Year 3

This post comes very, very late, but here it is: a quick and dirty recap of my third year of graduate school. I’ve hit personal and professional milestones, including completing my Master’s degree and a few other things…

I went to Thailand for the second time. It was a gorgeous two-week celebration where I reunited with my dear friends and got to meet new and wonderful people.

I survived a hurricane.

I biked my first century (100 miles) over the course of a day. Words cannot express what a true challenge that was — not just physically, but mentally and emotionally. Endurance training is brutal – and, once you’ve recovered enough, also pretty addicting. (I also did one year of CrossFit. Who am I???)

I remained impressed by KT. My boo graduated from his residency, having: endured an intense intern year, switched specialties, earned an MPH, and completed many rotations along the way. We also survived a few months of long-distance during his away rotations! We celebrated with Indian food (of course). My brother and sister also did big things, graduating from OT school and getting into PA school, respectively.

I went to so many conferences. Minneapolis, Atlanta, Chicago, New Orleans (once again, tagging along to KT’s), Seattle… I also chaired three symposia, winning a Reviewer’s Choice award, and won a small grant from my professional society.

I also suffered some hard-hitting rejections, including from top-tier academic journals and dream travel fellowships. The timing of these basically sent me into a tailspin of mild depression and consequent soul-searching about my place in society and goals in life etc. I am doing better now, but my warm and fuzzy honeymoon stage with academia is certainly over. My academic sanity is thanks in large part to my grad school community, especially my friends with whom I can have Bachelor nights (reality television allows us to escape our own realities) and writing retreats (our luxe first spot, pictured above).

We got heavily into board games, throwing a few parties for our friends. SushiGo is our favorite for casual gatherings, although we also enjoy the more involved Pandemic (and KT especially loves Punderdome).

I actually (finally) read some “real” books too, including my current favorite, The Sympathizer. I also had the honor of seeing Roxane Gay and Viet Thanh Nguyen speak.

I had many, many boba dates, including an “adult” version paired with karaoke for a joint birthday celebration. It was the best idea.

We saw Ali Wong (for the second time!) and Dave Chapelle.

I went to an Astros game. I went tubing on a party boat around Galveston Bay. I feel very Houston now.

KT and I spent the holidays together doing lots of sweet things. After he returned home, I trekked around California to catch up with my long-distance friends.

We went to a handful of weddings, including a very sweet one in Connecticut. I also spent some leisure time in Austin, New York and California, and hosted our friends and family in Houston.

I went on a girls’ trip with my mom and sister through Greece and Italy. It was more quality time than I’d had in a very, very long while — sometimes infuriating but mostly endearing.

After last year’s many flat tires, Houston found new and exciting ways to give me car troubles. First, my poor Corolla (which I’ve been driving since high school) conked out in the middle of a busy freeway. I was able to pull over, call AAA (an absolute necessity), and get it towed and fixed to the tune of $1,000. Then, I got rear-ended by a man who turned out to be exceptionally mean, making it easy for me to file an insurance claim for repairs. Sometimes I miss public transit.

And finally… KT and I moved in together! It has been such a relief finally, finally living sans roommates. I went into a serious nesting phase and now cannot describe the feeling of utter content I get when sitting in a space that feels all my (our) own.

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