I know, I know, there’s still a few days left before 2020. But I’ll be putting my blog on private for a redesign in the next few days, during which I doubt anything else noteworthy will happen.
It’s been so much fun digging into my various blogs, Writer’s Notebooks, journals, and scrapbooks from the past years. (There are plenty of photos for these years, but for privacy reasons I won’t be sharing them.)
So if you’ll pardon my self-indulgence, today I’d like to take a brief dive into the past decade of my life!
Possibly this won’t be very interesting or amusing to anyone except me, which is totally fine.
(Very few of my college friends know that I have a blog, and unfortunately I’m no longer in contact with most of my middle and high school friends. But if any of you happen to be reading this and recognize certain events — we can pretend this never happened, or you can drop me a line to reminisce. Whatever works for you.)
2010 – 2013: Middle School
2010: Fifth Grade, Spring
- In January alone, I posted 10 short stories and poems to my first blog: “My Writer’s Notebook”, a private Blogger site I had started in December 2009 with my dad’s help and encouragement.
- With two friends, I co-wrote a long adventure story (creatively titled “The Place Beyond the Door”) based on the prompt from the standardized writing assessment. We made a cover, dedications, and About the Author pages before printing a copy for each of us; I still have mine.
- For the school science fair, a friend and I put together a project looking at microorganisms under a microscope — which really meant we played a lot of Fireboy & Watergirl in the Forest Temple when no parents were checking on us.
- We lost the annual Fifth Graders vs. Staff kickball game, to absolutely no one’s surprise.
- I graduated elementary school!
2010-2011: Sixth Grade
- After teaming up for a short-story adaptation project, three classmates and I formed TINA Productions. We made a drag-and-drop video game — shoutout to GameMaker 8, the real MVP — and a very dramatic film.
- We didn’t end up making any more adaptations, but that was the beginning of our friend group and our reading/writing club, both of which lasted until high school.
- We also teamed up for the local library’s Battle of the Books, reading The Lightning Thief, Flipped, Flush, and a fourth book I have since forgotten. The competition was surprisingly fierce and we didn’t win.
- I won the class spelling bee and advanced to the school spelling bee. The word “inoculate” was my downfall. (And I had to Google how to spell it, just now.)
- Partly as a reward for my spelling achievement and partly just for Christmas, my parents gave me my first Kindle — I think it was the second generation, though I’m not totally sure — and I immediately dived into the seventh Artemis Fowl book, which had come out earlier that year.
2011-2012: Seventh Grade
- According to my School Memories scrapbook, in seventh grade my interests were “books (read at least one novel/day), boys [names redacted], basketball (and overall, improving my physical).”
- One of my friends got me to read and watch Fruits Basket. To my memory, that was the start of my manga/anime phase, which would last into high school.
- Inspired by editing each other’s short stories for Language Arts/Literature class, two friends and I started co-writing a boarding school fantasy story and a spy/gang thriller. Neither was ever finished, but we worked on them for a year and a half — and had tons of fun in the process. There were many emails, spreadsheets, and secretive conversations.
- With a nomination from my seventh-grade science teacher, an application involving an essay, and a group interview, I was chosen to atttend a sleepaway STEM summer camp for girls.
- The week ended with a murder mystery; as part of the Forensics track, I got to help plan and set it up!
- I stopped posting on my blog, but I founded a “book/story club” whose name I stylized as Lit(erature) Club. TINA and some other friends were the founding members. We had a Blogger site but only posted to it for a few months; later we had a Google site.
- We’d decided early on that members would get to pick their own books to read. For my first Lit Club reading journal, I chose The Night Circus.
- Unsatisfied with a certain scene in Tokyo Mew Mew (specifically the anime, though I had read the manga first), I made a Fanfiction.net account and posted my first fic. I also made a FictionPress account, but that got much less use.
2012-2013: Eighth Grade
- I managed again to win the class spelling bee — this time, I won the school spelling bee!
- As a fun end-of-year project, my eighth grade science teacher had us build Rube Goldberg machines. My hoarding finally came in handy, since we had to bring in our own supplies.
- My main fandom became The Mortal Instruments; I posted the first chapter of what would become, by far, my most popular fic. (No, I’m not sharing the title or link.)
- To commemorate a full year of club meetings and the end of our eighth grade year, we made a Lit Club yearbook. I think I still have the digital version saved somewhere.
- I graduated middle school.
- Over the summer, I was a TA/counselor for a Chinese culture day camp that I had attended as a camper every year since, like, kindergarten. (I still know the camp dance, though you’d have to pay me to do it in front of anyone.)
2013 – 2017: High School
2013-2014: Freshman Year
- I started high school, joining the Color/Winter Guard and Mock Trial team.
- Due to the marching band rehearsal schedule, my parents finally let me quit Chinese school.
- The founding Literature Club members managed to get our club on the school roster, rebranding as LIT Club. (Which stood for something, though I’ve since forgotten what.) But as classes got busier, people stopped showing up and/or putting in effort; the club eventually disbanded sometime sophomore year.
- For six months I volunteered at the local public library. Which definitely helps explain why I read a frankly absurd number of books in 2013 and 2014.
- I made a Goodreads account, though I didn’t really use it.
2014-15: Sophomore Year
- At the start of the year, I joined the school newspaper staff, having completed the prerequisite journalism class in freshman year. At the end of the year, I quit in anticipation of junior year, widely called “hell year.”
- I made my first Tumblr. (No, I’m not sharing the URL.)
- A few months later, I made my first Tumblr sideblog, dedicated to The 100. I also made an AO3 account and starting writing almost exclusively Bellarke fanfiction. (No, I’m not sharing those either.)
- Over the summer, I took a community college Latin class. Just for funsies.
- That same summer, I started working at my local Kumon Math & Reading Center. I would work at Kumon until I went off to college.
2015-2016: Junior Year
- Honestly, this was Not A Good Year. Against all advice I had taken both Honors English and AP US History (aka APUSH), as well as AP Calculus AB; I had unofficial leadership responsibilities in Color/Winter Guard and Mock Trial; I was working part-time at Kumon; I was starting to worry about college applications.
- I started my first bullet journal with a store-brand grid composition notebook, black ballpoint pen, and cheap Daiso highlighters. This notebook would last me through the rest of high school.
- Our school marching band/color guard marched in the Rose Bowl parade! My parents tell me I was on TV for a few glorious seconds.
- I was diagnosed with anxiety and autism.
2016-2017: Senior Year
- For the first time, Winter Guard season began with auditions. To my relief, my closest friends and I all made the varsity team.
- As a final project for AP Lang, I teamed up with three classmates to produce a mini music album. We rewrote lyrics to two songs and wrote an original song on the topic of personal identity, based on the philosophical readings we’d done that year.
- Senior prom was my first and last high school dance. I went with my two best friends, and we mostly hung out in a corner together. A lot of time was spent on our phones.
- I graduated high school.
2017 – PRESENT: College (Uni)
2017-18: Freshman Year
- At freshman orientation I finally got to meet some of the new classmates I’d chatted with online. Some of the people I met would become part of the friend group I now primarily hang out with.
- In late September, for the first time in my life a boy asked me out. (We dated for a bit over a year.)
- I started tutoring at the local elementary school, working with second graders on homework, reading, and writing. (I still work with this program.)
- Over winter break, I was part of a STEAM (STEM + Arts) trip to New York City! I came home inspired to get back into creating things.
- After hearing about ThredUp from multiple YouTubers, I started online thrifting as part of an effort to expand my wardrobe from jeans and T-shirts.
2018-2019: Sophomore year
- My “performance” in my research writing class the previous semester scored me a recommendation for an internship at the campus writing center. I got to learn about writing as well as teaching writing.
- I attended the national Pediatric Pharmacy Advocacy Group conference in Philadelphia, along with other members of our university chapter.
- Bookwyrm Bites was born!
- Over winter break, my first romantic relationship ended; we both knew it had been a while in the making. (It was definitely awkward and painful for a while, but we’re back on speaking terms now.)
- As a birthday present to myself, I got a ticket to Maggie Stiefvater’s writing seminar in Brooklyn.
- My final paper for the aforementioned research writing class was chosen for the school’s annual Undergraduate Research Writing Conference.
- For the first time in my life, I failed a class: Organic Chemistry 2, which I retook over the summer (and got a B).
2019-present: Junior year, Fall
- I set up my first Traveler’s Notebook instead of starting my fourth bullet journal.
- After moving into off-campus housing, I began having to meal plan/prep. It’s been quite a learning experience.
- I finally started professional pharmacy classes …
- … and ended up deciding to change my major. I’m not sure yet what I’m changing to, but my mental health has already improved considerably.
2020 & Beyond
My one-word motto for 2020 is EXPLORE: a reminder that there are so many things in the world to see and try and potentially fall in love with. (It seemed to pair well with my major change, especially since I’ll hopefully actually have free time again.)
But beyond that, for the first time in years I have very few concrete plans going forward. There are a few projects I want to work on and which I think I will finally get to complete. My planner spreads are set up but empty. I’m starting to piece together an independent adult existence, though it’s still largely trial-and-error at this point.
All I know is, I’m excited to see what my future will bring.
What have been the highlights of your decade? What parts of your life do you think would most surprise your 2010 self? Do you have any big goals or dreams for 2020?