let's make believe
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A blogumentary of my life
as an ordinary girl striving to
live beautifully, dream passionately,
and love completely.
To be me, and only me.


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I miss home

 

Missing the weekend already! Oh how I’m going to miss Chicago.

I can’t even explain how thankful I am for the people in my life right now. I don’t care if I’m speaking too soon but I’m convinced these are some of the people that I will invite to my wedding in the future. :p 

Highlight of today: one of my students who used to only give me broken-sentence responses wrote a whole 2 paragraphs using evidence from the reading. :’) He acts like he doesn’t care about school but we could all tell how proud he was to show us his work. YES!

I also had a really great talk with a mentor this morning about the work I will be doing in Miami as well as the hardships I need to brace myself for. “It’s not going to be easy. Whatever you experienced this summer is nothing compared to what the classroom will look like at your school this fall.” It’s exciting to think about making Miami my home but it boggles me to figure out HOW. And how will I plant myself within the community of my students? So many things swirling through my head. I’m feeling nauseated — either from excitement, exhaustion, shitty dorm food, or a culmination of the three. Can’t wait to sleep in for 2 days straight after training is over!

Only 4 more days left before I officially move to Miami. Yikes :O

Anonymous asked: what company do you work for now?

I’m a teacher in Miami. 

Anonymous asked: I knew you from a distance and you were sort-of a role model. It seemed like you knew exactly what you were doing with your life and you had it all put together. It makes me feel a little bit better that I'm not the only one who isn't a straight shooter and not following the expected path of graduating knowing what I'm doing. My own graduation is coming in a year and the pressure of the job search is beyond overwhelming. Any tips? Especially as I'm a poli sci major trying to into marketing...

Aww, glad I could be some sort of a role model to you. I think I’ve always been good at creating a facade of knowing exactly what I’m doing OR I’m just in good faith that things happen for a reason and that it’s all part of the process to get to my final destination. 

Don’t let preconceptions of your major dictate your career path. That’s my biggest advice to you. My best friend who majored in science is working her butt to pave her own path into marketing, and she’s been killing it in sales despite what other people in her major are expected to do. The good thing is that you know you want to go into marketing. Next, you need to learn what exactly you want to do with marketing — the creative aspect or data digging side. Ask around for help and for connections to people who can show you how to get there as well as the ins and outs of the industry. The thing about humanities majors is that we don’t have directly transferrable “hard” skills. However, our majors teach us to be critical thinkers and great communicators (for the most part…). It might feel hard to compete against business majors for these positions, but in acknowledging that, you need to educate yourself in the field so that you can work on your weaknesses. Nobody can tell you what you’re capable of.

Anonymous asked: what did you major and minor in? and how was your experience with akpsi? i'm considering it but i'm wondering about the time commitment and any hazing, thanks!

I majored in sociology and minored in psychology and English. Loved AKPsi more for the network than anything else. Met a lot of my closest friends there as well as a few great mentors.

I don’t really know the leadership styles of the people running the fraternity anymore so I can’t tell you what it’s going to be like, but I can guarantee that it’s a significant time commitment — both for pledging and for general active membership. 

I gained some valuable professional skills but I also remember feeling like a lot of it was a colossal waste of time. In hindsight, I was just letting a stupid little fraternity take over my life. My favorite parts of my experience were organizing events, being an alumni coordinator, and mentoring one of the incoming classes before I graduated. You definitely get what you put into it!

G’luck!

Took a different route for my run today and was pleasantly surprised with this view!

Mondays are still not my friend but I’ll be alright. Always a reason to be happy and be better.

I only have 1.5 weeks left with my students here in Chicago and I’m really dreading goodbyes. To be honest, I fell in love with each of their hormonal, misbehaving, foul-mouthed selves from the start. Without that love I would have surely cracked. The way they call me “Ms. Shen” reminds me that I’m actually a teacher and I’ve got really big responsibility with that title. No matter how mad they make me sometimes, I still have to remember to hug them a little tighter everyday.

Today one of my closest friends here reminded me to make sure I share good moments with the people I love at home instead of burdening them with all the problems I’m going through and getting frustrated with them when they don’t quite get it.

It made me realize that my ratio of bad news to good is so disproportionate that my friends and family must think I’m miserable when I’m clearly not! Days are definitely rough but I’ve had so many beautiful moments that overshadow the others, so I just want to make sure I highlight the positive more from now on.


“If you have only one smile in you, give it to the people you love.” - Maya Angelou

Overcast adventures in Chicago! Wish we had more time to exploreeee

Anonymous asked: How long do companies normally take to respond if you got the interview?? I'm not sure if I didn't got the interview or not!

Not sure, I think it varies between industries! Check glassdoor to see what other people have said about specific companies and interview processes. 

(Source: seansoo, via j-dao)

Anonymous asked: how did you find your job after graduation? Any tips for finding a job? What did you do to keep yourself busy?

For my teaching job I knew exactly what I wanted to work for so I directly applied through their website. For my interim job, I just surfed craigslist and indeed.com. I’ve learned that it’s a numbers game — the more you send out, the more chances you’ll hear back and the more chances you’ll get an interview. I was so discouraged when I would send out 5 and hear back from 0… -_- 

Not gonna lie it was so easy to convert into a major bum after I moved home. I slept in with my dog until 11 everyday, watched netflix, and spent more time attempting to do work than actually getting anything done. So I would say you need to add structure into your life. You no longer have to schedule your time around classes, so you have the autonomy to plan your days out as you want! My laziness was pretty bad so I had to plan out exactly when I’d get up, eat breakfast, work out, eat a snack, take showers, read, run errands, etc. It even included an estimate of the drive time it would take for me to get from point A to B. People made fun of my calendar when they saw it haha, but you just do what you gotta do.

Action steps for you:
1. Clean up your resume
2. Spend a whole day inputting job openings into a google doc/excel sheet with info about application requirements and deadlines
3. Set quotas for yourself (how many application you’re going to send out, how much time you will dedicate to completing x,y,z)
4. Keep your days as structured as possible. :) It’ll help keep your mind sharp

Hope this helps!

Anonymous asked: any places you would reccomend for hair color in the bay?

Sorry can’t help with that! Got my hair done 2 years ago in Asia and have only used cheap box dyes after coming back

Anonymous asked: Thank you for answering my question and for the great advice! I hope things are going well with your recent move :)

Anytime! xo

“I’ve come to a frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element in the classroom. It’s my personal approach that creates the climate. It’s my daily mood that makes the weather. As a teacher, I possess a tremendous power to make a child’s life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration. I can humiliate or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated or de-escalated and a child humanized or dehumanized.” Haim Ginott

Training week #2 down! 

What a roller coaster. Exhausted, discouraged, and frustrated… but I want this so badly. I want to be a good teacher and I want everything for my students. On most days my agenda assumes that I have more than 24 hours in a day. Work and personal life is at a ratio of 9 to 1, and while I miss home, I don’t have time to dwell.  My heart is overwhelmed with urgency to become a better teacher in a such a short time but I find myself stuck in the planning stage and failing in execution.

Surprisingly though, I haven’t cracked. I’ve shed a few tears here and there but for the most part I am proving to be a much tougher cookie. I have an amazing support system at home and the friends I’ve made here can make me laugh no matter how tempted I am to just mope around and wallow in self-inflicted misery.

Don’t know if I’m ready for Monday but I guess it’s coming regardless. 

Anonymous asked: I have all this anxiety and tension about life after college. Is it really not as good as college? I graduate this week, any tips on coping and living life after graduation.

Congrats on graduating!

I don’t like to compare periods of my life because it’s all part of a process. I would never say that college was better than high school or that “real life” is worse than college because the circumstances and motivations are completely different. 

I find that the most unhappy grads are the ones who worry too much about what society dictates your life should be like after graduation. *raises hand* That was me!  I thought happiness necessitates having an awesome income and doing fun things every weekend for the gram. I had to remove myself from social media and negative people to truly focus on myself and realize that I can’t compare “real life” with “college life” nor can I seek out a version of “real life” that everyone else will accept because we’re all freaking different. You just have to realize that you’ll never move forward if you keep using your time in college as a reference point for the greatest time in your life. There are so many things worth looking forward to ahead.