30 Days of Thanksgiving, Day 1

A couple friends of mine have completed a “30 days of thanksgiving” blog thingy. I thought it would be good for me to do as well, to challenge me not only to be more aware of God’s blessings in everyday, but to post more regularly on this thing and practice writing…sort of.

So, what is blessing number 1?

Being at Stanford

This is more of a summary of my transition from work back to school, from employee to grad student. After spending a week here, all I can say that it’s been great and I’m really looking forward to this year. Lists are more digestible than copious amounts of texts and paragraphs, so here are some reasons why I’m thankful for being here:

  1. I got assigned a single studio in a nice community. It’s relatively quiet/peaceful (none of that downtown noise), the studio came furnished, has a kitchen, and a spacious bathroom. Laundry is on site and, as I discovered today, FREE! Well, guess technically it’s coming out of my rent, but nice that it’s not additional.
  2. Stanford is pretty. In particular I am comparing to Berkeley because that was the other school I was deciding between. There may be some parts of Berkeley campus that are nice, but there’s simply no contest when comparing with Stanford. Given by upbringing in rural/suburban Plainsboro and my dislike for urban/city environments, Stanford definitely fits me better than Berkeley does, in terms of general environment. And dood, the engineering quad at Stanford is super baller man! Engineering is well-funded here for sure.
  3. My cohort. One of the things that I like about my program (and I guess graduate programs in general) is that the class size is smaller, which lends to a greater sense of community and camaraderie (hooray for auto-spelling!). There are 27 people in the LDT program, and I’m glad to say they are all super friendly and chill (and from what I can tell, they think I’m pretty cool too). Actually one of the main reasons I chose Stanford was because of these people – they seemed a lot more passionate and purpose-driven, and I thought that these are the kinds of people I would want to work with on projects.
  4.  There are church members. There are currently two other students who are TJC on campus, and a handful of others who work nearby. I even got a dedicated homemade cookie delivery from Sarah-Mei! At Cornell, there was only 1 church member during the last two years, and we seldom met up.
  5. Stanford is longboard friendly. I had some reservations about longboarding around campus, but turns out it’s pretty awesome! I guess since Stanford is so bike-friendly, the roads are much smoother and there are designated bike lanes everywhere. The campus is large and the distance is just about right for a longboard commute. It is a bit of a hassle carrying around safety gear, but I guess that’s something I’ll just have to get used to. So far I’ve mainly been only wearing wrist-guards. I should wear a helmet too, but it’s so bulky to carry when I’m not riding, and I’m usually not going very fast anyways…but I probably should still have it.
  6. Actually being excited about school. This is a stark contrast with much of my undergrad days (and high school). Most people don’t really enjoy school when it’s regimental and required, but the nice thing about grad school is that everything is totally your choice! Undergraduate education is becoming increasingly more expected/standard (which is a good thing), but graduate school is completely up to you if you want to go or not. And if you do go, you can pick a program that is specialized for what you’d be interested in. Hence, I am excited about classes that I’ll be taking and the projects I’ll be working on.

That being said, graduate school will also be a challenge spiritually. I’ll have to balance school and church work (and possibly part-time work on campus), which I fully expect to be more difficult than balancing church work and my previous full-time job (having no homework was awesome). There will be a lot more temptation on campus than at my office so I will need to be more watchful and self-disciplined. Consistent prayer and Bible reading are a must, and hopefully having a prayer group with some SSC J1 brothers will help keep me accountable.

I guess that was still copious amounts of text. But at least it was in a list!

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