Sep 09

It Was The Best of Times #BehindTheBlogger

When you hear, “It was the best of times,” what comes to mind?

My first thought?


More specifically, the last 2 years of undergrad, and it boils down to 2 simple things:

  • The company you keep
  • Doing what you love
    • Sub-category: My super-awesome majors

(That’s not to say that I’m not currently doing what I love–but that’s where I lay the groundwork for where I’m at now, and it’s where it all started!)


The Company You Keep

If you’ve ever glanced at the cast of characters in my life, you might notice that I met/got to be closer friends with most of them in college.

Here's us looking uncharacteristically sad.

Here’s us all looking uncharacteristically sad because I decided not to go with the Asian mafia photo.

I lived with my best friend for all four years of undergrad (we added 2 of our closest friends to the mix during our last year–collectively known as 6F), and it’s a huge proponent to why I say that it’s the company that really matters to me–we could be anywhere doing anything, and it’d still be a blast.



I have no idea how I ended up being the tallest person in this picture.

We’d also make a whole lot of food together, because people who love food are the best people. <3

Doing What You Love

You may already know about the committing academic suicide part in regards to the “hey, let’s take every class under the sun and do all the internships and get all the jobs and be in a bunch of clubs!” mentality that I entered and left college with.

I started volunteering as a medical interpreter and patient advocate at Paul Hom Asian Clinic, which is what ultimately led me to realize that I wanted to become a family physician, with a focus in working with under-served populations.


I love this place. It’s where I get my weekly fill of Chinese baked goods, and of Chinese food in general when I’m in Davis. It’s where we spend 8 hours per Saturday during the quarter, where we do med refills, assist with blood draws, interpret for patients and sit (stand) with patients through pap smears and/or tests for STDs, where we convince patients to quit smoking, to eat healthier foods + to exercise, where we stay up til ungodly hours scratching writing off mugs for our annual health fair because the company we hired failed at life when they were printing…and where I spent last night counting a couple thousand pills and pre-packaging 81mg aspirin. (It got to the point where, when I went to Rey and Nadia’s afterward, every time I closed my eyes, I’d see little yellow pills with the letter “L” on them.)

Back when we still had a pharmacy...

Working in the pharmacy was probably my least-favorite job while there (I liked working with the patients!), but I was sad to see it go. :[

Despite how much work it was, I loved every minute of it, so much so that after I graduated, I used to sneak back on the weekends so I could keep volunteering there. (I paid for gas by being a research subject + keeping my piano-teaching job in Davis.)


I also volunteered at the Equestrian Center, which consisted of walking the rehab horses in exchange for free riding lessons! (I also cleaned water troughs and all that goodness, but I loved getting to hang out with the horses! Even if one of them accidentally pushed me into the fence and got me zapped. ;_; )

Sea Bass (one of my favorite horses from the UCD Equestrian Center)!

Sea Bass (one of my favorite horses from the UCD Equestrian Center)! It’s short for Sebastian!

And I could never forget Na Keiki ‘O Hawai’i! <3 (They were the only reason I ever stepped foot into the gym during my first two years there!) I learned how to lift weights late in my junior year, and the rest is history! <3



My Super-Awesome Majors

In my totally unbiased opinion, I had the coolest majors ever (Exercise Biology + Music Performance). <3

Where else would you get to do crazy labs where you throw students (uh, me) into a tank to test the effects of hypothermia in a subject at rest + a subject who’s exercising? Or draw your own blood to see what happens to it when you’re submerged in warm water or cold water? Or choose your motivational song (Eye of the Tiger!) and exercise to the point where you want to puke (hello, Wingate test!)?

Dr. Shaffrath + Dr. Paul are still my favorite professors of all time. <3

Dr. Shaffrath + Dr. Paul are still my favorite professors of all time. <3

My music class was largely what kept me sane when I was slaving through my first two years (especially ochem). Our professors would always tell us about how they’d never had such a tight-knit class with such camaraderie. We toughed it out through many an audition/jury, and whenever possible, we’d show up in full attendance at each other’s recitals and performances.


Our chamber trio, composed of piano (me!), French horn (Rachel!), and oboe (Jaclyn!), would often have team bonding sessions that would invariably include a whole lot of food. <3 Here’s us looking…semi-normal. I guess I ruined it. Sorry guys.

We had the coolest chamber trio ever. <3

Yay for photobombs? <3


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  1. Joely Smith

    I am so happy for you that your college experience was so amazing! My daughter was the same way getting involved in EVE-R-E-Thing under the sun lol and yes she faced total burn out at points! College is truly a place to meet and build your lifelong friends!
    Joely Smith recently posted…It Was The Best Of Times … #BehindTheBloggerMy Profile

    1. Farrah

      It definitely wasn’t easy, and I still feel like there were at least a hundred other things I wish I’d had the time to do while I was there! 😛 I gave it my all though, hehehe! :]

  2. Dani

    Thank you for sharing this post, I loved the photos! It looked like you definitely had the best of times! 🙂

    1. Farrah

      Thanks! It was definitely an awesome time in my life! 😀

  3. Autumn

    good times, good times! Awesome cast of characters thanks for sharing!
    Autumn recently posted…Austrian Apple Pancakes with ProteinMy Profile

    1. Farrah

      They were indeed! ;] Thanks, Autumn!

  4. Susie @ SuzLyfe

    I love this walk down memory lane! If only Dickens’ had known that people would be using his opening line from A Tale of Two Cities in such a way. Ah, he wouldn’t care, he was a fame whore.
    But I totally agree–do what you love with the people you love.
    Susie @ SuzLyfe recently posted…Easier Health with Zarbees Natural Vitamin Drink Mix (Giveaway)My Profile

    1. Farrah

      Indeed! We’re just givin’ him more publicity! ;P

      They’re what make life awesome! <3

  5. Julie @ Running in a Skirt

    How much fun!
    Surrounding yourself with good people is such a key to a happy life!
    Julie @ Running in a Skirt recently posted…Apple Cinnamon Baked OatmealMy Profile

    1. Farrah

      Agreed! <3 Awesome people make my life wonderful! :]

  6. Shashi at RunninSrilankan

    Farrah – I know I say this about a lot of your posts – but I loved this one! Loved the behind the scenes look at where you have been on your journey so far and, lady, you are one heck of an awesome person! That clinic is lucky to have you – but that horse didn’t know any better 🙂
    And I couldn’t agree more “people who love food are the best people. <3"

    1. Farrah

      Thanks, Shashi! <3! I miss that clinic so much! I hope I can go back someday to volunteer as a physician! :D!!

      hehehe, I think the horse was actually just trying to get my attention so I'd pet him, but I was preoccupied with cleaning water troughs, so he just kept inching closer and closure and eventually knocked me into the fence. Love hurts! 😛

  7. Ayesha (PlumPetals)

    How fun!! College times were definitely some of the best of times 🙂
    Ayesha (PlumPetals) recently posted…The Whole Life Challenge — What is it?!My Profile

    1. Farrah

      Yes indeed! <3

  8. Pragati // Simple Medicine

    I have to agree that undergraduate was a great time. Learning to grow and learning on your best friends – it makes life so much easier! On that note, my 30’s have been fabulous and I am starting to think these years are the best years of my life 🙂
    Pragati // Simple Medicine recently posted…Spicy Sofritas TofuMy Profile

    1. Farrah

      That’s awesome! 😀 I think these days, my mind has been along the lines of just wanting to know what my future holds. I’m so curious! 😛 These past few years have been really difficult, but also pretty awesome–gotta have a balance, I guess!

  9. Channing

    When I hear ” It was the best of times”, I think of Charles Dickens. I guess that makes sense right? Also, that photobomb was HILARIOUS! lol xD
    Channing recently posted…Treat Yo Self!My Profile

    1. Farrah

      haha, it definitely makes sense! :]!

      It seemed like the right thing to do at the time! ;P

  10. Liz

    I totally agree with you! I get nostalgic over my undergrad years all the time! I had such a blast, and actually miss being in school frequently.
    Liz recently posted…What’s with all the TBP?My Profile

    1. Farrah

      I’m still in school (this is my last year hopefully-ever) at the moment, but I do miss college still! It feels like I never had time back then, but at the same time, there was just so much to do + so many opportunities! *-*

  11. Coco

    For me, that phrase reminds me of law school, since it was the opening line of my valedictorian speech (with “the worst of times” too!). And, it was the people that made it the best!
    Coco recently posted…Staying Active At The Omni Barton CreekMy Profile

    1. Farrah

      hehehe, I’d say that definitely applies to medical school too!

      The people definitely make a huge difference! :]!

  12. Elizabeth

    Oh My gosh! What a great post!!! I love this. How cool is the Hawaii hula team- so amazing! You’ve got me thinkin’ back on my college days and OH MY— if walls could talk :)! I too agree, foodie friends are the best of friends.

    Thanks for sharing!
    Elizabeth recently posted…Comment on Cheesy Habanero Stuffed Turkey Burger by FarrahMy Profile

    1. Farrah

      I loved that club so much! I wish I could still be a part of it–it was a ton of fun learning different dances together!

      Reminiscing can definitely be fun! ;P

  13. Jess @hellotofit

    Ahh, nostalgia 🙂 you’re right – people who make food together are the beeest kind of people!
    Jess @hellotofit recently posted…Vietnamese puff pastry piesMy Profile

    1. Farrah

      :D! Life is just so much better when it’s filled with awesome people + food! <3


    It looks like you had a great time in college !!! So many great friends !! Congratulations >>!

    1. Farrah

      Thank you! :]

  15. Tricia @ A Couple of Dashes

    I have no idea how you keep it all together! You’re doing ALL of the things ALL of the time! It’s going to pay off though!!!
    Tricia @ A Couple of Dashes recently posted…Weekend in Review: Paint and Sip, Hiking and Carb-Loading!My Profile

    1. Farrah

      Thanks, Tricia! 😀 I really hope so!

  16. Gingi

    OMG I love those onigiri!! So cute!! You need to Pinterest those! <3 – http://www.domesticgeekgirl.com
    Gingi recently posted…10 Must Have Ugly Christmas Sweaters for GeeksMy Profile

    1. Farrah

      I need to remake em’ sometime so that the image will be of the more pinnable variety! 😛 It’s on my to-do list! Thanks so much, and I hope you have an awesome weekend!

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