Post-Grad Syndrome

Today, I wrote a post on my other blog roughguidetolife about my internal struggle with planning my post-grad life instead of just letting it flow organically, and how this has affected my writing.

We all suffer from post-grad syndrome. We expect things to happen right out of the gate and for life to go the way we see it in our heads, but when it doesn’t anxiety ensues.

I have always been a fan of the HBO show GIRLS for that reason. Whether you relate to the characters or not, what you can relate to is the struggle of trying to navigate through your early 20s.

I decided to take a mental break and go home for a couple of months to not only work for my parents’ business, but also to figure out what truly the right “next step” for me was.   Even though I promised myself that after I graduated I would do whatever made me happy, I secretly put pressure on myself that I wasn’t fulfilling societal standards of a post-grad.

I came across this article the other day on Hello Giggles that not only eased my anxiety, but also made me confident that not taking the ‘expected’ route was the absolutely the right thing for me.

Lisa Lo Paro, like me, went home after graduation. While she was working at her waitress-ing job she discovered that what she really wanted to do is write. Despite getting disapproving or lack-of-enthusiasm comments derived from the dreaded question, “So what are you doing with her life?” she is happy, because she knows confidently that she is taking her own path and is doing exactly what she wants to be doing in this moment.

Who knows where the next five years will take her, me, and all the other recent graduates but her story serves as platform that it’s okay to do the unexpected.

“Fresh Off The Boat,” Offensive or Empowering?

owned by ABC

Owned by ABC

Everyone has something to say about ABC’s new comedy “Fresh Off The Boat.” It premiered with mixed reviews via social media. Those on Twitter and Tumblr had no issue offering up their opinion. From one side of the spectrum deeming the show “extremely offensive,” “the saddest piece of ‘white television,’ to those who have had similar experiences to Eddie Huang, the creator, the funniest thing they have ever seen. The show is being compared to that of recently debuted shows “Christela,” which follows a young woman and her Latin family, and “Black-ish,” which revolves around a ‘mixed’ family.

While “Fresh Off The Boat,” is similar to these shows about the struggles of integrating two cultures, the desire to hang onto traditional values in an area that doesn’t quite understand them. What sets “Fresh Off The Boat” apart, similar to “Everybody Hates Chris” and “The Goldbergs,” is the fact that the show is offers real-life experiences from the view of a coming-of-age boy; adding yet another layer to the show. Eddie Huang, chef and author, wrote a memoir of which the show is based on. Akin to that of Chris Rock, and Adam F. Goldberg.

“Fresh Off The Boat,” is a raw depiction of the struggles of not only growing up, but as a minority just trying to fit in compromising one’s culture. Anyone can relate to the fact that as a kid we all wanted to mold ourselves in some way to what the majority was doing. And the truth is the show is offensive, but that’s the point! It shoves race in your face, it exposes all of the stereotypes and stigma about Asian Immigrants, and Asian-American families in the U.S. Huang is sharing his memories, his experiences which also is empowering. To put the stigma out there is also in a way reclaiming. It’s educating, and real which is why from those who having lived in household similar to Huang’s are loving this show, finally there is representation.

It has been over 20 years since an Asian-American family was featured on primetime television. It seems un-fathoming so, but it’s true. Television has never been great at offering authentic depictions. As a woman do you think I like being grouped of thought of as like those on “The Real Housewives.” Yeah. No. However, voices are finally getting heard, and more shows offering diversity of race/gender/sexuality are being created. It’s been slow on the uptake, but I know “Fresh Off The Boat” will rise to the challenge.

Since everyone is a critic, I will say one thing. I applaud these shows for their voice on race, but what about the gender discrepancy? Shows like “Fresh Off the Boat,” “Everybody Hates Chris,” and “Goldbergs” are hilarious BUT they surround the experiences of a coming -of-age-boy, what about a comedy about a coming-of-age girl?

One step at a time…


Now that I have graduated college, it is time to take that vacation.

Thank you for your loyalty.

Have a wonderful Holiday Season and Happy New Year!

See you all in 2015.

8 Lessons to Survive College and Beyond

As my final days of college come to a close, it’s hard not to feel nostalgic. College is the craziest four years of your life, and everyone’s experience is different. I came in my Freshman year naive, scared, and full of self-doubt.

As this chapter closes, I know myself, my talents, and my values better than I ever thought I could. My relationship with my family is stronger than ever, and I have friends whom I will never be able to get rid of (and I mean this in the best possible way :) )

College will break you, but when you glue the pieces back together the structure is anything but weak.

Here are few lessons that I have obtain admits the chaos

1. Adults don’t always know best :  This was the hardest lesson for me to learn. Growing up I was taught to “respect authority” and to “listen to your elders.” In my first year, I was told by two separate professors that I should leave that I wasn’t cut out for this  school. They didn’t tell me how I could improve, but one did ask if I had a learning disability. I told her “I think my parents would have had been tested if they felt I had a learning disability.”

I also had an incident with the Housing Office, where I was told that the information was to remain private. I found out later that the incident was the new “hot” gossip around the office, and it eventually got back to me. I was more of an adult in the situation than them. That was a turning point for me. It’s important to treat everyone with respect but what they say is not the end all be all. Just because you are a younger doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a voice.

In life you have to realize that just because some is older doesn’t mean they know better.

2. Learn to take criticism: This goes hand in hand with #1. Learn to take criticism. I would cry my little eyes out when a professor ripped apart my work. You should cry, it’s cathartic, but don’t let the criticism dictate your work or who you are. Listen, accept what they say, apply it, and move on. At first I didn’t understand my professor’s criticism, I thought it was a personal attack of some degree but it wasn’t.

You have to compartmentalized.

Separate what they say from personal feelings, and unfortunately you are going to have do things that you don’t necessarily agree with. You are not going see eye-to-eye with every professors or boss. I have personally butt heads with a few of my professors. They didn’t like my writing aesthetic, but that wasn’t something I was going to change just for them. I would however take half of what they say and apply it to my work. You don’t have to agree, but you will have to compromise in life. At times, it challenged my stubbornness but in the end with the professors I butt heads with I produced my greatest work.

3. Take a mental health day:  This is something my mom instilled in me and my sister very early on. Everyone needs a mental health day. School is important, but it isn’t everything. Your mental and physical health takes president over any class. I had to learn this the hard way. My first two years of college I focused solely on my work. I didn’t go out on the weekends, barely saw friends, and pushed my body to the brink with stress.  When I injured by sciatic nerve, it was my body telling me enough is enough!

I had no balance in my life.

It is important to take a day off once in a while. Go to the park. Veg. Watch TV all day. Whatever you chose to do, but you have to promise me NO WORK! Mental Health days are for you and you alone.

4. Everything in moderation : Balance is key.  Work in moderation, play in moderation. It is important to do things for yourself. This where yoga and meditation have really benefited my life. I was consistently worrying about work first, which only lead to the deterioration of body and soul. There is satisfaction in doing well at your job, but it will only take you so far. The most successful people are those who balance work and home life.

5. Never lose sight of who you are:  Always be open to growing as a person, but never lose your core.

6. Money is just paper:  Paying for college is a daunting task.  My family and I have struggled, but have been fortunate in the fact that I didn’t have to have three jobs and a full class load to get my education.  The worry of finances will never go away, but only saving and never doing anything for yourself is an extreme. Balance is the theme of not only this post, but of this entire blog. You have to treat yourself. Whether it’s going out to dinner once a week, a new shade of nail polish,  or that book you’ve been dying to read.  It doesn’t have to be extravagant, it just has to be meaningful.

7. Be organized: Learning how to manage your time will only benefit you. My freshman year, I pulled an all-nighter to write a three page paper. This is an incredibly sad statement.  Fast forward to senior year, when I juggled my senior thesis paper, full class load, on-campus job, and a social life. It can be done. Scheduling and knowing your habits are key. If you work better at night, take a nap in the afternoon. If you work better in the morning, go to bed earlier.  Just promise me, you’ll get some sleep…please?

8. “You don’t know how dumb average is” :  Something my mom has told me my entire life… don’t settle for average.

Throw Back Monday

For my readers in America, I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. For others, I apologize for the absence as I took a little hiatus and went home for the week. I am trying something new. This blog as been running since 2011 some of you have been with me for that long, while others just tuned in. (Hi!) There are many articles that were written about things from the pop-culture graveyard, but the content is still relevant. I want to revive some of these posts in hopes of sparking new conversation.

Let me know what you think!



Today while eating my lackluster tuna sandwich, I picked up this month’s issue of Marie Claire that was peeking from pile of my mother’s mail. Quickly flipping through the magazine, I stopped to read the article on Nicki Minaj. Issue after Issue I find interviewers asking the same questions over and over in attempts to make the untouchable celebrity status somehow relatable to the everyday reader. No matter how hard (or maybe not hard) they try most conversations are still surface level thus creating a vague tangibility of celebrity at hand. (The sad truth is I find myself searching for magazine internships..hypocritical, fake, and materialistic; I’ve heard worse)

While struggling with my constant inner turmoil, I started to close the magazine when a picture of a Japanese man tunely dressed caught my eye. I read the caption “Kensuke Todo, 20, says he’d rather spend his money on clothes than dating.” Oddly I am intrigued. Women and Men of Japan are turning to celibacy rather then have a relationship.


For some women the job market is tough as it is, but if a woman is to get married or become pregnant the likelihood of promotion is completely shut down because in the male-dominated workplace. The boss assumes you will just leave anyway. Women are perfectly content with furthering their career and going on dates with their girlfriends, rather than having a relationship. Very Sex and the City-esque. The men who share this interest are know as soushoku danshi; the herbivore men. The soushoku danshi, whom I mentioned earlier continued to state “dating is too troublesome, I don’t want the responsibility of being someone’s boyfriend or have to worry it will lead to marriage.” Those who are finding it hard to navigate in the contemporary dating pool turn to matchmaking to ease their search.

There are of course going to be cultural differences that influence my opinion.

As I woman I understand how this constant tennis match between the ‘housewife’ label and ‘career’ woman. I have no problem with siding with the woman who’d rather further their career and put their love life on hold. However, I find that when it came to the men featured it was harder to blur the lines. It all seemed so harsh on both ends. It is one thing to not be ready for marriage and want to wait but to see it as bothersome and a hassle due to the pressures in the Japanese culture of constantly having buy gifts and spend money on the women they date proves the stalemate in the changing culture that has Japanese officials worried.

“Fewer babies were born in 2012 than in any other year on record,” which has the government worried about a future demographic crisis. Many young men and women are remaining celibate, but even those who are married a whopping 40% of marriages are sexless. With the population of Japan as it stands, from an outside perspective it doesn’t seem like a crisis will happen within the next 5 years. BUT if both sides continue to be stubborn, this slightly selfish way of thinking may have a major impact.

I call it selfish, because although we believe we can do it all on our own, I still believe that two is better than one. Women may not NEED men (and vis versa) , but they should WANT someone to go through life together. It doesn’t matter the speed at which one wants to set, but in the end as humans we crave attention and love.

There is still hope for the dating scene in Japan as one man from the matchmaking event said “I find that women who are independent and have their own careers much more sexually attractive.”

A glimmer of change..



The pool was mine. I jumped in with no coaxing, and little reservation. My only fear was that I would be so out of shape, forgetting my stroke, gasping for air after only swimming one length of the pool. I wasn’t sure how my body was going to react. In March I had suffered an incapacitating back injury. Numbness circulating in my lower back shot down my right leg. I went stir crazy siting in one position waiting for my body to heal, causing an immense shock to my system. The one thing I knew confidently was sturdy now crumbled. I was broken.

I had always been active, an athlete. For twelve years swimming was not just an activity; it defined me. The label of an athlete was something I wore in my form, in the way I carried myself. But, I grew to resent it. The early mornings, long practices, the icy waters, and over-hyped competition, but it was the one thing that I knew I did well. I am the type of person who strives on routine. Once your stroke is down, very little changes. It was comfort.

Caged by my own body. I was forced to stop all strenuous activity, swimming, and going to the gym. Harboring a grudge, watching those engage in the daily activities we take for granted; as they only caused paranoia in that I would somehow re-injure it.

I made a full recovery a couple months back, but am still cautious. I was advised to start yoga by those around me, to strengthen my muscles. The physical activity bandaged the void, but I was done sitting on the sidelines.

Swimming, my mind was blissfully blank; pure ecstasy, gliding so effortlessly, my hands placed themselves one in front of the other. When we walk, our feet know they need to go in front of each other. It is implicit. When I swim my body becomes an empty vessel, going through the uncomplicated motions. When you find your rhythm your thoughts drift to nothing, like finding the stride in my walk. Even though I was out of the pool, the strict positions drilled into me were manifesting. Naturally, they had always been there. When I walk, I favor to the right side of the street. When you swim, you enter the water on the right turning, finishing on the left side of the lane. I walk with one foot placing directly in front of the other, creating a straight line; never straying. When I swim, my hands place themselves in the exact same spot, creating a streamline.

Our bodies in motion leave tiny traces, marked, bones knowing precisely what to do next.

I should have never worried, my body can take care of itself

We Shut It Down


New York Festival of Lights – DUMBO Neighborhood

An hour into my friends and I witnessing the last night of the first annual New York Festival of Lights the cops shut it down.

Sadly I was in no position to take a decent photo, while New York City is seen as sardines in a can I never quite understood this metaphor until last night. So what is the Festival of Lights? Why is it so popular? And why did the night end like it did?

When many mention the Festival of Lights they are usually referring to Diwali, which for those who don’t know is a Hindu festival celebrating the arrival of autumn, or other religious festivals of light such as Tazungdaing Festival (Buddhism) and Hanukkah (Judaism)

What the New York Festival of Lights is what Berlin was doing 10 year prior, and most recently Prague. It is a celebration of merging art with technology. For 10 days, in October, the city of Berlin illuminates into a gigantic performance piece. The light installations transform the city allowing people, art, architecture to interact. I take notice of the critical aspect of this, a city that has seen political destruction can turn its dark history into a beautifully mastered celebration of how far the city has come. Berlin is one of those interesting cities that I feel people may overlook or not deem interesting when in actuality is becoming a center for artists around the world to come together and collaborate. Germany has this stigma of being stuffy and cold, but some of the greatest minds have hailed from Germany of which America has benefited; Albert Einstein, Karl Marx, and even the inventor of Levi jeans Levi Strauss. Soon others are going to catch on and Berlin is going to creatively explode!

I wonder why it took so long for New York City, the capital of everything, to showcase artists in the same way. The main installation was held under the Manhattan Bridge where DJ’s and Fine Artists collaborate to merge lasers, that would bounce off the inside of the tunnel as well moving imagery cast on the outer, bricks, with music. Turning the once ever popular 1970s laser dome shows into something sublime.

What was rather disappointing is that one couldn’t enjoy the mirroring for science and art due to the mass of people. Then when everyone has phones, it makes it even harder to see. For the brief show that I did see, which paired black and white imagery moving into color and opera music, was nothing but spectacular. Breathtaking actually. However, it was short-lived as we were told to evacuate due to public safety.

On end I am upset that in terms of planning this wasn’t taken into consideration. At the same time for its first year I don’t think the coordinators expected this type of turn out, which as an artist makes me extremely proud. Being shut down because the show was too good can only look favorable on the artists, DJs, and NYFOL organization. I am curious as to how things will differ as they have promised they will be back next year!

For more information and article reviews click below.

You can also go on instagram with the hashtags #nyfol #festivaloflights to see pictures and videos from other spectators.


Huffington Post

Wall Street Journal


Happy (Almost) All Hallows Eve

*Warning the picture below may be offensive to some


What isn’t there to love about Halloween?! Dressing up in hilariously ironic costumes, eating tons of candy and feeling no shame, pumpkin cookies, roasted pumpkin seeds, carving pumpkins, bingeing on Disney Original Halloween movies, you watched as a kid, like Halloweentown or even better Halloweentown II: Kalabar’s Revenge.

For kids, Halloween is the beginning of a 3 month sugar high as Thanksgiving and Christmas roll in. As an adult Halloween turns into yet another holiday to drink and dress in skimpy outfits. Halloween has turned, as most holidays do in America, a marketing campaign for consumerism. We forget that in actuality Halloween has a dark history going back hundreds of years rooted in religious and pagan practices/beliefs. The History Channel decided to reveal the “Real Story Behind Halloween” to trace back how it all started and why some traditions stuck. And it’s so cool!

Size Matters…According to Society

Buzzfeed is one place you can count on for a laugh, but they also use this platform to mix humor with current social/cultural issues. The pressure placed on women’s bodies by society is no laughing matter. The over-stimulation of media informs young girls that they have to look at certain way, when that standard of beauty is digitally enhanced.

However, media is not the only culprit…

In my psychology of gender and sex roles class we learned that socialization (learning norms, customs, and ideologies to participate within his or her own society) of gender roles/expression is done through 4 socializing agents.

1. Parents: The most important source since your parents are the key to early childhood development

2. Teachers: Who become role models

3. Peers: They provide and encourage gender role norms

4. Media: Which presents gender-ed imagery

The same can be applied to how women view their bodies. A mother’s relationship with food or her body directly affects how their daughters view their bodies. Unconsciously, her insecurities are being passed onto others. Language is also very important phrases like “should you be eating that” “you already had one” or “maybe you shouldn’t wear that” are triggers for potential body issue or worse an eating disorder. Friends can also be toxic. I cannot remember the times my friends in High School would call themselves fat but then turn around if I did and say “oh my god you’re not fat.” It was clear that these girls weighed about 30 pounds less than I did. Luckily, for me this phase passed in college. I became more aware of our body hang ups and change what language I used to describe myself and others. Unfortunately for others their body issues are deep rooted and may never heal, which is incredibly sad since we only have one life and to spend it miserable is a heinous crime.

“Pageantry of Vanity”

I feel like a common theme in my academic papers in college and on this blog is the current and on-going debate about our reliance on technology,and how it affects our personal relationships. Prince Ea, is an American rapper, music video director, and rights activist in St.Louis Missouri. He absolutely nails the problem within our society on the head.

I am guilty of having my phone attached to me. Constantly responding to emails, texting, Instagram, and my weakness Snapchat. Our phones are our constant companion, but what purpose does it serve when we are looking at what in going on in the internet sphere rather than looking up and seeing all the quirky, beautiful, interesting things happening right in front of us. I hate walking into a coffee shop or subway, and seeing every single person either on their phone or computer. Even worse when I see babysitters at the park staring on their phone rather than living in the magical world kids create. Small talk seems obsolete these day.

Unfortunately, we are in the generation of media over-stimulation where self-worth is measure by how many likes or followers we have. What happened to gaining self-worth through the sports we played, or projects we created? I was born in 1992, so I was lucky enough to avoid cable, Facebook, and other social media sites until late high school early college. The generations after us are not that luckily. BUT something that we forget is that WE have the CHOICE not to engage or at least not engage as much, to not be controlled.

So I have taken on my own personal challenge. Currently I am in New Jersey visiting a friend from back home, and my challenge is to not use my phone/computer for updating social media sites. This includes Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and limited texting from the time I got off the train to the time I get back on the train. So far it has been working out well. Since this is quick trip it will be only 24 hours. I want to enjoy the time I have with my friend since we cannot get together very often. Rather than constantly checking my phone I chose take in what I experience on this trip, not capture it.

I’ll let you know how it goes..

Do you think we are too reliant on technology? Would you take the challenge to unplug?