Monthly Favorites

Favorites & Highlights of May 2018!

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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 (:

Self-Reflection

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.

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Liz (:

Voiceless Rant: The Series

A Voiceless Rant: May 2018 Edition.

Hey, guys – welcome back to TNTH!

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So, no one was going to tell me that I haven’t posted a voiceless rant post for the month of May and now we are literally two days away from June? Crazy.

This month flew by, but then it didn’t. It could be because I wrapped up my final semester and the first half of the month was literally me writing and writing and writing every single day before the last day of classes. In the gist of final papers and submitting my thesis (which passed!), I got the opportunity to speak about my thesis at my college’s graduate conference. It was such a surreal feeling to stand in front of an audience (including my very supportive thesis advisor) and showcase what I’ve been working on for the last two years; it was seriously a great way to end my graduate career.

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Abstract of my Grad Conference Presentation.

Speaking of finishing up grad school, I graduate in two days. I am still trying to let that sink in. It didn’t feel real for awhile; I kept telling myself that something was going to hold me back from getting this Masters degree and that this wasn’t going to be the end of my journey. But everything is stamped and ready to go. I’m graduating with my Masters degree in English. 

Two years felt like an eternity when I was just starting out. 2018 felt too far away for it to be only two years, but these last two years flew by. I just was graduating with my bachelors. I was just taking Professor Carlo’s class in my first semester as a grad student. I just wrote that last final paper for her that I knew was going to be my thesis. I just met all of the people in my grad courses who were cool as hell. I just started grad school.

 

And I think that’s what tripping me up: I struggled and worked my ass off for two years, and finally it is all over. I can’t lie, I lost a lot of people to get where I am now, including my uncle who constantly told me how proud he was for me being the first in the family to get two degrees. I even lost a lot of myself in the process, and it’s not easy trying to get parts of yourself back after feeling like you’ve been away for so long. I don’t necessarily remember who I was before grad school, but I’m damn sure that I’ll be finding who I am now as an actual human being than just one who is a student. I finally am going to be able to take care of myself in ways I wasn’t able to do because of grad school, and that’s honestly what’s so bittersweet about this moment. I was able to get through such a hard time and place in my life, and I can finally breathe again.

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Middle School Tassel & Grad School Tassel.

I guess the overall meaning of this post is that don’t let anyone, not even yourself, tell you that you can’t do it. For months, it felt like I was never going to see the end of this journey because I was self-sabotaging; I really thought I wasn’t going to make it. There were times I told myself I was dropping out because my mental health meant so much more than a piece of paper you get framed on your wall. But I didn’t. My drive, my passion, and my responsibilities made me get where I am now, and I’m glad I got here to experience what it feels like seeing all of your hard work pay off. Staring at my Masters gown, decorating my cap, trying on my graduation outfit… nothing else beats the feeling.

Ten years ago, I couldn’t imagine myself being where I’m at. As a 14-year-old teen, my next chapter was me going to high-school and pursuing my singing with other talented teens like me. As a 24-year-old young woman, my next chapter is me getting a better understanding of who I am, and hopefully getting hired at a job that reflects on the hard work I did to get here.

Here’s to graduation, here’s to a new chapter of life, and here’s to everyone who may have self-doubts about doing whatever they want to do.

Come on and do it. (Yes, that is a Spice Girls reference.)

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-Liz. (:

Monday's Muse

This is What Passion Really Looks Like.

Hey, guys – welcome back to TNTH.

Whoa, a Monday post?! I know, since when? I wanted to write and publish this post at the start of the week as a reminder to all of you (and myself) that no matter how things end up going, you still have passion doing it.

I say things after watching a middle school/high school talent show on Friday. My partner is a dance teacher at a school in NYC and for the last couple of years he’s been there, he has taught a group of girls that call themselves “The Eliminators.” For the last month and a half, I’ve been a witness to my partner’s hard work and dedication towards this show and the competition they went to literally an hour before the talent show started. They were the last to perform for the evening; I could tell my partner was extremely nervous for them to perform and execute this dance well.

The group danced in a way I never saw them dance before, to be honest. This was my first time seeing them in person dancing, but by judging the videos I was sent of their last performances, these girls really outdid themselves. While they were dancing, I noticed my partner cheering his group on in the middle of the auditorium, hyping them up as they danced with the biggest smile on his face. I saw it in his face. I saw it in his nerves, his composure, and his body language. I saw how passion really looked like.

Continue reading “This is What Passion Really Looks Like.”

Self-Appreciation Saturdays

SAS: So, You Started Grad School… (9/9/17)

Hey guys, welcome back to TNTH!

As the summer came to an end for most of us college students, some of you guys are actually starting a new chapter in your lives; one of them may actually be grad school!

Before I say anything else, let me congratulate those who are deciding to jump back into school just months after finishing it. It’s not an easy decision to make when finishing four (or more) intense years of college and then shortly after start grad school.

Last year, I was starting grad school without any type of warning label or disclaimer about what to expect. I am the first of my friends and family to attend graduate school, so there wasn’t anyone telling me what to expect. Maybe some of you guys are in the same boat like I was; you start your grad classes in a couple of days and you’re stressed out because you expect it to be this horrible place of hard work, long novels, and novel-length pages.

Take a deep breath. Let me give you a little bit of a breather before you start regretting your grad school decision.

Continue reading “SAS: So, You Started Grad School… (9/9/17)”

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)”

Topic Tuesdays: Random

First Year of Grad School: DONE!

After 74 pages combined in four final research papers, 8 presentations, 8 novels, and a shitload of articles later, I finally completed my first year of grad school.

Here comes the wonderful summer break!

If you’d like to know how my first year went in depth, be sure you read my “What Grad School Taught Me” post; I feel like a lot of college students have this misconception about grad school and when they finally get into it, more students drop out of it more than they stay in – so I feel like that post could help people make the decision if grad school is for them or not.

Anyway, it’s just so surreal to be going into my second and final year of grad school in the Fall. My first year definitely came and went by so quickly, it still feels like something completely new for me. The experience I had this past year has been such a reality check for me, yet it’s been such an amazing journey thus far.

Going to grad school, especially at CSI, was never in my “5-Year Plan” when I had my life planned out when I was a sophomore in college. This time last year when I was getting ready to graduate with my bachelor’s, even then I couldn’t picture myself in grad school. A year later, I’m halfway through and the first year had unexpected encounters and moments I surprisingly didn’t think I’d get. For starters, I found myself a group of decent school friends who I’m going through the experience with. I’m not alone, and it’s good that this time around, I’m actually making friends with people within my department; I graduated last year not knowing anyone within my English department because I wasn’t so heavily involved in the program oddly enough. Now, I have a group of friends who plan to graduate with me on time in 2018, and I’m excited to be celebrating this accomplishment with actual school friends of mine.

Back to 2017 though: this semester alone has been one of the roughest semesters I’ve had solely because of insane professors, insecurity in my writing, and just overall anxiety from the courses. Even though it seemed like it sucked, this semester taught me a lot about being a writer and how to write, and my final paper for my literature class shows it.

Also, the end of the semester means that my friend, Tori, is going to be graduating in a couple of weeks. For the past year, she has been my ride to the bus stop after class, and yesterday was her last time doing so for me. I’m going to miss our car conversations about life, boyfriends, and school whenever we did link up, but I’m honestly so proud of her. She’s going to be an amazing English teacher; any student will be lucky to have her as one.

What to expect next year!

Next year (yet alone next semester) is going to be a rough one. This last year showed me just how hard it’s going to be handling two classes, so I can only imagine how tough it’s going to be when I have to take a Shakespeare class with possibly Shakespeare’s biggest fan as my professor, and an Independent Study with the professor who gave me a hard time this semester. It’s going to be hectic and I know my life is going to go down the drain once I go into this semester, but I know I am strong enough to go through these two tough courses and do what I gotta do.

In addition to that, I was granted the opportunity to do something insanely awesome next semester. So within my school, grad students in the English program have to write a 30-paged thesis paper prior to graduating. You pick a final paper you wrote in a class and expand on the ideas already in the paper; I’m currently working on a thesis discussing the disadvantages minority writers have in academia and the way they are the most oppressed group in writing classes. Because I plan on graduating on time next year, I will be focusing a lot more on my thesis and polish it up to submit to the graduate committee for grading. My writing professor at the time, Professor Carlo, is going to be the one consulting me with writing my MA Thesis. She’s possibly one of the coolest professors I’ve had at my school, so I knew that right away, she was going to be the professor I worked with.

Because I plan to do so, I received an email from her asking me if I was interested in being her Supplemental Instructor in a class she is teaching in the Fall semester: Autobiographical Writing. Now if you know me, this is straight up my damn alley. I live for writing about yourself and your own experiences; that’s what TNTH really is! But long story short, I’d be practically teaching her class, which is such a great honor and I hope I can proceed in doing so.

So yeah. An independent study + a really hard class + this SI Leader job = one stressed out Liz. But I know I’m able to do this.

But as of now, it’s time to wait for the final grades and then my summer vacation can finally begin!

What’s going on with TNTH now that school is over?

Because of grad school taking over my life this last couple of months, it’s been forever since I had time to myself to do the things that I’ve wanted to do for months, i.e actually put my everything into the blog. I have some amazing projects coming up (which I will be announcing soon on here), and some goals I want to hit during the summer.

Although usually, I’m over the summer after the Fourth of July, I’m excited to hang out more with my best friend, I’m excited to explore more places and take pictures, and I’m excited to officially start journaling again, specifically just summer journaling (I’ll be daily journaling again for the 2018 year).

Anyway, I hope everyone is having a great month, whether or not you’re officially on vacation or not, make the most out of this beautiful Spring weather! Stay tuned for a great summer for TNTH!

-Liz (:

Topic Tuesdays: Advice

What Grad School Taught Me.

I’m the first one within my immediate friends’ group and family to be attending grad school. Ultimately, I didn’t plan on going to grad school for my Master’s because I thought four years of college were enough to last me for a lifetime. I knew I wanted to expand my studies in Cinema because I wanted to become a scriptwriter for awhile, and I needed more studies in film and television if I wanted to pursue that as a career. I applied in Fall 2015 to attend a film school in Fall 2016. I got rejected due to limited spots within the program, and by that point, I felt extremely discouraged and told myself that grad school was officially out of the picture.

Until CSI granted me the opportunity to continue my studies in their MA program for English. I felt blessed to have this handed to me without having a backup plan after the film school rejected me, so I decided to stay at my college and study English (again) as a grad student.

I am currently wrapping up my first official year of grad school. I will be graduating this time next year.

Boy how time flies.

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If you were to ask “22-year-old college senior Liz” what grad school would be like, I would tell you that it was going to be tedious, but nothing that I can’t handle. I still remember my last famous words being “I did 5 classes for two semesters straight; how hard could two classes be?”

Dear “22-year-old college senior Liz”, you played yourself.

Prior to attending grad school, I planned to do a lot of things with the spare time I thought I was going to have. I wanted to be more involved with my school’s drama club, I wanted to write a lot more scripts and potentially make them into short films or scenes, and I definitely wanted to finally get a job. After realizing that I had a project already due the first day of grad school, I realized just how intense grad school was going to be.

Grad school is definitely a different type of commitment you make than regular college. Nowadays, it’s ideal to go to college after high-school; most careers and jobs require a Bachelor’s degree. Going to grad school and getting your Master’s isn’t as common, hence why it’s more a commitment. The reality of it all is that you don’t have to go to grad school; you could be perfectly fine with life with just your Bachelor’s degree. So when you decide to pursue grad school and it becomes too much to handle, the question of “do I really need to do this?” definitely comes up. I know it did for me.

Grad school, especially studying English, requires a lot of research. You’re writing 20-page final papers, you’re putting on presentations for 4 different projects, and your vacation days and breaks that you have are strictly for doing work.

Grad school has definitely taught me a lot about my work ethic and how to properly handle my time management. My undergrad years I did my work very last minute, especially in classes that I really didn’t like. I went through many semesters not reading any of the books for my literature course and still managed to pass all of them with A’s and such. Grad school… a completely different ball game. The readings are longer, dense, and require a lot more of your time in order to engage in class discussions and most of all, you’ve made it this far. People don’t understand that at when in a grad-level class, everyone made it just as far as you. People are a lot more intellectual, and the people who may appear like they don’t do much in class are the same people who are honestly just low-key geniuses.

The truth of it all is that you have to physically prepare yourself for grad school and even then you’re not fully ready. People assume that grad school is just going to be a little bit harder than undergrad (or even easier) when really, two classes feel like two full-time jobs. Grading is different, attendance is different, the work is different, and yes – even the stress is different.

In my bad habits turned to good ones’ post, I explain how I had to revamp my time management skills by pretty much using my calendar to write down even the days that I have to do work. Grad school work is nothing like undergrad; YOU CANNOT LEAVE IT FOR THE LAST MINUTE. It’s impossible, to say the least.

Last but certainly not least, you have to change your attitude towards school if you want to pass grad-level classes. Specifically, at my school, I have to keep at least a 3.0 GPA (in other words, a B) in order to graduate. My GPA right now is a 3.3, which honestly can change with just a simple bad grade in one course. The pressure that comes with exceeding in grad school literally wears you out, and if you don’t have tough skin to handle the ups and downs of grad school, then grad school isn’t the place for you.

It’s the honest truth.

Of course, grad school isn’t just this horrible place of negativity and anxiety. If anything, grad school has made me into a better writer and has been teaching me the reality of what it takes to be respected in academia. In the near future, I’ll be writing a post about the writing/rhetoric composition side of writing I learn in grad school that I never knew even existed; but that’s beside the point. As a grad student, you are granted this freedom that you don’t get as an undergrad. In grad school, you are allowed to have your own ideas and explore all these different things without having your professors tell you you’re off-topic or some shit (of course, some professors are just naturally one-sided). As a grad student, there is this certain respect you get from your peers that you don’t necessarily get from undergrad because the classes are just overly crowded on the undergrad level. You also get to connect with professors better when you’re on the grad-level (honestly, Professor Carlo has been such an inspiration for me while on this grad school journey, so thank you for making me a better writer).

All in all, grad school is a risk that you should take if you believe that you can do it. It’s okay if you know deep down inside you can’t handle it; it’s not for everyone. I didn’t know that it was essentially for me, and I’m still trying to cope with the new surroundings and identity being a grad student. Yes, at times I feel like the stress and anxiety do take over me, but personally, I feel like grad school has made me grow into myself and to perfect my craft as a writer.

So, if you’re thinking about grad school, I say go for it. There’s nothing wrong furthering your education. If you’re not thinking about grad school, don’t sweat it. Don’t do it because you have to, do it because you want to.

-Liz (:

Self-Appreciation Saturdays

Self-Appreciation Saturday. (4/8/17)

So, you have bad habits. They suck, don’t they? I know my bad habits are bad habits for a reason and because they are habits, they are hard to break. Sometimes, these bad habits lead to poor life choices, and you all-around just feel shitty and lousy and no one likes feeling that way. 

In the last few weeks, I’ve been dealing with bad habits developing and coming back every once and awhile due to the excessive stress I’ve been going through because of grad school. Anyway, here are some ways to make your bad habits actually good habits!

Bad habit: Poor Time Management // Good Habit: Calendar Organizing

Listen, no matter who you are, I think everyone has experienced poor time management at least once in their life. We have deadlines coming up, bills have to get paid, and it seems like every now and then, we never have time to hang out with friends or see family that often. One great way that I try to organize my time is to have a dry-erase calendar board. It’s beneficial to me because if I ever decide I need more time to work on something or if something in my schedule changes, I can just erase it. Doing that on regular calendar make it look less organized and messier due to the cross-outs and rewrites.

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My life as a grad student currently. (Yes, I’m still alive.)

If you’re a stressed out student in school that feels like your assignments are eating you alive (like me), then it’s crucial that not only you write down the deadlines for these assignments, but also the days that you are planning to work on those assignments. Make sure you have different colored markers or pens to differentiate the assignments and classes you have to do the assignments for. (Of course, you can always color coordinate different things that pertain to you like appointments, bills that are due, or social events). I adapted this little technique during my first semester in grad school when I only had a month to literally write 30+ pages for two of my classes. I would color coordinate the assignments that I wanted to do on each day for whatever class it was for. I tell you not, I finished everything before the semester ended, and now I’m trying to get through this semester following the same technique. Whether this looks like it would be overwhelming or not, I assure you that you’ll get things done more efficiently when you plan ahead when to work on things instead of just waiting it out last minute.

Bad Habit: Too Much Junk Food // Good Habit: Portion Control

They always say that once you eat one chip out of the bag, it’s hard to stop. In my duration of being on WeightWatchers, I’ve hit this dead end where it’s been hard to lose more weight because I just really love junk food. Like seriously, that commercial where Oprah is practically screaming she loves chips makes me angry because I LOVE CHIPS AND YET THEY ARE STILL BAD FOR YOU. Anyway, cutting down on junk food is one of the hardest habits to break. One way to change it into a good habit is to possibly find an alternative to binge-eat on these bad foods. For example, if you really love potato chips, eat baked potato chips instead of the regular one. If you have a sweet tooth, make sure you eat sugary foods in moderation. Maybe half a donut, half a candy bar, half a brownie, whatever it is that you like. Of course, you don’t need to take it out of your life completely; take a day out of your week to treat yourself. I know that if I’m out with my best friend, we eat a lot. As long as you’re not eating junk food all day every day, then you’re helping to cut out some bad foods in your diet.

Bad Habit: Over-Tweezing & Nail Biting // Good Habit: Eyebrow Pencil & Nail Polish

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One personal bad habit I have is that I over-tweeze my eyebrows when they get a little stubby. Because of that, I haven’t had tails to my eyebrows in a really long time. They’ve gotten better over the years, but I still consider it a bad habit because I still over-tweeze. One good way I try to not do that is that I do have my eyebrows drawn on for most of the day, and yes, I sometimes fall asleep with them. I find myself tweezing them at night when I’m laying down, and my hands just gravitate towards my eyebrows. With my eyebrows drawn on, I don’t pick at them as much. The first time I did it, a lot of my eyebrow hair did grow back, and I’m currently doing the same thing to help them grow back again. It’s the same thing when you’re a nail biter; painting your nails will prevent you from biting them because then your nail job will get all chipped and nasty and nobody likes chippy nails.

There’s a lot of bad habits out there, and it honestly does take some thinking to make them as good habits. These are just a few, but I believe any reasonable bad habits could be turned into good ones.

-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 (: