Thank you so much for the responses. I feel confident now that my WRX is behaving normally; I will do the suggested tune-up asap.
One question about the air filter...I've always heard good things about K&N Performance air filter until I actually looked into buying one. So far, I hear many more bad reviews than I do good ones...I'm a bit surprised tbh..What's your suggestion? Stay away from it? I plan on keeping the car stock and have heard even worse things about adding a CAI, so I'm trying to just stick with a "performance" air filter. I found a Purolator pureONE air filter that seems comparable to K&N only much cheaper and so far all good reviews.
I have a baby on the way and I sold my lowrider s10 in order to get a sedan. WRX(sti really) has been my dream vehicle for years - it's reliability and safety specs ultimately are what allowed me to talk my wife into letting me buy a WRX hahaha - so needless to say I can't afford to rob it of it's reliability by throwing a bunch of aftermarket junk on it. I've seen where these vehicles don't respond to them very well..
Jackie, I found the linkage from Turn-In and I will be ordering soon!