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March Recap: Searching for Balance

April 9, 2023

Yuhki Ueda ’24

I noticed that a big theme for me in the month of March was: finding balance (more specifically, striking a balance between embracing the present and planning for the future). 

1. Embracing the present, living in the moment

With recital season being in full swing, there was always one student recital a week, at the very least, for me to attend. It’s always an inspiring and exciting experience to watch your friends shine on stage and to be able to celebrate their growth and artistry. Other than attending student recitals, I also saw the Oberlin Opera Theater’s impressive production of Leonard Bernstein’s “Candide.” As I had never watched an opera production at Oberlin before, I thought this would be a good opportunity to change that. I hope to attend more productions before I graduate next year!

As part of my Chinese language class requirements, I have to attend the Chinese language table, which is offered twice a week, weekly. The language table sessions give students an opportunity to not only practice holding conversations in Chinese, but also learning about other aspects of Chinese culture. For example, I learned how to play mahjong through attending several language table sessions (kind of… I’m still a little unsure about some of the rules sometimes, but I can play it with a little guidance). The game requires players to be observant, flexible, and to plan ahead, and I’m hoping to get better at it! 

College is a busy time for everyone and it can sometimes be difficult to balance work and social life, but studying with friends is a good way to both socialize and get work done! Some of my friends and I would visit DeCafé, which is a sort of on-campus convenience store, to grab some study snacks, and then head to one of the College libraries, whether it be Mudd (the main library), the Art Library, the Science Library, or the Conservatory Library, for group study sessions.

During weekends, when we had more free time, I went on walks with friends or caught up with them over a cup of tea or, in some cases, homemade bread. :) I made focaccia for the first time last month (it was surprisingly simple to make), which was a nice excuse to invite friends over to chat and share some freshly baked bread! 

a cat my friend and I befriended during our walk!
During our walk, my friend and I befriended this cat.
Homemade focaccia
The aforementioned focaccia!









2. Planning for, investing in the future

During the month of March, outside of schoolwork, I was working on finishing up and submitting the last of my internship applications for this summer. It was definitely a struggle trying to balance school and applications, but I managed to complete all of the applications I had hoped to complete. In late March, I received an offer for one of the summer programs I had applied to! I will be working on psychology research at this summer program, which I am very much looking forward to. 

In March, I was also on the hunt for off-campus housing for the next school year. Rising fourth-years (and a handful of third-years) are allowed to apply to live off campus, and my current housemate and I decided that we want to live off campus in our final year here. Living off campus can be a cheaper option than living on campus (depending on different factors) but of course, it comes with more responsibilities and requires more independence so it is important to consider the benefits and costs — both literally and figuratively! — of the different housing options Oberlin offers (if you are eligible for them) before making a final decision. After a lot of searching, asking around, and contacting potential landlords, my housemate and I were finally able to find a place that fitted what we were looking for. 

3. Spring break

Spring break was, perhaps, the time where the theme of finding balance felt most salient to me. I was technically on break, but I had so much to do! From homework, midterm deadlines to summer program applications and preparing for my recital, I had a lot on my plate. But I also needed to rest and relax. So I made a conscious effort to get a little bit of work done every day while also giving myself time to do nothing and to slow down. 

4. April…

April is going to be a busy, busy month! There’s so much to do and so much to see. The Japanese Student Association’s Spring Banquet, which I am helping plan and host, is coming up in mid April, as well as a few other JSA events we have been planning. My senior recital will be in late April, and then it’ll be May in no time. Here’s to enjoying the here and now, and also looking forward to what’s to come!

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