2015: Change is Good

2015 was a year of change. The year I would transition out of college kid who always had a plan and had a general idea of what she was doing to who let me be an adult when I have no idea what I’m doing? I spent the majority of the first half of the year trying to take advantage of being a student, exploring cities without having to take paid time off, and pulling the student card to learn from professionals who were incredibly smart and humble.

While a lot has happened in 2015, I didn’t bother to document the majority of them on this blog because for one, I wanted to experience the events rather than feeling like I had to document each and every event. I have an insane habit of documenting everything on social media – I need to stop and smell the flowers instead of finding the right filter that would make them look good in a photo.

The Epic Road Trip

One of my main focuses for 2015 was to travel as much as possible because this would be the last year that I didn’t have to worry about how much vacation time I had to take from work in order to do so. I kicked off the year by flying to Atlanta, GA to meet with my long-time friend and brother from another mother, Stephen. A little background: Stephen and I met in the summer of 2013 when we were both interns at National Instruments – I was a marketing intern and he was a software engineering intern. Stephen is the type of friend that will always introduce me as his sister. His family wanted someone to drive with him to Austin, TX for his last round of co-oping with National Instruments, and I happily volunteered.

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The road trip with Stephen gave met the opportunity to not only get to know his family – people I’m happy to consider family too, but also time to explore the beautiful landscapes of Georgia, North Carolina, and Tennessee. Unlike me (at the time), Stephen was outdoorsier and knew every mountain and hill that we needed to climb – I should’ve taken this into consideration because I definitely packed the worst shoes. Nevertheless, our epic road trip will go down in the books as one of my greatest adventures.

Ann Arbor Round II

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My next adventure involved returning to Ann Arbor, MI – where I saw 5 ft. of packed snow that had been shoveled to the side during my visit. As most of you already know, Andrew and I survived 9 months of long distance in our now 1.5-year relationship. This was the second trip I made to the tundra and I enjoyed every minute. Unlike the first trip, where we focused on how many places he could show me and how many friends of his I could meet (all of which are wonderful people), we focused on the normal habits that a couple who lived in the same city would do. We studied together in the library, he went to office hours while I did homework, and we met his family for dinner – normal couple activities.

Long Distance was Hard

To say that surviving 9 months of long distance was hard would be the understatement of the year. And even though we’re finally in the same city, we still have a lot of room to grow. Since our transition to being in the same city, a few friends have transitioned to being long distance with their significant others and asking for our advice. I basically always say the same thing:

  1. Long distance is really hard and if someone tries to tell you otherwise, they’re lying through their teeth – prepare yoursel
  2. Make sure long distance is only temporary and that both of you are on the same page – the light at the end of the tunnel of knowing we’d be in the same city in less than a year was the main thing that kept us going
  3. Over communicate – your significant other cannot read your mind and what you think is described perfectly in a text isn’t always as obvious as you think
  4. Texting should not be your only form of communication. Your phone has this lovely function called a phone call, click on his/her name and give them a call. If you have an iPhone, there’s also this lovely thing called FaceTime – schedule some FaceTime dates
  5. Monitor flights like nobody’s business – I used SkyScanner and Hopper a lot. The best feeling in the world is being able to say, “I’ll see you tomorrow.”
  6. Remember that even after you are finally back in the same city again, there will be new problems and you will have to worth through them
  7. Bonus: I learned how long letters and packages would take to mail from Austin to Ann Arbor – this helped a ton when I was mailing holiday gifts or letters

At the end of the day, I’m glad we survived those 9 long months. I think it was worth it for someone I can honestly say I love.

Graduation

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My parents didn’t have the opportunity to attend college, so as a first-generation college graduate this goes down as one of the most memorable days. I loved college not just because I learned a lot, but also because of the people I met. I don’t remember 90% of the grade I received on exams and papers, but what I do remember are the long nights spent on group projects bonding with my partners, the PRSSA trips where I met driven students from all over the country, the warm hugs and support from everyone in my Communication Council family, and the professors who took the time to care for me as a human being rather than just a letter grade in one of their files. I loved being a student at the Moody College of Communication.

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College allowed me to meet people who made it incredibly hard to say goodbye. I met friends who cared about me enough to listen to me rant about the ups and downs of my (when I was single) dating failures and successes, 4 a.m. phone calls crying, explore new restaurants and cool parts of Austin, and laugh over stupid inside jokes. I’ve had the privilege traveling down to Orange County to be reunited with my best friend, Minsu, and explore Disney together, the chance to go out in San Francisco with my long-time friend Essencejoy when she returned to SF for 3 weeks of training for her company, and Naman who was visiting the Bay Area for two weeks and joined me in SantaCon festivities. Three down, more to go – visit me, y’all.

The Mother Land

Two days after graduation I hopped on a plane for Vietnam. As many of you know, I was born in Vietnam and came to America in 1997. It was the first time I returned and I honestly didn’t know what to expect. I traveled to Sagion/Ho Chi Minh City, Da Lat, Vung Tau, Ba Ria, Hai Phong, Hanoi, Cat Ba, and Ha Long Bay. Each city taught me something different and opened my eyes to a different world. I didn’t realize how accustomed I had become to an American lifestyle until I left America.

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After returning from Vietnam, I realized that although I’m nowhere near wealthy, I had it pretty damn good compared to some of the scenes I saw while in Vietnam. It made me appreciate the little things like being able to drink tap water, the ability to flush toilet paper, and knowing that people won’t say “wow you’re really smart for a girl,” after graduating from college. Being in Vietnam taught me that even though there isn’t true equality stateside, at least the idea of a girl getting an education, working at an office job after college, and making a decent salary isn’t unfathomable.

Moving to San Francisco & Consulting Job

I loved San Francisco last summer. I loved it in a way where I thought it was worth the 1.5-hour commute each way to visit the city every weekend. When I first landed in SFO, the only thing I knew was 1) I didn’t have a permanent place yet 2) Christina was going to pick me up and house me for a week 3) Akshay would let me crash on his couch the following week 4) I owned zero furniture and needed to find a way to Ikea 5) I was still waiting for a permanent address, so my parents could send 5 boxes worth of stuff.

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If it weren’t for the selfless friends who helped me in the beginning, I think I would’ve had to figure everything out myself. My parents were occupied with making sure my brother was prepped for moving out of his summer apartment and getting ready for the new school year, so I didn’t want to ask them for help. My first 3 weeks of surviving in SF were only because of people like Christina, Akshay, Ethan, and various Accenture co-workers that became instant friends.

Speaking of Accenture, I started my first full-time job in a position I had never done before. I didn’t know if the skills I had could even be used in this new role, but my interviewers must have thought I had enough to get hired. Now, 5 months into my job, I can honestly say that I’m still learning. I’ve learned a lot, but I still have a long way to go. My Excel skills have improved significantly and PowerPoint has become my best friend and worst enemy. I don’t write as much as I used to, which is the main activity I miss most.

Just the Beginning

While 2015 is coming to an end, I can honestly say this is only the beginning of my adult life and more adventures are on the way. I’m lucky to have the supportive people in my life that keep me wanting to experience more each day. I might have not been in some long list of most influential people, finished writing that book yet, or attempted to start a startup again, but I think life is pretty good from where I stand.

I booked a flight to Vietnam.

On Feb. 25, 2015, I booked a flight back to the motherland and it might be the scariest and most exciting thing I’ve done in a while. I haven’t been back to Vietnam, my place of birth, since 1997. Actually, I haven’t visited Vietnam since I came to America.

For the past year, I’ve been putting a little bit of everything I earned into a pocket of my savings account in hopes of affording a plane ticket, a visa, and spending money to venture to Vietnam after graduation. On May 26, 2015, I will finally head back to the place I once called home.

Why am I so scared?

I always tell the world that I’m fluent in Vietnamese. For those who have heard me speak Vietnamese, my theory doesn’t seem to be false. While my level of Vietnamese is above average for someone who has lived in the states for the majority of her life, it still does not compare to those who have lived in Vietnam.

Another concern is that I fly to Vietnam immediately after graduation. The university-wide commencement ceremony with all the fireworks is on May 23…I leave 3 short days after. The things I do to avoid high-season prices. There’s a huge fear that in the process of trying to move all of my stuff out fo my apartment and packing my belongings, I’m going to forget something important.

This is also the first international flight I’ve taken since coming to America. I’ve traveled a lot domestically in the past couple of years between PRSSA and visiting people I care about, but there’s a huge difference between a 3-hour flight and a 23-hour flight.

Communication is also another factor that comes with any international flight. Do I use my handy-dandy iPhone 6 or suck it up and use a vintage phone for local calls? Probably a combination of both. I’ve been hysterically asking my jetsetter friends who have ventured on their fair share of international trips for advice – every bit has helped.

But I’m also really excited!

I wanted to visit Vietnam right after graduation because it’s the last time I’ll have a long break without having to use vaction time off work. While I consider myself an American, I’m still Vietnamese and it’s important that I understand where I come from and where my roots are. I hope to improve my Vietnamese, learn more about the culture, and be reunited with relatives I haven’t seen since I was a 4 year old getting on a plane headed to America.

I’m spending a month traveling across the country starting at Saigon, slowly making myself north to see Ha Long Bay, venturing to visit relatives in Ha Noi, and then heading back down south to catch a flight back stateside.

I don’t exactly know what to expect, but I’m looking forward to every minute of it.

Follow my adventures!

I’m leaving from DFW on May 26 and returning on June 20. Send me suggestions on Vietnam and international travel in general. Follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and this blog.

The Other Minority: Asian Americans in Public Relations

photo: PRSSA

photo: PRSSA

Everyone in my family has either pursued engineering or the medical field to some capacity. And then there’s me: the public relations major, who “thank goodness chose to pursue the tech industry.”

As I entered my first lower-division public relations course, I couldn’t help but look around and notice that there were very few that looked like me. Yes, the classroom was about 95 percent female, but I couldn’t help but notice the low number of Asian Americans. I know that we should be color blind, but I couldn’t help it.

It’s almost a double standard. I have my purely Asian family asking, “what the hell is PR and why aren’t you pursuing engineering or medicine?” While the other half of the population says, “you’re Asian, you’ll be fine.”

But it’s not just my classrooms. As someone who has interned since her senior year of high school, there have been so many times where I have been the only Asian employee in the department or one of maybe five Asian American employees at most.

In 2013, the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) established an initiative to increase diversity of in the field of public relations. However, I couldn’t help but notice the initiative targeted historically Black colleges and Hispanic Association of Colleges. As an advocate of the PRSA, I applaud them on their initiative, but I must acknowledge the red flag: where are the Asians?

At only 7.3 percent, Asian Americans are the lowest percentage of minorities in the field of public relations. So why hasn’t anything been done about this? As an Asian American in the field of public relations, I’m distraught that we still have not hit the double digits.

Nearly 15 million Asian Americans account for a segment of the U.S. population, representing about 5 percent of all Americans. That figure is expected to increase to nine percent by 2050. It’s estimated that by 2017, Asian Americans will have a purchasing power of $1.1 trillion, due to having higher incomes than other racial minority groups. So why, with so much potential, do we not motivate those who understand the Asian American market the best, to pursue the industry? In my personal opinion, it starts at a very young age with awareness of the existence of the field.

When I applied to college, I can honestly say I had no idea what public relations was or what the career path even entailed. No one told me about PR. Hell, even some job applications that have a list of majors don’t list PR as an option. If we want to see numbers grow, we need to start at a young age. In recent years, the promotion of STEM at a young age has increased significantly. I propose that a similar framework be used when promoting the field of public relations.

I’m not saying STEM is bad. STEM works in conjunction with my career objectives, so of course I support it. But for those who are strong writers and communicators, expose them to public relations as an option. This might not immediately increase the percentage, but it’s a start.

And then there’s the American Dream Factor. To the best of my understanding, one of the main components of achieving the Dream is financial stability. Let’s admit it, entry-level PR salary isn’t high at all. Actually, it’s quite low considering it’s basically a 24/7 job. So when I expressed the starting salary to my family, there was a slight look of concern. I’m entering an industry where you better love what you do because the pay isn’t why you’re doing it.

But to me, the American Dream should be focused on giving back to my parents, who sacrificed so much so I could have the life I currently live. I might not be able to buy them a house upon graduation, help pay for my brother’s college degree or anything that has a large price tag immediately. I can, however, try to give them the moon and back later down the line.

The number of Asian American public relations practitioners is low, but there is great potential in the coming years for it to increase, but there needs to be an understanding from the Asian American community that PR is a legitimate field to pursue and the American Dream isn’t lost if it is pursued.

#internlife II: Pay it Forward

Some of you might remember my 21st birthday. No, I don’t mean the raging alcohol consumption liquid courage part, I mean the community part. The part where I somehow successfully raised $1000 for Cancer Support Community of Central Texas, an organization I adore that focuses on the idea of “paying it forward” every day. Ever since that moment, I had a personal goal to constantly pay it forward every day.

The act of paying it forward does not have to revolve around raising some grand amount of money for a local non-profit, it can be something small. It can simply be, being a good person. I’m a strong believer that one little act or one smile and “how are you?” can mean the world. It sounds insanely cheesy, but I’m a fan.

As I start off my fourth week of interning, I want to focus on paying it forward. I’ve always been the type of person that says, “I don’t do feelings.” I tend to put aside my emotions and focus on the goal and sometimes, that makes me come off as (excuse my French), a total bitch. But lately, working 10-12.5 hour days has taught me a new discipline and appreciation for the little things.

As I enter the fulfillment center each day, I can’t help but notice the varied expressions on the faces of the associates on my team. They know I’m an intern who could be their manager at the age of 21, but instead of treating me like dirt, they’re always helpful. More importantly, even with walking 15 miles a day during a 10-hour shift, they somehow manage to smile and make my sleep-deprived self feel somewhat better about how much of a noob I am at being an Area Manager.

I had one incident where an associate was concerned with her low picking rate; the associate received feedback that she needed to improve or she would receive an increase in coaching and then some. All I did was ask her, “how are you feeling?” as I saw the look of frustration on her face and what she responded with made me realize why I took this job to begin with: I really appreciate you asking me that. I didn’t think anyone cared enough to ask.

It was something so simple.

And then we have the process assistants, who have put up with how confused I am half the time. I might wear a vest that reads, “Manager. Ask me.,” but in reality, I’m secretly hoping no one asks me a question because I might know the answer. Actually, there is a really great chance I don’t know the answer. Today, after working 12.5 hours, after missing my brother’s graduation live stream because of work, a PA came up to me and handed me a box of pizza from a local pizza place. All he said was, “you’re cool and we don’t want our favorite intern to starve during her time here.” That. That in itself made me so happy.

Just when I think I can’t get through this summer, these people, these amazing people come out of nowhere and make me realize why I work the 12-hour days, why my feet hurt and why I care so much about them.

21.

I turned 21 yesterday. I had my first legal martini from Trudy’s. And right now, all I can say is I feel like for the first time in a long time, I just might have a little over 50% of my life figured out.

As for the update on my fundraiser for Cancer Support Community of Central Texas, the total amount was $970. I lowered my goal to $1100, so I was just under reaching my goal. In the next week, I will donate $30 and make it a flat $1000. Pretty good amount given to an amazing organization if you ask me.

The process of raising money for CSCCT was thrown together and I wish I had planned ahead earlier during the summer. If I could go back and re-do the entire process, I would have started at the beginning of the summer, reached out to more people and read every loop hole and researched more. But at the end of the day, I’m still happy with the number and I was happy that money was raised. I had always wanted to give back to a non-profit, but didn’t know how to go about doing it. Using my 21st birthday as a way to give back was an amazing experience and I am so glad I actually did it.

I’m currently content with what I have done and what I will do in the future. Being 21 is looking pretty swell so far. Thank you to all that donated, those who were there for my first round of legal drinks, and everyone who has supported me throughout these 21 years. I wouldn’t be where I am today without you.

Fear and Excitement.

photo: pinterest

Today is August 19, 2013. At this time last year, I had just finished moving into my very first college apartment off-campus and started my first college internship. A year ago today, I had the same feelings I do now, but for different reasons. A year ago I was afraid of what the new school year will bring, but I was excited to see what I would learn about myself during my sophomore year.

Now, a year later, I still have those feelings. I am afraid that I have put too much on my plate, but I’m excited to see what this new school year will bring. I have had a crazy and wonderful summer. I learned so much and met the most fantastic people who made me laugh until my cheeks hurt and a person who made me realize I was capable of feeling again.

As of right now, this is the current state of my life:

  • Ordering textbooks
  • Spending time with family
  • Scanning Facebook groups for apartment goods
  • Spending time with friends
  • Google Hangout meetings for student organizations & projects
  • Promoting $2100 by my 21st birthday campaign
  • Becoming incredibly giddy when I see the number going up (see above)
  • Trying to convince NI to bypass the “you must be a full-time permanent employee to get matched $1000” rule
  • Sending emails
  • Applications
  • Sending SnapChats
  • Eating every bit of my mother’s homemade cooking I can
  • Finding a suitable pair of jeans and new running shoes because those are the two items my wardrobe is lacking
  • Planning a wine tour
  • Saving up for at trip to Philly/east coast
  • Figuring out if it’s worth it to travel to New York during spring break for a school-sponsored networking trip
  • Cutting back on coffee
  • Drinking more tea
  • Praying that I don’t end this upcoming school year an utter failure at life

A Different Kind of Project.

This upcoming week, I will be closing out the summer portion of my internship with National Instruments. Which also means I finally have time to start working on a project that I’ve been planning since this past spring. On September 16, I will turn 21. The 21st birthday is often associated with a night that one will forget because after all, you only turn 21 once.

Instead of simply hunting down free beverages downtown, I wanted to do something to give back to the community. By my 21st birthday, I want to raise $2100 for Cancer Support Community of Central Texas. The amount sounds like a lot, so my initial goal will be $1000. To be honest, if I reach that initial goal, I will be incredibly happy with the outcome, but if I reach my ultimate goal, that would be even more exciting.

So why did I choose CSCCT of all the non-profits? For one, it’s a local chapter located in Austin and cancer is definitely an issue that has an impact on a large amount of not only the local population, but across various communities.

CSCCT’s mission is to ensure that all people impacted by cancer are empowered by knowledge, strengthened by action, and sustained by community. With the support of the community and dedicated professionals in the area, CSCCT aims to develop free support groups, educational programs, mind-body well and stress management classes, and networking opportunities available to all who need them by:

  • Securing a safe, home-like facility with between 6,000 and 7,500 square feet to provide a healing environment—away from medical settings—where those impacted by cancer will find a refuge from the stress of dealing with serious illness.
  • Raising $500,000 in order to meet and exceed the $250,000 opening requirement set by the national Cancer Support Community organization by attracting individuals, foundations, and corporations. *To date, we have raised over $150,000.
  • Offering initial public programs and services for people affected by cancer before the end of 2013.
  • Maintaining a high level of annual funding to sustain the success of Cancer Support Community Central Texas.
  • Involving as many community partners as possible to in the development of Cancer Support Community Central Texas.

donationlinkTo donate, click the cake above.

I’m currently drafting emails and meeting with a few people to organize corporate donations, but a small donation from my friends and family would be incredibly appreciated.

Thank you 🙂

Five Things I Currently Love.

NIWeek

By far one of the best experiences I’ve had this week was experiencing NIWeek. From working events, mingling with customers to exploring exhibits and discovering the innovations in the realms of engineering and science, this was by far the greatest highlight of my summer internship. The long hours were worth it.

workspace

During the moving process, I managed to break my 4-year-old desk. Thankfully, a fellow student was selling this Ikea beauty for $10 and saved me and my productivity. I never realized how much I needed a desk until I didn’t have one. Let’s hope this new workspace will provide me with a high GPA for the semester and an increase in blog posts.

candle

I’m a huge fan of candles. The first thing I do when I get home is light a candle. This is the best $5 investment from Burlington Coat Factory that I’ve made. This has lasted me for over a month and has a sweet smell that isn’t too strong.

I live in Austin, Texas where the breakfast taco reigns supreme over any other breakfast item. I’m currently obsessed with Tacodeli and Torchy’s. If you haven’t had a breakfast taco, you need to try one and fall in foodie love.

pool

I have spent more time in a bikini by the water this summer than any other summer. Needless to say, I love the water and I am definitely at least 2-3 shades darker now than I was at the beginning of the summer. Nothing like a lazy day at the pool with a good friend and a nice beverage in hand.

Superwoman.

I am a student. I am a woman. I am driven. I want a successful career. I (eventually) want a family, including children.

Women have made an immense amount of strides in the corporate world today. Images in the media have shown us from a young that as a woman, you can have it all if you work your ass off. But how does one ever have a work-life balance? According to everyone woman that has a high position in a company that I’ve ever asked, you don’t ever really reach a balance. I’m still not entirely sure if I’m content with that answer. They say you can’t have your cake and eat it too, but I’m as stubborn as they get, so there’s a good portion of me that says, “Yes, I can and will; I’ll prove you wrong.”

But I’m also 20-years-old, I’ve had a few internships under my belt, and I’ve never been in love. So no, I am not an expert on having a work-life balance because I’ve never really had to; at least, not to that degree. Which is why I’m so incredibly happy with my past two internships. I’ve been able to work under the leadership of women who are passionate about what they do, smart about what they do and still somehow, manage a good family life and still look pretty darn classy and poised throughout the entire process.

I’ve scoured the Internet and sifted through handfuls of articles about women who have managed to “have it all.” One thing remains true: no one can have it all. I’m not saying I’m going to start sacrificing here and there to make sure I appear to be able to do it all. One thing that I’ve learned from my mentors is that you can work to your heart’s content during the week, but on the weekends, you better take some time off and focus on your own happiness.

This summer, I’m interning full-time and I start my Spanish 4 course in July. On paper, that doesn’t look like much, but when my former supervisor asked me when I would actually find time for myself, I didn’t know how to respond. I informed her I would be driving home to Dallas this weekend to see my family and I planned on traveling to Houston in July. Those are relaxing weekends, right? Wrong. I think part of my nervous break down in the last post had to do with the fact that I don’t know how to relax. And that in itself is a realization I never wanted to admit to myself or anyone for that m atter.

Why I don’t want to be the “super woman.”

They don’t sleep. Okay, so I admit that my sleep schedule is pretty terrible during the school year because it really depends on the week. During weeks when I have a million exams and projects, I don’t sleep. Four to five hours of sleep? Totally normal. Now that I have to be at the office at 8 a.m. every morning, my sleep schedule has improved to some degree. I’m at least going to bed a little before or at midnight. This is still pretty bad and I’m still a coffee addict, but we have made progress.

They have everything scheduled. I used to be one of those people who would screen shot my iCal and send it to my former boyfriends and have them choose a white space. Ladies, don’t do this. By far one of my dumbest dating mistakes ever. I do have a busy schedule, but I also like to make time for people who matter to me and the worst feeling in the world is knowing that my schedule is too packed to even try to schedule anything. I’m a pretty organized person, but I don’t want to be that person that turns to their child and says, “okay, so at 3:00 p.m., mommy is actually going to make time for you.”

Happiness. The concept is so basic. From the outside looking in, these women who appear to have it all aren’t always happy. At the end of the day, all I really want in life is to be happy. Happy in my professional, academic and personal life. I would take happiness over anger and depression any day.

The Routine.

Last night, for the first time in a long time, I kind of had a nervous break down. I sat down and started writing my to-do list for the next few weeks and I realized something, I’m in way over my head. Maybe it’s the stress from the school year that has still yet to fully disappear or maybe I’m biting off more than I can possibly chew – nothing new there; either way, I had to call one of my closest friends and just vent.

The advice he gave me seemed so simple, “take each day as it comes and stop worrying.” Okay, he’s a hot-shot journalist in the making and I’m probably misquoting him and fitting the PR stereotype, but his advice was definitely something along those lines – I promise.

So what do the next few days mean after the pep talk from my good friend and post nervous break down? Change of routine.

  1. Plan out meals: I’ve lost weight since I returned to Austin. Not because I’ve been working out more, but more because I’m forgetting to eat most of the time or don’t realize just how much food I need to pack for lunch so that my stomach doesn’t start growing around 10 a.m. or 3 p.m.
  2. Get off the grid: if you know me well, you’ll know that I am attached to my phone and laptop – technology is my life, not only in my professional life, but also my personal life. My phone is usually on silent, but I have the vibrate feature on, so it buzzes every five seconds from a text, phone call or email. Before going to bed, I vow to put my phone on silent, shut down my laptop and just sleep as a normal person is intended to.
  3. Go to bed before midnight: this is more of a personal problem. No matter how tired I am from being at the office, I can never seem to get myself to fall asleep before midnight. I’ll lay in my bed at 10 p.m., telling myself I’m going to fall asleep and then not actually falling asleep until a little past midnight. I have to be at the office at 8 a.m., so you can see why I strongly dislike this inability to sleep.
  4.  Relax: I have this note taped to a shelf on my desk that reads, “smile, don’t stress, stay classy.” In high school, my BC calculus teacher referred to me as his “little Asian ball of stress,” I know it was a term of endearment and he was probably one of the best teachers I’ve ever had, so I wasn’t offended at all. But the fact holds true, I stress out far too much and usually it’s about the little things that shouldn’t matter. But here’s the difference between my stress and the average person’s, I pent it up for as long as I can, which results in the hot mess of a break down.
  5. Forget the schedule: I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, my calendar is my life. I have always been one of those people who writes down everything she has to do and checks it off on a daily basis. The problem? By the time I figure out when to schedule my social life, everyone has already made plans. So here’s to being more lenient and actually making time for people who matter to me. I’m not saying I’ll just flake on professional or academic commitments, I’m just saying I’ll be more likely to agree to “Hey! I’m free right now, wanna have lunch?” if a friend requests it.
  6. Exercise: I’ve been doing this a little more often. I’ve learned that running calms me down – A LOT. I feel accomplished, productive and according to Legally Blonde, exercising releases endorphines and endorphines make people happy.