I'm kind of low on time here, but I'd like to share a few things that I've learned over the past year. If I had more time, this list would be a lot longer, but here are a few takeaways from life in California:
- Long distance relationships are hard, but my definition of hard might not be what you imagine it is. I am in a relationship with someone who supports me, who doesn't gets upset with me for not being able to talk to him 24/7, and who loves me for my desire and dedication to go back to school 2,000 miles away.
- Living in California is really a dream come true. Sometimes, I wanted to punch this state in the face. Other times, I simply cannot believe that I have to leave.
- Graduate school is challenging. It truly is unlike any other challenge that I have had to face. In 10 months, I took 17 classes. I learned (well, sort of learned) a new language. I experienced great classes and not-so-great classes. I spent most of my time on Google Docs (I swear every other conversation was, "So I'll start a new doc." Ugh). I gave plenty of presentations. I worked and did consulting work with clients in San Francisco, Monterey, and New Zealand and helped create and complete large projects for them, one of them being designing an outdoor leadership field camp module as well as an assessment to follow it. I filled up a planner and experienced sweet relief when I got to highlight something and be done with it. I spent a lot of time working in groups - A LOT of time. I could go on. All of this was challenging. Grad school is not easy. It is a lot of work, and it requires a lot of dedication, patience, understanding, and time. Despite its frustrations, I really am happy that I chose to go back to school at this time in my life. It was the perfect time, and it will be exciting to officially have a master's degree in December!
- I love being near the mountains and the ocean at the same time. Highway One is the dreamiest road. I think I've mentioned this before, but I could honestly drive up and down it every single day and never tire of it. It almost puts me in a trance - the great, big ocean, the cliffs, the colors of the sky, the vibrant flowers and succulents, all of it. I'll miss being this close to such an incredible landscape. As much as I love cornfields and the peace and quiet of the Midwest, my heart is truly going to miss the ocean and the peaks. The following pictures were from last weekend's drive up and down it:
I know, I know. Highway One. UGHHH.
Other [last] full weekend adventures included:
Best lunch date & best lunch spot
[photo by Drew] A giant Redwood!
A trip to Santa Cruz to spend the day with two of my favorite people, Jack and Libby. [photo by Jack]
Jack was über excited to get a corn dog.
So of course we all had to try it. The lady in the background is a bit jealous, me thinks.
Can I admit to you now that this was my first bite of Corn Dog. Ever. I was not impressed.
The colorful boardwalk!
Gonna miss these two - so dang much.
[photo by Libby]
Now it is time for packing, brunch, and last day celebrations before I jet off to Illinois tomorrow. Is this the end of Quinn in California? Well, technically yes, but the blog? I'll have to do some thinking. We'll see where life takes me next and if I pick up blogging again (chances are, that will happen). Thank you for sticking around this year and for reading, commenting, and following along with my adventures. Have a great weekend and maybe I'll see you soon!