College: A synopsis


Year 1:

  • Our intrepid hero discovers that he’s not going to college.
  • I makeĀ plans
  • I go to CLC, commuting half an hour to school every day.
  • Initially, I plan on doing preveterinary. I take the required classes.
  • Zoology is fucking awesome. Unfortunately, there are dissections during lunch, and I am a hungry Chinese boy. Tantalizing animal bodies in front of me.
  • I ace the first test in biology. This sets high expectations for me in the class, especially since I talk to the professor, a veterinarian, about becoming a vet.
  • Both semesters, I fail to sign up for chemistry in time. I hate chemistry.
  • I tentatively join the Asian Student Alliance at CLC. I am walking by and I see the sign. Someone welcomes me in. Thai is the president at the time. He is charismatic and well dressed. Kind of looks like a Hong Kong gangster.
  • There is a free food event for ASA. My allegiance is solidified.
  • I meet Doug, Shelah, and many others.
  • By the second semester, I begin to investigate how I can become more active in student life. This means wandering into offices and asking about stuff and looking up all of the clubs, which, conveniently enough, are all listed on a single pamphlet.
  • I am taking Japanese and Chinese. I would take Korean as well, but as it so happens, CLC does not offer Korean. I am shooting for “Asian.” Why not embody what it means to be Asian, right? So I take classes on Asia and I study the languages available to me.
  • Chinese is great with Professor Liu. The two semesters I take Chinese with Professor Liu, I make lasting friends and we even have a final exam at Professor Liu’s house, with a 10 course meal prepared by himself and his wife. With the famed noodle machine. I also learn Chinese the best in this class.
  • By 2nd semester, I switch to Economics as a major because I’m fairly sure I never want to take chemistry.
  • I take classes over the summer. Do I? I think…yes. That is the year I take a Dance class and singing lessons as general requirements. Thankfully, did not steer me wrong.
  • I am also involved with Stevenson stuff. My ex and I start going out as a direct result of her asking me to come back for World’s Fair.

Year 2:

  • I start off Fall as a Economics major. I am taking 21 credit hours to graduate a semester early.
  • Joined Program Board as an Intern and helped put together events. Met a lot of friends.
  • I write for the CLC Chronicle as well, where I meet Rose, Ruth, and that other guy whose name I keep forgetting.
  • I am elected President of Asian Student Alliance pretty much because people expected me to stand up and be voted upon and I’m looking into MAASU, the Midwest Asian American Students Union. As President, I start a $500 scholarship at CLC. We fund raise using fried rice. We also join MAASU for a three year membership. I am elected to MAASU as a secretary or something. That’s how I started in ASA too. Also start a multicultural soccer tournament. With trophies and shit.
  • I apply to UIC for Business entrepreneurship and UIUC for East Asian Languages and Cultures. Honestly, I should have set my sights higher at UIUC, because it was fairly easy to transfer in. I could have gone for business or something more meaningful from the get go – but that was what I was doing for funsies at CLC, taking Asian classes. I ended up getting into both of them.
  • I visit UIUC a lot to see my girlfriend.
  • Our relationship is probably at its best long distance. Although she talks about guys. I assume this is to make me jealous.


  • I transfer to UIUC as an EALC major. I rationalize this as being because the name is better than UIC, but in reality it’s because my girlfriend and tons of my friends go to UIUC. The student life is more active as well, which is a legitimate reason to go.
  • In my first semester, I segue quickly into investigation. I meet advisors, poke into buildings and talk to administrative people.
  • I live in Townsend, second floor, with a Korean roommate named Dae Hoon.
  • I have a revelation that is remarkably prescient.
  • My girlfriend convinces me to try to rush for a business fraternity. I fail to get in. They fail to realize my brilliance and are rejected from my life.
  • I am pretty set on not getting involved in clubs and whatnot. My gf does the opposite. I just chillax.
  • I do fashion show for the first time as a result of my gf. It is fun.
  • I take two influential classes: PHYS 211 and EALC 398/ANTH 499. Anthropology makes me want to switch out of EALC as fast as possible, while Physics makes me consider Electrical Engineering, Math, or Physics. As it is, I’m trying to switch into Economics.
  • My Econ test goes bad and I drop econ. I am used to CLC style tests which are conducted during normal class time, so I find out about an Econ mid term a week after it happens.
  • I register for ECE 110 for next semester and decide to challenge myself to the hardest major on campus.
  • I get on Dean’s List for Spring ’08.
  • Summer of 08, I think we go to California. Yes. My brother got married and we were in town for a cousin’s wedding as well. No classes.

Year 3

  • Now I live in Wardall with a Taiwanese roommate named Penn.
  • ECE 110 is challenging. Let’s be honest. The reason I breezed through it without doing too much work is because of two flukes – my teammates were awesome (shout outs, Tee!) and we got a digital board for our car.
  • PHYS 212 is also challenging, but it’s a lot of fun as well. Meanwhile, I continue to take EALC classes, aiming, I assume now, for a minor.
  • Relationship begins degrading.
  • On the upside, my grades are probably the best in the hard sciences that they have ever been!
  • Switched into ECE during Spring semester
  • Broke up with my gf. Mentally unstable for a variety of reasons, this chief amongst them. Stress in ECE 190 mounts. BIOE 406 and EALC 484 keep my afloat in terms of grades. 484, Buddhist Meditations with Alexander Mayer, also keeps me afloat mentally/spiritually.
  • I finish the semester completely broken. 2 A’s, 2 B’s, one C+. I am put on probation.
  • I spend the summer back home, recovering. Reading. Academic development <<< Personal Development. I start with The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Then I mistakenly pick up Seth Godin books instead of David Sedaris. I think they are the same people. Seth gets me into a business groove. I begin reading voraciously.
  • I begin writing again.
  • I dance in the AAA Fashion Show. I accidentally join all the scenes. This proves to me definitively that I suck at dancing.
  • I join the VSA Family Day scene, following a girl I have a crush on. This brings me into contact with Don Mach, who, by way of his dances, convinces me that maybe I should look into this dance thing.

Year 4

  • I half-heartedly attempt ECE again, but I decide that it’s not for me. The semester is mostly spent relaxing. Except for November.
  • In November, I write my first completed NaNo.
    “You will win this challenge, and then you will move onto the next challenge, and you will fail many, many times, if past history is any indicator, but then you will succeed. This month, you rewrite the endings to all your stories.”
  • I unofficially quit school. I have checked out.
  • Tricking club on quad day. It was a beautiful bit of improvised advertisement with Anthony Wang.
  • As for tricking practice sessions, I declare simply that I will be practicing Fridays at 7, fuck everyone else’s schedule, and if you want to practice with me, then so be it.
  • Switched out of ECE, back into EALC.
  • Was totally a hippie. But like I said, I’d checked out. Took a bunch of classes for EALC. I essentially blew everything off, though.
  • Second semester, started hanging out with Don more as a person instead of a dance instructor. We’re kind of in the same boat – EALC majors just wanting to get out.
  • Summer is fucking awesome. Besides being fucking depressing. But other than that, seriously start work on businesses and whatnot.
  • Living in an apartment is good and bad. Having my own room is great. Having to do chores and cook is not that great.

Year 5

  • Almost part time. Completely checked out.
  • I live in a car.
  • Car is awesome. Cold is terrible. Chiropractor is necessary for extended stays in Corolla.
  • Passed classes with D’s. Failed one.
  • Part time (1 class). Chinese. I really hope I pass. But even so, I’m done with this game.
  • Living in an apartment with my cousin is the best.

I left out a lot of details, but…those are just details.