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The First Interview

Finally landing myself on an internship this past week, I’ve finally decided to write on my experience of being an inexperienced person trying to gain experience from a job (good God, I hope that sentence is not too confusing!). I’ve decided to split this into two posts, one of my interview and another on my first week. So… here we go!

After having gone through 3 weeks of my winter break looking for a job and waiting for someone to get back, I finally had 2 companies write back to me (out of the 10 that I applied to)! Not going to lie, I was starting to lose hope on even applying to any, due to the length of time they would get back to me. Sometimes, I don’t even know whether they have received my application or have found someone for the position. Bottom line is, I wish companies would realise (no matter whether it’s a big or small one) how horrifying it is to keep someone waiting and please just write back, even if it’s a rejection. At least from there, one can move on (sounds a lot like relationships eh?).

Anyways, I received those emails and I can’t even explain the joy of having someone write back in words!!! It was definitely exhilarating! I am pretty sure anyone out there who has tried applying for anything (uni, visa, work etc.) would know the sudden relief hearing back from the place you have applied something for. It just releases you from this pause or say a ‘plateau’ phase where you are just static and nothing much is happening.

One of the two got back to me again saying they have found someone else, and the other said they were interested in meeting me. Fortunately, it was one of the companies that I was more keen on since what they do was of my interest and thought that would keep me going much better. I quickly responded to it saying I was more than happy to meet them and this could possibly be the start of the interesting journey of my interview.

First of all, let me give you a tip:

  1. Always respond with a more open ended response so that there is more chance of them responding back to you, confirming the meeting.
  2. Wait until the respond again, before you get too excited…

Now you might think this is common sense, but sometimes… when you’re too excited and giddy like me, you forget! I got super sweaty, nervous, yet excited when I got the email and responded. It was probably my mistake to respond when having an adrenaline rush, but oh well… CAN’T CONTAIN THE EXCITEMENT!!!

So, being the silly me, I responded agreeing to the meeting without having any of their contact numbers or knowing what they looked like and pretty much saying ‘cool!’. It only came to my attention when they didn’t respond to my response and it was getting closer to the meeting date. I just became more and more unsure and thought what the heck have I done and wondered if I wrecked it… You’re probably now thinking either I’m overreacting/over thinking things or that I actually am in trouble and no response back mean that they never got my response. I thought I’ll calm myself and just go there, see what happens, maybe they will contact me on the day!

The day finally arrived and I made my way through to where I was supposed to meet the interviewer. I sat at the cafe, heart slowly sinking, somehow knowing that they won’t show up. Ordered a coffee, thought I’d wait half an hour. Then someone came sitting next to me, like the next 5 minutes. She was, too, by herself, and came asking to me whether I was someone else (which happen to be my interviewer’s name). I got really confused and thought ‘she must be having the interview as well like me’, so I told her my story. We got to chatting and started doubting how real the interview was and wondered what was happening. In the end, we were both got stood up but we tried emailing the company with customer support emails provided on their website. So I made my way to the bus stop, intending to go back home.

Few minutes down the road, whilst I was ranting to my bf about the incident, I received an email back from the interviewer saying she never got my email but is happy to meet me then at a place close by! I was happy and exhilarated again (gosh I get easily excited haha!) and went power walking to the new place. You’re probably thinking here ‘girl, you don’t want to be working with someone unreliable like that’, which was what I thought too, but I also thought of giving it a chance since I’m really looking forward to it!

Went over and good God… I fell in love!!! For starters, she started by talking about the fonts that I used. To give you some context, I LOVE fonts, papers, graphic design, layouts, anything that has clean aesthetics… I can go on and on!!! But to finally find someone who is as nerdy as me at it, was like a match made in heaven! Long story short, I felt that she had the same views on things as me, we got along well, felt like we had a similar vibe or like meeting an old friend. It just clicked! Unfortunate news of the meeting was that I was hoping that it would be a paid opportunity, but it wasn’t. So I had to give it a think before anything happens.

My considerations/post-interview experience could probably be discussed on another post, or after the duration of my internship to see whether my decisions were good or bad. But there it is!! The experience of my first interview. I would definitely say, depending on the type of company you’re interviewing with and setting, just take the interview itself easy, don’t put too much pressure on yourself that you get all nervous, and just be yourself! I believe the best asset you have is you and your skills, and it would shine best if you’re not pretending to be something you’re not!

Let me know if you have any interesting experience on an interview or when finding a job!

The Kitchen

One of the things that I find very therapeutic is to cook or bake. I’m not much of a cooker before I lived alone (even the first two years, because I was living in a dorm), but I have to say I’ve found my ways through it, teaching myself how to cook, thanks YouTube videos and watching my mum and dad cook in the past. I am one of those people who learn from doing and observing, so it was not too bad (and not too disastrous) when I first started cooking.

I have to say I mainly learned how to cook just from watching cooking shows or videos online. Even though they make me hungry, I’ve always find it enjoyable as I loooooveeeee to eat (I mean, who doesn’t). With that being said, I’m no expert in cooking. I casually cook for myself, and occasionally others if they’re around. Whilst cooking was something that I didn’t mind and made myself feel good, baking was not really my thing. I find it stressful having to follow exact measurements, as I like to improvise more, which could be done with cooking and it won’t go too wrong. So, I found baking quite stressful… making the outcome not that great as I always find I cook best when I’m in the mood or when I feel happy and great, it makes my food great too.

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This is me a couple years back. I think it was late last year that I’ve decided I’ll attempt baking AGAIN. Keeping it basic, I went for brownies. It’s easy, doesn’t require much tools or ingredients, it’s up my alley! After giving it a shot, I really enjoyed it and it turned out quite well! People that I’ve given them to enjoyed it, so it made me quite happy. So having recently bought a cookbook, I attempted a cake recipe that it had inside.

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The cookbook that I got was A New Way To Dinner by Amanda Hesser & Merrill Stubbs. I was just at a bookstore down at the city to see if there were any books that was good and interesting and this one caught my eye. What made this book so special is that the way it was written and organised. The recipes given in this book are specifically for dinners and its after meal desserts. They have also given alternatives to which you can use the leftovers of the dinner for lunch the next day. It is also designed for you to cook mostly in the weekends, and have enough throughout the week. This was done to accommodate the busy people out there and to make it easier to organise your meals in the week. They have also done the recipes seasonally, so 2 weeks set of menu from each author for each season. These features are something that I really love about this book because it gives a good variety,  good for those who are lazy to cook for multiple days and just want it to be done in one go and you can always mix and match the sets and build what suits your mood. I think it’s an ingenious way to write a cookbook!

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This got me really excited and I just wanted to start cooking something from the book. I have to say, a lot of the recipes made to feed a family. And I am on my own… So I had to do a lot of altering in terms of the measurement. I did this only with the cooking, and stuck with the measurements for the baking (in case I get the formula wrong). I’ve done the ‘Red Wine Beef Stew with Parsnips and Carrots’, cut the ingredients to 1/3 and it was good to eat for dinner for 4x. I then tried the ‘Chocolate Olive Oil Cake’ and it was goooood. It definitely made my sweet tooth happy (as well as my bf’s and friend’s), and I still have loads at home.

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This is a great cookbook, especially for families, but for those who wants to be hassle free and are lazy to think of their own menu for their week’s dinner! It’s even better if you have more mouth to feed, but it suits just find for those living by themselves (just need to do a bit of math). It’s both delicious and does not leave you feeling sinful after a meal! Let me know what you love to do in the kitchen and how you make your life easier preparing your meals.

Delicate adornment

I have a huge admiration over piercings and how they can be such delicate adornments on our body or a bold way to express yourself, depending on the kind you have. Ever since I was a teen, I have to say my biggest inspiration was Fergie from The Black Eyed Peas! I remember her having a collection of rings just outlining the outer rim of her ear and thought how beautiful it was. It was like ‘ear’ goals for me, thinking I would love to have something like that one day.

To begin with, I have two lobe piercings just from when I was born (traditionally used to indicate whether I was a baby girl or boy, thanks mum!). However, because I was a scaredy cat, and unsure of what my parents would think of me having like 10 piercings on each side of my ear, I refrained from doing it. I was also unsure how safe it was and where it would be safe for me to go get some. And of course, to top it all off, the fear of pain and the aftercare. I was sure that 15yo me was just not responsible enough to care for 1, even more so 10 (not that I was planning to actually getting 10).

As years go by, and now that I’m in my 20s and have moved to Sydney, the thought of getting my ears pierced resurfaces. I have made a promise to myself when I turned 20 (or 21, not sure now) that my mission and purpose in life is to always try and experience something new and just have a collection of everything when I’m 60. So… at about late last year, after talking about it for months (maybe years, I feel sorry for my friends that I keep expressing this to), I told my self “f this, I’m doing it”. With that being said, I’ve done plenty of research on the kinds of piercings, what I wanted, the procedure, aftercare, where to get it done and all that nitty gritty stuff. I wanted to make sure that even though, in a way, I’m just giving this ‘a shot’, I wanted to do it right (and of course so that I don’t have to go through any complications after). I know that if I still haven’t done this when I’m 30 or 40, I’ll regret it so much!!!

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So the particular piercing that I was very interested in doing was the helix (or cartilage, as it is placed on the outer rim of my ear). I took the courage to call in a piercing/tattoo parlour to get it done, after having found this super lovely and talented piercer Sammy on Instagram, and it’s nearby home! With what I wanted done, the needle is the best way to go (well with whatever it is, I believe the needle is always the best). So with all booked up, I went and got it done! It was so exhilarating!!! It’s something I’ve wanted for so long and I’m finally getting it. I was worried most about the pain, but it didn’t even feel a thing (at least for me, I’ve read that others felt most painful here). I initially wanted a ring, but she suggested that I get a stud instead for quicker healing, which I agreed to because I have 0 experience in healing one prior to this. I have to say, I’m glad I did… the helix is a paaaiiin (not literal) to heal! It takes quite a bit of attention and work. But overall, I was in love with it and could not be happier with my decision!

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Months after, come 2017, I have come to admire more and more of other kinds of piercing. I used to be obsessed with only helix, but I’ve begun to appreciate the other ones. Sooo… I went to treat myself for another haha! I eventually got my conch done (on my left ear), and most recently 2 other new lobe piercings (on my right). It’s getting really hard to sleep but I love every bit of it! I definitely find it as a way to express myself and it reminds me of how I took up the courage and went for it. I still find getting new ones very exhilarating and good fun. It’s a great way to accessorise yourself subtly and adding that detail to your look.

Adulthood.

Welcome to adult life. I have decided that this winter break off uni to not go on holiday back home, and instead to find a job and fill my time so that I could fill up my CV. With my degree in the past, I get so caught up and consumed with school work that I forgot experiences outside of uni is just as important to life post-uni days. Now that I have more time in hand, (or at least studying something that is not as consuming and that I enjoy much more) I am able to find time to do things outside class and try to balance and enjoy having the two at a time. I am looking forward to applying what I’ve learnt within class into the real world.

Nervous and excitement fills me as I look for opportunities one by one online. At this point, I really don’t mind anything that comes by. Whether it’s a job at the office, restaurant, shopping centre, wherever it may be, I JUST WANT EXPERIENCE!!! It is so stressful to get as much application out and see what comes by you. It’s like applying for university all over again… nervous, excitement… The struggles of trying to sell yourself, yet to not sound vain, is something that I am consistently working on (and hoping not to come out as awkward instead). Having a lot of time during this break has definitely motivated me to get busy and I’m hoping to hear back from one of the applied ones soon. Hopefully they find my cover letter attractive enough for them to be interested in having me around to help out!

The struggle… is real…

Staying active

So… Let’s talk about exercise! I always tell myself to keep healthy by eating well, sleeping early, to exercise, but I’m not going to lie, it does get difficult at times. I know… Blaming my busy uni days for not getting my butt off the couch is not a legit reason not to exercise! But it does get difficult when your mind gets really tired and all you want to do is eat a burger and binge watch a series.

To tackle the busy (and lazy) days, I usually opt for long walks to sub for my exercises. It does not seem much, but I mean walking for around 30 minutes or more each there, instead of using the bus to go places. This is definitely suitable for days that are more relaxed and when I don’t need to get somewhere at a certain time. I also find this very helpful to relax the mind! So for all you busy-bodies, this would at least stop your brain from all the thinking or you can let your mind wander anywhere. I also love people watching, so walking on the streets allows me to observe my surroundings, get some fashion ideas, or admire the cute dog hanging his head out of the terrace fence! We’re often stuck looking at our phone all the time that we forget how beautiful real life is, compared to the virtual.

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If you want something more fun, dancing is real good to break the sweat! Even if you’re not a dancer, this is a perfect way to let loose after work/uni and just enjoy the present moment and learn more about your body and yourself. I’ve even made a life analogy out of dancing (which I may share one of these days, if the perfect time ever comes)! Sydney has plenty of dance studios that you can join for just one time to try out and if you love it, you can come as frequent as you want. My absolute favourite would hands-down be Sydney Dance Company, they have plenty of genres for everyone’s taste (but if you have no experience and something less serious, probably the jazz genre is great for you). They have a good balance of men and women, so it’s comfortable for anyone to come and try! Plus, dancing works out EVERY part of your body, I promise you you’ll be just as sore as if you went to the gym.

Yoga was another thing that I have tried. I used to be very skeptical of it, since I’m not great at keeping focus or keeping the mind in place, but I have to say, it’s great exercise. The slow gradual change in the poses are extremely difficult and it really made me focus on my body movement and learn so much of what my body can handle and can’t. I have to say, I have the best sleep at night after those sessions. The one I went to was Body Mind Life at Surry Hills. They are very professional and made it easy for beginners like me to try and enjoy yoga.

Lately, I’ve been doing barre classes and pilates. If you’ve never heard of barre classes (like most of my friends), it is an exercise that utilises the bars that are in ballet studios and it also involves a lot of ballet warm-up type of routines. Pilates (which I think most people know about) focuses mostly in the abdominal area. I find these two works my body best, tones it well, and it’s not too crazy intense for a person of my size (I’m quite tiny). I go to Yogabar at the Sydney CBD. Again, they are very professional and the class is kept in a small size so that the instructor gets to focus on each member. Barre classes are mostly done by women though (as I have not met any guys in my class), so maybe this is less open for everyone. I try to go at least 2-3 times a week, letting my body rest in between. I find that keeping consistent exercises helps me eat and drink throughout the days better!

Hope you are all keeping your body and mind well, and to always have a balance between being in front of your laptops/TV/mobile to getting your heart beat pumped a little higher than usual and observing the world out there!

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Post-Semester Cleaning

Finally, the time has come… Yes, as the title says it all, I’ve taken today as cleaning day!!! When probably I should be cleaning my place much more frequently, but what can I say, it gets really hard to juggle having to go to uni and cleaning my own place (and maybe laziness took over me most of the time). I say this because doing studying full-time is like having an occupation, or even worse. At least when you’re working, you get to leave the work at its place when it’s the weekend (of course, depending on your job). However, when you’re studying, you bring it with you at home and in your mind at ALL times. Back in my architecture days, it is often we joke that the work-load consumes us (but trust me, deep inside, we all know it’s not a joke. Now I have at least tried to organise my time better so that I get to separate ‘uni’ to ‘me’ time.

As messy as I am, not going to lie or deny it, when I clean…I CLEAN! It’s really hard to stop just half way, or if it’s not fully clean. My method of cleaning is to do it in parts, makes it easier and you can see the progress (makes me happier knowing I’ve done something!). I like to divide it between the kitchen, study desk, living room, bathroom and bedroom. Dividing it into sections can also make it easier, and if you don’t get it done in one day, it’s easy to know what you’ve done and where to continue. So far I’ve done all my living space, and have the bathroom and bedroom left!

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Can’t wait until my bed is this neat and fresh again!

As much as I try to be organised, I am one of those people that could not really get everything so neat or orderly (or maybe it’s just me?). I find it really difficult to ‘put things away’, as I like to have things that I use frequently in front of me. I believe that if I don’t, I tend to forget where I have stored it and I would probably not touch it for a very long time. So, whenever someone points out how messy I am, I like to believe that I am just an organised mess, and yes, I know where everything is! I used to believe that the clutter is what gives me inspiration daily, but now I do think the neatness gives me some clarity in my mind. It does feel good and fresh when things are in the right place and not everywhere (I used to hop around the space, you can imagine).

Do let me know any tips of keeping your space clean and organised (scheduling, furnitures, layouts, anything)!

 

Hello Winter Break!

Wooooo! I have entered freedom as I finish my last exam of the semester last night!!! I am very happy and relieved that exam week is over and am looking forward to the winter break to do all the exciting things that I couldn’t whilst the semester is on.

For someone who has not had exams or extensive readings in her studies for the last 4 years, I am quite impressed and proud of myself with what I was able to do this past 15 weeks. As previously having done architecture, studying commerce was brand new to me (not entirely concept-wise, but as for uni, it is new!). I had to learn a new style of studying and getting much more organised as it was heavy with reading and memorising concepts/theories, unlike architecture (project-heavy based). I had to re-learn strategies of overcoming exams, as I haven’t written essays in a very looooong time. Surprisingly I was not as nervous as I thought I would be doing the final exams, maybe due to the fact that I did the mid-terms and prepared quite well-ahead with it. With this said, writing essays, or writing generally, was difficult to get used to. I did not realised that having not formulatted words in a long time made it a struggle to write properly and concisely.

Team projects were not a walk in the park either and that it came shocking to me what people were like (or at least it made me even question society!! I am quite the introvert though, maybe this could be the issue). It was quite surprising to find how different people’s characters were within different courses – which I would get into in a different post.

With the semester over, I can’t wait to see what opportunities would come in this break! This post is just a start to my daily challenge in this break to write and reflect daily on my thoughts as a creative exercise. This was inspired by a post on ‘What are morning pages?’ that I read of Little Coffee Fox. It is a great website to get inspiration on how to get organised or on doing bullet journals. I would also be looking into any job opportunities this holiday, excited to get my hands on working experiences (life is getting serious once you are close to your mid 20s). Enjoy listening to my joys, excitement, rants and woes of my life as I try to survive being independent, juggling everything in my life!

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