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 (:

Self-Appreciation Saturdays

SAS: Not Sharing Your Feelings is Selfish. (5/26/18)

Hey, guys – welcome back to TNTH!

Man, I really don’t mean for these titles to be so clickbait like, but I swear: hear me out on this one.

I am one to avoid confrontation with a 10-foot pole. For the past couple of years, I never tried to bring up things or how I feel in situations because I’m always worried about how a person will respond to it. Instead, I try to just ignore my feelings and carry on with my day. While I thought doing so was a selfless act (I mean, I’m not hurting anyone’s feelings by doing so; I’m actually doing the other person a favor of letting it go), I slowly realized just how backward my logic was.

I went to see my therapist for my weekly appointment, and we discussed this concept of being avoidant. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been the type of person to think before they speak (or at least try to). I will always think how the other person would feel if I brought up something that was random and serious all of a sudden. Many of the time, I see myself continuously doing this because I am simply afraid that my feelings or my thoughts will create an even worse situation than I intended to do.

While it is always right to consider how a person might feel when deciding to talk about how you may feel, keeping how you really feel to spare the other person’s feelings isn’t as great of a deed you think it is.

It’s actually worse in retrospect.

Now, I’m not saying tell your friend that her dress is ugly after she told you she feels really good wearing it. I’m not saying that at all. What I’m saying is that the more you bottle up your emotions for the sake of avoiding conflict and/or discussion, you’re hurting not only yourself, but the person you are interacting with.

Personally, I find it hard to bring up my feelings about conflicting issues because the second I decide I want to bring it up, I constantly think “well, what happens if that person doesn’t take it well and it results in you guys fighting?” Instantly after that, I’m back at keeping it in and ignoring it. Doing so is such a temporary feeling to a long-term issue, and in all honesty, you’re not allowing the other person to have a say, hindering their opportunity to express themselves.

Not every situation will have a good turnout. There will be times where the other person will not agree with what you have to say, and that’s completely fine. Communication in social/personal/romantic relationships is such an important device when hashing out issues you may overall have. Plus, you never know: the other person might feel the same way you do as well.

You never know if you don’t talk.

Talking about your feelings and letting them be known to whoever is around you isn’t an act of being self-centered. Talking about how we are feeling creates honesty and compassion, and it makes you extremely self-aware of who you are and what makes you happy, sad, mad, etc. I’ve learned that anyone who is willing to call you self-centered or selfish because you share how you feel without a filter isn’t really interested in who you are as a person; they are typically just people who want to be around for a good time.

Be unapologetic for what you are feeling. Allow your thoughts to open up a conversation that might be needed in order to move forward with something. Give back what you want from people and listen to what they have to say; you would want the same thing in return.

And the same thought goes with hiding your feelings; you wouldn’t want someone who you care about just hiding how they are feeling when they are clearly upset over something. Also, you would want a chance to talk things out and move forward with whatever you and the other person are going through.

The next time you feel like hiding your true feelings about a situation for the sake of the other person involved, remember that you’re just showing them that it’s okay to shove things under the rug without resolving it, which will only come back up whenever you guys are in another sticky situation.

So start the conversation.

-Liz (:

Self-Appreciation Saturdays

Self-Appreciation Saturday. (5/13/17)

It’s been a rough couple of weeks due to the stress and anxiety of the semester coming to an end and I’ve been trying my best to keep my mind happy. In an attempt to be okay and calm, I came up with a list of things to do when you’re feeling down or anxious about life:

  1. Try to wake up early. Sleeping too late makes you feel like you wasted a good day. Make sure to wake up in the morning and get things done!
  2. Go for a walk. Put on your walking shoes and take a nice walk around your neighborhood. You never know where your feet might take you and see what new things you discover.
  3. Seek change if necessary. Maybe there’s something you want to need to change in order to start anew. Cut your hair, revamp your wardrobe, pick up a new hobby!
  4. No drinking or smoking for awhile. I realized during my time of anxiety, I was beginning to enjoy handling it with drinking and the occasional smoking and after awhile, I realized this wasn’t something I wanted to keep doing. Saying no to any substances, whether in a safe environment or a party setting, helps you gain back some control you weren’t having.
  5. Keep a journal. Keeping track of the things you’re feeling or going through on a day-to-day basis helps you not keep those things bottled up for an extended period of time.
  6. Eat/drink healthier foods. Personally, I feel better whenever I’m eating something good for me like fruits and vegetables and definitely when I’m drinking smoothies during a warm day. Knowing that I’m putting good things into my body helps me think of positive things.
  7. Have a support system. Having people in your circle who genuinely care about your well-being makes the bad feelings go away because sometimes, all you need to do is have someone who matters listen to you. Sometimes in cases with anxiety, people who have it feel worried that when expressing their anxiety to other people feel as if they are annoying them. Just having one or two people sit down with you to talk about it will help you out.
  8. Never leave school work to the last minute. With two 15-page papers being in the process of being finalized and handed in, it’s not ideal to leave them for the last minute. Make time for yourself to finish all your work so that you can finally start your little break away from school.
  9. Laugh often. Laughter is truly the best medicine; don’t deprive yourself of it.
  10. Do what makes you happy. Read a book, draw, exercise, sing, write; whatever puts your spirit in a good place, do it.
  11. Stop waiting for life to happen. Make sure you are doing something every single day that it’s helping you move forward so that the “waiting” doesn’t feel like waiting at all.
  12. Be kind to yourself. Remember, you are not perfect, no matter how badly your mind wants you to be. You are only human, and humans are definitely not capable of perfection, so stop trying to explain to yourself why you feel a certain way or why you’re behaving out. Accept that you are going through a rough time, but never let it take over your life.

if they can do it, you can do it. remember that. focus, determination, passion. invincible.:

-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 (:

Topic Tuesdays: Advice

College Survival Guide!

For some of us, classes begin in the next week. While most of us think we want to go back to school, some of us dread the stress that college brings into our everyday lives.

People deal with the stress of college in their own, unique ways. Some people wait to the end of the semester to get all of their papers and projects done, and other just stress 24/7 about the assignments. I’m definitely the latter.

With the stress of college, it’s hard to balance out the other aspects of your life such as your social, financial, personal, and love life. Just because you’re a full-time college student, it doesn’t mean you can’t have a life outside of it. I’ve known many people who ditched their social lives because of college, and as a young adult, doing that isn’t the ideal thing to do.

I survived four years of undergrad studies, and now I’m shooting to survive my grad studies. Here’s how I deal with the college stress that comes along every semester:

  • Time management is crucial. When you’re taking four to five classes a week, sometimes it’s hard to get everything done within that time-span. Professors love to think that a student is only taking their class and pile them with assignments to complete in a short period of time. When you’re juggling five classes, with five different types of assignments to complete in a week, you don’t know where to start or how to get everything done on time. To help you manage your time, get yourself a calendar where you can write down the things that are due and what days you want to do each assignment. During my first semester of grad school, I had two very demanding classes that required a lot of my hours, so I used my calendar to write what days I had certain assignments due as well as write what days I was going to work on those said assignments. While writing my 24-paged Master’s Thesis, I chose one day out of the week for a total of five weeks to write at least 5 pages of the paper. It made my thought process a lot more organized and it was clear what I wanted to write about. Waiting to do something last-minute doesn’t give you the time to truly indulge in your creativity and intelligence.
  • If you’re not good under pressure, don’t try to look for a part-time job.  During my second semester of my junior year, I decided to go for a part-time job at a theater production company during their show season. Due to my perfectionist qualities, I wanted to put my all in both school and my job, but it was simply impossible for me. After that, I decided to not look for a job while being in school; I wasn’t built to do both. I commend those who balance both responsibilities, but if you are a person who cannot handle the pressure of balancing both school and a job, don’t go for one. Yeah, having money is important, especially if your parents can’t help support you completely, but some things you honestly need to let go, and the luxury of having/making money is something I had to let go in order to complete school.
  • Know your limits. This coincides with my previous post above, but you should always know your limits with school and how much you can do. If you can’t do three classes a day for three days a week, go for two. If you can’t take late-night classes, look for morning/afternoon ones. If you can’t handle taking two literature classes at once (like me), then look into another concentration. Knowing your limit is extremely important to handle your stress; you already know beforehand what you can or cannot do, and you can plan ahead with those in mind. Keep in mind though that sometimes you have to test out the waters and see if you’re able to handle it or not. My last semester of undergrad, I took three different English classes, and I thought I was going to die because of it. At the end of the semester, I ended up passing all of them with straight A’s and landed a spot on the Dean’s List. Anything is possible, you just have to try it out first.
  • Spontaneity doesn’t exist in the college life. Plan, plan, plan!  Keeping up your social or love life while being a college student can be difficult sometimes; I sometimes feel guilty that I don’t see everyone that I want to see because of the way I plan out my work days. (It’s funny, Obie sent me on a guilt trip earlier on Monday on how I only see him once a week.) Luckily, I plan ahead in what I want to do with the people I want to see. If you have a day over the weekend that you have for yourself, make sure to plan ahead on what you want to do. If you have friends who are also college students, you sometimes can’t expect them to be available when you are and ask them that day to hang out. Ask in advance and plan something. My “day-off day” during the semester are usually Saturdays, and I typically spend those days with my S/O because ya girl needs some TLC after a long, hard-working week. When you plan your outings in advance, it allows you plan around that on the days you want to work on school assignments.
  • The beginning of a semester can be scary, but try to relax. The worst thing that can possibly happen is that Amazon doesn’t ship the textbook you need for your class fast enough to use it for the following lecture. Even in grad school, your first week is “syllabus week”, which is just the class you can relax and get a feel of your professor and your classmates. Although in grad school, you automatically start working after the class introduction, it still isn’t the end of the world. You will adapt to your surroundings and this class will feel like the many others that you took throughout your college career. Just relax and keep an open mind about things when starting a new semester.

Whether you’re entering your first semester of college or your last, the college jitters exist for everyone. It seems like the work will be intense once you get your class syllabus, but ask yourself just how many times you said that about a class and it ended up being easy or just fine? The most important thing about college is being able to take care of yourself while taking care of your business. If you have experience simultaneously doing both during the semester, then you will be just fine.

I hope everyone has a great and successful semester! Cheers to the Spring 2017 semester!

-Liz (: