Dreaming of the Future

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I’ve always been a dreamer, fantasizing about the future. And never have I done that more than now, with most of the college application process behind me—I just have to wait for decisions this spring before I can decide where I’m spending the next four years of my life.

Maybe this is the product of watching too much Scandal, the TV show about Olivia Pope and her crisis-management firm in Washington, D.C., but I’ve been dreaming a lot about living the White House. (Yes, the one the president of the United States lives in.) I love to imagine what it’d be like to be president, what kind of policies I’d push in my first term, and how I’d shape the future of the country. But as much as I like to joke about being president someday because of my love for politics and finding solutions to world issues, I know that a lot has to go right in my life for that to happen—the whole “political experience” thing is kind of a prerequisite to actually be taken seriously, so I’d probably have to work my way up to a governor or U.S. senator first.

Beyond just the White House, I’ve been dreaming a lot about Washington, D.C. I visited D.C. in 2014 and it’s definitely one of my favorite cities in the world so far—it has delicious food, it’s incredibly diverse, it has an abundance of resources (like the Library of Congress), and it has tons of things going on. That, and its subways are way cleaner than New York City’s. I’ve been picturing myself living there more and more, and since my dream career has always been something along the lines of international healthcare, being in the U.S. capital close to a myriad of international embassies can’t hurt.

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The U.S. Capitol from afar.

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Why I Love Harvard

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They say if you rub the foot of the John Harvard statue, you’ll have good luck.

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The foot of the statue is cleaned daily because of the many tourists that touch it every day! (And other things…)

And for good reason! Harvard University has an admissions rate of less than 6 percent, a number that makes it one of the most difficult colleges in the country to get into.

I first visited the crimson-colored campus in November of 2013. It was my first time seeing the warmly-colored Boston leaves—the only “warm” thing in the city, aside from the Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts on every street corner.

I’d always imagined that, if I visited, I’d see Ivy-coated walls and lots of people wearing glasses (because that’s obviously a sign of smartness). I didn’t end up seeing any Ivy-covered walls and most people didn’t wear glasses. But I did find something else instead.

I found a university that I would love to be a part of one day, someday. Continue reading

Top of the Rock: The New York City Skyline

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All of these photos were taken on July 23, 2014 at the Top of the Rock in Manhattan. After fighting my way to some of the more optimal spots and waiting around for hours and even getting rained on, I was able to get these pictures of Manhattan at dusk, during sunset, and after dark.

New York City truly is one of the most beautiful, interesting, and breathtaking cities in the world—a city ripe with dreams and opportunities. Hopefully you can get a glimpse of it through these photos.

For my photo blog of Times Square (that includes a short video panorama), click here.

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The Boy Who Lived: Adventures from Harry Potter World

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I’ve actually never been much of a Harry Potter kid. By the time I was really old enough to start reading the books, the Harry Potter movies were already in to the fourth or fifth one, so I felt like I missed the boat on that one. Plus, I’ve never been much of a “magic” kind of person—unless you’re talking about Disney magic—and my mom didn’t like the first movie because it was boring (the first movie is probably the worst).

In eighth grade, I decided to read the first Harry Potter book, just because. I secretly enjoyed it, even though the unicorn blood stuff at the end weirded me out. When my brother was forced to wanted to read a new book series, I made him recommended for him to read the Harry Potter series in all its magical goodness.

Because my brother read 4 out of the 7 books, his prize was a trip to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter (a.k.a. Harry Potter World), located in the Islands of Adventure—one of the parks at Universal Orlando. Continue reading

Falling in Love with Columbia University

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I’d like to mention that this post definitely goes over key parts of Columbia University, partly because I want to share what I learned with all of you AND so I can actually remember everything when college admissions season rolls around.

I’ll be honest, I think I fell in love with Columbia University.

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And how can you not fall in love with this Ivy League school in New York City? When I was in New York in July, Columbia University was my second stop—after Times Square the night before. Since college is on the horizon (sort of) and most people my age aren’t thinking about it yet, I might as well get a jump on it, right? Most people don’t realize this, but I’m going into my sophomore year of high school in about one week.

So there I was, sitting in Low Library and listening to people from the admissions department talk about Columbia University—their different programs, their engineering school, stories, and anecdotes—while surrounded by people who were actually going to start the application process this year! Um, whoa, just whoa. Continue reading

Times Square

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DSC_0037Sunday was my first day—well, more like “night”—in New York. And, despite only going from about 7pm to 11pm, it was actually very eventful!

I got the chance to meet my aunts, uncle, and cousin, all while looking over Times Square! It was beautiful, and I couldn’t have asked for any better way to start off my trip!

Times Square was absolutely breathtaking. I can’t even begin to describe how crazy it is. But it’s a good kind of crazy, and I love the hustle-and-bustle of the area… even if its only tourists like me who are hustling-and-bustling.

What’s absolutely crazy is that you don’t even realize it’s nighttime when you’re there. All of the flashing lights and advertisements fool you into thinking it’s daytime!

And there’s got to be an ad for everything imaginable. With so many ads flashing around me, I almost want to just pull out my wallet and wave my credit card in the air and just let the consumerism, well, consume me. It’s capitalism at its finest. Lots of photos after the jump!

San Antonio Market Square: A Fiesta

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Last month, I spent a weekend in San Antonio. Only about an hour away from the capital of Texas: Austin—the city known for its eccentricity and vegetarianism, and more recently its fight to protect women’s autonomy from (an arguably) crazy governor. San Antonio, however, is an area with a heavy Mexican influence, in case the name “San Antonio” didn’t already tell you that! The entire city brims with that Latin flair, that excitement and passion that Latin cultures always have.

Even though that weekend was supposed to be my break, I felt the itching need to do something. Really ANYTHING outside of the hotel! But my curse of not being able to sit down and rest turned out to be a blessing, since the San Antonio Market Square turned out to be an incredibly vibrant place! From live music to street vendors to indoor stores selling art with a Mexican flair, how can you go wrong?

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