Aaand once again, I have another busy weekend to recap for you guys (surprise, surprise, haha). Lately, I’ve been going into every weekend with little to no plans, but things come up one after another and then I come back to you guys with the same story and cycle. Life here in California is definitely very spontaneous, but I’m not complaining 🙂
Friday: Game night
Janice invited the girls over for game night on Friday. I’m usually not a “games”-type person, but these games were not the typical kind of games I grew up with and turned out to be a ton of fun. We popped open one-too-many bottles of wine and played Exploding Kittens, Codenames, and Space Team (my favorite of all – it involved a lot of yelling at each to give each other instructions throughout a course). A much needed night after a pretty busy and antisocial week.
Saturday: Impromptu day drinking adventure
I woke up on the early side on Saturday and hit the books right away. I had absolutely nothing lined up for the rest of the weekend, but before I knew it texts came in and by noon, I had day drinking plans for the rest of the day 😛 (thank God I’m a morning study-er – helps carve out the rest of my days to do fun things).
In the afternoon, I met up with the entire fam at El Techo in the Mission. It is one of SF’s few rooftop bars at a whopping 3 floors up (lol), but nevertheless it was still super dope. We shared pitchers of sangria and margaritas and enjoyed the sunshine. Janice and Sarah also joined the fun!
This was the last time the fam would all be together for a few weeks as Viggy/Karan are going to Coachella, Matt has a month-long business trip to China, and then I go off on my solo trip to Thailand. It was so needed to all party together this last time until the summer.
We then went next door to Laszlo for more drinks. Laszlo had a dark, more bougie atmosphere; the cocktails were so refreshing and we kept the fun going on the second floor with cool views.
Time flew by and before I knew it, our group went off their separate ways for their night activities, leaving Viggy, Matt and myself. The three of us were in such a great mood and we had a hilarious adventure wandering around the Mission. We ended up settling at Little Star, one of SF’s best spots known for their deep dish pizza – if there’s something definite about these two, it’s their love for deep dish pizza (they eat 1-2 pies EACH a week). We were over pretty ambitious and each order our own pie – I hardly finished half of mine :P.
Sunday: Study day with Grace
The best part of day drinking is that I can go to sleep early and wake up generally refreshed and hangover-free. Sunday started off with a few miles – another gorgeous day!
The rest of the day was spent holing up inside a cafe to study – Grace, an ex-coworker who and good friend, spontaneously texted me to get together for a working afternoon. Grace is also an actuary so completely understands the study grind. I’ve always been a solitary study-er, but it was actually super nice to have some company for once.
And on that note, let’s talk about studying…
After graduating from college and I still had years of actuarial exams to go, I knew that if I didn’t create habits that would make me happy, life in my 20s would not be a pretty picture. I’m usually studying 8-9 months out of the year, and so it’s definitely a constant, dedicated effort to live a balanced lifestyle. I mostly use this blog as a platform to write about the fun things in my life, but I also want to give you all a glimpse of what occupies the rest of the 80% of my thoughts and time outside of fun things on weekends and training for races.
Here are some small things that are helping me stay happy/sane during exam season…
- Planning something fun for right after –> THAILAND: One of the best things about setting big goals is having an excuse to celebrate and do something FUN afterwards…this time, it’ll be a 3-week solo trip to Thailand! I’m taking off the day after my exam, and having this on the calendar is such a light at the end of the tunnel. Also I LOVE planning/organizing things, so researching Thailand (read: scrolling through travel pics on Instagram :P) has been my favorite pass-time between hitting the books.
- Making time for friends: My style of studying is more of a slow-ramp-up; I’d much rather start early with material so that I can also have time to see friends a few times per week versus shutting down my social life to cram. I was lucky to grow up with parents who truly embodied work/life balance – they are my inspiration for prioritizing relationships and LIFE above all.
- Indulging in a TV show: Weirdly enough, I watch the most TV close to exams (I like having it on in the evenings when I’m reviewing my notes, ha). Lately, I’ve been diving deep into every other crime shows I can find. Hearing these people’s stories is a reminder that there are people out there with real problems and gets me out of my head.
- Spending time outside: I’m so happy to be in sunny California this exam season – I haven’t been running as much as I would like (especially after dropping from the half marathon a few weeks ago), but I love taking walks and even just getting some sunshine 30 minutes a day makes me more patient, gives me energy, and can shed a whole new perspective on a problem.
- Yoga: On the same note, discovering my love for YOGA recently has been such a blessing. Yoga poses take so much focus that there is no room to be stressed in the studio – I feel present in the moment which translates to compartmentalizing (which I think is the key to staying sane during exams).
- Stop comparing with others: When I took my first exam after college, all I did was feel sorry for myself and thought everyone around me was living their best life while I had to stay in and study. It took me some time to realize that this was totally not true. Everyone is on their own journey with their own set of struggles, and so it wasn’t fair to compare my life to others (especially on social media).
- On that note, DELAYED GRATIFICATION. Also believing that now is the time to work hard! It’s all going to be worth it down the road.