Reflecting upon the past year of playing chess, I would consider it a major success — I got to master, made new friends, and had fun. However, studying ferociously and traveling for tournaments has forced me to step away from many other activities I enjoy. Instead of beating my head against the wall trying to solve chess puzzles, I needed to touch grass. For the past few months, I’ve been more involved outside of chess, becoming a gym rat, studying new fields of interest, and trying new things.
Since January, I’ve been consistently working hard in the gym. I’ve been going to the gym before this year, but have never gone consistently because of school. I’m not only hitting weights, but playing basketball and following a religious diet. In between sets, I talk to hometown friends and create new ones who share interests in fitness. It’s such a breath of fresh air to work out everyday and come home feeling extra productive.
In my first blog, I talked about my love for cooking; it’s been my one of my favorite things to do at home! It’s been even more fun cooking for others in my family who have little time to do so themselves. Gaining approval from others for my recipes never fails to make me happy.
I love the creativity of the process. From building a recipe from random leftovers at the back of the fridge to slowly seeing the ingredients come together, cooking has become a creative outlet for me.
Honestly I’ve stayed away from studies for a long time, and as August is fastly approaching, I’ve been needing to slowly get back into it. Recently, I finished the Financial Markets course on Coursera. I learned so many new things that high school teachers have never taught me. I’ve also been dabbling in coding, doing projects with AI and ChatGPT. It’s crazy scary how good ChatGPT is these days, and even if I don’t end up studying computer science, learning about this hot new trend and using it in projects has been really cool.
I can’t believe the gap year is almost over; school is coming way too soon! But the new habits, passions, and skills I’ve forged have made me into a better, more productive student, and will certainly prepare me to become a better student and person going forward.