Long Distance Relationships: First year of college away from your significant other

Hello, interwebs! Today I am going to be talking about my thoughts on long distance relationships as well as some of the things that we are planning in order to help make the time away not feel so miserable.

 

Long Distance relationships, especially in college seem like this impossible feat. Everyone you know loves to tell you how much it isn’t going to work. However, in reality, like almost all things; if you give it love, attention, and dedication it will work. Of course, this will not work out for every couple as every couple is different but these are just my thoughts and actions regarding my own relationship that may or may not be helpful to you. First things first a little bit about my relationship. I started dating my boyfriend Ian at the beginning of my senior year after both of us crushing on each other for most of the previous school year. The week before school started we started talking, went on one date to the movies and he asked me out two weeks later. We are just about to hit our one year anniversary on August fourteenth and have had a basically bump-free relationship until now. I think the whole thing that I love about us is that we have such a high level of respect for each other and an understanding of each other’s needs ( such as him helping me with my anxiety symptoms and me just giving him love and help with English haha) that have helped us get through without any real hardcore fights.

Long distance relationships take a certain amount of dedication in order to work. I think you really have to take a step back and determine how much you are willing to work in order to keep the relationship healthy. As someone who recently got a promise ring I would consider us rather serious, though of course, you don’t have to be quite that serious. Overall, I think the main thing is that you are willing to take time out of your schedule for the other person in order to continue somewhat of a normal routine.

As for things that we are going to do to help make that schedule, I have a few things. First and foremost, taking time ( scheduling time) to call or skype them every day I think is key. I don’t say texting because you can message them anytime and it certainly isn’t as personal. If you set out an hour every day to call them or video call then this way you can hear their voice and have an in depth conversation like you would if you were actually with them. I also think this helps with the ” angry text syndrome” that happens with long distance couples. If you don’t know what this is, basically from what I understand when you are away from someone for so long you forget their tone when messaging and more things can be misconstrued as angry or mean. If you call them every day to catch up you can somewhat avoid this issue.

Another thing that we are doing is sending letters. This may seem weird for lots of people but I love stationery and writing so to show my work and effort I pledged to write weekly letters and send pictures along with them. Even though it’s from the girl to the guy, don’t underestimate the power of doing something that people know take time. He may be a manly macho man, but don’t think for a second that he doesn’t appreciate you taking an hour to do something as manual as writing letters. It doesn’t have to be this, of course, it could be sending packages once a month, making those ” open when cards” before you leave, or whatever else you can think of. Doing something on a regular basis that makes you stop and think about the other person will definitely help keep things interesting as well as keep you thinking about them in a positive way. As they say ” distance makes the heart grow fonder”

The last thing of advice is to always know when you are going to see them again.When you leave them always say something along the lines of ” see you on ( this date)”. I actually got this tip from Game Theory on Youtube during a live stream. They mentioned how they went through long distance during college and always did this whenever they saw each other. As for my own personal thoughts about this, I think besides being a really cute way of ” saying goodbye without saying goodbye” it helps remind the person that you are going to see them again and it actually isn’t an eternity away. It also makes it something to look forward to in the future.

 

I know leaving for college is already scary, especially when you are leaving someone who has been the backbone of your life for quite some time. However, this will allow you both to grow up and become independent people as well as hopefully, strengthening your relationship even if you aren’t with each other all the time. I wish you all the best with your relationship endeavors. Sorry for the long post but I had a lot of information to get out haha.

Best wishes,

Lia

 

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Back to School: My favorite back to school organization items

Hello, interwebs! Today I am going to be talking about how I begin to organize myself for school as well as what I got to use in college.

Many people, especially in college, only end up taking notes and doing assignments on a Laptop or Tablet. However, I am one of those people that 1) cannot type fast at all 2) cannot learn things if I don’t write them down. It is actually scientifically proven that handwriting things is a better method for learning new information, but I’m sure many of you have heard that before.

My first item of business is always a planner. I have always been someone who likes to use a physical planner rather than one on my phone or computer. In more recent years, I’ve got into the whole “Glam Planning” culture ( which you can read more about on other posts here). A good planner does what you need it to do, this meaning organize your daily tasks and events. It might take some time to find what planner works for you and what style you like but basically, you need a place where you can see what you need to do and be able to organize the time to get it done.

Next, I always look toward how I am going to organize all of my class notes. I am someone who has always been known for taking really plentiful and well-written notes. Because of this, I am always looking for the best and easiest way to organize all of my notes. This year, I ended up settling on a set of Moleskin notebooks. I normally won’t get notebooks that aren’t coil bound because they never end up laying perfectly flat. However, I found that after I broke the binding on these notebooks ( this means basically just cracking the spine) they stayed flat enough for me to write neatly. Another one of the main reasons I settled on these is that they were available at Costco! For a 6 pack of notebooks in various colors as well as a set of labeling stickers, it ended up being around $10 which is an insanely low price for moleskin notebooks which are usually $10 for an A5 size.

My final most important school supply is pens. I have always had a fascination with pens and I love finding the ones that I believe write the best. Personally, my favorite pens come into a few categories: Black ink, Colored ink, and highlighters. For Black ink, I’m wavering between the new Muji clickable pens in 0.5 and the Pentel Energel in 0.7. For colored ink, I like the Staedtler pens because of their verity of colors as well as their fast drying ink. Finally, for highlighters, I love the Mildliners because of their cute color schemes even though they do tend to smudge ink occasionally.

 

Alright, that’s it for today. If you enjoyed this post let me know and I might make another post more in detail about how I take notes as well as some of my study strategies.

Study like Hermione,

Lia

July: A month in Review

Hello interwebs! Long time no see! Here we are again for my usual series, a month in review.

July is always my favorite month, in a more obvious way than you would think, because of my birthday. Besides that, I love July because some of my favorite things to do happen in July. First off, Anime Expo. Surprisingly, I wasn’t actually able to go this year because of my family Girls trip to Hawaii. Though to be perfectly honest, I’d much rather be in Hawaii. Second fun July thing is Comic Con. I never really go to Comic Con because the tickets are so expensive and hard to obtain so we will usually just go walking around downtown and check everything out, which is equally as fun. However, this year my boyfriend got me a ticket and I ended up going with his family. It was amazingly fun and nerdy and I had an amazing time.

Of course last but not least, my birthday. This year I turned 18 ( July 29) which was kind of a weird experience. You are an adult in the eyes of everyone yet you don’t feel like an adult yet. I mean, I still watch Disney cartoons so how could I be an adult? Regardless of these weird feelings of adulthood, I had an amazing birthday celebration ( a trip to Disneyland and a family dinner) and I am very thankful for all the people sending me well wishes.

As for looking toward the future, it’s very scary. I am leaving for college in a blink of an eye which means leaving home for the first time and leaving my family and boyfriend behind. It’s an exciting and scary experience because I love where I’m going to college and I have lots of people I’ve already begun making relationships with, but I’m also scared that I won’t be able to make it on my own. To this, I advise ( you and myself) to trust that everything will work out and believe in your own abilities. We’ve been preparing our whole lives for this moment so if we give it our all, we should turn out okay.

Well, that’s it for today. I’m going to be posting more about my college experience and all the stuff  I got for the new school year.

Stay classy,

Lia

My Summer of Traveling: My best travel advice

Hello, Interwebs! I know its been quite a long time since I’ve posted anything but, I just recently got back from all of my summer travels!

As you know, I recently graduated high school (yay!) and as my graduation present my parents took me to Japan. To preface this, I have been interested in Japan and Japanese culture since I was a little girl, therefore, my parents promised me that if I did well in high school that they would take me to Japan. Japan was absolutely amazing. The people there are the kindest, most loving people I have ever met in my entire life. There were so many instances where we would have gotten horribly lost without the help of random kind people. We were in Japan for almost three weeks so packing was certainly an issue for us. We knew that we were going to be buying a bunch of souvenirs so we had to decide carefully what we were going to do.

1. Carry-on suitcases are the way to go

Honestly, I can’t stress this enough. A good carry-on suitcase along with learning how to pack better is the best way to travel. For our trip to Japan, we decided to all take carry on luggage ( because no way are we paying $30 a bag) and then buy a suitcase there. We actually needed a new suitcase anyway so this worked out. The biggest part about this is learning how to pack. Learning to pack more efficiently helps keep you organized and allows you to only take the smaller suitcase ( and not pay the money! YAY!)

2. BACKPACKS

I absolutely love backpacks. I never carry a purse and use backpacks for almost everything. Especially when you are traveling long distance backpacks help keep everything organized and usually they are more comfortable and safe than purses.

3. Camera

Decide what camera you want to take based off of a) what you have and b) what you are willing to carry around. I brought my big DSLR thinking that I was going to take a bunch of photos and videos ( don’t get me wrong I used it a ton) but toward the end of the trip I just wanted to enjoy the time there instead of being stuck behind a camera. It just depends on what you’re comfortable with.

4. Planning vs Spontaneity

I am always for planning vacations. I think a lot of times there are things that are necessary to plan in advance.However that being said, make sure everyone is on the same page with what they want to do, or else one person ends up planning the whole thing which leads to no one getting to do what they want. Being spontaneous is also something that I recommend. Not having a plan for EVERYTHING makes for a better trip and interesting experiences. Don’t be afraid to just go out there!

 

Well, that’s all I got for you today~ I’ll be posting all of my photos of my trips soon. If you want a more in-depth travel guide from my trip to Japan let me know!

Stay cool,

Lia

May: A Month In Review

Hello, Interwebs! Today I will be continuing with my usual review of the months as they pass by.

Today, I’d like to focus on this idea of ” becoming oneself”. This meaning, to become the person you are meant to be. I’d like to think that this last month I have done more self-growth and self-exploration than I have in a long time. As I am going to college soon, I looked back on my high school experience and looked at all of the things I learned, all of the things I want to continue doing, and all of the things I want to leave behind.

For many people, this is what you’re experiencing right now. This sort of ” beginning of life existential crisis”. Therefore, I want to offer you some of the things that I have learned. The first of those lessons being ” all in due time”. I grew up sincerely thinking that I would never go to college. ( and I spoke about this in depth in another article so go and read that one). ” All in due time” means that you will come upon what you are meant to do or where you are meant to go if you are meant to go or do those things. Leave things up for the future and enjoy today ( of course that doesn’t mean you should do any planning. always plan)  The second thing that I’ve learned is that, above all else, be true to yourself. Many people today think that they need to be this person that they have envisioned as being a better version of themselves, I was one of those people. I used to think that I needed to act a certain way and refrain from being my true self for people to like me.

Now I know people always say ” be yourself and everything will be okay”, that isn’t what I’m telling you. Being yourself won’t be easy, isn’t the path to popularity and won’t get you Instagram followers; but it’s the truth. When you are your true and authentic self the people in your life that you don’t need are weeded out and you find yourself surrounded by people who genuinely like you for you who are, not who you pretend to be.

In the end, May is all about endings become beginnings. We are in this cycle of life whereas one door closes another opens. At the close of this article, I will leave you with this quote

” Without Darkness, there is no Light. For Life is the beautiful lie and Death is the ugly truth”

 

One Week Until Graduation: My Thoughts About High School

Hello interwebs! With finals going on and the school year coming to an end I thought that I would make a post talking about my high school experience as a whole.

High School is an interesting beast. You are becoming who you are while making decisions that will impact you for the rest of your life. But I also want to make a point that you don’t have to graduate with a 4.5 to feel good about your time spent in High School. As someone who isn’t the best at getting straight A’s, I want to tell anyone who is in High School or heading into High School that grades aren’t everything. I graduated High School with somewhere around a 3.5 GPA. I am completely satisfied with my work in school and I got into my top school on scholarship with a GPA that most children are told won’t get them anywhere.

High School is all about development. You are deciding, who you are, what you stand for, what you believe in and what you want to do with the rest of your life. It’s a time for making memories, making friends, and making mistakes. We live in a society today that emphasizes the horrors of failure. One of my favorite Japanese proverbs states ” Failure isn’t getting kicked down, Failure is getting kicked down and refusing to get up”. Everyone has moments where they just mess up, and sometimes even a few times. But to tell you honestly, without those failures, you probably wouldn’t be the same person. Failure isn’t about doing poorly, it’s about doing poorly and then coming up with a solution to not do poorly again.

High School is also a time for deciding what you believe in. I know many kids out there feel as though they have to believe in certain things, or like certain organizations, because that’s what you’re parents believe in. You are on your way to becoming an adult. As an adult, you will have to decide what you believe in, what your values are, and what causes you want to support; These beliefs being separate from your parents. Never be afraid to stand up for what you believe in, even if you are standing separate from your parents.

I loved my High School experience. It was filled with ups and downs, love and heartache, and certainly lots of memories I will never forget. But ultimately, I became the person that I was meant to become. I grew up, saw the real world, and constantly saw the injustices of the world that I want to change. In the end, however, I wouldn’t change any of it for the world. I made some friends that I will cherish for the rest of my life as well as meeting the young man that is the love of my life.

Enjoy it while you can,

Lia

April: A Month in Review

Hello, Interwebs! Today I will be doing my usual review and look back at this month of April.

As many of you know, college is slowly approaching. One month left of school and then I will officially be a college student, which is pretty nerve-wracking if you ask me. This time is sort of melancholy, in the way that I am really excited about college, but I am also really sad about having to leave my family and my boyfriend; both of which I won’t be seeing for a long time as soon as I leave.

Besides all of the college stuff, April is time for fun memories. Prom ( being on the day I’m writing this) which will be a night of fun and dancing which I will hopefully remember as being one of the best nights of high school. Soon after, I have all of my May events including; May the fourth be with you, Senior Trip to Knott’s Berry Farm, and the renaissance faire. All of which should be fun and exciting creating lots of memories for me to look back on for the rest of my life.

April is also a time of new beginnings. With spring coming in, there is this new sense of energy and importance. I always see myself becoming more productive and more motivated during this time of the year, so hopefully, some of that energy can inspire some of you to do things that you wish you had been doing.

Spring is also a time for self-care. Recently, my friend vowed that she would help me get in shape, as well as help me to feel more comfortable in my own skin. If you are constant readers of mine, first, that’s super cool so thanks, second, you would know that I am taking this month to really focus on my mental illness and to really find ways to help and heal myself both mentally and physically.

Overall, my advice for this month is to take care. It’s always important to take care of yourself and to really be honest with yourself about your own health. Take some time to sit and relax as well as be productive and do the things you’ve been wanting to accomplish.

Stay safe, Stay healthy,

Lia

Internet Beauty Hacks Tested: Activated Charcoal Whitening Treatment

Hello Interwebs! Today I am going to be starting a new series of testing internet beauty/lifestyle hacks to see if they are hopeless or helpful!

Today’s post will be focusing on this internet trend that I found extremely interesting; using activated charcoal powder, or toothpaste as a means of whitening your teeth almost instantly without having to use chemicals. I originally found this on Instagram, but quickly saw it on Buzzfeed’s youtube channel a few days later. To explain, activated charcoal is used in many beauty treatments including face masks, acne treatments, and bath scrubs. It is a common whitening and brightening treatment so moving it from the face to the teeth isn’t such a crazy idea.

Now, onto the testing. For my particular trial run, I went over to Sprouts and got some Activated charcoal tablets. Mine were in a pill shape with a plastic cover in order to keep the charcoal in. The lady who was working there said that they were popular with teen girls so she knew exactly what I was talking about. When it actually came time to testing it, I popped open the pill and dumped all of the black powdery contents into my hand. After dampening my brush I continued to brush my teeth as normal. I was surprised at how it really didn’t have much of a taste. The only thing I noticed, besides making my teeth look momentarily like a pirate, was the chalky texture. Once I was done, it took a few good swishes of water to get all of the powder out of my mouth and back to normal.

As for the results, I was incredibly surprised. Normally I am very skeptical about internet trends, because well, it is the internet. However, with Prom coming up and me dreading my usual whitening treatment ( which really tastes like I’m drinking bleach) I wanted to try something that, from my research, seemed quick and effective. I was really surprised about how well it whitened my teeth. I usually have some staining from drinking tea, and all of that was gone in an instant.

Overall, without a doubt, this is a helpful beauty hack!

Well that just about does it! Thanks so much for reading and let me know if you want to see more posts like these.

Stay cute,

Lia

High School and Anxiety: What I’ve Learned To Not Just Deal With It

Hello interwebs! Today I will be talking about a topic that is near and dear to my heart and I think it’s something that many other people will relate to as well.

Anxiety and other mood disorders affect five out of ten people in the United States. That’s a lot of people who might be struggling with the same issues, with little to nothing spoken about it and what it’s actually like. Today, I will be talking a little bit about my own journey with mental illness and some things I have found that have helped me continue to grow throughout high school.

Anxiety is a difficult beast to deal with. On certain days it feels like the world could end at any moment and other days it feels what I can only describe as depression. It is different for everyone and some people, like myself, have become very good at hiding symptoms because of the stigma of being seen as someone with a mental illness. In the last year, I have become very ” in touch” with my anxiety and have decided that in order to free others like me of their fear of rejection, I should open up and be proud to ” show my battle scars” as it were. Anxiety also has its own stigma, due to the fact that most I’ve talked to consider a normal part of life. I think the hard thing for people ( who aren’t closely involved in their own mental Illness or know the struggles of others) to understand is that we aren’t talking about normal, everyday, stress. This is something that is debilitating for most and is something that can often take the normal out of their lives.

On a more happy note I would like to share a few, somewhat philosophical ways of looking and treating anxiety that was helpful to me, and hopefully will be helpful to some of you out there. For starters, knowing as much as you can about Anxiety and any other related mood disorders is extremely helpful. I think better understanding what is happening to you on a neural level is pretty validating. It reminds you that what you are struggling with is real and that there are thousands of people that struggle with the same things, and to me, that was extremely comforting. Second, I found that having at least one person you can trust is crucial. Unfortunately, too often people with mental illnesses are surrounded by people who don’t and refuse to try to understand what they are going through. I had this struggle and so I sought out to find at least one person who wanted to understand what I am going through and that person, fortunately, was my boyfriend. Having that support has been crucial for me as I am just starting to figure out the ins and outs of what it means to me and what I can do to combat the symptoms.

Finally, as cheesy as this may seem I’ve found meditation to be extremely helpful. Trust me, it isn’t some ” let’s sit by the fire and sing Kumbaya. It’s basically me sitting on my bed with my eyes closed listening to medieval fantasy radio on Pandora. Focusing on breathing and then thinking about the things that make me anxious and thinking about their rational/irrational qualities. Generally speaking, I will always be an advocate for introspection, especially when it is a battle of you vs your mind.

Personally, my own battle with anxiety has been a long and winding road. I’ve been struggling with it for as long as I can remember but never understood what I was feeling. Middle school, in particular, was rough for me because ( for those that know generalized anxiety) you are constantly anxious about everything and filled with self-doubt and self-depreciating thoughts. Mix that in with middle school and you can’t help but have a bad time. In more recent history, like I mentioned earlier, I have learned a lot about what it means to have generalized anxiety and how I can find ways to combat symptoms without simply denying that they exist. I share this with whoever is reading, because I want people to become more aware about mental illness, and that just because you have a mental illness doesn’t mean you are any less capable for sucess, happiness, and a fullness of life that normal people seem to think they have the only key to. Though trust me when I say, It’s more fun to be weird.

Sorry for the super long post, but I really wanted to get a message like this on the blog. I think it is extremely important to continue talking about mental illness and to help people understand that not all mental illness is depression or schizophrenia. I hope that some of you can be helped by this and always feel free to email me if you need someone in your life to support you.

Like someone, I loved told me once long ago, ” If no one else in this world needs you I do”.

 

 

 

For inspiration I shall leave you with this rather wonderful message from my boyfriend; ” I’m not going to pretend I can change or repair things that have happened to you in your past with mere words. But I can present you with some of my seventeen-year-old wisdom. Things that happened to us in our past, like the things you just shared with me, while they may be unfortunate or demeaning or painful to remember, they are, as you said, a part of who we are. Considering all that you said has happened to you, you could have turned out to be a depressed, sad, shut in. But here you are, a sweet fun understanding, pretty and intelligent young woman who managed to make her way into my life of all things. So I think that is worth quite a lot.

 

 

Learning Lessons: What I’ve Learned From Continuing Film

Hello Interwebs! Today I am going to be discussing my latest film shoot and what I’ve learned since the creation of my first film. If you’ve been reading my posts for a while you may remember a post talking about my first time film and all of the trials and tribulations that went along with that.

For this most recent shoot, we decided to film an alternate storyline to a web series that I have been working on for quite some time but never got to shoot ( you should totally check us out @Snapdragonproductions). Basically, the story was in a medieval fantasy setting in which my character, Lizabeth, comes to find Kylar, my boyfriend’s character, and in a twist of fate he ends up using her to kill the adjacent kingdom’s son and then subsequently kills her. I was really excited about the story because I was playing a version of my character that was so unlike her normal personality.

For starters, this shoot went so incredibly well. I could have never imagined how much of an impact having a great crew is. Since I was acting in this film, I really needed my crew to step up their game so that I could focus on trying to do the best job I could. Along those lines, I also found out that I don’t really make all that many facial expressions ( which is partly due to me not being the best actress). Overall, the shoot went ahead of schedule and much smoother than I could have ever anticipated.

On the downside, we ended up not being able to film one of the scenes so the story seems slightly rushed but for a student short film, I am extremely proud of the result. Comparing this to my last shoot, I have learned so much about film in general and of course dealing with people schedules, and of course learning how to act. Like I’ve said the filming itself went very smoothly, but getting to that point wasn’t smooth sailing at all. It was really difficult for us to get our story approved in the first place, and getting actors and locations was extremely difficult, not only because of the genre but because of everyone’s busy schedules.

Lessons learned: One, sometimes things just don’t work and they need to be fixed. That happened with us and our script multiple times. As frustrating as it was, I really had a passion for these characters and this story, so I wanted to push my plans as much as possible. Two, sometimes people can surprise you. I was really shocked about my cast and crew and how well and dedicated everyone was to the project. Granted, some of them have grades on the line, but the actors who volunteered did such an amazing job and were so easy to work with it made the experience worthwhile.

Well, that just about does it today folks! If you want to see my student film you can find us on all social media platforms as @SnapdragonProductions.