School

Why I’m Not Going Back To School

I feel like I’ve done everything I wanted to achieve in school. I just need to graduate university in 2019, which I’m on track to do.

I’ve already declared my intent to graduate, and that fact is finally starting to sink in.

After I graduate next year, I plan to work. I will work hard.

I have all these ideas and plans, dreams and goals. I can’t wait to make them happen.

I love telling stories, so I hope I never stop.

I know my career is just getting started, so I have plenty of time. Still, I want to do everything right now.

Looking back, I’ve come a long way. Once upon a time, I entered the public school system not knowing a word of English. Then I went on to win an English award at my elementary school graduation. I even won writing scholarships in university as well.

I’ve accomplished a lot in academia, and I’m proud of my achievements. But I’m ready to move on to the next chapter of my life.

School

An Honest Account Of My University Experience

In September 2015, I embarked on my university journey.

In high school, people told me my grades would drop. And naïve Herminia believed them. So I prepared myself to not do nearly as well. Somehow I did.

During first year, I didn’t think too much about my GPA. I thought about doing the work and being early to everything.

Come the fall of 2016, I learned that I won two academic scholarships.

Instead of thinking I was stupid, I felt somewhat smart.

In second year, I spent less time studying and more time living. My grades were a little all over the place as a result. I remember countless conversations with my best friend about how terrible I was doing. I joked about dropping out.

So I vowed to do better in third year. My fall semester went smoothly. I had great classes, good professors. I liked my grades. I lived a lot. If I could relive those four months again, I would.

2018 arrived. Second semester in the winter started off just fine. No problem. Smooth sailing. Until February when I got hit by a car while walking home from school.

It took more than a month to recover physically. I’m not sure I’ll ever recover mentally. I’m doing well these days.

I never wanted to make excuses. I didn’t ask for an extension on any assignments.

My grades dropped. But I took care of myself. Being forced to listen to my body made me a better human being.

Regardless of my GPA when all is said and done, I’m proud. I learned to listen to that tiny voice in my head, to the body I used to neglect. That matters more than any number on a piece of paper.

Writing

I’m Submitting My Writing Again

It’s about time.

As a 21-year-old, I’m not a teenager anymore. So I’ve become ineligible for a lot of contests I’ve submitted to before. But I don’t feel like an adult either. I’m not a professional writer.

I have a ton of poems I’d like to get published somewhere. Hopefully, something works out.

In addition to my creative writing, I’ll try to write an essay every now and then for scholarships. I’m still a student. I graduate next year though, which kind of freaks me out.

I love but also hate not knowing what tomorrow will bring. Nevertheless, I’m excited to see what’s in store.

These days, I feel more motivated. I want to do more and do better.

If I want to have something to show the world, first I need to show up.

School · Writing

How To Write And Win Essay Based Scholarships

I'm not an expert by any means, but I've written my share of essays for school and scholarships.

These are my tips to increase your chances of standing out and possibly winning a scholarship.

Apply for them.

You can't win if you don't apply. Was it Einstein who said, "common sense isn't always common practice" or was it another intelligent human being? Either way, the point stands.

Brainstorm ideas.

You need to write about something. So having a couple topics to explore can't hurt. Obviously, you'll want to pick the best one and run with it.

Cut the unoriginal.

Be different, interesting. After all, sometimes you're judged on creativity or originality.

Don't repeat the essay prompt.

I'm not keen on telling people what not to do, but imagine reading 999 entries that started off by restating the prompt.

Easy reading means hard editing.

Give yourself enough time to edit your essay. At the very least, put it aside for a few days, so when you come back to your work, you see the words with fresher eyes. Even several hours between writing and editing can do wonders.

Follow the rules.

Do what's asked. Provide any necessary documentation. You might be disqualified otherwise.

Grind through it.

At times, you may feel tempted to give up. Keep going. You'll better than you think.

Help yourself.

You want to avoid sabotaging your own entry in any way. Never overlook a small detail or do something that's the opposite of smart. Answer what's asked. Fill out your contact information accurately. Review your submission for grammar and spelling mistakes.

I'm realizing this post isn't all that helpful. Go figure.

Maybe one day Herminia Chow will create useful content that isn't just spewing common sense. Today is not that day.

School · Writing

Hunting For Scholarships

Opinion: Hunting for scholarships is harder than hunting for writing contests.

A part of me is tempted to enter more writing competitions instead. I’ve had more luck with that. Finding and winning. Fact: I’ve earned money writing.

This just proves I’m a better writer than I am student. Which is a good thing because I want to be a writer for the rest of my life, but I don’t plan on being a student forever. At least not in the traditional sense of the word. Of course, I will strive to learn and improve. Just not in a jail. I mean classroom.