Writing

I’ve Always Seen Myself As A Writer

Growing up, I wanted to be a writer. I wanted to write. I loved creative writing. I still do.

Over the years, I’ve seen my work change before my eyes. I’ve come so far. Of course, there’s so much further for me to go.

No matter what I do or don’t do in the years to come, I’ll still make writing a priority. I have no reason to rush the creative process. I can stop and smell the roses. I should enjoy this seemingly endless rollercoaster ride. I have to appreciate the highs as well as the lows.

I don’t know much. I do know that when I don’t write, I don’t feel right.

I wonder what kind of writing I’ll pursue further. Creative or professional? Something in between? Something else entirely? We’ll see.

I don’t want to regret not taking a risk, so I have to try at the very least. I don’t want to ask what if for the rest of my life.

I wish I could do everything, but I can’t. I just try to prioritize writing when possible. I don’t mind sacrificing other things. I’m even fine studying less if that means writing more. I suppose I’ve always seen myself as a writer.

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.

Productivity

How To Have A Productive Commute

I’m going back to school in less than a week, which means I’ll be commuting all the time. Here’s how I try to make my commutes productive.

Read.

Fortunately I don’t get motion sickness, so I love reading on the subway. It’s more convenient to open ebooks on my phone, but carrying a small paperback isn’t bad either.

Write.

I get most, if not all, of my writing done when I commute. If you don’t write, you could draw instead.

Study.

As a student, I’ve studied for many tests and exams while traveling to class. I tend to make cue cards or cheat sheets beforehand, and then review key concepts on the go.

Practice.

If you’re not a student, use your commute to go over lines for a presentation or moves to a dance. I’ve done both.

Sleep.

Or more accurately, take a quick 20 minute power nap. Resting doesn’t always seem productive, but if it means you have more energy the rest of your day, close your eyes and relax. You don’t even have to fall asleep. Sometimes all you need is just a short break where you don’t think about anything.

Eat.

I’ve lost track of how many times I have eaten on the subway. More often than not, it’s a granola bar. If you’re going to be stuck in traffic for an hour, you might as well take the time to refuel, so you’re not starving before you get home. On a similar note, make sure you’re drinking enough water when you’re out and about. Listen to your body. Take care of it, okay?

Here’s to commuting productively!

School · Writing

The Life Of A Student Writer

Being a student and a writer isn’t easy. When I’m not studying, I’m writing. Of course, I have to write a lot for university as well.

I continue to wonder how I’ll manage to balance both identities. Some days, I have no idea how I do everything I want to.

I can’t give up writing. I don’t think I ever will. If worse comes to worse, I may not write as much as I’d like. But a little is better than nothing at all.

I already know the next couple of months won’t be a breeze, but I’ve been in school for most of my life. I have also been creating for a long time. So I like to believe I’ll be fine.

Besides, some of my happiest memories come from telling stories.

Problem being there aren’t enough hours in the day. Why can’t we have twenty-five instead of twenty-four?

As of late, I’ve been thinking m about my writing career. My non-existent writing career. I stand corrected. My mind loves to worry about my life after graduation. Isn’t the unknown great?

Rest assured I’m not going anywhere. I won’t be making drastic changes anytime soon. But I will continue to progress day by day.

Right now it’s enough that I enjoy my writing sessions. I want to experiment more. I need to venture outside of my comfort zone.

As for school, I’ll do the best I can in my classes. I just have to time manage well.

I have plans I hope to execute in 2018. Of course, I’ll keep you posted if and when I publish or republish anything exciting.

A long time ago, I made the conscious choice to start writing. I’m not going back or giving up now.

Personal Reflection

My Personal And Professional Goals For 2018

If only I loved working towards my goals as much as I love making them.

Reading

I’m setting the bar low at 38 books in order to surpass my reading challenge on Goodreads. A girl deserves to feel good about herself.

Reviewing

I know I’m a turtle in getting my reviews up, but slow and steady wins the race, right? Call me book reviewer Herminia Chow.

Writing

Because I don’t do much else, I’m able to write every day. Here’s hoping I don’t get a boyfriend in 2018. Otherwise, there goes my plan to submit to a million competitions. I’d like to get my work out there on as many different platforms or places as possible. Living, breathing human beings would just get in the way of that.

Blogging

I’m a bad blogger. Yes, I’m resolving to visit more blogs and read more posts. No, I probably won’t. Publishing often isn’t a big problem, since I’m basically married to my own blog.

Dancing

I dance like nobody is watching because nobody ever is. My back flexibility is a joke. As is my core strength…well, lack thereof.

Driving

I’m willing to pay someone to drive me everywhere if it means I don’t have to. I am the slowest driver on the road right now. Maybe come December I’ll be a little bit faster. No promises.

Journaling

I don’t think I could handle the mere thought of someone reading my journal. If and when I die, please bury my notebooks with me. I need to take all my secrets to the grave.

Studying

Every semester, I think I’ll be a better student than I have been. I always forget how quickly my motivation goes out the window. I’m the worst. One time, I should reverse my way of thinking to mess with the universe. I’m going to be an awful student who never studies but always parties.

How much do you want to bet I’ll fail one of my goals this year?

*Cough* driving test *cough*

Studying

Frequently Asked Questions About Studying For Exams

Whenever exam season rolls around, I ask myself the same questions about studying. So I figured I should answer some of them in a blog post.

How should I study?

Review actively. Use as many of your five senses as possible. Reading the textbook is more passive than writing notes. Having your friend quiz you is more active than listening to recorded lectures. You get the idea. The more you involve your senses, the better you’ll remember dense material.

When should I study?

Try to study during or around the hours your exam will take place. This primes your brain to think about psychology at 9 a.m. on a Monday or morphology at 5 p.m. on a Saturday.

Where should I study?

Learning different subjects in separate environments can improve retention or at the very least, reduce confusion. So study German in the kitchen and Latin in the office. Ideally, you’d review in the same room you’ll be writing your exam in. Context dependent memory is real.

How do I remember what I studied?

You don’t.

Try to condense your notes instead of rewriting them. Even if you aren’t allowed to use a cheat sheet, create one. After all, condensing fifty pages of information down to five forces you to select and understand key concepts. In terms of recall, writing something down is better than reading the same thing over and over again.

Happy studying. Then again, when is studying ever happiness inducing?

Writing

How To Survive Camp NaNoWriMo

Don’t participate in the first place.

I’m kidding. I also joke when I say that someone needs to invent a universal sarcasm font, so no one ever misunderstands my terrible jokes and deadpan remarks. 

Seriously though, you survive by writing one word after another until the end of the month.

And then you do it all over again in July.

Why? Well, why not?

Unfortunately, it’s week three. In my opinion, the worst week of all.

Week one was fantastic. I found myself in this honeymoon phase where I was excited and ecstatic about my story. I had all the energy in the world despite school draining my soul.

Week two was slower. Still fun, however. I know some say the second week is the toughest, but I had my earlier momentum carrying me through it. Week one and two seemed to blur together. Wrote a lot more than I studied because priorities.

Week three was and still is interesting to say the least. I’m running into some issues like not failing my exams.

How’s Camp treating you? Hang in there!

Studying

How To Study For An Exam In One Day

Thanks to my terrible time management, I had one day to study for my first exam. But I’ve learned from my past and set aside an entire week for my second one.

So even though I don’t believe in cramming, I consider myself an expert on it now.

  • Don’t panic. It’s not the end of the world. Besides, you’d be surprised at how much you can cover in a day.
  • Make a plan. What topics do you have to cover? When and where will you study? How long are your review sessions going to be? Because you don’t have all the time in the world, focus on important ideas as well as concepts you don’t understand that well.
  • Perform to the best of your abilities. You don’t have to be perfect. But that’s okay. Do what you can. Don’t worry about what you can’t.

Good luck. Don’t fail.