Home but still homesick

I’ve been back home in Guam for a little over a month now. Traveling was dreadful; I’m thankful the plethora of movies, tv shows, and music that were provided on my flight from Washington, DC to Narita, Japan. Yes, you read that right. Fourteen hours of sitting, minimum leg room, and cramped seats. But hey, I did however catch up with a few good movies in that long, protracted flight (Looper and Smashed). Looper’s cinematography was phenomenal and so was Mary Elizabeth Winstead’s performance in Smashed. You should definitely see them if you haven’t already. I won’t be surprised if you already have.

Being home definitely has its perks. After nine months of separation, I’m finally reunited with my family. I’ve never been so far away from them for so long a period of time. Oh and the food. Oh man. Guam food is next to godliness. Food here on the island is influenced by an infusion of external cultures that made their way to Guam–Filipino, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, and Spanish–and of course by its very own tradition: Chamorro. Couldn’t find Chamorro-style empanadas, red rice, kelaguen, and fina’denne’ in Boston. Want to make bank? Open a Chamorro-inspired restaurant on the east coast.

Food and family aside, it’s great to see my friends again. I’ve only had a few opportunities to meet up with some of them–and I’ll admit that my meetings with them were mostly run-into’s at malls or elsewhere. A majority of them are either spending their summer in the states, attending summer school, or working. Hopefully I’ll get to hang out with them before the end of the summer, because I’ve decided that this would be my last summer on Guam as I’m planning to stay in Boston for subsequent summers to get internships and/or jobs to get my name out there.

It was a difficult decision to make. It means that the next time I’d see my family after saying goodbye to them at the airport en-route to Boston would be my college graduation. Can I really take nearly three years of being apart from them? Nine months was bad enough. As hard as it is to plan for this separation, I understand that this is an intrinsic rite of passage. My leaving home was bound to happen one day–and it did, when I flew to Boston for school. But this may possibly be permanent. After graduation, I plan to begin a career in the states or abroad. Of course, there’s always the likelihood of returning to Guam after graduation to kickstart a career here since I already have established connections and much knowledge of the island, its economy, problems, and people.

Who knows?

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Have fun but never forget why you’re here

There were so many distractions to which I gave my attention during freshman year. I lost my sense of direction and gradually forgot the main reason why I moved to Boston in the first place: to learn how to better the world I live in and how to find the tools and opportunities to accomplish those goals.

Come sophomore year, I’m going to glue my eyes to my books, reduce the frequency of going out and having fun (especially on weeknights), join organizations that relate to my interests and educational pursuits, attend every class session, and meet with my professors and advisors regularly. Especially that last one.

It takes a lot for me to seek help for any trouble I’m having with school. Prior to college, I’ve always received excellent grades. None of them ever fell below-par and my teachers definitely did not dislike me. I made the mistake of thinking that that would carry on in college–at least naturally. I skipped class for the pettiest of excuses (“I’m tired” or “It’s raining”), made no attempts to meet with professors or TA’s during their office hours, and kept studying at a minimum. If I had any difficulty understanding material in class, I would always brush it off and save it for later. There were more pressing matters that I needed to deal with, obviously (not). If I were to grade myself on effort, I’d give an F- if such a rating ever existed.

Can sophomore year come any faster? I want to prove to myself that I’m better than that.