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Day 83

Productive Mondays kind of are the best. Today is June 8.

The last few days I’d let some of my responsibilities slide, so today I decided to check several items off my to do list. Following a plate of leftover French toast and a relaxing start to my day, I got around to responding to a friend’s email. Now that my inbox is slightly cleaner and far more organized, I’m able to see the people I’ve neglected to respond to. For once I didn’t ignore the email too long, which was good. She and I met when I was in eighth grade during a leadership class we took together and have kept in electronic contact ever since. I know she’s a few years younger than I am, but because of her maturity, confidence and the interests she has with coding, dance, chess, languages and much more, I tend to think we’re the same age. She is so bright and kind, and I can’t wait to see where she goes and what she does in her life.

I love and appreciate all the support my family shows me, and I’m going to keep working on letting them know more often that I’m grateful for all they do for me.”

I spent a large part of my day dealing with and stressing excessively about college. My orientation is this Thursday and Friday, and I’ve neglected several of the required tasks, such as math and language placement exams. I took the Advanced Placement (AP) Spanish Language and Composition exam as a junior and the AP Calculus AB test as a senior. I think it’s a little crazy I need to test out of pre-algebra, algebra and pre-calculus classes, especially since I haven’t thought about the basic concepts of pre-algebra since I was in seventh grade. The math test isn’t supposed to take too long, only between an hour and two hours, so I’m planning on getting through that one tomorrow. 

As for the language placement test for Spanish, I contacted Pablo Serna, a instructor of Spanish and an undergraduate academic advisor at the University of Missouri ― Columbia (MU), to see if he could offer any guidance. Because I got a high enough score on the AP test, I should be automatically exempt from certain courses, but the information I was finding online on the subject was confusing and hard to track down. A friend of mine recommended I reach out to Serna to see if he could clarify what class I should be taking. I am also debating between getting a minor in Spanish or double majoring in the language as well as journalism. When I emailed Serna, he seemed like a kind, considerate person, and he offered to talk with me via Zoom this Wednesday. I’m excited to have a clear path for my future, and I hope this will be the first step.

In the afternoon, I took time to email in a copy of my Social Security card to MU’s Financial Aid department. Apparently I’d not completed that part of my profile as a student, and I wanted to mark that item off my list as soon as possible so my financial aid package was complete. For a little bit my mom and I got into an argument, but in the end we made up and hugged it all out. I think the combination of being cooped up, lacking any true sense of normalcy and having the stress of preparing for and thinking about college life in the fall is making me a little more on edge than usual. I love and appreciate all the support my family shows me, and I’m going to keep working on letting them know more often that I’m grateful for all they do for me.

One of my chores is to refill our bird feeders, which I tend to enjoy doing. Photo by Bailey Stover.

I also noticed the bird feeders in our back yard were running low, so I refilled them. One of my favorite parts of our yard is how many animals come to visit. When my mom and I are in the living room together, she’ll constantly be pointing out deer, groundhogs, foxes, squirrels, birds and rabbits. Sometimes it’s because they’re being cute, but recently she’s also been shouting at them to stop eating the vegetables she’s recently planted in our back garden. 

For the last few weeks, and even as far back as early May, people my family and I know have been sending me cards and gifts congratulating me on graduating high school. We haven’t been able to do a traditional graduation party yet because of the coronavirus and social distancing protocols, but we’re hoping to hold an end of summer/going off to college type of celebration before college starts up in the fall as a substitute. I’ve made a spreadsheet of who has given me what when, as well as the sender’s address and a color coded chart of if I’ve sent a thank you note back yet or not. I took time today to write a thank you card for everyone I hadn’t already and ended up with a stack of at least eight signed, sealed and ready to be delivered letters. I wish I could see everyone in person, but for now a pen and paper will have to do.

In the evening, I took a shower while my brother and dad went out to pick up Chinese take out for dinner. For once we didn’t order way too much and only have about a plate or two of leftovers for tomorrow. I was happy to have a chance to clean up, and I’m realizing I really need to start prioritizing cleanliness in my routine. Without regular volleyball practices and being around other people, I’ve kind of let myself slide, which isn’t great for my health or sanity. When my brother and dad got home, my family and I headed downstairs to hang out and watch Upload while we ate. We ended up watching the entire season, and now we can’t wait for the next one to come out, though it probably won’t be for another year. 

“Good writing is clear thinking made visible.”

The fortune cookie I got with my dinner tonight

Tomorrow is my brother’s 23rd birthday. We are planning on doing a family breakfast and special evening meal as well as ice cream cake and presents to celebrate him. I ordered his gift a few days ago, but it may not arrive in time for me to give it to him on his actual birthday. Regardless, I’m going to go out of my way to make sure he is happy and knows how loved he is.

“Good writing is clear thinking made visible.” ― The fortune cookie I got with my dinner tonight

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