Sonia Su

Student. Journalist. Explorer.

Category: Blog

A Different Type of Person

by Sonia Su

IMG_0103So here’s the thing: My family is seriously concerned that I have no friends.

But let’s backtrack.

Lewin’s Formula states that behavior is a function of the individual and the environment. As much as I would like to attribute most of my behavior—which I will get to soon—to the environment, I can’t deny the fact that I am and have always been an independent person, both socially and academically (we’ll ignore financially).

When I say that I would like to blame the environment for how I behave, I mean that it has been too easy to blame my lack of a social life to growing up in the suburbs of Maryland. Having lived mostly in Boston these past four years, I have made a simple (painful?) realization that, well, it was not necessarily Maryland. After all, my sister’s social life served as the epitome of everything mine wasn’t, even in the insufferable suburbs. As an introverted, sheltered girl thrown into a college city, I desperately tried to construct my own social life, dragging “friends” to as many (some admittedly lame) campus events as possible. Eventually, it clicked. These people didn’t really want to go to these events with me. We weren’t really friends. I stopped reaching out. And that was that.

Over the years, I managed to keep a few, close friendships. Somehow, college was just like high school all over again. Who were really your friends? Relationships in general are messy. As amazing as people can be, they also suck. Sure, I am an adventurer. I love exploring new places, going to cool events, and just being out of the house. If there was one good thing about growing up in a suburb, it was that I learned to be as adventurous as possible, taking advantage of the time I have in any place to explore as much as I possibly can. Because the other option is sedentary life. Stuck at home. Bored. But not many people would be willing to go with you on all these adventures—with me, at least. As a result, I’ve had conflict-free, emotion-free time to myself on these adventures, whether it be at a startup event in Cambridge or at the highest-rated café in the Financial District.

This final week of classes serves as the perfect example—I plan to go to at least one event each day. No plans to go with anyone. Tons of work to do but forcing myself to go on these adventures. I literally caught myself squealing, “Ooh, adventure,” to myself last Friday when all T rides were free and I decided to go all the way to the Financial District before my 9 a.m. meeting back on campus. Such is my life.

Recently, I also had a huge fallout with someone I had been friends with since freshman year. Long story short: I just couldn’t deal with her shit anymore. She treated me terribly, and it was like in freshman year when it just finally clicked. I didn’t want to fight or try to salvage whatever we had. Her actions proved again and again that she lacked what normal people would consider respect for me. My anger and how stupid I felt continue to mask the pain that would naturally come from, well, breaking up.

It’s scary to admit that this lack of social ties actually feels good. Sure, it does not come without many times of feeling self-pity, but after four years in Boston, I’m quite ready to move on to the next stage of my life.

And of course, hearing all this and my complaints about people, you can see why my family is worried.

I’ve always preferred independence, and this way of living might be utterly impossible for some, but for me, it works. I’d much rather do something by myself than to try to figure out the mess that is relationships. It is my flaw, but I’ve turned it into something that gives me strength.

I’m a different kind of person.

Audio-Technica’s Terrible Unboxing Experience

by Sonia Su

Funny how I recently praised an unparalleled unboxing experience from Oka-B, and now I’m blogging about how unbelievably painful—emotionally and physically—it is to open a damn package of Audio-Technica earbuds.

I first heard about them through MKBHD, or Marques Brownlee, of YouTube fame. Of course, fans will take everything he says to heart, so once he mentioned Audio-Technica in a video, I made a mental note that has stuck until now, when I finally had enough and decided to order a pair. Ever since I got a free pair of earbuds from CES in Vegas, I had been using those, but after a few uses, I quickly realized how they just sucked. I honestly don’t even know the brand (if I looked back at my #ARTsy photo I took of all the freebies I got, I might), but I had such high hopes of this “new” pair that ideally adjusted to fit snuggly in your ear and not fall out.

Not only did they fall out so often while running that made me give up wearing them when doing physical activity that required a lot of movement, but they also were so cheaply manufactured that the rubber cover over them started falling out (tossing them in my heavy bag probably didn’t help). It wasn’t until one of them disappeared that I realized I had a backup pair of rubber covers slowly collecting dust on my desk. By then, I had such animosity toward this brand and these earbuds that LIED and utterly failed in the problem it intended to solve. The only other pair of earbuds I had were, again, free ones from some random brand trying to advertise through the magazine I had worked on last semester. I ended up tossing the CES ones and using the also shitty white pair. As for my Apple ones? Home? Who knows.

Needless to say, I’ve been deprived of HQ earbuds and headphones. Finally, I decided to check out Audio-Technica. I think MKBHD mentioned its headphones, not earbuds, but I figured same brand, similar good quality, right?

Well, I admit the sound coming out of these is much better than the previous two earbuds combined, but holy crap—opening the package was a fucking nightmare.

You know those hard plastic packages that require scissors or a sharp object and physical strength and, oh, PATIENCE, to open? Why, Audio-Technica? Why? I suppose for $15, you can’t exactly expect quality packaging, but come on. Two cuts in, I was already feeling the pain.

Audio-Technica earbuds unboxing

Here’s another view.

Audio-Technica earbuds unboxing

I made progress VERY slowly.

Audio-Technica earbuds unboxing

I’m shocked I didn’t completely fuck up the earbuds in the process of jamming my scissors in this plastic.

Audio-Technica earbuds unboxing

Even after getting past the plastic, the geniuses behind the packaging somehow felt that putting this cardboard literally in the middle of the case was necessary. Oh! But that’s not all! It gets even better. A fucking manual somehow got stuffed in this circular casing that you can’t completely open, only slide wider open so some more random shit can fall out.

Audio-Technica earbuds unboxing

After that, I spent a good minute trying to unwrap these damn things from the case that I can’t actually open. Seriously! If I didn’t find this so humorous, I would be an angry Asian lady calling customer service complaining. Instead, I’m a frustrated Asian lady blogging about my complaints.

It feels good this way.

In other news, I finally ordered another must-have: a GoPro! And this unboxing was not nearly as painful as Audio-Technica’s but also not nearly as noteworthy as Oka-B’s. I’m just excited for all the #adventures.

GoPro Hero box

How I Should (Not) Spend My Time

by Sonia Su

I’m having a blast with InDesign actually downloaded on my laptop (versus trekking to COM to use their computers).

todo

Despite how this is only a part of my never-ending to-do list, I prefer procrastinating with this software to design a simple to-do list that I wrote today in class. Let’s reflect:

  • Booking a restaurant for the graduation dinner that my parents insist on having is a fucking hassle. Either my family pays an exorbitant amount to book a private dining room, or we try to get a few tables together at some Asian restaurant, spending a fraction of the price. Pros and cons to both.
  • I’m so thankful for my professor’s and supervisor’s recommendations that helped me win the Blue Chip Award, apparently the highest honor conferred to BU COM students—which only means my gifts need to be extra amazing.
  • My beat journalism class (literally, the entire class) is tasked to cover a nearly three-hour talk, featuring New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof. Don’t get me wrong—I’m stoked at how we even got such an established journalist to come speak here. But the idea of being one of many students covering the same story (an event, nonetheless) just does not excite me. As a result, I’m forcing myself to take on my professor’s other, less-popular suggestion of covering what we’ve been covering all semester. My beat has been Cambridge, and I’m still passionate about it. I’ve been able to get some great stories out of it, and if I can find (with the severely limited time left) another great story, I’m running with it.

And the rest is quite self-explanatory. I’m going to save only a couple bucks if I go through with this free T-ride adventure thing on Friday, but I’m using it as an excuse to cross more things off my bucket list (yeah, still not a tangible thing but I have some ideas).

Alright, enough procrastination. Expect to see more #procrastinationOnInDesign posts ;)

Reader Feedback

by Sonia Su

My sister told me she skims my blog now, because it’s either my blog has progressively gotten less interesting or she “changed.” (Thanks for trying to make me feel better, sis).

Despite my efforts to create more thoughtful posts on the now sporadic times I do post, I am taking her feedback to heart and posting in a style more reminiscent of when I did my 365 project—a journal of my day’s developments. (But if you follow me on Snapchat, these photos won’t be new. Sorry. I’ve calmed down on taking photos of everything). Perhaps my life without analysis is more interesting than what I observe about it. It certainly simplifies all the shit underneath.

And what a day to do so—Marathon Monday/420 (oh, and Patriots’ Day).

To wake up to this only made me feel worse for the runners who already had to endure what I consider hell. Of course, I took this as an opportunity to check for Snapchat geofilters. And boy, did I find (and use) them, despite being safely indoors miles away from any real marathon action.

Boston Marathon morning view of Charles RIver

VIew of the Charles River on the morning of Boston Marathon 2015.

Boston Marathon morning view of Charles RIver Boston Marathon morning view of Charles RIver

Given our lack of interest in standing in this terrible weather to watch the marathon, my roommate and I had planned to indulge in Union Square Donuts. We even took an Uber there (Uber and I have issues). Of course, once we arrived, we discovered the terrible news: IT WAS CLOSED. Dev-a-sta-tion.

Fortunately, we had prepared to go to a café to “do work.” And a ridiculously hipster café across the street was calling our names. So we walked in, almost sulking in our pathetic depression over lack of donuts yet hopeful for #caféadventures.

Before leaving this morning, I had downloaded free trials of Adobe Creative Cloud’s Illustrator and InDesign. Somehow, despite having used up these trials before, I managed to get another for these. Not going to ask questions. I’m just thankful, especially for this final design class project.

I try to be #ARTsy.

Illustrating on Illustrator

Illustrating on Illustrator.

So donuts will have to be an adventure for another day within the month (exactly) that I have left in Boston. Wow, today really is more monumental than I had thought.

Bloc 11 Café in Somerville

Making the best of the situation with delicious Vietnamese coffee at Bloc 11 Café in Somerville.

There we have it. I must admit, I miss doing these. I do see how these daily journals would be more appealing than a “super fucking depressing” post about my overall life right now.

#College

by Sonia Su

With graduation around the corner, my emotions have been in constant flux—complementary to my life.

One minute, I’m reading glowing comments on a recent team presentation. And quite literally in the next, I’m reading a nonsensical, utterly impersonal rejection email from yet another unsuccessful job application.

One day, I’m celebrating being one of 45 student employees nominated out of about 11,000 at BU for best student employee. The next, I’m visibly wallowing in my poor performance during another presentation. In that same class, I’m reading an email about receiving the coveted Blue Chip Award for leadership.

But as for an overarching feeling? I am confused.

I’m confused about how to deal with the possibility of not getting the job I want.

I’m confused about whether to care about school anymore. Why should I still strive to do well in classes, the grades of which won’t affect my ridiculously secure Latin-honor status of magna cum laude? Sure, I have a chance at moving up to summa but only if I get straight As, which I’ve never gotten in college. The odds are so slim that it makes it seem not worth such efforts. It’s my final semester at BU and most likely Boston. I should focus on a yet-to-be-officially-created bucket list. There is still so much I want to do in Greater Boston. How much of this limited time (and the rest of my sanity) should I sacrifice to making a persuasive argument on some aspect of the Korean film Mother (2009)?

I’m confused about how crazy and emotional the volatility of people make me. As happy as other people can make you, they are often also the cause of your pain. How much more can I take?

Of course, I understand that life is not without its ups and downs, but I can only stay on this rollercoaster for so long before I vomit.

I can’t tell what the next turn is, and I hate that feeling. College conditions you to know your next semester’s schedule, your next semester’s housing situation, and, well, your next steps! What are my next steps without college?

What’s even more terrifying is that college, despite all the hand-holding, also conditions you to be both more independent and selfless. But nearing the end of my four years, why do I still feel so much fear and confusion?

But what pushes this immediate situation to utter insanity is that there are only 29 days left before graduation. Even fewer until classes finish.

My body brims with emotions, and I can’t do anything but watch as my life unfolds, sometimes with power when I feel power, others powerless when I feel powerless. It’s an interesting observation—sure, the environment has a lot to do with your behavior, as I’ve learned in my organizational behavior class, but how you behave has everything to do with how you feel.

I felt weak, and I performed weakly today. I tried injecting confidence, pretending I knew what I was doing. But even that fakery wasn’t strong enough.

The idea of faking it until you make it is a nice idea. There are a lot of nice ideas out there. But what if I’m tired of faking it?

I made it in other ways. Some things will take so much more to “make it.” A few will just never change.

So maybe I have some things figured out, but the rest? Plagued with uncertainty.

#COLLEGE

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