A Reflection of The First Semester of My Junior Year.

After an intense semester, imposed by challenges but also rewarding experiences, I wanted to take time to reflect upon the events that took place.

This past semester seemed in many ways very long, where I learned a lot about this thing called life and myself. Even though this is my second year at Cal, there has been a lot of new aspects to adapt to, such as; moving into my very first off-campus apartment and new roomie, and with that came finding new life routines with meal prepping and 7 am track workouts. I was introduced to our new coaching staff, ran my first Cross Country meet ever, received All-Regionals and All-Academic awards, decided to double major and was able to declare one of my majors, I was introduced to Sufism and learning ways to enjoy life more.

August. The semester began the following week after our womens XC team and I arrived back from Lake Tahoe. I was very motivated to come back to campus, to become a part of a new team and to meet our new coach. Practices were completely different, which was mentally challenging for me and my past as a sprinter/middle distance runner and only being introduced to one way of track workouts. Every semester seems to be followed by new academic challenges, where my prerequisite classes require especially a lot of invested time and patience, and the feeling of being an international student is reinforced. Within the first month, there was already a lot of school work to be completed, and I was trying as well as I could keep my head cold.

Lake Tahoe post workout
Tahoe Vibes
Moving into a new apartment.
TB to our very first tempo workout
T&F bbq

September. Practices began to advance and already on September 13th my very first Cross Country race would be executed. The weeks prior to the race I was not confident in my ability to race. Come race day morning, I was still in the grey zone but after a long conversation with my Pappa my mindset was changed after his statement Dont race for the time, race for the experience. Consequently, I knew I was to race, no matter the outcome because I wanted to enjoy the experience and reach the end goal of my training. However, on the mental side of school and life things were getting harder, and the last days of September became very tough; missing home, being very overwhelmed with school and not finding time to enjoy myself. This mindset changed after my childhood best friend came to visit and was able to give me a different perspective on life. She shared her experience from being in the same situation, finding a balance, taking care of own health before anything or anyone else. I believe this is a lot of what our life challenges are about, gaining experience and knowledge so we can again help the person next to us.

those ice bath days

October. The best surprise was having my brothers over, who I could have great conversations and be present with. They worked around my crazy schedule, spoiled me with as many food I could fit in my apartment and had me laughing a lot. During this time I tried finding an academic routine that would allow myself to breathe, especially important during midterm season. We also raced twice that month, traveling to Sacramento at the beginning of the month and later to Terre Haute, Indiana. Morning shakeouts are something Ive never been introduced to, so when we were to wake up at 6 am for a 10min jog (which in reality was 3 am Berkeley time because of the different time zones). I enjoyed traveling, getting to know the team better, living in a hotel – where the time prior to meet-day was my favorite, as we are to rest-sleep-eat:-) I earned a lot each race, getting to know my body and my boundaries.

My everything

November. Already the first day of the month we went to Oregon for our Pac-12 Championship, and the next race would be the last one of the season, the NCAA West Regional in Pullman, Washington. It took a long time for me to fully get over our Regionals race, as I was very close to qualifying for Nationals and put a lot of pressure on myself prior to the race. However, I again learned a lot, for one being to accept-learn-and to move on. Academically, everything was getting more and more intense and we were to approach our final exam period, where the vibe on campus always changes. However, I found myself balancing this stressful period with energizing evenings with friends.

Pre-race evenings

December. My last and final research projects, products of a long process taken corse over the whole semester, were to be completed and handed in. Last presentations were held and our final exams were the final home stretch before winter break began. Mentally and physically tired, but extremely grateful for these last couple of months and the lessons I learned. During the last weeks of school, a lot of good meetings took place and, again, I was reminded of the infinite opportunities I have and how important human relations are. It is a challenging task to get along with everyone, however, the people that we do get along with and the relations we build with them can/are extremely critical for later in life. During the winter break, I was able to take a step back from reality, being surrounded by friends and family.

Last race vibes
Finally reunited with family, in NYC

Stay tuned for more updates this coming semester:-)


Mina Marie

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  1. Camilla

    S疇 herlig 疇 lese om alle tanker og hvor langt du har kommet vennen min.

  2. Abbi

    S疇 artig 疇 lese om opplevelsene dine og v疆re litt 竄flue p疇 veggen.罈 Det h繪res t繪ft ut 疇 kombinere krevende studier med all trening og konkurrering! Lykke til videre, heier p疇 deg 歹

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