to five days per week

–lose the pesky 20 pounds I gained in college and never managed to rid myself of

–explore new areas in the Bay

–waste less time on the internet and spend more time outside

–paddle board in Sausalito

–live in the moment

–smile and greet people more often

–practice gratitude

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it’s a start. It’s time to start living with zest in the present.

Words to live by, indeed.
Posted by:Elizabeth

Wandering Californian living in Seattle. Nature-loving, thrill-seeking weekend adventurer. Storyteller.

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