Even though I'm eager to begin a new phase of my life at UCLA, it's hard to say goodbye not just to friends and colleagues but also to Northern California, a beautiful region that's become my home and made an indelible impact on me.
I moved to Berkeley, CA to attend UC Berkeley after having lived in Orange County, CA my entire life. After graduating in 2008 with a degree in Industrial Engineering & Operations Research, I moved to Oakland, CA where I've lived ever since.
In many ways, I still consider myself a Southern California transplant (for example, I think Northern California's too cold and rainy), and I'm happy at the prospect of returning home. Furthermore, I'm sure that when the school year begins I'll love the student life. For now though, I can't help but feel conflicted. As Shakespeare wrote, "Parting is such sweet sorrow."
It's hard to move because I'm reminiscing as I pack and there are so many memories to sift through it's almost unfathomable.
As I pack up my bike, I remember training for the San Francisco Triathlon at Treasure Island for my one (and perhaps only) triathlon.
As I pack up my camping gear, I remember hiking to the top of Yosemite's Half Dome in 2010 after failing to reach the top in 2009 because my legs were cramping up.
As I pack up my rock climbing gear, I remember the first time I climbed outdoors and I wonder if I'll be able to continue rock climbing. I've heard that there's a gym in Santa Monica but I haven't had time to research.
As I pack up my grilling utensils, I remember how I became a grilling enthusiast and I wonder if my new apartment will allow me to continue grilling.
As I throw away the Cheeseboard Pizza box, I remember all the great eateries we have up here and I wonder what small eateries I'll find in LA.
The list of memories goes on and on…I've experienced and matured a lot in the past 4 years professionally and personally, and I can't wait to see what the next couple of years will bring.
~Dwight Asuncion '14
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