This semester marks the first time that I am off of the Macalester meal plans since becoming a college student. No more unused meal swipes (yay)! No more over-seasoned potatoes (yay)! No more undercooked rice (yay)! No more people cooking my meals 🙁 !
My Personal Dietary Goals
From this semester onward, I am hoping to not become the stereotypical college student with a ramen diet. I want to incorporate more vegetables, various forms of protein, and fewer carbohydrates in my meals (I tend to overeat carbs). When I grocery shop now, I try to be more health conscious, aiming for less processed and packaged foods and adding more gluten-free (read easy-to-digest) and organic options.
So, here are some photos to document the beginning of my cooking journey. Please excuse the terrible green dishware; they belong to the Summit House (my dorm building).
Rachel’s cooking journey:
As someone who has only experienced Asian culture through Chinese take-away and the friendships I shared with the few Filipino and Chinese friends I had growing up, it wasn’t until I attend Macalester that I could only begin to understand the Asian diaspora community. My friendship with Rachel has afforded us multiple opportunities to share our heritage with each other, no longer giving us the excuse that we were unaware of the challenges and stereotypes the other minority faced. Macalester brands itself as an international institution, bringing students from all over the world, so this sort of exchange was probably expected- but it wasn’t for my family in the beginning. Recently, my parents commented on my increased interest in Asian culture ever since I left for college and are dumbfounded as to why. I am not. It’s pretty simple really, it isn’t until you left your home when you can truly begin to realize where you’re from and who you are, or at least that how it was for me. And I believe this connection brought me closer to understanding my parent’s and Rachel’s plight when they emigrated from their respective countries to the US.
Visiting Hong Kong and South Korea made me realize how lonely, overwhelming, and fascinating it can be to be immersed in a completely new environment, surrounded by new faces, food, language, music and so much more. Yes, Koreans do really take care of their skin and hang out with others a lot and in HK there are a lot of people everywhere. While I was blown away from the efficient transportation systems and the variety of cuisines, others were blown away by my use of chopsticks and actually knowing a bit more about the culture than what they viewed me to (credits to Rachel).
Here are some questions that Rachel wanted me to answer for this blog post:
This year's Chuseok break (Korean Thanksgiving) resulted in a 10-day vacation; the next 10-day Chuseok will be in 2025. With such a long holiday, the logical solution would be to TRAVEL! Before arriving in Korea, my mom and I both planned a trip to visit Japan, a country that neither of us have been to before. For two people without any knowledge of Japanese (except for hi, thank you, and sorry), I'd say we did pretty well in Osaka and Tokyo.
I'm in Seoul for 4 months, so why not make the most out of my experience?
In an attempt to leave with no regrets post-study abroad, I decided to make a bucket list for my semester-long experience in Korea. In no particular order, I have listed everything that I want to do in the next few months. The list below is categorized into different sections but in no way all inclusive (I probably forgot several things). After the end of the semester, I hope do an updated version of this bucket list and see how many items I was able to check off!
Items marked with * means that I already completed it :)
*Note: Don't forget to click "Read More" at the bottom right!*
TL;DR: Jennifer and I had a great time in Atlanta visiting museums, seeing Eric Nam in concert, and hiking in nature.
Coming back to Atlanta for six days with Jennifer gave me a different perspective on the city. This trip was truly Jennifer's first time experiencing a large southern city. Home to the world's busiest airport, tons of Fortune 500 companies, ridiculous sprawl and traffic, and museums dedicated to colonial, civil war, and civil rights history, Atlanta is a sight to behold. I have always emphasized the need for a car and the distance between places to Jennifer, yet she didn't actually believe me until she realized that she has spent half of her day sitting in the car (occasionally in traffic) getting to places even though our interstates are seven lanes wide and no one obeys the speed limit.
As for me, I was really excited to see my Lovett friends all together at one place! Although we hung out with Izzy just a few days ago in Chicago, we saw each other again in Atlanta with Adrienne and Markell (whom I haven't seen since last summer). Although we only managed to chat for about an hour or so, it was really nice catching up and hearing about the different paths that we are taking in college. Personally, I really love listening to others' journeys towards their goals, especially if theirs are really different than mine.
So many Macalester students visit Duluth on a weekend trip sometime during their four years, so Jennifer and I set out to do it all in less than 12 hours past Saturday. We tried to do every free activity and ended up spending $60 total between the two of us for brunch, dinner, parking, and gas.
college student. junior. international studies major. over-the-top foodie. travel and lifestyle student blogger?
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