Monday, September 22, 2014

Advice from a college student

School is this week, and I am equally excited and nervous for this quarter. I have prepared myself for this upcoming school year with giving myself a pep talk with what's going to work for me and whats going to weigh me down. I wanted to share some of these things with those who are struggling and stressing out or even for those who are new to college.
As I have mentioned before, I'm a Liberal Studies student in the hopes of becoming a kindergarten teacher. But I have not always been interested in this field; it was last year that I changed majors. I actually started off as an English major. And although so many people tried to change my mind about rethinking this decision, but I went on with it for two reasons: I fell in love with the subject during my entire high school years (thanks to my super rad teachers) and I had my future based around it.
So here are my first two sets of advice:
1. High school is nothing like college.
I know I know, how can someone think they are the same? But little freshman me thought of them to be similar and transitioning was a very difficult thing for me. Professors, students, scheduling, books/supplies, and even parking are different. Be prepared. Honestly, everything I learned in high school did not come to use in college. I had to figure everything all out on my own. So learn about your major, talk to advisors and professors like they are your best friends.... Believe me it will help you!
2. Things change... Have a fall back plan.
So I went into college wanting to become an English major based on the lifestyle I created for myself in the future. I wanted to become a magazine writer/editor and move to New York as soon as I got out of college. I had it all figured out, and I had mentioned that my precious teachers inspired me to pursue something in the English writing field. But the more classes I took, I just fell out of love with the subject entirely. I dreaded reading, writing, learning the history, and I began to feel that I was no longer doing it because I wanted to but because I had to. Also, the more life went on I realized how closely knit of a family I have and how hard it would be for me without them in my life. All of my immediate family live in the same city and I live two streets away from my mom and even then I get anxious when I do not see them. As Allen and I plan for the future, we agreed that we didn't want to raise a family in such a busy city away from who we love most. Of course we would still take vacations over there, but I also can't live somewhere that isn't 45 minutes away from Disneyland, haha, and we already have the perfect city in mind.
3. Ask yourself: Do you want your hobby to become your job?
This question may be a simple yes, but for me it didn't work that way. I went into college loving literature and English and then two years later, I made a complete 180. You would think that choosing your career should be based on something you love, but for me, I was no longer doing it for myself or for the love itself. Instead I chose my career based on my strengths and things I am good at. I love helping kids, teaching, talking, and just being around them watching them grow. I am creative, passionate, and patient; what better area than teaching right? Also, I get to still do what I love by blogging. I may have not been the writer in a column of your favorite magazine, but I still get to enjoy what it is and how I like it.

With that being said, I spent almost three years taking pure English/upper division courses....and when this happened I didn't know what to do.

4. It's perfectly normal and okay to have a mental breakdown.
I actually think that if you don't then there's a problem. After I decided that it was time to choose something else, I was completely lost. I didn't know what to do, where to begin, or how to find help. I even wanted to change schools and do something completely different like culinary arts; but that didn't fall through. So then I figured that I should go into teaching; I love kids, creativity, and I can utilize majority of the courses I have taken towards it. But I think I figured all of this out as soon as I broke down and let myself express all the stress, anxiety, and difficulty I have been going through. Whether its your midterm/final, overbearing homework, or just the thought of college, know that if you have ever been put through this that it's okay and it just means your doing something right :)

5. Lastly, as long as you know where you are going, it doesn't matter how long it takes.
Sure it will be lovely to finish in four years, and not that it's not possible, but that's not always the case. Everyone is going through different circumstances in their personal life that can interfere with school. Ever since I graduated from high school, I had a job...for the most part two, and one time even three! It's my fourth year of college, and I am not as close to finishing as I would like. I am constantly asked about when I will be done, how much more I have left, and why is it taking so long. It's really difficult to explain to people who do not know exactly what I have experienced but the best reply I can give is that I'm not sure when I am going to finish, but I am. And I think that's good enough; as long as you know you will finish, then that's what matters. Slow and steady wins the race.
Flash cards and Post-its are a must! 
These are my major words of advice. This does not apply to everyone and I may be in the completely opposite of the spectrum but I just wanted to share what my experience at college has taught me.
Now here are some tips that I wish I had known, or at least done out of habit.
+Socialize and make at least three friends in each class.
Talk to people around you and exchange phone numbers or emails. This will save you a ton of time when you get sick and need someone to send you the notes, homework, or discussions. A good ice breaker is asking them what their major is and why they chose it.
+Utilize everything your school has to offer.
The end of my second year I found out we had a health center opened to students for free and therapists on campus! Also the library, computer labs, gym, tutors, office hours, and study groups can be found easily and are extremely helpful!
+Follow up with your advisors
My advisors answer all of my questions and even help me stay on track so I do not fall behind. I try to visit every other month, but as long as you go once a quarter you will be fine.
+Give yourself incentives
They could either be small or big. For me, it was if I passes an exam or a project I could buy tickets to a concert or if I devote five hours to non stop studying with no interferences whatsoever, I can buy a dress.
+Learn to balance and prioritize
I was talking to one of my lovely friends at work, and discussing how we still have a long way to go and how it's difficult to worry about school when you are worrying about financial issues and how you are going to pay for that without working. Sometimes, it feels better to put your job as a priority because that's helping you pay for your bills, food, gas, etc. But when you think about the overall picture, the degree you earned will help you pay for you, your family, and anything else you need. So look into scholarships, grants, and I don't want to say it but loans. And if you can't take a shift or have to change your availability to suit your time in and out of school, then by all means do so. If they cannot work with your schedule, then find another job because you will need to have a strong support system when your in college.

I hope I shined some light on anyone going to school. It's really difficult and I do not think anyone understands unless they go through the experience themselves. If you are going to college, what works for you?

Monday, September 15, 2014

My Part Time Lover and Full Time Friend

Today is our four year and three monthiversay of being together that I thought it would be fun to share our small little love story and how we came to be.

I had seen him Allen during my freshman year and was completely smitten, but I never got his name or saw him again after that, until the summer of 2010. The first time I was introduced, and sat down in the same room as him was on May 7, 2010, I was invited by one of our mutual friends to go watch Iron Man 2 with all friends. We then, as a group, went bowling, swimming, and went to the movies again.
On June 11, we all went to the movies again to watch The A-Team, drink Starbucks, and check out a blade less fan at Best Buy. My sister was on her way to pick me up at the theater, but we were on the other side of the streets, so I remember Allen holding my hand and running through the lighted trees to make it there before my sister. Well that night I got home, and called my friend Carol telling her all about it, and how I want to make a bold move and tell him how much I like him...and I did.
I remember everything about June 15. I ditched summer school and went over to his house and took my friend Kathy along so I wouldn't stay too long. When I got to his house we were just sitting on his couch, eating strawberries, and talking. After a while I told him I had to go back to school. As I am hugging him bye he says, "Before you go, will you be my girlfriend?" When I say yes, he gives me a kiss on my forehead. I have never had an actual boyfriend, so this whole thing was new and perfect in every way.

We have gone to every concert together, held each others hand through events, seen every movie, listened to every song, gone through many different haircuts, been on every ride at Disneyland, and received a kiss on my forehead every night. A successful relationship requires falling in love many times, always with the same person. Of this I am certain, I constantly fall in love with Allen just by the way he talks, smiles, walks, laughs, and even just seeing him fall asleep next to me is the greatest privilege.
When I think back to the many times we could've met, had I found him freshman year, I'm glad that this is the story we got.

This day is also very important to me because my youngest nephew turns one! Happy Birthday Alexander. I love you very much and cannot wait to watch you grow!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Yesterday's Adventures is Today's Memory

 Yesterday, Allen and I enjoyed a lovely afternoon together. We started the day as any other day but then he asked me if there was anything I would like to do. If there is anything I ever want to do, it is to go to buy records, visit the shops, and just stroll around in my favorite city. So I changed into a floral two piece and we were out the door.
When I go shopping for records, I almost never know what I go in for. I have even purchased two exact records, and own all of my must haves. So instead, I enjoy looking through every alphabet letter, finding great deals, and just purchasing. I ended walking out with ABBA Greatest hits for $5, Bruce Springsteen's Born in the USA for $10, and the soundtrack from The Perks of Being a Wallflower. I usually end spending at least $20 for each record (new or used) so when I saw the price for ABBA and Bruce Springsteen, I knew I couldn't leave them behind. We then went walking around the little shops nearby and I picked up the cutest postcards and another adorable postcard set. The nice lady even invited me to some fun arts & craft's workshops that I will definitely be going to.

I mean how cute are these? Stationary is my absolute favorite thing to spend money on and receive as a gift. Especially now that I have two lovely pen-pals, I have to make sure my letters are just as lovely. If interest in writing letters to one another, send me an email!
Afterwards Allen took us out for lunch to one of our favorite spaghetti joints. YUM! On our way home we stopped by the mall to pick up a few things. I scored two Wes Anderson films to add to my nearly finished collection. Although I have seen (and love) Fantastic Mr. Fox, The Life Aquatic is completely new to me! Allen also spoiled himself by buying a new video game called Destiny.

And of course, if Allen and I were going to spoil ourselves...Tulip is going to get in on the goodies. We bought her new treats and toys and clothing to get her into this upcoming holiday. We still haven't decided on what she will be for Halloween, if she should match with us or do her own little thing, but as soon as the weather gets cooler, she will be sporting as mommy's little pumpkin. I am also excited to announce that we are going to put Tulip into dog training to become a licensed and certified therapy dog! She will start in two weeks, and I will keep you all posted.
Yesterday was a very fun, much needed, simple day out...and we are still enjoying it. Allen is playing his new video game, tulip is chewing on her new toys, and I am about to get started on writing out postcards. Adventures that are two-days long? Yes, please!

Monday, September 8, 2014

My Recent Hurrah

Ever since I began selling my clothes on-line, I have rethought my decision making when shopping. I used to be very impulsive when shopping and just bought things at first glance, and never took a trip to a fitting room! And sadly, I would hang it up on my closet and more than likely never wear it again since it would be buried in the 500 dresses I had. So now I have compiled a list of what to look for and what to do when shopping. 
I have not yet established my sense of style yet; I am constantly changing between quirky, boho, and preppy. So I look more at what the item offers like:
+Pretty Patterns
I am a sucker for patterns, especially multiple patterns. About 95% of my wardrobe has patterns ranging from stripes, polkadots, floral, checkers, paisley, and even cute animals. 
+Color Scheme
I am not a harsh critic on the coloring on patterned items, I love a variety of colors on a dress, shirt, or romper. However, on plain solid items, the first thing I look at  is it's color. I like wearing pastels and light soft hues, my current favorite is the off white. Since I hardly do not own any plain tops (or tops for that matter) I purchased the blush pink top on the far right simply based on it's pretty hue. 
+Texture/Add On's
Have you ever seen a shirt that is simply adorable but it has some ruffles where it shouldn't and you have to put it back on the shelf? That's me most of the time. I have fallen in love with so many items but they always have studs or patches on them and I immediately hang it back up. Also, sometimes things fit wrong because they are itchy and utterly uncomfortable. The fleck sweatshirt in the middle surprised me at the fitting rooms.

When shopping I first look at the patterns, color, and then the texture. If this passes the visual test, it then moves on to the second round...fitting rooms!

In the fitting rooms, I look at the length, fit, and of course if it also looks nice on me. 
Dresses especially have to fit at a certain length on leg. I am not quite sure where it is, but if its below or above this point, I really have to think about purchasing the item. 
Most of my clothes are well fitted, but sometimes I go in to try on how loose an item it. I like wearing dainty loose dresses/shirts for my lazy days. Sometimes dresses are the perfect loose, where you can easily slip in with out struggling through zippers or buttons and its. Other times, they are so loose you can fit another person inside that same dress...not cute. 

So after all this, my sister and I like to do something called Process of Elimination. This is where we plant ourselves on a chair, add up the subtotal of everything, and ask ourselves questions:
+Is ________ worth this amount of money?
+What else can I wear with this?
My best friend Lucia, taught me how to utilize this question when making purchases. Pretty much if you can make three different outfits, including shoes, with this particular item, then your good to go. If you have to purchase something else then it has to stay. 
+When will I wear this?
My sister and I will do this a lot. Usually we will attend the same party and event, so if we can easily name an occasion where we will wear it then it's good to go. 
So after all these questions, we usually end up leaving 5 items, sometimes even half. But I leave happy at what I purchased and happier at the money I saved :)

Friday, September 5, 2014

Take a Look Inside My Bag

Today I'd like to show you what is inside my bag. I think it would be fun for you to see my essentials that I carry everyday and everywhere with me. I am not huge on big brand name purses, so have either this purse, a green backpack/purse, or a small black purse with me. This one in particular was purchased at Forever21, I fell in love with the mustard yellow and buckles. So here's whats inside:
1. Kindle: I began to carry my Kindle around when I found out I had Wifi at work, haha. I am usually at the mall 50% of the time, so I like to have this when I take my lunch and want to write quick drafts for blog posts.
2. One Good Deed A Day: I usually carry a book with me, but right now I carry this around so I have it on hand for whenever I want to flip a page and act out a good deed.
3. Wallet: I am more of a card person. I hardly ever have cash on me, when I do it's like Christmas. So I carry this small wallet around filled with my license, Disneyland pass, Debit card, etc. Comes in really handy and saves me from filling it up with trash and receipts.
4. Perfume: I like to carry around this small Clinique Happy perfume bottle in case I run out the door and forget to spray something on. It has saved me various times since I pretty much always run out the door for work because I rather nap or eat instead of get ready.
5. Battery: An extra battery (charger) for your phone is always a goof thing to carry around. My phone has been dying really quickly so I bought this for 5$, and although it doesn't charge fully, 70% is always better than a dead phone.
6. Phone: I have an iPhone 4s (upgrading in December, Yay!) but I was currently using it to take these pictures, so here is my phone case :)
7. Eyedrops: At the beginning of this year, my eyes would always get irritated as soon as I stepped into work. I couldn't last 5 minutes without beginning to cry and ask my co-workers if my eyes were red or if they saw something in them, so I now carry this little fella.
8. Sunglasses: Allen bought me these Ray-ban Wayfarers almost three years ago and they are essentials for me. My Instagram is a perfect example of how often I use these guys.
9. Lipstick: My lips are full and light, so I like to add a touch of lipstick to make my lips stand out more. This one is my favorite, it's Milani's Dark Cherry, it isn't expensive at all and does the trick.
10. Earphones: For when I am on my break or shopping around, and want to listen to my own music instead of the ones that are playing. After working at the mall, you hear the same songs practically at every store.
11. Notebook: I use this notebook to write down ideas for blog posts, keep track of my spending, grocery lists, and anything I need to remember. I mainly use this for blog post ideas because I events just happen out of nowhere and I get a sudden idea, but I wouldn't be able to remember by the time I got home, so this is my solution.
12. Tissue: you know, sometimes you get the sniffles..but for me it's more that I need tissues on hand.
13. EOS egg: I think everyone can agree with me, that these are beneficial. My favorite is the mint flavor, one for color two for scent. Sadly, these are too big for my pockets, so in the bag it goes.
14. Tajin: I am extremely delicate when it comes to spicy food, candy, or snacks... I can't even finish a small bag of Hot Cheetos! But for some reason, Tajin is the only thing that I can eat and it makes a great topping for my fruit. So why is it my bag? Well one reason is that Allen got it for me since it reminded him of me. But for the most part, when I go to Disneyland I like to get slices mangos, but sometimes they are out of Tajin, so this little bottle allows me to enjoy my mangos :) Also any time I see a fruit stand, I like to purchase fruit but they usually carry Pico de Gallo that is too spicy for me.
15. Keys: no explanation needed, right.
16. Brush (and hair ties): Messy hair buns have been my go-to hair do all this year. Like I said, I usually run out the door and get ready in my car while driving to work. Even then, I usually work doing task like things (shipment, visuals, stocking, replenishment, etc.) and I work up a sweat.

So this is what can be found in my bag. Occasionally, bobby pins and loose change will find its way in there, but these are my essentials. I actually didn't realize how many things can fit in here, but that's how a woman's bag works. What can be found in your bag? Do we share any same items?

Monday, September 1, 2014

One Good Deed a Day

It's the first day of September, and I couldn't have started it off in a better way: doing good deeds. I bought this journal almost two weeks ago, but wanted to start on the first of a month (easier to keep track and the minor OCD part of me kicked in). Although I tend to write in journals/diaries for no more than a week, I really want to stay committed to this one. When I first saw this journal, I bought it impulsively because I loved the cover and I'm a sucker for journals; but, as I flipped the pages I loved the idea of doing something nice everyday and I am really glad I didn't leave it on the shelf. 
There are 365 different ideas to complete throughout the year. Also, the deeds aren't just meant for strangers. There are some things you can do for your friend, partner, and yourself! There is also some space to write down a reflection about how you felt doing this deed. 
This is the one I am going to do today. I accidentally wrote that I already completed this deed (you're supposed to write it in at the end of the day and then reflect on it) but I plan on completing it. I also thought it was a good idea since I will be spending the afternoon working at the mall and their will be many Labor Day sales. So this will test me to say no and save my money. 
I am excited to finish this journal while feeling good about making someone else's day by doing small deeds. I also hope to turn many of these ideas into habit. I will be posting some that I have done that throughout the year as well. If you would like to purchase this journal as well, it can be found at Target for $15. And if you'd like, here's one you can do too!