Today, I share Megan’s photos!

Megan captured some beautiful photos of Budapest and our non-costumed Halloween weekend together in her latest blog post. 🙂 I was WOWed — the riverbanks have never looked more lovely.

Gotta run, anatomy midterm tomorrow. Second year continues to be a nonstop funfest.

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Today, I am flying to Guatemala!

I am going to Guatemala!!!!!!!!! I got to this airport incredibly early. Dark o’clock, to be exact. I’m sitting here charging my phone right now with nothing to do but to peer out the windows into the dark abyss. So, I decided to download the wordpress app and at least engage in a productive activity 🙂

Yes, one of my best friends is getting married this weekend, and the wedding will be held in Guatemala! I can’t express my feels right now. A friend getting married, reuniting with friends, finally satisfying the traveler in me… So many things! But for now here I am in this cold and scary airport. I feel like this would make the perfect setting for a zombie movie. Maybe dearest Markie can help us with that 🙂

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Today, I return from the most marvelous staycation!

Last Spring, I mentioned that Megan, one of my best and oldest friends, would be in Spain for the year, and that we hoped to see each other in our homes away from home. Well, she was able to visit for the long weekend (we both had off on Friday for All Saints’ Day) from Wednesday night until Sunday afternoon. After our crunch period of exams, it was so good to have some guilt-free relaxation.

Thursday was Halloween, and though we did didn’t do anything festive ourselves, we went out to see the nightlife and the Basilica and riverbanks illuminated. During her stay We had afternoon desserts at Gundel, cider at Spiler, chicken paprika homemade by Anna, and seafood paella at The Big Fish. It was my first time visiting the House of Terror Museum, which chronicles some of the horrific times in European History.

Megan also got to know some of my classmates here, partly by arrangement, and partly by chance meetings around Budapest. It was invigorating to see my day-to-day through her fresh perspective. The best parts were out long talks into the night 🙂 It was the best time I’ve had in a long time!

Friday Night’s Alright (For Studying)

Week 2 of year 2 is done; it feels like I’m in the trenches of study war. There’s so much to keep track of, to read and memorize, that it’s hard to make time for other things, and impossible for me to do it without feeling guilty. I’ve got to improve my work-life balance skills.

On Thursday, we had our first 2 physiology quizzes of the semester. Those will be a weekly event to keep us on top of the material, but it also makes it hard to prioritize the other subjects — except when they have midterms! It’s enough to drive me cray cray, and did for a few days, but I’m resolved to remember that I’m doing what I want in a place that feels like home, and that happiness is not to be overlooked!

Today, I walked home with Bianca (who gives a much more thorough summary of our hectic days on her blog) from biochemistry lecture, and that was a welcome reminder that I’m not in the trenches alone.  Onwards!

Before that, though, I must wish an early and very happy birthday to our one and only Jarkie! 

That's us celebrating her birthday at Alivia's in Durham last year :)

That’s us celebrating her birthday at Alivia’s in Durham two years ago 🙂

Today, I’m feeling 22…

So as the Arkies know, I will be growing a bit older on Saturday. To celebrate this (why do we celebrate aging?), I will be leading an excursion to a farm where we will pick raspberries [hopefully], shop at a farmer’s market, go on an awesome hayride, and sit and laugh around a bonfire. It seems like the perfect fall outdoors activity and I am oh so excited! But until then, I will still feel 22 for 2 days hehe. So, now celebrating the past year… I think of Taylor Swift’s song “22.”

image via deviantart.net

I’ve definitely “dressed up like a hipster” (if one can do that. humph.) and made fun of my ex’s and had breakfast (Tastee Diner) at midnight… and fallen in love with strangers (pretty hair, pretty accent, oh you so pretty… ). The year gave me the chance to experience heartbreak, rekindle the flame, and then experience heartbreak a second time around. But such is what happens with growing older. I’ve figured out an idea of which direction (this would be life/career wise) I’m headed in now… and working on what needs to be done to go in that direction.

So with that, I’m excited for this 22, part II… with my lovely -arkies by my side 🙂

I don’t know about you (I don’t know about you)
But I’m feeling 22
Everything will be alright
If you keep me next to you
You don’t know about me (you don’t know about me)
But I’ll bet you want to
Everything will be alright
If we just keep dancing like we’re
22, ooh-ooh, yeah, yeah

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Today, I have returned from my trip

This weekend, I took a trip…down memory lane! Two of my bridesmaids (what I call my closest friends…don’t judge me) were in Durham this weekend! One of them lives there and her birthday is coming up and the other came from NYC to visit and celebrate. We went to the Nasher museum, the Durham farmer’s market, we baked together, went to a movie night, went to a brewery tour/class and visited a friend at Duke! Such a packed but wonderful weekend.

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One highlight was the brewery class. I really don’t like beer but it was fascinating learning about craft beer making and the amount of knowledge and skill involved. It almost made me want to have my own brewery…but then I would feel like a fraud because I really really don’t like beer–so much so that during the sampling, I asked my friend to drink mine too, after I took a courtesy sip. We did get to try like 7 or 8 different types of ales and lager (I learned the difference!) which, for an enthusiast, would be awesome.

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Another highlight was going back to campus. Over the past year and a half, I haven’t enjoyed being on campus. I’ve just had this emotional rejection to it for some reason! Maybe because they changed it so much and it’s not mine anymore. I know other graduates who feel the same way…it’s just awkward. But the last 2 times I’ve been on have been great! Maybe it’s because I’ve gone with people I loved while I was a student so it just brings me back in a good way 🙂

OH let me not forget to say that we learned to make Kombucha this weekend and I finally tasted a Tea egg and a real fig. When the three of us get together, I’m always trying something new. The egg was pretty good and the fig was good (it made yummy ice cream). The kombucha…honestly now that I’ve seen how it’s made, I’m less inclined to try it. But I respect the process!

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Even though we did a lot of fun things this weekend, I think the great talks we had were probably my favorite part. It’s wonderful to have people that you can joke around with, be weird with, but also have deep convos with! I’m glad I have my bridesmaids for all that!

Ok, tis all for now friends, hope y’all had a great Labor Day (for the American readers) and a great weekend (for everyone else)!

Today, I reflect on the first year of Today Comma I.

I believe I am the last of the -arkies to reflect on our anniversary, so please excuse me for being late with this post. This past year has been so filled with unexpected twists and turns! Life after college is not at all what I expected it to be, but I already feel much wiser to the world. I have a little bit more insight into life and a clearer vision of where I want to be in five or ten years, and I am grateful for it.

Last August, we started this blog because our lives after Duke took us to disparate corners of the world. From Philadelphia to Budapest, to be exact! I was in a remote island of Hawaii when the other three -arkies started this blog, but they used the nicknames that I gave to them in college to preserve their secret identities. (Funny story, I first nicknamed Charlotte “Charkbait” after the funny scene in Finding Nemo where the other fish in the aquarium christen Nemo “Sharkbait.” I shortened it to Charkie, and she started calling me Arkie soon after. That was how these names were born.)

Once upon a time, we gathered in Charkie’s dorm room every night to recap news, do our homework, philosophize, and order in takeout. I must add that it would take us at least 30 minutes to decide on where to order. Because Charkie kept the cupboard in the corner of her room stocked with coffee and chai, we had no lack of caffeine to keep us working late into the night. No matter how stressed I was in college about classes or my career plans, I always had the comfort of these familiar faces and this familiar routine to come back to at night, and every day I had at Duke ended up being a great day.

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Charkie Hosts Arkie’s 19th Birthday

Those moments, though treasured, are gone forever, but this blog has kept us connected over shared interests. This past year, this blog has documented our cooking experiments, has followed us on nights out, been the reservoir for stress about exams, and even captured our excitement about the royal baby, haha! Anyway, I’ve really enjoyed being able to document life after graduation, and I have my fingers crossed that we’ll have tons of great stories to share in the coming years.