I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and are looking forward to an outstanding 2014!
My first quarter at Stanford has been a stupendous journey. Following the advice of many prior transfer students, I started with a relatively light load of 16 units. To my surprise and delight I tested into Chinese Year Five (the highest level of Chinese offered at the university.) I also enrolled in Intro to Computer Science (CS106A) and General Chinese History. Both of the Chinese classes are required for the the East Asian Studies Chinese major.
In addition, I was in a for credit dance group, Chocolate Heads, helped organize a conference for a Chinese U.S. exchange group, applied for an arts grant to write a coffee table book on China as explained through the history of porcelain, took a "pop-up" class at the School of Design in toy making from the founders of Ideo Toy Lab and Klutz, had lunch with the vice president of Baidu (Chinese Google), and met Mark Zuckerberg. I coded games in Java, read prose from China's most famous novel, and learned a variety of Chinese proverbs. I also recently found out that I earned a 3.914 GPA for my work: an A in Computer Science, an A in Chinese History, and an A- in Year Five Chinese.
After spending years experimenting amongst my various interests, I think I have finally discovered a path that I feel confident and excited about pursuing. I have decided to take advantage of Stanford's world famous School of Design and major in Product Design. (You thought I was going to say East Asian Studies Chinese, right? Don't worry, for a while I thought so too.) I also plan to apply to co-term during my Junior year in Computer Science. At Stanford you can apply to pursue a Masters and Bachelors at the same time; this is called "co-terming". If my schedule permits, I might also fulfill the East Asian Studies Chinese Major requirements for a dual Bachelors degree.
I am thrilled to finally have a concrete "plan" to follow during my time at Stanford and am very excited to declare my major. Product Design definitely satiates my creative side, while Computer Science is cross-disciplinary and fuels my love of math and problem solving. Having an East Asian Studies Chinese degree would be icing on top of the cake.
This quarter I am looking forward to a heavier course load. I will be taking an accelerated computer science class, physics, ordinary differential equations, Japanese history, and intermediate gymnastics. I am also excited about joining the Stanford Ceramics Club, continuing to dance with Chocolate Heads Movement Band, planning events for the Stanford Design Initiative, applying to be an RA, possibly taking a job coaching children's gymnastics, and experiencing whatever surprises this marvelous campus has in store.
Lastly, January 7th, as it turns out, also happens to be my nineteenth birthday. I feel so lucky to have met so many wonderful people during my nineteen years on earth. I am grateful of your continued support and am looking forward to future stories shared. Please let me know if there is anything you want to share about your 2013 or goals for the new year. For example, I am planning on running a marathon (I also don't like running that much...yet, so we'll see how that goes.)
Keep on keeping on!