Spring Semester 2024; Navigating with Purpose

As the dawn of the new spring semester approaches (my classes begin next Tuesday), I find myself standing on the precipice of academic challenges and another chapter of personal growth. This semester, wrapping up my Junior year, has my focus grounded in close reading skills and honing my prowess in academic writing – skills that will undoubtedly shape my experience through my senior year, two semester crammed with eight English literature classes. Not only will that include my senior capstone, but also two semesters worth of independent study and advanced coursework. However, let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves – that’s nearly 9 months away!

With that in mind, I can acknowledge that in the realm of academia grades are often seen as the ultimate measure of success. However, I am reminded that my growth as an adult student is not confined to the boundaries of a grade sheet. Instead, I choose to gauge my progress by the depth with which I can grasp the materials presented in my classes, comprehend the intentions of the writers, the capacity to come to my own conclusions about what I learn, and the mastery with which I write to convey my ideas. That is the purpose, after all, of an English degree.

Yet, academic pursuits are just one facet of the spring semester. I work to balance full-time courses, a part-time job, and my creative endeavors like Raven & Fable. While contemplating all that work, there is a distinct sense of relief in the realization that grades do not define the essence of my being or my future capacity as a writer and creator. Instead, I am measuring my definition of success by the resilience with which I navigate my responsibilities and achieve my goals, each step imbued with purpose and dedication to my crafts.

Aside from the academic and career goals, mental health and physical fitness will be a high priority over the next 4 to 5 months. In the potential chaos of deadlines and commitments, I am determined to nurture my mind and body. A healthy mind is a fertile ground from which creativity blossoms and a strong body is the vessel that carries me through the rigors of a demanding schedule from January to May. Resistance training sessions four days a week, somatic practices in the evenings, and walking around campus/on the job have become the pillars supporting my holistic well-being. Of course, my whole food nutrition (mostly Mediterranean diet at the moment, low in dairy and grains) and targeted supplementation further support the wellness & fitness systems I craft to carry me through a challenging season.

In the background of the academics, job, and creative pursuits of Raven & Fable Project StarFall has also begun. The meticulous research, intricate plot outlining, and expansive world-building have become my intellectual playground. A fantastical realm where my imagination knows no bounds and obeys no limits. It is a testament to the fusion of my academic endeavors and creative pursuits, a celestial tapestry woven with the threads of episodic dreams and esoteric inspiration. This year I will fill up my black 5-subject spiral bound notebook bearing the gold letters of Project StarFall. The full time dedicating writing of the first draft, however, will likely have to next summer. That’s when I intend to write all three books of the series, and contemplate the editing process in the following autumn.

More on Project StarFall to come soon enough.

So, as the spring semester unfolds, I invite you to join me in some self-discovery and further growth. I wish to step beyond grades earned, and to celebrate the wisdom gained and the challenges conquered. I would rather embrace the beauty of learning, the power of resilience, and the joy of creation. For in this season of growth, I will not merely survive – I choose to thrive, reading and writing stories imbued with the human experience and embracing the limitless possibilities that await.

Welcome to the spring semester of 2024.

May the odds ever be in our favor.

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