Category : College

12 posts

On June 15, my boyfriend graduated from university. One year ago, I graduated from the same university on June 16. Since then, I made the possible mistake in focusing too many of my efforts on a lot of isolation and studying, but in the end, I feel like it was a necessary trial. I went all out and tried my best in it, and the results were not outstanding, but they weren't terrible either. Now it's time to spread myself out a lot more (bit by bit, at least) so that I can keep growing as a person in different ways and stop wasting time.

Graduation Card I made

For my boyfriend, I'm hoping he'll get back on his feet way quicker than I am able to…but now that I sit here to ponder about the past year, I know it's all up to him and it's possible he'll need to make the same mistake I did in order to learn for himself. It makes me awkwardly feel a bit like an older sister sometimes, but from this point on we are pretty much equals in terms of our "post-university" lives. I'm a year older than my boyfriend, so I was always giving him advice – whether it was about life goals or about how to get the best seats for graduation – since I was always a year ahead. But now, we will be on equal terms, and I hope we can continue to help each other like we have been in the past.

Handmade Lei

His graduation day was special, indeed. ^_^ I finally got to present him with the leis I made slowly for him over the last month. I'm proud to say I didn't see anyone else at his graduation with a similar looking poofy lei. Our school colors were blue and gold (UCs). I stuck the card in with his other gifts, which he opened after it was all over…and a second round of gifts (one being a yummy cake!) will be later this weekend.

I sat with his family during the ceremony, and his aunt shared a funny story with me, making me appreciate the effort they make sometimes in order to make me feel welcomed into their family. The student speaker who made a speech during the ceremony was terrific; there was even a moment where I could feel my own heartstrings being pulled. Before the student spoke, he was introduced by a professor, and I swear he must have been talking for 5 minutes about the all of that student's accomplishments because despite spacing out for a while, I snapped back to attention still in the middle of his long list of achievements.

Handmade Leis

It was very sweet to see the BF's entire family all so very proud of him, and most of all, to make the BF feel loved & happy. Apparently he is the first American in their Filipino family to have graduated from college in the U.S.

Unfortunately, I was super sick at the beginning of last week…oh my gosh…it was the worst timing ever. There were photoshoots to attend, lots of dinners and hangouts, and three separate graduations to attend during that week. With each passing day, I grew worse and worse, but there was just no time for rest!!! Today, I feel 70% over my cold, but I still can't taste anything, which is terrible because as you may or may not know, I love tasting good food. So although I had so many dinner outings (including AYCE sushi for the BF's graduation day), I'm terribly sad to say I couldn't taste more than half of it and what I was able to taste was extremely muted. Oh well! In the end, it was way more worth it to suffer all week long and still be able to celebrate with all of my loved ones since they were moments I would never be able to experience again, after all.

Last year, most of my friends graduated alongside with me. This year, my 5th year friends and younger boyfriend graduated. With each passing year, I know it will be even harder to keep in touch. But I can at least hope for the best for everyone and hope that we will see each other now and then!

I haven't posted a picture of myself on this website…ever. I am a little private about that when it comes to my website because I've always thought of my blog as more of a strictly text-based expression of my identity (and I guess I don't want people to judge me by how I look too), but here's to commemorating graduation! ^3^

Graduation Attire

I decorated my graduation cap 3 days before my actual graduation date. Boy, am I glad I did. Most of my friends did not end up decorating theirs despite their fervid reactions after seeing my decorated cap, simply because they just didn't have enough time.

2 days before grad was our personal photoshoot. Not done professionally, but we did have an awesome friend who had a professional camera, and the rest of us had digital cameras. :p

1 day before was their Disneyland trip (I didn't go because of the cost, lol *sweatdrop* can you believe it's almost $90 just for ONE day if you don't have any discounts???). The night before graduation I was up all night cleaning and decorating the house for my party, which happened right after my graduation. Haha, so it was an extremely busy few days.

My dad and brother tend to clean the house only when we are expecting company, and my party was going to have 30-40 people (friends, family, parents' friends), so the house was the cleanest I had ever seen it. !._. It's usually a mess.

My Decorated Cap

It was an awesome graduation weekend. My family, boyfriend, and friends came to my graduation. Then I had a party right after at my house. We had delicious Korean BBQ short ribs, Vietnamese egg rolls, Viet curry & bread, wine, cheesecake, etc.! I even saw an old friend I hadn't seen in four years. Although not everyone could make it, a lot of people who were important to me came and I had so much fun. I made a make-shift autograph book for my friends to sign, we played Uno, did Tarot card readings, and played my favorite family game Taboo.

Box I made for graduation cards

We even had a Nintendo DS Mario Kart & Tetris multiplayer party (I told everyone who owned a DS handheld to bring theirs! we had 5 if I remember correctly) party where I gave out prizes to winners (and non-winners too LOL ^_^). How nerdy but awesome is that??? haha.

It didn't end there because the next day I attended two other graduations at school to support my other graduating friends (to avoid a 6 hour graduation, we are all separated by majors).

Here is the (edited) note that I wrote about graduation (which I don't expect you to read! This was written in the spur of the moment to contain my feelings and I'm sticking it here to document it!):

Graduation has left me with such mixed feelings.

I'm so overwhelmingly sad. Many friends are moving back home. I won't be having class with any of these people ever again. I won't be having daily shenanigans at school with my boyfriend anymore. My sole responsibility won't be just going to school anymore – and sitting in comfortable, cushioned seats. I've got undergraduate loans to pay off, future loans to pay off, and I've got to help my family out financially (my dad has been unemployed for almost a year now).

But despite all of that, I am so glad about the four years that have happened. Going straight to a university after high school was such an expensive route, but I wouldn't have changed a thing. Orientation and dorming felt like yesterday. Those 4 years were really important to me. I met friends that are still so very dear to me that I would never have met otherwise. I got to be really acquainted with the campus and the brutal classes. Oh god, the brutal classes as a biology major. haha. There was a time when I thought I wouldn't be able to walk for graduation in time, and there was even a time when I asked myself if I should switch majors like so many of my former biology major peers have done. But nope, I picked myself back up (along with my GPA) and made it. There were two most memorable times when I thought I was going to break up with my boyfriend, too, but we made it and we're at 5 years still going strong.

I felt so strangled in high school, and I hated feeling so confined. College really was a different experience, and I'm happy it was one that ended well. The few high school friendships that I DID carry into my college years are extremely special to me, and I'm (pleasantly) surprised that they continued to work out. Still going strong!

Campus quickly felt like home. As with any college, there were some professors that were horrrrrible, but there were also professors that I enjoyed and admired from the bottom of my heart. And our park at school! I had the pleasure of taking a nap in it one sunny and breezy day – felt like a million bucks afterwards. How cool is it that I had to take a stroll through the park every day in order to get to my classes?

I think I get teary-eyed when I think of my lovely friends because along with physical distance and the busy-ness that comes after an undergraduate education, I am worried that I will never see these people again, or at least worried that I will see them so much less than before. It's part of growing up and having to pick up separate lives, but it's still hard to take in. However, I do love these people, and hope that they love me just as much so that we really WILL see each other again often, and not just let it be a yes-let's-keep-in-touch-but-in-reality-we'll-never-even-call-each-other kind of thing.

Everyone is completely capable of doing what they want to do and being happy in the end. I really do wish the best of luck to each and every one of them.

Ah, now that the glow of graduation is fading away. It's time to sink into the realization that I'm no longer an unemployed student, but just an unemployed adult. Wow. lol.

Wow, where to begin? This week is now 9th week, which is insane because for our quarter system, that means I have 3 weeks left before I graduate. What happened? At the 4 week mark it was basically just 1 month so I was sinking into my chair, relaxing. But at the THREE week mark…oh my, I am springing out of my chair and freaking out since it feels so close to graduation now. What a difference one week can make huh? :p


On May 14, I had a lab practical for one of my outdoor labs. It was basically identifying 50 different plants or animals. Each station was placed a few feet away and we took the test assembly line style. Plants were cut up and bundled up. Most insects were preserved in a vial. Big animals (as well as animals that are just too difficult to display in a vial) were shown as pictures. Most of the insects in vials were hung on a string and tied onto the plants sticking out of the water you can see in the picture. Lol. Which meant we had to wade through the pond to identify each insect. Note: There is absolutely no purpose to us wading into the water – my professor just chooses to put the insect vials in the pond so that we all have to get wet and muddy. LOL. -.- At the end of the day I had mud stuck really deep into my toenails and had to give myself a nice, long pedicure.

There were two different ponds with different depths and my assigned pond was beyond waist high! I'm a short girl, so I was like, whoa, am I gonna have to start swimming here? The other pond was less than knee high. Of course.

When I first started studying for this exam, I was freaking out because it really felt like everything looked the same. This insect larva looks like that other insect larva. This tree leaf looks like that other tree leaf!!! But after spending a couple of hours studying the plants and insects, it became really easy. You just have to take note of every distinguishing feature and use that to differentiate between similar looking ones. I felt pretty confident while studying, but after we finished taking our exam and some of my friends were discussing the answers, I felt like I had gotten several identifications wrong, including spelling (spelling and scientific names counted!). They were saying they got this and that and that was totally NOT what I got. However, I got my score back last week and guess what? 50/50. Guess I can't always doubt myself huh? 8-)

Mug & Tumbler

On May 16 we had "grad night" at our campus bookstore. lol. It didn't have much. It's a bit lame in comparison to my high school grad night (a whole night at Disneyland!), but I was in it for the free commemorative mug for the first 100 people in line. I love those kinds of things. I went around 45 minutes early and was around #30 in line. The mug is really nice; it has our school name, a cute cartoony version of our mascot, and Class of 2012 on it. I also won a free tumbler (I love those) from Dave&Buster's spin-the-wheel.

Baseball Rally

On May 22 I went to a baseball rally at school. I was in for the free stuff…again…haha. I got my first foam finger and a pompom. In my four years of university, these are the first and only college pride things to decorate my room. Maybe I'll hang my graduation sash somewhere after graduation. :p We also got a free tri-tip sandwich at the rally since they were giving those out to the first few hundred. I'm totally taking advantage of everything free on campus now that I'm a senior, and you could say I should have as an underclassman, but I just remember being really stressed out & studying for something all the time. It's kind of awesome having a bit of a lighter load your senior year so you can kind of just enjoy everything.

6th gen iPod Nano

And finally, I finally exchanged my brother's 1st generation iPod Nano for the newest one and picked it up at a FedEx location since they kept delivering it at my house when I wasn't home. -_- If you still have your first generation iPod Nano, YOU CAN GET USE THE iPOD REPLACEMENT PROGRAM! "Apple has determined that, in very rare cases, the battery in the iPod nano (1st generation) may overheat and pose a safety risk."

Anyone who has it is eligible to trade in their old 1st gen for a brand new one. It's awesome. Unfortunately, the new slick iPod isn't for me. I did the replacement program with the intention of giving it to my mom but when I picked it up, I was like damn, this is awesome and I asked her if she wanted to trade iPods with me. She declined. LOL. My mom is NOT tech savvy so I told her, "Okay fine, mom, I will give you the iPod, but only because you're going to pay for my new glasses. And you HAVE to learn how to use it to its full potential because you have the newest iPod out of the whole family now!" :p (I had just gone to the eye doctor last week and picked out some new glasses – hopefully I can pick them up soon!)

A really quick review of the new 6th generation iPod Nano. Here's what I think of it:


  • There's a clip on the iPod, making it great for being mobile.
  • There's a fitness feature – awesome because most people will be using this at the gym or while exercising.
  • There's a radio feature. Why couldn't they make this sooner? A portable radio is awesome when you're tired of your own music.
  • It's smaller than a tube of chapstick.


  • 6th gen has lost the original "iPod magic." The selling point of the iPod used to be its click-wheel. Now it's just a touch screen like all other technology. It's kind of like a combo of an iPod shuffle and an iPhone now.
  • You can't skip to any part within a song anymore. You can only move in small increments using the forward and reverse symbols.
  • It's smaller than a tube of chapstick. (Really easy to lose and not so easy to find a protective cover for it – the whole thing is basically a screen)

Would you prefer the new radical changes of the latest iPod Nano? I don't know, I love the new features, but I'm kind of missing the magical feeling of the old classic designs. The new features are great, but I don't know about changing the entire design. Maybe this should have been the design for an expensive iPod shuffle instead and they should have left the Nano alone.

To be honest, I hate carrying novels to school. They add a little weight to my bag and I despise getting the cover or corners of my book bent!!! But this quarter is my last one of college and I don't really need to bring much to school anymore so I'm okay with carrying a book. I have to read a novel for extra credit for one of my classes. I'm so glad I can bring a novel to school now – it helps so much during down-times and I've read way more than I would at home.

The novel I'm reading for class is called, The Immoral Life of Henrietta Lacks. She was an African-American woman who died of cancer, but a doctor harvested her cells before she died without her knowledge or consent (this was when African-Americans were still segregated from Whites) and her cancer cells ended up being the first "immortal cell line" for humans. The cells were used for cancer research and helped scientists discover vaccines. The book focuses on Henrietta's life and family, and looks into the issue of how immoral it was to use her cells without asking or informing her.

Microbiology lab has been interesting. For the entire class, we are mostly working with bacteria cells from our own bodies. That means we'll be isolating and culturing our own bacteria for like ten weeks! And yes, we had to do the infamous "anal swab" where we take a sterile cotton swab, stick it up our butts in the bathroom, and put it on petri dishes to grow bacteria from the intestinal tract. Haha, it was very awkward.

And let me tell you, bacteria cultures can smell really bad! Our skin isolated bacteria smelled like rotten feet, seriously! Bleeeck. *sick*

Oh yeah! I am entering the giveaway for a Yonanas machine! If you haven't eaten a frozen banana before, it's delicious. Tastes like a creamy, banana-flavored (duh) popsicle. I've never tried making frozen bananas into the consistency of soft serve ice cream (don't have the right equipment), so the Yonanas machine seems awesome. If you would like to enter the giveaway, check out this link!

This is a list of tips for college-bound high school seniors of future generations, because I wish I had had someone tell me these things before it was too late. High school was a stressful time, but the least you can do is get all the best advice you can so you don't end up having any regrets. (Note: this is written under the perspective of an American, so the types of tests and college credits may only apply to schools in the U.S.)


  1. Plan to take both tests unless you are very satisfied with a score from one test.
  2. Make sure you plan ahead. Think about what months you would like to take your tests. It's common sense, but most students (myself included) don't think about the tests too much until it's a little too late. It's best to start taking tests during your junior year and finish up any last few tests you need at the beginning of your senior year. Remember, if you're taking the SAT or SAT subject tests, you can only take 1) the SAT OR 2) up to three subject tests on the same day. So if you've got to take 6 subject tests & the SAT Reasoning and it's already November of your senior year…you're in trouble.
  3. Generally, it's not really worth it to take the test again if you DO NOT study. Granted, I don't know what happened but I improved on my SAT by 200 points (without studying)…however, most of my friends only improved by 20 points at the most.


  1. Set aside time where you can sit down in front of your computer and look through one or more scholarship site(s). Open up MS Word and create two tables: one for "Currently Doing" and one for "Done." Have two columns: Deadline and Scholarship. As you wade through a mess of scholarship links, pick out which ones you're interested in doing. Add them to your list. I think it's an awesome plan of action because it gets you going. Admit it; normally you would put off the search for scholarships because there are so many and it gets pretty overwhelming. With this method there is no panic or much brain power involved: just look through sites and write down the ones you like. I wish I had done this much earlier in the year because I missed out on a lot of good scholarships, just because 1) I didn't take the time to look earlier and 2) I didn't write deadlines down to keep myself on track.

AP Exams

  1. If you're taking AP classes during your senior year, I commend you! You are one of the few. I know it might feel pointless taking rigorous classes your last high school year, but you could save time and money if you pass the exams.
  2. Buy AP prep books. Or if you'd rather not, go hunting at a used bookstore, or borrow them from the library. I've purchased all of mine and I learned one valuable lesson: if you buy them, buy them from Not only do you have a wide selection from different publishers, but the price is much cheaper than the bookstore price. The books I bought online were around $5 cheaper. Doesn't seem like much, but it adds up if you buy a couple of books. Shipping is free if your order is $25 or more.
  3. If you are only taking AP courses because you are hoping to earn college credit (because I know not all of us are looking for just "academic enrichment"), make sure you CHECK with the college you will be attending or are interested in attending. Ask around or just search online for what AP scores earn at the particular college. Different colleges accept different things, and different colleges reward different credits. For example, it was too late for me when I racked up 24 elective credits through AP scores…I didn't need that many elective credits, but it ended up helping me because I had the advantage of having more units under my belt. The more units you have, the earliest your registration time is for classes. The earlier your registration time, the better chance you have at getting the classes you want.

College Applications

  1. Once you know what colleges you'd like to apply to, make sure you write down the deadlines. That's obvious, but you should also look for merit scholarship deadlines or early decision/action deadlines if you are interested. Most schools require for you to turn in your application a month or months earlier than the regular deadline if you are interested in qualifying for their scholarship or receiving early decisions.
  2. Remember that Early Decision is BINDING. You cannot get out of it. If you are accepted, you must take back all of your other applications to other colleges. Do not do this unless you're absolutely sure, and have talked to your parents. Remember, even if the school you applied Early Decision to gives you absolutely no financial aid, you cannot refuse because you are already binded to them. Early Action is good—you apply early and you can apply to as many schools as you want…with no strings attached. So definitely do Early Action if you've got everything ready. If you get confused between the two Earlies, just think of it this way…Early Action lets you take action to start applying earlier. Early Decision is your final decision and that is final.
  3. College applications can be very time consuming, especially when you've still got school and a lot of demanding classes. So make sure you start them early. That way, you won't be stressed a couple of days before the application deadline.
  4. If your school has one, make use of the Higher Education Center. It's much easier to stay focused and motivated here than at home and you can get help if you need it.
  5. Start your college personal statements/essays EARLY. At least a month in advance so that you can get criticisms, tips, ideas, and edits from teachers, counselors and friends. I saw many people who half-assed their personal statements and turned them in like that because the deadline was that day…

College Acceptance…or Rejection Letters

  1. Don't wait for the mailman everyday. You can pick up the mail everyday (I'm sure your family will appreciate it) but don't get to the point where you camp out in front of your mailbox :p
  2. NOT all schools follow the old "envelope trick" but I would say the majority of my schools DID follow it. The old envelope trick is what I call it when the college's decision can be foreseen through the size of the envelope. Large, letter-sized envelopes are good signs. They usually have a nice letter of acceptance, maybe a certificate, and maybe other items (such as how to get started, send in your SIR, etc). Small envelopes are bad signs. Usually containing one letter of rejection, that's all you get. BUT my point is: let the size of the envelope prepare you for what is inside, but do NOT just throw away the letter even if it is in a small envelope. You never know, and you might be throwing away a 10,000 dollar scholarship!
  3. With any acceptance letter, do some more research on the school. Hopefully you didn't apply to every school possible, and did at least a little bit of research for the schools you applied to. However, now is the time to look deeper and see if you really want to go to this school. It's good to start early, so you don't get stressed when the deadline to send your decision is coming up.
  4. What do you do with rejection letters? If your first choice school(s) turn you down, feel free to mope if that's what you feel like doing. Mope until you get it out of your system, and then plan your next course of action. It's very possible to write a letter of appeal, but don't make that your first choice. With more competitive students, it's getting more difficult to get accepted. Do the letter of appeal IF something has changed your circumstances AFTER you sent in your application and has made you an even better applicant. Keep your rejection letters, burn them, whatever. If you were accepted into other schools, be proud and be thankful. Your spot could have been someone else's. Take a good, hard look at the schools and see if you want to go down that path. However, if that is not an option or if you do not want to take that path, there is always community college. Save money, and then transfer to the school you want. Remember, it's not the college that will make you…you make your own path and experiences. Apparently…the majority of people who did not get into their first choice end up loving their current schools.

I remember high school being full of stress for me. I hope this helped someone!