A wild Kylie crawls out from a cave, even paler than before (which is really a feat, since she was already a bed sheet, so just imagine that her skin is literally translucent), hair untamed (not that hard to imagine), clothes tattered and squinting in the blinding sun, holding something triumphantly above her head, baby-Simba-the-opening-scene-of-the-Lion-King style. The object in her arms is blinding white, reflecting the sun. Upon closer inspection it appears to be… 320 typed pages?
“I FINISHED IT!” she screams, voice weak from a year of disuse. “I FINISHED MY THESIS!”
My dear friend Joanie and I at our honors ceremony where they rewarded us with a few yards of pretty rope for sacrificing a year of our lives to our theses.
So that’s where I’ve been the past year.
One of the perks of being a creative writing major is that your thesis gets to be a creative project instead of a year-long analysis of Renaissance literature or a detailed report of your experiments poking C. elegans under a microscope. My thesis was a fantasy novel about a boy who takes a train to purgatory. I’m in the process of querying agents who will potentially try to help me publish it.
Here’s actual footage of agents rejecting me:
Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t spend ALL of my free time writing. You can really only write for so many hours in a day before you forget how to speak English. The thing about creative writing is that, as fun as it can be, it’s mentally draining. I didn’t exactly curl up in bed after a long day of class and say “You know what I feel like doing? Winding down by cranking out 3,000 words of an emotionally-charged murder scene which I will have to research extensively.” So I made time for other things. You know, for inspiration.
I started the year by flying into Atlanta early for International Student Orientation, where I hung out with my amazing and brilliant freshmen mentees.
Not pictured: my other wonderful mentee, Natalia.
I did lots of fun things with my friends, including but not limited to: attending Braves games, riding tandem bikes in the rain, eating too much Korean BBQ, playing tipsy twister, and hosting a Halloween party.
Halloween at The Castle of Dreams, feat. Snow White, a minion, Minnie Mouse, and a gross tub that we used to bob for apples.
My fantastic roommates, Giang and Sarah, made our apartment (otherwise known as the Castle of Dreams) feel like home.
For spring break, my friends and I drove to Gatlinberg, TN, for some hiking and general tomfoolery. This was our destination mostly because I informed them that I am an actual vampire who hates the beach, so we opted out of the more “traditional” spring break cities because I have the best friends ever.
Giang I stole your picture and I’m not sorry
I can honestly say my senior year was my favorite year of college. This was mostly because I focused my energy on things that truly mattered to me and people who care about me. But now…
Except not really.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned from all my travels, it’s that real love doesn’t fade across time zones. People who are truly meant to be in your life will always be there, no matter how far away you are, what sort of trauma you’re trudging through, or what forces are trying desperately to pull you apart.
It sucks not having hugs on demand, but I never lose sight of how lucky I am to have people who love me all around the world. My time at Emory isn’t “over” because I’ll carry every part of it with me every day. Graduation is not an endpoint for me, because I believe that nothing ever truly ends.
… Did you like that last bit?
(Yes, Kylie, that was lovely)
Well great! Because that’s actually a quote from a story of mine that is being published in a few short weeks!
(I’m really good at subtle transitions, as you can see)
One of my short stories is being published in the spring edition of The Puritan, an online literary magazine based in Toronto. This is exciting because it’s the first time anyone has PAID ME for my writing. I’ll send out another blog post when that gets published soon, but I wanted to get this out first rather than writing one SUPER MEGA BLOG POST ABOUT EVERYTHING.
Another thing I did this year is a lengthy analysis of Mulan (yes, the Disney film) for my English class. If you’re interested in what Mulan has to do with racism, feminism, orientalism, etc. then take a look!
Until next time!