Happy New Year!

I hope you all had a wonderful break. I had such an amazing time back in Vietnam. Now I’m back at LMU and I already have homework 🙁 This post isn’t exactly in line with the whole “new year, new me” kind of blog post. In fact this blog post has nothing to do with new year resolutions. I hate setting resolutions because at some point I fail and do not follow through.

However, I wanted to take this time to reflect on some of the painful lessons I’ve learned about moving abroad, working to attain my goals and living alone. I like sharing with you all my past. Whether it’s mistakes, accomplishments, failures, heartbreaks and etc… I like it when my readers can connect to what I’m saying.

Can you believe it?

3 years ago, I was just in Vietnam not knowing what I was going to do with my life. I had just dropped out of college and was back home living with my parents again.

I felt like the biggest loser on the planet. 

I remember those nights so clearly when I would just cry in bed because I was so upset with my ‘unconventional, messy’ college journey. I had a bad habit of comparing myself to others which led me to poor self-esteem and always the need to seek validation from others. Because I couldn’t validate my own feelings or self-worth. It was a dark time for me.

Now, fast forward today! I live in Los Angeles and go to an amazing school.

That’s why I am so grateful for my past failures, heartbreaks and mistakes. It was pain that gave me the drive, determination and also served as a stepping stone for me to go after my dreams.

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First semester at LMU is all done! It made me think of all the funny things that I’ve encountered being an International student on campus. I thought I should compile a list and see if any of you shared similar experiences like me 🙂

#1 You have to explain so many times why you chose the States for college that you actually have a speech prepared in the back of your head. I get asked this so many times. Even things like: “so you were born and raised in Vietnam? Your parents live abroad? You live alone?” It doesn’t bother me anymore but at first I was so overwhelmed, I didn’t know what to say. When people ask me why I chose LMU or the States I always ask myself which story should I tell them first?  The part where I graduated high school and went to New York and hated the school? Or the part where I went to community college and transferred to LMU? Haha! It is complicated because my path to college was a mess but I just learned to tell people what they need to know depending on how well we know each other.

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Not being with the people you love during the holidays is difficult. After all isn’t family, love and happiness the true essence of the holidays? However, not everyone can afford to go back home to see their beloved ones which makes it harder to handle the holiday blues. And it doesn’t help that it’s getting colder outside. Research shows that cold weather impacts your mood negatively: it makes you tired, sleepy and can even make you depressed.

The holidays are about good will and cheer yet it can bring all sorts of emotions about the previous year or your past that can make you feel extremely lonely and vulnerable.

This post is dedicated to all the International Students who are living abroad, alone and far away from family. I am thinking of you as I write this and I empathize with you on so many levels about being far away from family.

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Massive parties, hanging out with friends and leaving homework until Sunday. While that sounds like a lot of fun but in reality it could leave you even more stressed out.

I feel like there is this pressure in college to stay on track with school while keeping up with social life. In fact, with how much school work students’ have, a significant part of students’ weekends are often spent in the library believe it or not!

For me, my weekends are spent at home: doing homework, running errands and writing blog posts which takes up a lot of time.

To go out or not to go out that is the question….

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Last week I took a much needed ‘me time’ as silly as that sounds. I think I’ve come to terms that it is somewhat necessary to take a break. I feel much more relaxed now and have more ideas about what to blog. So hope you all didn’t think I forgot about my blog because my blog is always on my mind.

Initially I wanted to cover this blog topic a while back but I wanted to make sure I was at LMU for a while to share my experience. If you all are new to the blog, I go to Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. I love it so far! Prior to LMU I went to De Anza college which was a public community college in San Jose for two years. I can definitely see a big change between a public institution and private. Here are my thoughts about attending a private university:

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It feels so good to be back home. I just came back from the VOCARÉ retreat yesterday.

I learnt a lot, made new friends and learnt more about my career goals, path and aspirations! The retreat was at Camp Alonim and the kosher food was amazing. Being away from home, made me miss my daily routine and I decided it was time for me to share with you all my daily college routine.

Initially I wanted to make a VLOG for this but I just sold my Sony Alpha Camera 🙁  because I wasn’t too happy with it. Honestly I think CANON is the way to go. If you guys have any camera recommendations let me know! I think in the near future I would like to invest in my Youtube channel but as you all know I am a college student. Editing videos is very time consuming and I’m afraid that leaves me less time to study. However I am still interested in creating videos because it is my passion and hobby! :p

In my previous blog post I mentioned here that I use google calendar religiously. Google calendar is everything to me. I put reminders, color code my classes and even put the time I need to leave for appointments so I am never late.

So this is what a typical day looks like for me:

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