Monthly Favorites

Favorites & Highlights of May 2018!

Screenshot 2018-06-04 at 2.43.01 PM.png

Hey, guys – welcome back to TNTH!

This “monthly favorites” is going to be quite short; I didn’t really have the time to explore new things or pick up some new hobbies during the month of May, but a lot of exciting things did happen!

So without further ado, here are some things that happened/I enjoyed in the month of May:

1.) Twice

In a world where K-Pop boy band BTS is winning the hearts of millions all over, I found myself obsessing over a K-Pop girl group, which they call themselves Twice. Twice was formed through a survival show competition entitled Sixteen where 16 female JYP trainees were fighting for the 7 spots of JYP Entertainment’s new girl group. JYP is known for forming groups such as GOT7, 2PM, Miss A, and The Wonder Girls. After deciding to make the group 9 members, the official Twice members (according to the order on the photo) are Tzuyu, Jeongyeon, Sana, Jihyo, Nayeon, Chaeyoung, Dahyun, Mina, and Momo. I first heard of the group actually once while in the laundromat in my neighborhood, and the music video (as well as the song) were both very catchy, and I decided to look further into them. When I tell you that their fanbase is massive… it’s insane. Although they aren’t as mainstream in the U.S. as BTS, Twice is internationally known and have the potential to become just as big here as the boy band. I don’t know what it is about K-Pop groups, but they work immensely well compared to American groups. So yeah, check them out if you like cute, girly, catchy K-Pop songs!

2.) Highlight #1: Submitting my Thesis

The submission of my MA Thesis was a bittersweet one. Even weeks after doing so, it’s only until now that I feel like the piece is officially complete. Working on my thesis for two straight years is something I never did with a body of work in my academic career, and letting it go to officially submit felt like sending off my 18-year-old child to an out-of-state college. No, I don’t know how that would feel, but I can imagine it felt like the way I did when I submitted my thesis. At first, I was really determined to get honors on my thesis, but when it only passed, I was grateful that it did even that. My thesis was a controversial one, and there were professors that fit the criteria of the “type” of Professor I wrote about who had to read it. I’ve got comments back having them feel quite defensive of my words, but in the long run, I spoke my truth and now that truth will be published as a scholarly work, which is unreal to me.

3.) Highlight #2: The Graduate Research Conference.

After submitting my thesis for review, I quickly had to put a 5-minute presentation together of it and discuss it in front of an audience. It was an extremely stressful week to say the least, but I got up there and possibly did the best presentation I’ve done in my entire academic career. I was so beyond proud of myself for getting my thesis out there, and for having my thesis advisor support me while I was doing it. It was a great way to end my studies as a grad student, and it’s a moment I won’t be forgetting.

4.) Highlight #3: My Mental Health Journey

I decided to add this in here because my journey towards positive mental health played a major role in May. In early May, I got diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and I’ve been going to therapy every week. I decided to seek out professional help because I felt myself not being able to handle my anxiety by myself anymore due to the fact that my anxiety was now about long-term things I had no control over. Grad school made my anxiety a lot worse, and it’s not going to go away now that it’s over. It’s a process to overcome certain obstacles when there’s anxiety involve, and having to speak them out loud instead of having them circulate in my mind has been extremely helpful. Therapy and going to get your mental health checked isn’t always about getting meds and calling it a day. It’s about taking ownership of your own life instead of allowing your disorders or illnesses take ownership of you.

5.) Highlight #4: Graduating Grad School

I won’t speak about this in detail since there’s already a post on this, but it wouldn’t be right if I didn’t include the most important day of 2018 for me. Almost a week later, it still feels surreal that I’m a Masters Grad, and I’m considered a “Master in English”, and it probably won’t feel real until I get my Masters Degree in my hands but it came, it went, and I couldn’t have had for a better graduation. Despite the weather being rainy and cloudy, I have to say this graduation was a lot better than my undergraduate one. It was seriously just one to remember and cherish as my last graduation ever… that’s if I ever go and pursue my PhD, which isn’t in the picture anytime soon.


So yeah! Hopefully, there are more things to try & to do in June; I mean, I definitely have all the time in the world now. ^__^

-Liz (:


What Grad School Taught Me: The Masters Grad Edition.

Hey, guys – welcome back to TNTH!

A year ago, I published a quite negative post regarding how the first year of my grad studies treated me. You can read that here if you’d like.

This time around, I am a recent Master’s Graduate and my perspective on it has changed for the better.

Liz, “Master in English”.

Yesterday, I attended my departmental ceremony and officially graduated grad school. 130 undergrads graduated with their Bachelors in English, and 7 grads graduated with their Masters in English. Within the ceremony, our MA Director did something that was quite touching; she acknowledged all 7 of its graduates and shared to the English Class of 2018 all of our MA Theses titles to acknowledge our hard work during our journey in grad school. For my moment, I felt like my hard work paid off, and it felt great to just have the title of my thesis read because it’s such a body of work I am immensely proud of. I honestly wouldn’t have had the passion and drive for it if it wasn’t for my thesis advisor, Professor Carlo.

Professor Carlo & I.

Professor Carlo’s class was one of two courses I took during my first semester as a grad student. I was 22, I was naïve, and I was extremely timid and shy to even speak in class. In the duration of her course, I began to see writing in such a different perspective, and I began to express myself in a classroom in a way I haven’t been able to do so since the acting courses I took during undergrad. I felt a sense of freedom and began to get a sense of what my voice was, and I honestly believe I wouldn’t have known this without Professor Carlo’s class. I knew since the moment she said “if you’d like have your final paper become a thesis”, I instantly knew she was the professor I wanted to guide me to the end. And she did, and as a thank you for her dedication, time (and ears whenever I rambled on and on in our meetings), I gave her a bouquet of flowers. I cried giving them to her, she cried as I cried. And that’s the thing: the last time I truly cried at a graduation was in middle school, a time where I was at the happiest in my life and that I knew I was truly going to miss being there with my friends. I cried at my Masters’ Graduation because I was sad it was over and that the journey that I once felt was going to last a lifetime, was now over.

Grad school taught me more than how to research and analyze text on a scholarly level. It taught me the lessons in life I was too afraid to learn on my own.

Bachelors in English.

Prior to grad school, I graduated college not really knowing what the real world was like, and I wasn’t ready to face it because let’s be honest, I didn’t have a hard time completing my bachelor’s degree. At first, I accepted CSI’s “fast-track” into the Master’s program because I felt like I wasn’t done. I felt like I wasn’t done learning, growing, and getting degrees in all honesty. My aunt is the only other person in the family with a Masters Degree, and it was about time that a millennial in the family got one as well. But to be even more honest with myself, I started the program because I was scared of not having a plan, and going to grad school felt like the security blanket that I thought was going to protect me a bit as I got my own shit together.

In a sense, it worsened me.

With every journey comes with some hardships and particularly, grad school gave me a lot of them. I lost most of my friends (old and newish), I lost a lot of my social abilities which created this comfortable bubble of just me writing and getting work done, and it became a reason why I am now seeking out therapy.

It’s how I found out I have Generalized Anxiety Disorder.

But even with all of this, I’ve learned how to look at it through a positive lens. For instance, I would’ve never gone to seek therapy in the past because I never allowed myself to believe that I was sad/unhappy enough to the point where I needed outside help. Grad school, without a doubt, made me more responsible and more willing to manage things, and with that came this ability to become self-aware of my behavior, actions, and my fears. It made me see myself in a way that made me feel very exposed, and I didn’t have any help trying to get “comfortable” again.

Grad school taught me how to be self-aware of myself & how to acknowledge even the most uncomfortable things in my life. Whether it was me having to wait near the bridge for my bus at 10:30 at night, or writing two 12-page papers in 3 weeks, I was very uncomfortable during my journey. Half of those things caused my anxiety to worsen; half of those things taught me how to cope and make this a temporary “new norm”. There was no compromise in the middle; it was either go for it or let it get you. And I think that’s something so important to know when dealing with an anxiety disorder and/or dealing with life in general.

The future for me is unplanned, and I am learning to be okay with that for the time being. I made it this far, to see this day, to see yesterday, and I know I’ll make it see the future. Grad school taught me there’s no room to be afraid to do something; you’ll never truly know what could be in store if you don’t explore outside of your comfort zone.

It’s okay to be uncomfortable. Being uncomfortable teaches you more about yourself than being comfortable.

Here’s to life as a Master in English.


Liz (:

Self-Appreciation Saturdays

SAS: Post-Grad Depression. (7/8/17)

By this time, most college students who are a part of the Class of 2017 have graduated, celebrated their accomplishments, got gifts from their families, and everyone who’s important already congratulated them for doing such an amazing thing such as graduating college and getting their degree.

But now the festivities are now over and you’re left wondering: “now what?” You’re now anxious because you have no sense of direction of your life, the options while finding a job to accompany your career are slim to none, and you’re expected to start paying back student loans in six months. You find yourself literally in a fetal position, not wanting to do anything because you’re still exhausted from the last year of college you had, yet you feel like you have to get up and do something because you believe your life is meaningless now that you’re not in school anymore.

This, my fellow recent grads, is what you call “post-grad depression.”

Continue reading “SAS: Post-Grad Depression. (7/8/17)”

Throwback Thursdays

#TBT: First Job Interview Experience.

In a sad confession, I have to say that I’ve only had one job in my life, and that job was just a month-long internship at a theater company. Other than that, I’ve tried getting a job in the last couple of years, but they haven’t really done me well.

I started to look for internships and job after completing my second year of college three years ago. I was specifically looking for internships that could help me become more involved in the film world since I was really interested in screenwriting at the time. So I looked online and realize there were a few film companies in the city that were offering positions during the summer. I applied for at least 4 of them, and sadly only one of them wrote me back and were interested in me.

Now, I’m excited as I could ever be for getting a callback because it’s going to be my first ever interview, and I was ready. They told me to come into the city the following day at their headquarters for the interview. I was definitely nervous to go through my first interview because I get really nervous talking to people publicly. But I tried to prepare myself by asking myself some questions that they might’ve asked me during the interview, and for awhile, it helped with my nerves.

Then, the day came.

It was on a hot, blazing Thursday and I was due for my interview roughly around 10:30 in the morning. I had to go into the city for my interview and every single time I go into the city, I end up getting lost. That day was one of those days, and I started to panic. I began to sweat out my hair, my face was glazed with sweat, and my all black ensemble wasn’t looking so… great anymore. It was getting close to my call time and now I’m getting angry and irritated; I really wasn’t trying to be late for my very first job interview.

So, I finally get to the building where I needed to be in, and at this time I’m drenched in sweat. I go into the elevator to the third floor, and now I feel the nerves in the pit of my stomach. I finally get onto the third floor and there are no offices. So now I’m even more nervous because it’s literally my call time, and I have no idea where to turn or to ask because there was literally no one around. After a minute or too, I decided to call the woman who called me for the interview, letting her know I was in the building. It felt completely unprofessional to do that; like do you ever make plans with your friends and when you’re the first to arrive at the place so you have to call them to let you know you’re at the place? That’s how I felt at that moment.

When I finally met up with her, she was a nice young Asian woman who had on the nicest summer dress, and there I was in my all black attire, sweating profusely. She had asked me questions that I wasn’t prepared for, so I kept on stumbling on my words and trying to make some sense of it. A lot of the questions she had to ask me over because I wasn’t understanding them properly. For an interview that took like 5 minutes, it felt like 50 minutes. I left the interview feeling awkward, nervous, and just disappointed in myself. Long story short, I didn’t get the job and I was sad for a couple of days, but it did teach me a few things about going into interviews. After this experience, I was afraid to apply to internships and jobs because of this experience, but eventually, I was able to find one that was right up my alley and I finally had a job at a theater company, Poetic Theater Productions.

Although it’s been awhile since I actually put myself out there for jobs, I know that in the next year or so, I’m going to have to do so. It’s still scary, I can’t lie, but with enough trial and error,  it should become second nature to me.

As of right now… it’s terrifying.


-Liz (:

Self-Appreciation Saturdays

Self-Appreciation Saturday. (3/11/17)

Goals are the things that keep us going in life. They are typically used to better yourself and your habits, and to keep you moving forward with the things you want in life and want to achieve.

People will tell you time and time again that goals are easier said than done. It’s great to set goals because it’s honestly something that you want to change, but to sit down and finally change your lifestyle for these goals is probably the hardest part.

In other words, actually starting is what prevents us from actually achieving our goals.

Last year, I made a goal for myself to write in a daily journal every day for the entire year. Once I realized that I actually did what I wanted to do, 2017 became the year where I was going to set life-changing goals. I’m a person who lives in self-doubt because I sometimes feel like I set goals that are impossible to achieve because I just lack patience doing them. I realized that I’m a long-term goal maker, and sometimes I forget to set short ones that coincide with the overall goal I have.

I dedicated to set goals for myself this year and so far, they’ve been going pretty well. Here are some of my goals that I’ve set for myself and here’s how I’m keeping them.

Weight Loss

I’ve been wanting to lose weight for the past 4 years, and for awhile it was working. Of course, I got impatient to actually see results, and losing weight was beginning to get difficult for me because I wanted certain to eat certain food. After getting my gallbladder removed, it caused rapid weight gain in the course of 4 years and I started to notice it in my activity and my size in clothing. In 2015, I joined Weight-Watchers for 2 months and lost 15 pounds, but I didn’t stick to it because of the immense stress I was going through at the time. Since then, I’ve been discouraged about losing weight because I believed I wasn’t ever going to lose it. I realized that my weight was becoming one of my disadvantages in doing things, so I told myself that this was going to be the year that I was going to lose weight. I’ve been back on Weight-Watchers for two weeks, and although it’s been pretty hard, I’m still trying to adjust, and I lost my first 4 pounds.

People tend to think of losing weight being their primary goal of dieting, which really isn’t a goal, it’s a motive to diet. Once you understand that “dieting” is a lifestyle change, then you’ll start to think of it as starting a new habit. The reason why most diets don’t succeed is that you can’t restrict your body for wanting something that you’re not giving it. By restricting yourself from food your body is used to having, you’re just causing it to crave it more. I believe that Weight-Watchers helps me with that, in all honesty. It’s all about measurements and portions, and the points really do help me keep on track what I’ve been eating. Yeah, I sometimes go over my daily points, but the program allows you points throughout the week that you’re allowed to have because the fact of the matter is that it’s not the most realistic thing to constantly be within your limit every day. You should always try to, but don’t feel bad if you do go over your limit. Just know that you’re capable of changing the little things everyday, and always remember that losing weight doesn’t happen overnight. If you’re looking to lose a good amount of weight like I am, you have to tell yourself that it’s going to take some time to reach your weight goal. Personally for me, I would like to lose at least 30 pounds by the summertime, whether it be the start of it or the end of it. If I keep my mind focused and positive on the lifestyle change instead of the pounds, than I believe I could achieve my goal.

Finishing Grad School & Staring Life in 2018

I am currently in my second semester of grad school, and this time next year, I will be most likely getting ready to graduate in the upcoming months. As of now, I’m doing pretty good for a first-year grad student, but I’ve heard some horrendous stories of people taking up to 4 years on their Master’s because of the amount of work is needed to graduate. School has always been an easy thing to maintain, but for those who find it hard to balance out school and life, I say to always organize your workload. with grad school being a lot more intense with work, organizing your time management and assignments will help you succeed without the never-ending stress and doubt of not completing school.

Of course, the biggest concern of mine has to do with the fact that I have absolutely no idea how to transition my life from being a student to being a functional adult with a real job in the real world. I also going through this almost quarter life-crisis where I have set goals to do something with my life, but don’t have the necessary resources to do what I want to do. Where yes, it will be harder to get in the field that I want to be with my MA degree, I just have to really start working on my craft and hopefully get in my field without actually getting a degree on it.

Working on my Craft

Eventually, I want to be a scriptwriter, whether it be for the big screen, silver screen, or the stage. I applied to get my MFA in Screenwriting in a film school, and when I got rejected from it because of it being overly competitive, I decided to continue my education at CSI and just get my MA in English. Although I told myself that this will be a solid Plan B if everything else fails, I am beginning to realize that because of it being extremely demanding, I am not writing creatively as much as I want to.

One of the things I’m doing now is as I begin to use TNTH as a platform I can write creatively, I still want to incorporate my script writing into my blog, and eventually start working on a bigger project. I say if anyone is in a place where they want to do something creatively and don’t have the time to do it, you should make the time to do what you love doing. My friend, Tori, is currently a student teacher at a high-school and taking three classes on top of that, and she still finds a way to draw and paint; something she has a passion for. The time people are spending just watching TV or watching YouTube videos (like me), you could be working on a creative project that you’ve been holding off for awhile. Live my the most basic cliche: practice makes perfect.

Personal Growth

Besides my weight and academics, one of my main goals every year is to experience some self-growth. That could mean anything between drinking more water, letting my hair breathe and grow, reevaluating my values, maintaining friendships and relationships, and just keeping positive vibes and happiness in my mind.

Personal growth is just as time-consuming as physical growth, because life happens and it leaves you in unfortunate situations. Your job as a person is to remind yourself that you are doing this for yourself, and not for anyone else. When you take good care of your mind and stay positive, you start feeling good about yourself and your decisions will be more influenced instead of being impulses to make life better.

Goals are all about perseverance, determination, and consistency. Anything can be turned into a habit, whether it be good or bad. Of course, we want good habits to develop, and they can happen if you keep it up. Try to make your goals an actual reality, and see just how proud it will make you feel.

-Liz (: