bye july

Hello. I haven’t done this kind of post in a while, as it’s directed more to myself than to anyone. But I have changed the way I ‘manage’ my monthly goals, so I might as well do an update-post on it! So, I have basically divided everything that I want to do for this year into – roughly) 6 categories. I will go through what I have done for each category, and talk briefly about some goals I can set for myself this month.

You can see my full Gap Year Bucket List here.


Fitness & Health

My main goal was to try to do more physical exercise, and I was actually able to exercise about 4-6 times a week, which is not bad! What I did:

  • Classes: Pilates (2x/week), and Systema martial art (2-3x/week)
  • At-home workouts: Strength-training, mainly. I also finally have a balanced workout routine that I can follow weekly!

For August, I am continuing with all that I have mentioned. I’m also hoping to do more cardio exercises (biking, jogging) as I haven’t been focusing on endurance as much.


Education

On exams:

  • I had to retake the TOEFL (English test for non-native speakers), and it was annoying, but it went well – so that’s done.
  • Started putting most of my focus on the ACT, which I’ll be taking in a month and a half.

On learning:

  • Coding: I finally kicked off on Codecademy, and it’s been going pretty solid. I’m currently on HTML and CSS.
  • Psychology: I started a course on Coursera called “Buddhism and the Modern Psychology” which I find incredibly incredibly interesting and suitable, taking into account my background and interests.

For this month, my #1 priority has to be on the ACT, unfortunately (just 1 month and a half more to go!). But I’m definitely not letting go of the online classes I’m taking. I want to finish with CSS this month, put into practice the 2 languages I have learned, and maybe start another language. As for Psychology, this course will last more than a few weeks, so I’ll probably not start another one until I’m done with this one.


Language & Literature

I know… this is a really ‘formal’ heading, but I couldn’t help it. This category encompasses the 3 things that I love:

1. Books. I read roughly 13 books this month – not enough to catch up with my Reading Challenge, unfortunately (but I’ll catch up, you’ll see).

2. Writing:

  1. Blog: These past few months I have had trouble deciding on my blogging ‘categories’, and I feel that in July I started to finally know what kind of blog posts I like to write about.
    1. I posted a total of 10 blog posts in July – not my best month. But I guess I’ll excuse myself with the number of activities that I have had in this month.
  2. Essays: This is the not-so-fun part of writing, as it always comes with the tag of pressure and deadlines… nevertheless, I have written several essays on other more academic-ish topics, mainly in preparation for the ACT and for college.

3. Language:

  1. American Sign Language (ASL): I have started using ASLU (online) to learn ASL, and I’m reaally happy with it. I’m making slow progress, but I’m learning at a good pace.
  2. German: I don’t think this is really worth mentioning, as I only use Duolingo to kind-of learn German every morning to wake my brain up.

For August, I have to: 1) Catch up with my Reading Challenge (as best as possible), be more consistent on my blogging content (3x/week seems good for now), and definitely write more college essays. As for the languages I’m learning, being consistent with them (regardless of how much I learn on one sitting) is enough for now.


Music

Oh, this was a busy month.

  • Orchestra: We had around 7 concerts? Though the number of rehearsals were reduced, the concerts kind of messed with my timetable.
  • Cello: I’m finally feeling good about the cello. It’s been a while since I’ve felt comfortable with it, but after a few months of dedicating more time to it, I feel like I’m finally picking up.

As for August… I’ll probably be more busy with the orchestra for half this month, and then I’ll try to focus more on the pieces I’m working on the cello. Oh, and I also want to learn the piano. I just keep putting it off.


Work

The ‘work’ that I do is more to do with volunteering.

  • I have finally gotten to be more active as Translator Coordinator for the Sign Language NGO organization that I am part of. It’s not exactly a thrilling position, but the experience that I gain from having insights into the behind-the-scenes of this organization is definitely worth it.
  • I’m also teaching music at a boarding school/orphanage. I never thought that dedicating just few hours each week to teaching music would inspire me to become a better musician.

My focus this month is on the NGO. I finally have work and responsibilities to meet – so that’s going to be exciting! As for music, my teacher is taking a break, so this month is going to be a hiatus from the teaching.


Creativity & Skills

  • I got my driving license, and now I often drive whenever I go out. The traffic is horrible here and I pretty much murder dozens of people in my head every time I’m behind the wheel, but I need the training.
  • I’ve thoroughly enjoyed using my time to BuJo (bullet journal). By planning out everything, I’m ‘pouring out’ my concerns on paper.
  • I’ve also gotten into other things (for fun) including more photography, calligraphy, and a lot of ‘creating‘ things.
  • Meditation. This is still new to me, as I have just started to really meditate, but it has helped me be more at ‘ease’ with my thoughts and feelings.

Everything I have mentioned, I will continue this month. I just need to ask ‘Backpacking planning’ to the list, and maybe more cooking/baking (even though I despise it).


I know this was not the most ‘interesting’ post (which is why I don’t write these often), but this is basically how I organize my day-to-day life. My August plans are not very… specific here, but that’s probably because I’ve got it all down on my BuJo already (oops).

Anywaay, how was July for you? 🙂 I would love to know!!

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