Studying Tips to Succeed in College (or High School)

Hey y’all! In case y’all didn’t know, I’m a freshman in college. As I was studying for my psychology test, I thought it would be a good idea to share with y’all my study tips on here. So let’s get into it!

Tip #1: Get a planner

I would highly, highly recommend getting a planner. It will help get you organized, especially if you’re busy. I’m have a part-time job and I go to college part-time, I also write on this blog (not as often as I like, but hopefully I can get back into blogging again)! Currently I’m using a bullet journal. I love bullet journalling because it’s very flexible and I can customize it to MY lifestyle. I will be doing a bullet journal blog post very soon for those of y’all who are interested.

Tip #2: Record your lectures

I like recording my lectures in class because sometimes my teachers will talk a lot and has a lot of information I can’t type or write down I can always go home and listen to the recording and revise my notes and make them better when I study.

Tip #3: Flash Cards

If I have a class where there’s a lot of vocabulary or even if there’s questions on the test and they’re short answers I like to study with flash cards. If you don’t like using paper flash cards you can always use or Get the app on your phone and study on-the-go!

Tip #4: Preview and Review

Preview before class and review after class. If you just finished a section or a chapter, read the next section or chapter before class so you have a decent idea of what you will be talking about in class. Then after class you can review in depth of what y’all talked about. This is a great study skill to have because you won’t have to study a lot because you’re spreading the time out.

Tip $5: Color Coding/Highlighting

Last and final tip is color coding and highlighting. Color coding your notes and highlighting important parts in your notes is a great study tip! If you color code your notes it’s easier to see without being super overwhelmed when you’re studying for finals. It also makes it pretty and somewhat fun to do! I’ve noticed the more colorful my notes are the more I want to look at them.

I hope these tips are helpful and I would love to see what other tips y’all have that work for you!

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May Goals

Hey y’all recently I have read that writing your goals increases the likelihood of committing to them and taking actions by 42%. I have decided to write them down in my bullet journal for a daily reminder and share it with y’all.

Since this is my first written out goals I will not have a recap of last month’s goals because I didn’t have any, however I will be doing monthly goals and do a reflection of each month and tell y’all on things I could improve on and how I achieved/worked on achieving my goals for each month.

So, in May I want to:

  • Write 3 posts a week
  • Read 1 “fun” book
  • Let the things I can’t control go as much as possible
  • Eat healthier
  • Get a strong start to college
  • Continue bullet journaling– be organized
  • Be more financially aware of spending
    • Focus more on needs than wants
    • Not eating out
  • Eat breakfast every morning (I’m don’t eat breakfast)
  • Try to keep up having a clean room/car for more than a day
  • Figure out what to get my mom for Mother’s Day

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Mother’s Day Gift Guide 2017 For The 5 Love Languages

After decades of couples counseling and research, Dr. Gary Chapman, author of The Five Love Languages, found that everyone “speaks” a primary love language. Your love language is your preferred way to express and experience love emotionally. Dr. Chapman explains each love language here.

As we prepare for how we’d like to show the mothers and mother figures in our lives our love and appreciation, consider what her love language might be. If you don’t know, Dr. Chapman suggests thinking about how they tend to express love to others: Do they give gifts, never fail to give you a hug, or offer to help you somehow? He also recommends observing what they tend to complain about most: “I never get to spend time with you.” “You haven’t called me in ages!” These will give you clues as to whether they’re gifts, physical touch, acts of services, quality time, or words of affirmation are their love language.

Once you’ve figured it out, here are a few tried-and-true ideas we know are sure to make your mom feel as loved as she deserves to be.


If she has been a source of “You’re doing a great job!” “That looks great on you!” and “Everything will be OK” statements in your life, then this woman probably feels most loved when she receives affirming words too.

  • This gorgeous “World’s Best Mom” card by Rifle Paper Co. will delight the mama whose heart melts at a kind remark.
  • If you’re no Shakespeare, let this fill-in-the-blank You’re So Awesome book help you do the talking.
  • Feeling creative? Pick up a blank canvas for less than $10 and paint her favorite song lyric onto it as Verily articles editor Megan Madden did for her mom. “We Skyped while listening to the song. My mom’s super into gushy things like that though.” So are we!


This love language is all about giving the other person your undivided attention more than where or what you’re doing. Keep the distractions to a minimum by engaging in an activity you’re both familiar with and enjoy rather than something new.

  • If you both love to cook, plan a date and replace an old tool, like this classic and clean British Porcelain Mortar & Pestle.
  • If you’re both artistic, Verily culture editor Mary Rose Somarriba suggests going on a paint and wine date where you get to take home your masterpiece.
  • Verily style editor Lilly Bozzone split an Airbnb rental with her sisters to spend a weekend away with their mom (adorable!).
  • If an extravagant gift isn’t in the budget or there’s a long distance between you, as it has been with Megan and her mother, grab a cup of coffee and have a long and leisurely Skype or FaceTime date. No matter what you choose, it should be an opportunity to catch up and really listen to this woman who means so much to you.


For these women, actions speak louder than words. Chances are she’s been of more service to others than she has been to herself—and would delight in someone offering her a helping hand (or a day off).

  • Give your mom the gift of doing by checking something off her list that she’s wanted done for ages but never gets around to: fix that squeaky hinge, organize all the digital photos of the grandkids, or offer to purge the basement (which is probably filled with your high school castoffs anyway!).
  • Help her prioritize self-care by treating her to a DIY relaxation kit: include a de-stressing adult coloring book or a similar alternative, a good book, essential oils, an artisinal botanical candle by Wax Apothecary, or a DIY terrarium kit.
  • Breakfast in bed is thoughtful, sweet, and oh-so-affordable. Emily Brett, Verily‘s graphic designer, shares, “For Mother’s Day every year, my brother, dad and I wake up early and make my mom a full breakfast, then serve it to her. It’s a little treat that she really appreciates and looks forward to each year!”


To this mom, nothing speaks more deeply than a warm hug, linking arms, a kiss on the cheek, or a tender squeeze on the arm.

  • Ready to make a physical touch mom feel super-special? Mary Rose recommends buying a new nail polish shade that complements her skin tone and giving her an at-home mani/pedi (we can hear the spa bells ringing).
  • Give her a much needed neck or back rub, or book an hour-long massage delivered to the comfort of her own home or office through the Soothe app for $99 (tip included).
  • Reduce her stress and refresh her mood by rubbing a bit of essential oils from doTERRA onto her temples, behind her neck and ears, and on her wrists. Ah, serenity.


For some, what makes them feel most loved is to receive a gift. Dr. Chapman advises, “Don’t mistake this love language for materialism; the receiver of gifts thrives on the love, thoughtfulness, and effort behind the gift.” The perfect gift or gesture shows that she is known, cared for, and prized above whatever was sacrificed to bring the gift to her. It’s difficult for us to recommend the perfect gift because it depends so much on the individual. But we do have a few ideas based on our own experiences.

  • If you notice her hands need a little TLC, Emily recommends l’Occitane’s popular hand cream with Shea butter and honey.
  • If she’s always hunting people down for photos, collect them from family members and create a personalized photo book of special gatherings. Our lifestyle editor Kriza Liquido’s mother-in-law loves these!
  • Megan bought a gorgeously illustrated book titled A Mother Is a Story by Samantha Hahn for her own mom this year. Her accompanying journal, Stories for My Child, is a thoughtful opportunity for mom to record milestones and experiences to cherish.
  • Sophie Caldecott, Verily‘s special projects manager, recommends getting a voucher for an online class in calligraphy, macaron making, book binding, or photography from atly for the woman who wants to broaden her repertoire of talents.
  • For something that will remind her of you year-round, consider jewelry. Megan shares, “My mom, sister, and I all have matching rings, which makes us feel united when we’re apart.”

Whatever you choose for the special women in your life, we hope some of these ideas help you find the perfect gifts that make them feel most loved this Mother’s Day.

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Modern Dating-Rant

I’m in the mood to rant about modern dating, so sorry if this is all over the place because I’m literally just typing this as I’m thinking. So here it is; in this generation, dating is no longer dating. This is the generation of “it’s complicated.” My definition of dating is exploring life with another person. Growing with each other with the intention of a future together (aka marriage and kids). We live in the world of technology, so you would think dating would be easier right? Wrong. It made things so much more complicated and confusing for everyone. We jump straight to conclusions. Dating is now Netflix and chill. No one seems to go out and explore the world together anymore. He likes another girls picture, does he like her? This girl has 500 likes, I’m nothing compared to her. He took 3 hours to respond. He only texts me at 2am. Does he just want to f*ck? We’re all scared to commit but we don’t want to be alone and because of that our generation has invented “talking.” You’re not dating officially, but you’re talking.  They are your girl or man, but since y’all aren’t together you can’t be upset with them talking or seeing other people. You know they like you and you like them back, but no one is making the first move into an actual relationship. I think talking is great, but our version of talking is just over text. No one makes the first move to hang out in person. I feel like you can’t know someone until you meet them in person more than once to see if y’all it it off.

Once y’all have sex, that’s what your relationship starts to be all about. Your relationship will be centered around having sex. Yes, sex is great but no relationship should be centered around having sex. A relationship should be about growing together and adventuring. The we have the option of friends with benefits but that will only work if both people do not catch feelings, which doesn’t happen often. Normally, one person tends to always catch feelings and that my friends is no bueno. In my experience of having an fwb we’re both into each other, but don’t want to commit so we end up just talking and having sex. I don’t want to offend anyone who loves hooking up and doing fwb/one night stands. If doing that makes you happy, then go for it!

This is what dating has come to, talking and having sex. Not wanting to commit but don’t want to be alone. It’s sad, but the truth. We all post on social media we want dating to come back, but we don’t make it happen. Our generation is supposed to change the world, so let’s start now. We shouldn’t be settling for less. We deserve more than what we accept. My favorite quote is from Perks of Being a Wallflower, “we accept the love we think we deserve.” But the truth is we deserve WAYY more, so why can’t we see that in ourselves? Why are we letting boys/relationships, how many likes on social media we get define who we are. (Damn…I just went on a huge tangent. I’ll stop now hahaha). But you get the point, hopefully. I would love to hear what your thoughts are about modern dating.

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Time Fades

The struggles I face
from day to day

Are struggles that won’t
seem to fade away

I wake in the morning
and what do I see

A lost little girl
mourning to be

I struggle with loss,
pain and anxiety too

But most of all I
struggle from not having you

Time will heal
So they say

So I watch the clock
As time fades away
*Inspired by the chapel service on November 2, 2016. Reading the Book of Life”

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She Wants To Be Perfect

Words hurt

Bitch, Whore, Slut

She runs upstairs and grabs a knife

She cuts and cuts and cuts

Blood gushing out onto the floor

She screams, she cries, yet seems like no one hears her

She’s drowning in the dark

Fat, Gross, Disgusting

She runs and slams the bathroom door

She leans into the toilet

She throws up just so she can be thin

She wishes to be perfect, “it’s not fair” she says

She laughs and smiles at school, but why can no one see it’s a lie

Everything she does is fake

Her soul has been broken, she will never be the same

She never told anyone and no one will ever know because she keeps quiet

She doesn’t want people to think she wants attention

She takes the rope, hangs herself in the dark

She no longer has a beating heart

Her friends fall to the ground as they hear the words, “She’s dead”

Her brother cries as he sleeps in her bed

She is gone

She is done

Just because of people. People making fun.

She’s buried on a Saturday

On a gloomy, melancholy day

People start crying

All because that one girl stopped trying

so before judging someone on their weight or their clothes

their laugh, their talk, their hair, or their nose

Just take a moment to realize and see

Everyone is not always who they seem to be.

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This I Believe…

I believe in finding a good frog. It seems that all throughout childhood, we are taught to look for a happily ever after. “And they all lived happily ever after”; isn’t that the conclusion to many children’s films? When I was a kid I always thought of that as magical; but now really it just seems unrealistic. And it teaches us that what we want is a fairytale like they have in the storybooks. We all want to be Cinderella who gets swept off her feet by the hot prince; we want to live in the royal castle, right? But I don’t think that’s necessarily a good thing for us to seek. Now, I’m not saying I believe in being pessimistic, but I do believe in being realistic; it’s something I got from my mom.

My mother and I always have our best conversations in the rain. We sit in the car, neither of us wanting to brave the rain to get to the house. So we sit. We watch droplets race down the windshield, listen to the rain strike the roof of her little gold mini van, and feel the heater on full-blast rushing at our feet (just the way we like it). I don’t know why, but sitting in the car, we always talk more than normal. There was one rainy day when my mom told me something that is going to stick with me forever. Earlier that day she and my dad had been arguing about something; I can’t remember what. So she said, “Don’t spend your life looking for Prince Charming. Instead, find yourself a really good frog.” At the time, I found this thought really disheartening. Who wants to think that you’ll never find Prince Charming? You’ll never get to be Cinderella? Another thought that struck my mind: if my mom says there’s no Prince Charming, then what’s my dad? A frog? I asked her, and she replied with, “Of course! If he were Prince Charming, he wouldn’t snore, would be able to cook, and we would never argue. But you know what? He’s a damn good frog.” Of course, being young, I didn’t think of the meaning behind what she was saying. I was too busy thinking of it literally, visualizing my mom as a princess and my dad in frog form.

But a few years later, I understand the value of my mom’s words. You can’t expect everything to be perfect. Let’s be completely honest; if you wait your whole life for your prince with flowing hair, statuesque features, and a white horse, you’re going to be lonely. I think that the point of finding a good frog is you accept something that’s great, flaws and all. It’s so easy to be picky. You can find the one tiny thing that’s wrong, and that one tiny thing is what you can’t get your mind off of. But in life, we can’t afford to wait years in vain for perfection. So I think that a good frog, an amazing frog, the best frog you can find is what we’re really looking for in this world. Don’t laze through life waiting for a happily ever after, because I don’t think you’ll be very happy with the outcome.

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Depression: What It Feels Like

My alarm goes off at 6 in the the morning, indicating that it’s time for me to get ready for school. Everything seems like such a mundane routine by now, and it’s only the beginning to middle of October. I lay in bed because I don’t want to get up, and it feels like the only place where I am safe. However, I manage to muster up the energy to roll myself out of my protective nest, only to be visited by that familiar feeling of dread.

Today is another day where I will be reminded that I am a failure.

My depression comes and goes in flares, and it’s usually brought on by my anxiety involving popular topics such as school, my future, and my insecurities. Lately, it’s been school and my future. I’m obsessed with grades. I’m obsessed with doing well, and I give myself high expectations. But since my depression has been beating me into the ground these past couple of weeks, I find it hard to be motivated in my classes, which stresses me out even more, resulting in a session of numb depression. And then it starts all over again. I tell myself these things that have become quite the regularity:

“I’m done”

“I want to drop out of high school”

“I hate myself”

“I hate my life”

“I’m exhausted”

“I’m a failure”

“I’m a loser”

“What’s the point?”

These thoughts and I, as scary as they are, are quite acquainted each other. I’m not terrified of them anymore because I’ve gotten so used to their existence. My depression gets so bad sometimes, that I rip myself down to shreds and I am my own worst enemy. Depression is when you look at the thing that once used to scare you dead in the eye, and just not care anymore. Their frightening reality is just another day, just another emotion and it doesn’t phase any longer. It’s this weird combination of feeling like you can take on anything in the world and be emotionless, and yet vulnerable at the same time. You just don’t know what’s going to happen next. 

Depression is feeling like nobody understands you, and you’re all alone in this chaotic world. It’s even shutting out the ones who care about you the most because it’s easier to push away those who are the most important to you. It’s curling up in bed and wanting to be left alone and still want to be comforted by someone at the same time. And it’s getting angry at every little thing, crying so much and feeling out of control, but not displaying any emotion at all and giving up on yourself and on everyone else. It’s getting ready for something bad to happen because you’re pessimistic, always looking for the negative. It’s feeling like you deserve to be punished all of the time, and expecting bad things to happen to you on a daily basis. And it hurts. Depression is it’s own kind of unique pain that I can’t exactly put into words, but nobody should have to experience it all alone. 

It’s a day of just finding some speck of energy to get by and to complete all of your adult obligations, but wanting to scream at the top of your lungs and have someone tell you it’s going to be okay. It’s me feeling like there is something wrong with me, that nobody will ever love me and I’m going to spend the rest of my days alone and unloved, even though I am surrounded by people who love me so much. It’s forgetting what you have in front of you because they seem so minuscule in comparison to the the painful obstacles you’re enduring. Honestly… depression feels like your world is ending, and everything is hopeless and confusing and a mess. It’s desperately wanting sweet relief more than anything. 

The world’s not
really against you
The only one that’s against
you is yourself
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An Open Letter To the Korean-American Community

When I was a sophomore in high school, I had posted a mirror selfie. I was in a crop top, shorts and heels and one of my knees were bent while my head was just titled to the side (you know the typical white girl mirror selfie). A few weeks later, my mom stood over my shoulder and watched me delete the photo, scolding me for embarrassing her in front of the Korean-American community with my scandalous photo.

I grew up in a society where everybody knew everything of everyone. People lived off of gossip, from people’s jobs to people’s 401K plans. But the most interesting, and juiciest pieces of gossip were always about their children.

In elementary and middle school, it was about ERBs or “evil reading booklets” as the students called them. This was a standardized test the students from 1st-7th grade had to take and this will reflect on how the school was doing. In high school, it was about PSAT scores, AP scores, then SAT/ACT scores, then college acceptances. And in between the years, every relationship, outfit, and photo never went unnoticed.

Everybody gossips. It’s often used as a source of entertainment, and a means to justify our own actions or a way to feel better of our lives. Most of the time, gossip is harmless; but when it is used to pit people against each other, it becomes destructive.

That was how I, and I daresay, many others, felt like growing up. We didn’t simply represent ourselves, rather we represented our whole family. Perform well on a test, and that meant that the ordeal our parents had to go through coming to the United States was all worth it. Wearing modest clothes and looking presentable meant that our parents had taught us well. Everything we did directly reflected on our family.

Everything we did directly translated to how we should be treated. Growing up I was taught that those who did well in school were the ones who were to be looked up to. These were the people I had to surround myself with, and these were the people who I should be seen with. On the other hand, those who made poor decisions, who were kicked out of schools for misbehavior, those were the kids whose names were spoken in a whisper. Who I was never to even think about.

I write about what I know. I know that I am a Korean American, and I know that this is what my life was like growing up. Which is why I am singling out the Korean American community. Growing up, I felt like I was held under a microscope, and even a flick of a finger in the wrong direction could lead me to be shunned. Growing up, I thought it was normal to think not only of how my decisions would affect me, but even more importantly, how it would affect my family’s reputation under your eyes. But I have now decided that’s not normal, and more importantly, that is not OK. No child should have to feel such a heavy burden on their shoulders. Stop using your children as a means of social judgment. In fact, stop judging yourselves so heavily at all. Underneath every action is 100 feet of decisions and dedications, that a person had to make. So unless you have as much patience and tenacity to analyze such decisions as you do every result, you have no right to judge us at all.

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An Open Letter To My Best Friend

There are probably a million articles out there about “why my best friend is better than yours.” Well consider this  one the million and first article, because sometimes people need to hear just how much they mean to us.

Dear Best Friend,

God placed the people in our lives for a reason. Sometimes I wonder how I got so lucky and what I have done to deserve a friend like you. People have come and gone out of my life, but for some reason you stayed and never left. You are one of the greatest gifts God has ever given me.

You are the person I turn to for absolutely everything, big or small, and that means the world to me. During my darkest hours, you were my bright light to guide me, when I needed a hand to hold, a shoulder to cry on you were right there beside me. You have saved me from my own insanity and I couldn’t be more grateful.

Sitting back and thinking about all our crazy impulsive adventures are great, but being able to think back to the nights all we did was acorn, watch movies on Putlocker, and bitch about everything is even better. I reminded myself that it’s okay if we don’t go out and do something, because the party is right wherever we are. When we’re together our laughs grow, our cries stop, and we ugly Snapchat away the night. And honestly, I’d rather be doing that over anything else (most of the time– we gotta stop being such homebodies).

We have a great time just driving around and dancing in the car like complete imbeciles because who cares if anyone sees? We look adorable doing it, and we have no intention of stopping. We piss guys everywhere we go, but it’s okay because we got each other. Sometimes I wonder if we are gay for each other.

Every best friend relationship is different– they grow from being new friends, to good friends, to best friends, to basically sisters. Every step of the way to you becoming my family has been emotional, exciting, nerve-wrecking, and absolutely beautiful. I have absolutely zero idea what I would do without you, and I have no intention of ever finding out. Sorry babe, you’re stuck with me, and I know we wouldn’t have it any other way. I love you, my wifey!

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