Just yesterday, it felt like I was a confused Freshman roaming around in naivety depending on ‘time’ and ‘eventuality’ to have it all figured out: what I want to do after college, what I want to do during college, what kind of a social life I want to have, what kind of a student I wanted to be etc. I ended this semester with one thought: OMG, I only have 2.5 years left and I still don’t have a plan.

I am that kind of person, the person that has a plan. I need to know now whether I am going the medical school route or the industry route or the phD route, but if I’ve learned anything this semester, it has got to be that there really is no definite answer anyone can give you about where your life is headed. In high school , it was pretty obvious for me that I was going to go to college after and pursue something in the science or math field. But now, there are SO many options. After the freshman adjustment phase resides, the concern of the future kicks in. This past semester as a Sophomore has definitely been my toughest at USC so far because that is when I got down to the grind and started to think about things like 1) is this the right major for me? 2) Where do I want to take this in the future?

Apart from this general college confusion everyone needs to face, Sophomore year so far has been filled with reflection (or confusion), whatever you call it, I had to learn a lot and adjust a lot. I started Freshman year getting involved in everything, resulting in a busy year this year with– Academy Coach, Viterbi Student Ambassadors, Research, Associated Students of Biomedical Engienering Officer, Global Medical Brigades, Pre-Med Honor Society, and on top of all that planning a Culture Show for Southern California Indo Americans. Along with this, I managed the new lifestyle of living in an apartment (which is very different than living in dorms–you’ve to step out of your way to be social while dorms are very close knit and the social experience knocks at your door at every waking moment) and COOKING for myself! Then there was the tough Physics and Math classes.  I have no idea how those 14 weeks passed but the sense of accomplishment, the hard work was all worth it because I came out wiser and learned a couple things along the way. These are my personal rules that I want to try to follow for the next semester->

1) You’re in college- you have unique opportunities not everyone has- don’t waste them!

2) Don’t do everything. Pick a few things and stick with it. Balance is key.

3) Call your parents/family consistently in college.

4) Make it a point to exercise in some way every day. Take care of your health and body above all else.

5) Enjoy every second of the next four years. It is impossible to describe how quickly they pass.

6) Welcome failure into your lives. It’s how we grow. What matters is not that you failed, but that you recovered.

7) Become friends with your professors.

8 ) Lastly and for me, the most important: It is okay to not have a plan. It’s important to think about the future, but it’s more important to be present in the now. You won’t get the most out of college if you think of it as a stepping stone.

These are my main 8 that I hope to keep up. Over all, I had a great semester and look forward to another one soon. For now, I am back home enjoying my break with my family and friends. I am going to spend the weekend with family in Palm Springs – skiing at Big Bear, spa resorts, maybe Magic Mountain, and just kicking back. Then, there is HONDURAS on Jan1st, cannot even explain my excitement for that!

Until then, Happy Holidays everyone!

P.S. Every freshman should read this before coming into college: http://mitadmissions.org/blogs/entry/50_things It was also the inspiration of some things on my list!