Author Archives: Milie Fang, Biological Sciences / Pre-medicine

About Milie Fang, Biological Sciences / Pre-medicine

I am a senior and an acclaimed workaholic. While I like to keep busy academically, I really enjoy the simple pleasures of hanging out with friends and family, playing video games, or listening to music. When life seems to go well, allergies and eczema like to butt in and make me miserable. I hope to go into medicine so that I can have a better understanding of skin and the immune system to help myself, and to also help others facing the same problems I have faced since I was three.

Cultivate you

I am all for transformations. It’s fun, exciting and liberating (such as transforming a PCR fragment into E. coli and then later to Tetrahymena, or maybe the transformation of a person’s look or simply decorating a dreary room into a beautiful gallery! I think change tends to be a good thing, even if we want things to stay the way things are.

Happy Halloween from the Honors College

I went to the Honors College Student-Faculty Luncheon for the first time (mainly because my fellow doesn't really attend these things, but my new fellow invited me!) and it was a lot of fun! I had a great time catching up with my fellow and getting some good mentoring. We ate tacos, rice and beans and tres leches cake from De Pasada off Taylor Street. It was really great Mexican food! :D I forgot to check in with her to receive a piece of Honors College merchandise, but oh well. No biggie. HCAB (Honors College Advisory Board) did a great job with decorations!

So, I had my Fulbright interview! I had no idea I was going to be talking to eight people in the room, but everyone was very nice. I got a lot of great feedback and I can’t wait to finalize my essays even further. Because I work at the Writing Center, I know the peak hours that writers sometimes do not show up and/or cancel their appointments, so as long as I keep refreshing the page for an opening on the day of, I have some hope! Of course, I can’t rely on that all the time so I made sure to make my appointment a week in advance. These things fill up so quickly so I am always bummed to tell people who want to come in that we’re full. Please make an appointment and register here!

Honors College Student-Faculty Luncheon Line

There was quite a line for the Honors College Student-Faculty Luncheon, but it was pretty fast and fun to see everyone who is in the Honors College. Free food is always great!

I am going to be on a pre-health panel for the UIC Open House Oct. 5th and I’m pretty excited to share my experiences and how UIC has prepared me for my path to prospective students. I remember attending a Preview Day when I was in high school for UIC and that’s when I could really see myself as a student there (erm, here). I remember going to UIUC and Augustana College and feeling really awkward and unhappy in those college visits. I’m not sure why, but if you don’t feel comfortable somewhere, don’t go there! You have to trust your instincts on this one…

I have papers and exams coming up, but I’m trying not to think about them (and more of studying the actual material). Thinking isn’t going to do me any good. OH! I saw full-body cadavers for the first time, finally. I am glad it wasn’t as bad as I had made it out to be. I’m not a fan of the formaldehyde though…it burns my nose and eyes. I start crying if I get too close because of the chemical fumes, lol! Learning about the body is so cool; I’m very happy I decided to take this class for an elective! I did really well on the lab and lecture exam so I hope to keep it up and maybe pull off straight-A’s this semester! I honestly think the class I am most concerned about is Foods, LOL. I thought it’d be easier but there’s a lot more to food than you think!

More to say, but I’m out of breath. Until next time. <><

What’s the test on? Everything.

You should never ask a professor what’s on the test (or other students either). More likely than not, you’ll get the answer of “everything” or “this this this this and this…and this too…and just in case you should study that too…” (essentially everything). It seems silly to be tested on “everything” but hey, if they mentioned it in class and it’s in the lecture notes, then it has to be important, right? YOU BETCHA!

Because I need some motivation for my own studying, here are a ton of tips I have for doing your best (and if it doesn’t work for your upcoming exam, I sure hope you’ll give it a try for the next exam!).

It’s hard to memorize, but if that is really the key to your success in a class that requires it (like anatomy and physiology), then you better download that flashcard app on your phone and every single resource you have at your disposal to get it in your brain! When it comes to understanding concepts, just think of yourself like one giant uni-cellular organism and then work from there (and yes this applies to anything). Repetition is the only way to drill it in your brain, but if you don’t like doing it alone just ask a friend or family member to quiz you.

Midterm week is exciting and annoying. Excitement comes from attaining all of the knowledge possible in your brain in the smallest amount of time possible and somehow doing well on the test (and when that attempt fails, you know you better start studying earlier). The annoying part is just getting through all of the material by yourself. I highly recommend if you have a friend in your class that you study with them the week before your test. Quiz each other, make up test questions and go through slides together and talk about the content/share notes that were taken while in class (or online).

If you aren’t a fan of reading, then I hope you’re the person who attends lecture every single day and asks a million questions. If you aren’t a fan of attending lecture, then I hope you’re the person who takes aggressive notes and outlines everything in the book until you know it from cover to cover! There are a ton of ways for us to learn material, but you have to use trial and error and get a feel for what suits you the most. Every professor has their own style with creating exams so if you can get past exams from upperclassmen who took the same professor, you’ll be super happy!

As always, put a good faith effort and do the most humanly best you can. If you can’t give 100%, then that means you’re not pushing yourself hard enough (or you have some serious issues that affect you doing well in school that is not learning related, in which case please visit the Counseling Center!). No one wants to learn when they have problems with other things! You know yourself the best and you also know how to take care of yourself (I hope).

Eat well and relax. Breathe in and out. You will do great this semester.

What keeps me sane

If I can sum up the things that keep me sane in three words/phrases, they would be:

  1. Chris Brown
  2. Drake
  3. Me

There’s probably more to it than that but that’s all I can think of right now. Also, I do not know either Chris or Drake personally so they don’t physically keep me sane, but their music sure does! And finally, there’s me keeping “me” sane. If you ever see someone talking to themselves, they’re either 1) crazy, 2) actually talking to someone with a Bluetooth device hiding in their ear, or 3) trying to figure themselves out (or so I interpret it as).

Tapas at La Taberna

I had a get together with a cousin who goes to school with me (we're in the same anatomy and physiology class!) and one who is currently in OT school at Rush University Medical Center. My brother was there too! This was my first time having tapas at La Taberna (and having tapas in general). It was really good! They had a lot of seafood dishes that my cousin at Rush couldn't eat and a few that I couldn't eat either, but I'm glad there was still variety to pick from. I am definitely coming back again!

I tend to find myself responding to common “How are you?’s” with “I’m alive!” There’s usually more thought into it, but that’s basically it. I tell you that I’m alive and thus I am good (because if I wasn’t alive, well that wouldn’t be very good for me, right?). It is almost a morbid response if you think about it, but to me it’s very positive!

Waiting for the 7 Bus

I wait for the 7 bus half an hour before my class on west side, but the bus seems to never come until 10 minutes before my class starts...so then I end up a few minutes late to class! Luckily the instructor never starts exactly on time (and half the class isn't there either), but I still feel bad not being on time. I am contemplating whether or not I should get an annual membership for those Divvy bikes! It's only $75 and a one-time 24-hour usage is just $7...so you get your money's worth with 10 rides! The only problem is that on rainy days (such as the one here), I'd get soaked on the bike!

I’d like to talk about using the word “sucks” in regards to school and work and whatever else students have on their plates. I ran into a friend from my pre-medical club and she kept telling me how much everything sucks and upon asking me she was thinking I would say the same thing…but to my surprise (and hers), I just said “I guess…it’s more like because there’s so much to do it’s hard which makes it suck but not really…” Haha…I don’t get it either.

In retrospect, I think all of the activities and classes I take on are ways for me to know myself better. Even if I write a million essays and personal statements, it’s going to be hard to articulate who I am unless I keep challenging myself into ridiculous situations that I put myself through. I feel this way about others or “knowing” others. Until you have seen someone in every single situation possible, you don’t really “know” them (and heck they don’t even know those parts of them because they haven’t been confronted yet or never thought about it).

Okay, I don’t want to get all philosophical because that’s where I was thinking about going, but what I understand from myself is that when we put ourselves in academia like this, we’ll never stop searching for answers and never stop learning more about ourselves. Knowing all that, I feel confident in my ability to face every situation head on, and I hope you will too!

Best of luck to everyone who is taking the first anatomy and physiology exam this Friday! I know there’s about 800 of us, haha. WE CAN DO IT!

Go big or go home

I remember my senior year of high school I wrote a meta-analysis essay on my growth as a writer and how I was tired of “half-butting” assignments (yes, that is what I wrote), mainly because I felt like doing the assignment would be pointless if I did not learn anything upon its completion. This is the basis of everything that I do.

(Or so I think).

When I came to UIC, I was only slightly insane; I jumped on every opportunity that came at me because I was like zero social in high school (no clubs, just sports); and man, I was on top of my game! Sophomore year…let’s just skip that. Junior year was a total rebound and I am pretty sure it was because of my awesome Taiwan trip / teaching experience. Senior year is so far so good (some same I am full blown crazy), but once I start my ER Scribe job, we’ll see. I may or may not have to cut down on some things. I hope the only thing I cut down is sleep, but if I can’t do quality work during the day, then clearly something has got to go! Or, if someone has recommendations on perfecting a sleep cycle that has quality over quantity (hours spent sleeping), please share!

Anatomy Lab

Anatomy and Physiology sure has a lot of stuff to remember. I'm not a fan of memorizing a bunch of terms, but some of them make sense so it's not too bad. I hope it gets easier but I know it won't. Oh well, no use stressing about it. I just have to stop procrastinating and study more intensively (the key to doing well in any class, but the hardest to start).

When I think about what I do on a day-to-day basis, I try to imagine myself not in my shoes. It’s a fun exercise you should all try. Basically, I pretend I’m like an ant doing all of this work and still somehow I am alive at the end of the day with everything that I wanted to accomplish on time. I still have trouble saying no to requests like volunteering and new projects, but once I open my calendar it makes it a lot easier to decline (haha, on second thought…).

Big Skies in Texas

Texas was so spacious and everything was big! Their movie theaters, parking lots, restaurants etc. were huge! And look at that sky! It's so clear! I'm so used to seeing Skyscrapers all the time at UIC. I never really notice the sky that much but wow it's so nice! (:

I’m noticing my skin is slowly developing more and more blemishes on my face in the T-zone (the annoying spots on my cheeks…stupid blackheads!). It’s most likely from my lack of sleep, stress and lack of diet. Catching up from my Texas trip was really tough and I woke up each morning at 6 a.m. and went to bed at 12-2 a.m. to get things done this past week. I hope it won’t have to be like this for the rest of the semester, but who knows. I need to train myself to work this hard since it’ll only get harder and harder!

BJs

I don't think I've ever seen a BJ's in Chicago, but they had one in Texas and my goodness it was amazing! I hope they bring a chain here in Chicago because I LOVED IT!

I hope everyone else is doing okay for their classes and other obligations. I’m stressed but it’s like a good stress/eustress. It feels good when I can control what makes me stressed out. If I was stressing out about the health of a family member or something, or perhaps being in a poor relationship, then I’d be like super down and unable to work very well (well, I’d still get things done but I wouldn’t be happy doing it!). Take mini-breaks when you can! I take mine when I walk from class to class (that’s my exercise and stress-reliever). Actually, you’ll probably see me with a turtle-shell sized backpack running across campus from place to place. I’m like a mini dart, hehe.

Pizookie

This is by far the most amazing dessert ever. It trumps any desert I can think of right now! It's called a Pizookie and it's a pizza pan with a cookie as the base and then ice cream on top. It's so genius and delicious! I wish there was a BJ's in Chicago! I am totally craving a Pizookie right now.

Happy Half-Way Through September! :D

Happy times

When family comes together, it’s like a magical happiness pill. It’s also a won’t-ever-get-any-school-work-done pill, but that’s OK. I never regret being with family, although sometimes I wish my family would tell me, “You can’t hang out with us unless you finish your schoolwork.” That would be motivating.

Grandma's 90th Birthday Cake

It was my grandma's 90th birthday and we had almost everyone from the Fang family come to celebrate it. This cake was so big and amazing! I think my grandma had a good time. She's still young in my eyes, haha!

My grandma is 90! She keeps saying she’s just 89 but she said she was 88 two years ago so….>_>

My Netbook and Hello Kitty

My family had to clean the house to be presentable to our cousins from New Jersey who stayed with us (the one who got married in Cancun!). My mom found good use for my stuffed animals. She placed them in every corner imaginable and every sofa imaginable. Fun, cute and cuddly!

I really need to get my priorities straight. Remember that blog post that I wrote only a few weeks ago about priorities? Man, where did that go? In one ear and out the other. I am disciplined in time management, but not disciplined in getting my priorities straight. There’s so much going on that my mind is exploding, haha! Take one day at a time. Do whatever task is at hand and work with your schedule (this is me trying to give myself advice, and I think it’s working).

Milie and Nai Nai

After dropping off my cousins at the airport, my dad took my grandma and me to eat in Chinatown. She hasn't been there in awhile so we went to Minghin Cuisine and ordered a bunch of dishes. She's so funny.

I hope she lives past 100! She deserves it. I hope she can pass her genes onto me, but we’ll see. Sometimes these kinds of things skip generations!

At O'Hare Airport

I was waiting for my flight to Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas. I received a Scribe job at Rush University Medical Center and I am so excited to work in a medical/clinical environment! I had to miss three classes (don't worry, I let the professors know ahead of time), but it'll be worth it. Texas is pretty nice so far. It has a lot of sky whereas Chicago has a lot of skyscrapers, lol! (:

I can’t write too much today because I’m in Texas trying to study for my Scribe exams (and I still have to study for my other classes…). I hope everyone got a lot of information about joining organizations at the East Side Involvement Fair! I’m excited to meet the new inductees for my own pre-medical organization! (:

Less talking, more doing

After the first week of class, my cranium has been worked out like an old train engine! Holy smokes. I’m surprised I’m still alive, haha! I’m glad I’m taking it well so far, but I know the closer exam time comes around, the higher the stress I’ll feel (and I’m already feeling it to the max right now). I’m being influenced by others in my classes, especially anatomy and physiology. I’m just taking it as an elective, but typically most students who take this course are pre-pharmacy, pre-nursing, pre-dental, kinesiology and nutrition majors, and/or crazy like me! xD

UIC Target Night on Racine

TARGET NIGHT! It was at a different location than the last three years that I've gone. You had to play games to get free stuff, but at the end they had a nice packaged to-go tote bag filled with free things to compensate. I bought bananas, fruit cups and a package of GoGoSqueeze! I'm trying my best to eat more fruit!

These students are usually sophomores and juniors; let me tell you, sophomore year sucked! My GPA was totally dead that year and even though junior year was so much better, it was a heck of a lot of work. My senior year, so far, seems to be the most insane because of my obligations and commitments, not exactly because of my classes. Everything together in this huge bundle is a lot to handle, but if I’m still alive, then I’m happy! I’ve already got my great study habits into gear, but all of this memorization to study every single bone in the body and the names of the different parts of the bones is kind of making me anxious for the exams that will be coming around by the end of September. I need a lot more practice so I’ll be visiting ASAP more frequently. It’s right next to MRH so I can just swing on by and rent a bag of bones!

I can’t even fathom what will be going on these next few weeks. I’d list them and such, but pictures say more than words (although I’m more of a word person the more I learn about myself and the way I like to study!).

Sushi at Hana

I ate with my cousin Spencer at Hana on Taylor Street when Festa Italiana was going on. It filled me up surprisingly! (:

Gyros at Greektown

I tried out a new restaurant in Greektown! It was Subway/Chipotle style, where you choose what you want on your gyro! It was yummy and surprisingly wasn't oily or greasy like some other gyros I've had. It actually felt healthy, haha!

Burger at 25 Degrees

My brother took my cousin and me to a place called 25 Degrees. They're known for their burgers so I went ahead and ordered one and WOW it was soooooo GOOD! I want to go back again just to have another one, but I'm a broke college student so I need to first pay of my tuition! Don't forget it is due September 28! Bank account, please prepare to be diminished.

Involvement Fair on West Side

I was representing the UIC Green Labs at the Involvement Fair on the west side of campus last week. We had great weather! My table was next to UIC Radio so it was kind of hard trying to talk to others. I felt like I had to shout at people when I talked to them, lol. I'm not good at this outreach stuff, or maybe I am because I did get a lot of people to sign up to get information on our next meeting. I saw a lot of my friends who were in medical school or pharmacy school or dental school and they were all saying how tough it was (but they kept encouraging me to keep trying, so yay!). Overall, I had a fun time!

Happy Birthday Roommate

My roommate's boyfriend bought her two large balloons and a vanilla ice cream chocolate cake! He was so sweet and made fried rice for dinner and then cleaned the dishes. You are the man! :D

I hope things are going well for you and your classes, UIC students! See you at the Involvement Fair on the east side of campus today! I’ll be flying to Texas in the early morning Thursday for my Scribe training, then flying back Monday night. I hope I can juggle the assignments/courses for the training and then the stuff I have to do at school! Luckily it’s only the second week, but man it’ll be done before you can say pie!

Why the first week of school gets me going

I’ve been living on campus the past summer in the same room for the Spring 2013 semester and I will still be here in the Fall 2013-Spring 2014 semesters! It’s awesome seeing all the new faces on campus. You know I’ll be hounding them at the UIC Involvement Fair to join my pre-medical organization when I’m on east side and to join UIC Green Labs Committee when I’m on west side! I feel unprepared for school, but at the same time I am totally ready to do my best at everything that I’ve got going this year.

Comp Camp

I attended the First Year Writing Program's (FYWP) "Comp Camp" and it was so awesome! As a Writing Center tutor, I was invited to attend along with other tutors. In an effort to meet the Undergraduate Success Program goals, it is important to recognize that the retention rate from first year to second year is very low among students. I'm not sure why exactly, but it's important that the FYWP does its best to get those numbers up through quality teaching and awareness. I got to meet a ton of awesome English graduate students (I even saw my ENGL 161 teacher from freshman year!). I got to hear Professor Jessica Williams presentation on "Stuff FYWP Instructors Should Know about Language." It made me realize the incredible difficulty that English Language Learners face when confronted with dense text/essays, etc. It was great to hear what the other instructors had to say about their methods of teaching. I listened to Jon Mann's lecture on how he teaches ASP 090: Critical Thinking and it made me want to sign up for one of his classes, haha! For the second breakout session, I chose to go to the Formulating ENGL 161 Research Questions workshop and heard one of the instructors share an experimental method of teaching ENGL 161 in the 4 week summer session this past summer; it was almost mind-blowing at what he said and how it worked so well. Did I mention the awesome free food and free books/resources? The English department rocks at UIC!

I added the New Student Days events for freshmen and new transfer students to the Housing calendar I made last month. I still have to add things for September, so feel free to suggest anything UIC students should check out!

Festa Italiana

I took a picture of the entrance of Festa Italiana next to Papa Johns at Racine and Taylor. It looked like it had some cute rides and a bunch of entertainment and food, but some of the stuff kind of repeated itself so it wasn't too interesting in my opinion. I think I might have gone on a bad day, so if you differ in opinion feel free to share what you did at Festa Italiana!

When my roommate moved in, I figured it’d be better if I didn’t return until after she got acquainted and completely got her stuff in our space, so I decided to go to the city with my friend Alaina (she works at the Graphics Department with me at Campus Housing) because she wanted to purchase some hair spray bottles at Sally Beauty. We got off on the Red Line at Monroe and saw a fancy Target!

Target in Downtown Chicago

Does this remind anyone of UIC Target Night? Free stuff FTW!

We got to Sally Beauty and purchased the spray bottles and then came out to walk towards Millennium Park. I saw a stand for Divvy bikes and was reminded that we wanted to go and ride them before school started! We weren’t sure how it worked so we first walked past it and went to listen to some jazz being played at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion. We decided to go search for another Divvy bike rack and after a lot of frustration and then finally figuring out how it worked, we went on our adventurous bike ride!

Alaina and Me

I asked a Millennium Park worker take my picture with Alaina. It was a beautiful day after the rain settled!

We went everywhere! From Millennium Park all the way to Roosevelt Road and back to MRH where I got to shower and see my roommate. My legs were so sore the next day and I slept in for an hour or two before going to research to do qPCR.

Chicago - Divvy Station Spot

We got to a Divvy Station to exchange our bikes and I had Alaina take a photo!

Milie and Divvy Bikes

Alaina took a photo of me posing in front of a Divvy bike, hehe. I know I don't have too many photos of me on my blog (mainly because my eczema loves to be in the spotlight of the photo), but I'm going to try to implement more!

I hope I can make time to go on another Divvy bike ride before the frosty winter weather comes our way. I probably can’t, but hey who knows!

View of Chicago from Shedd Aquarium 1

HELLOOOO CHICAGOOOOO!

View of Chicago from Shedd Aquarium 2

Why, hello there to you too! (:

Anyway, a brief To-Do/Event list for me in case you were wondering what’s going on:

  1. Scribe University: September 5 – 9. I got a job offer to be a Scribe at Rush University Medical Center and I am totally excited to do my training soon! I have to miss class (I have only missed like one class at UIC) to be at the training that will be conducted in Fort Worth, Texas. I emailed all of my professors to let them know and see if I can make up what I miss. I hate missing class, but this kind of opportunity doesn’t come all that often!
  2. Spark in the Park: September 5. I have to miss Kendrick Lamar since I’ll be in Texas, but hopefully someone else can tell me how the concert was!!!
  3. Writing Center Opens: September 6. Make some appointments soon before they’re all filled! We help you with ANYTHING!
  4. SFP Induction: September 9. I get to meet all of the new SFP members and share with them what is ahead in their pre-medical careers.
  5. Fulbright Deadline: September 13. I need to get my finalized drafts and all that jazz in soon! >__<

On top of those most pressing things, I have my usual research stuff and classes/studying to do. I haven’t made my MCAT restudying schedule yet, but for now I’m waiting for my Berkeley Review books to arrive at my home in the suburbs (I should have just sent it to MRH, but oh well).

Thank you so much to all of my readers! I am excited for my last year at UIC (unless I get into UIC’s medical school, then maybe they’ll let me keep blogging, hehe). I don’t get notifications when people comment on my blog, so I’ll be going through all of my posts to respond to people sometime soon…(classwork and other obligations tend to pile up like crazy though). It’s so great to be back at school, UIC!

What are your priorities?

I’m not sure how many people ask themselves what their priorities are on a day-to-day basis, but I know in my case that I have trouble balancing my priorities and all those other things I want to try and squeeze into my life (side projects, part-time jobs, volunteering, etc.). It can be frustrating, but when it gets stressful and I feel a lot of weight put on top of my shoulders, I know I need to rethink where my time goes.

Advocate Children's Hospital at Union Station

I saw this adorable advertisement at Union Station for Advocate Children's Hospital. It makes me want to go back to all of my graphic design jobs, lol! I love it.

So, for my purposes, I’m going to list out my priority list. Why they are important should be obvious (I think). It’d be smart for you to do the same if you are having trouble picking out what extra-curriculars to take on or whatever obligations you have!

  1. Studying for Classes – I’m excited to be taking Foods, Nutrition During the Life Cycle, Human Anatomy and Physiology I, and Molecular Biology! I hope to learn a lot and get all A’s to keep my GPA up. It was a smart move last semester to focus on schoolwork greater than focusing on MCAT studying.
  2. Studying for MCAT – While it is a downer that I am retaking it (way too embarrassed to apply to MD/PhD programs with what I got!), I’m excited to aim higher and analyze what it was that went wrong the first time. You always have to learn from your mistakes (and I am pretty sure I fell into my habits of making those mistakes on Test Day).
  3. Research – Because I will be a senior, I have to complete my Honors Capstone project. I am super excited to dive deep into the research literature for the projects I have been doing in the lab and presenting to as many places as possible to get experience! I hope to get in one more publication before I graduate, but we’ll see!
  4. Society of Future Physicians (SFP) – As exciting as being president is, I have a lot of work to do! The past few years have been rough for our organization, so it’s my goal to make it packed with medical events, lectures and opportunities for my members. I need to be well over a month ahead of planning and I need to make sure rooms are reserved and speakers know when and where they will be. Luckily I have a great e-board to help me out! I definitely want to be at the Health Activism Committee meetings, but this year will be different because we’re splitting it into two programs: Health Education and Social Outreach. It’ll be exciting to see how much our organization has grown! I hope to make great leaders in this club!
  5. Other clubs or part-time jobs: I want to help start the Undergraduate Research Journal with other students, but I’m not sure how big of a role I can play if I got my hands tied with SFP. I also ran for publicity officer for UIC Green Labs Committee, mainly because I wanted to be more involved with sustainability movements but at the time I did not know that I would have to retake my MCAT. I’m sure I’ll be fine, but we’ll see how things go. Darn MCAT! >:O I also want to keep working at Campus Housing because I love coding (I’m remaking a ton of pages to make them look more modern and pleasing). I really want to keep working at the Writing Center too! I already had a couple writers ask me my fall schedule for tutoring because they want to work with me again, but I’m not sure how many hours I can devote with all the other stuff that’s going on. It pains me how many hours I have to study! I wish I was like my brother — he crams all the time but he does well! I take months and months of studying to match that. Some people are just talented!
Squirrel eating leaves

My mom and I were walking around our neighborhood one weekend and saw this cute squirrel nibbling on a tree's leaves! I think it was trying to eat the tree seeds since they are like little propellers when they fall to the ground. Propellers or helicopters? One of those...

Well, knowing me, I’ll want to keep everything. However, I know ALL time should be focused on the first two on my list. The others are just things that I want to do because I like to do them (and it keeps me sane). I hope studying for the MCAT the second time around is easier. I ordered some Berkeley Review books to see if that helps. I have my Kaplan books but I read online that re-reading the same material won’t help!

Chinese Opera

My brother was invited to be an MC for a cultural event that featured a new Chinese opera class. Not many people really know about Chinese opera, and I don't even know the details! But, I know that my grandma and grandpa would almost always sing Chinese opera songs when my brother and I were growing up and only now we've started to appreciate it. I hope people enroll in the class but not many people will take the time to learn something like this! If only I had all the time in the world ...

Now that school is going to be in session, I’ll have a better, critical review of what my priorities are. Hopefully, though, all of the most pressing issues are resolved before school even starts! XD

Milie at the Chinese Opera Show

I bought this awesome, crazy dress in Taiwan last summer and I badly wanted to wear it when I got back to the US. Too bad there was no appropriate event to wear this dress! When I heard my mom talk about the Chinese Opera Show, I was looking at my wardrobe and this dress just spoke to me. I'm so happy I got to wear it! It featured this weird looking bug on the front and the whole dress is handmade. The company name is Milida (kind of like my name) and I think it's French? But the dresses are made in Taiwan. SO COOL. SO HAPPY I GOT TO WEAR IT! I need to work on my poses. My mom took this picture of me, lol. She always catches me in my awkward moments (or maybe I just have them all too often).

I hope everyone starts their semester off right! :D

Jumbled Mess

It really is too bad we can’t predict the future, or even glimpse at all possibilities so that we could make the best informed decisions. Well, this is where we rely on our mentors, advisors and my dear old friend the Internet.

So, the moment we’ve all been waiting for … (more like just me) *drum roll*

SES Parking Lot

I was walking through the SES Parking Lot towards MRH and thought this was a nice scene.

I will be retaking the MCAT! A little sad about it, but I’m also excited to re-prepare because I know I can do a lot better. I was nowhere near where I thought I was going to be based on my practice exams.

As for where did I go wrong, I am still trying to figure that out. Something tells me I require a lot more analysis of my test-taking habits because sometimes I get lazy during practice … (bad bad bad). Don’t ever be lazy for these type of things.

Another reason could be because I was studying AND doing a bazillion other things, but that never really stopped me TOO much .. .(sigh, maybe I will have to go on hiatus again). I need to evaluate my classes, my extracurricular workload and work for the fall if I’m going to succeed at getting a higher score.

A lot of people retake (although I’m always curious what they thought their reasons were for the first time around). Is there hope for me this cycle? I’m too embarrassed to even apply! I’m still thinking if I should withdraw my application or not, but a hunch tells me that I will.

Beef Thick Noodles

I forgot what this is called in English but in Chinese it's like gan-cao-niu-he. My mom made it for the first time (normally my brother orders it from a restaurant) and it was pretty good! Although I have a feeling that I will become a vegetarian out of pure laziness. Meat is complicated to prepare (for me).

It’s great that I’m a senior now, but it also means this is my last year to make an impact at UIC and beyond (although I am thinking about the graduate programs here already).

I am currently in UIC Green Labs Committee, where people from different departments can share their ideas on how to make laboratories more sustainable. I’m hoping to be at the Involvement Fair (formerly called Fun Fair; not sure why they changed that) on the west side to get more graduate students and faculty to attend the meetings.

I am also currently working with other students and faculty to start an Undergraduate Research Journal for UIC. It would be a rigorously peer-reviewed journal that is open-access/free-for-public (because knowledge should be free or at least affordable!). I think it would be pretty dang awesome to have this kind of journal because there aren’t too many places for undergraduates involved in research to present their work or get published. The experience can benefit anyone! We are thinking of inviting graduate students and faculty to be reviewers for the papers as well as the undergraduate researchers. I’m super excited for how things will turn out!

Even though I want to be involved in these two new projects, I have already committed myself to being President of SFP and very available for my members. I absolutely do NOT like biting more than I can chew (because I’ll look like a bunny and because that’s not good for ANYONE). So, we’ll have to play by ear, but at the same time an opportunity like this does not come by so often … gah, the decisions!

I’m also going to be in charge of a subdivision of the Health Activism Committee that we are implementing this year called the Social Outreach Program. Basically, we want to help healthy, uninsured community college students enroll in CountyCare (Obamacare). Having health insurance is so important (I can’t get ENOUGH of CampusCare! UIC’s insurance is the best!) and I really don’t know how I would do without getting my allergy shots every other week and seeing physicians about my sudden eczema attacks or pains in certain areas. School would be impossible to manage, and that added stress does not help.

So, anyway, my thoughts are kind of everywhere right now. School is going to start soon and I don’t even know if I can handle the coursework now that I am going to have to include study time for my precious MCAT (hah …). I hope I can make time to tutor at the Writing Center because I want to be available for some of the writers who see me regularly. So much to do and think about. I still haven’t written my Fulbright essays, heh heh.

Unmotivated; Need a Break

I am productive each day. Sure. I am unproductive each day. Yes. At least, that is how I currently feel. My main priority right now is to finish those Fulbright essays before school begins, and maybe some secondaries if the schools send them over (it’ll probably take awhile though). It’s already August and I find out my MCAT score really soon. It’s kind of scary, and I am thinking about what I would do if I did bad on that test in terms of my application. We’ll see!

Cute Pooches

I was walking to the Writing Center in the morning and saw this man walking his two really cute dogs! Too bad I'm allergic to them. I love seeing people walk their pets around, or use different modes of transportation like that Unicycle Guy...

I have been working at three jobs for now to keep me busy until school starts. Even though I have the evenings to myself, I feel tired from work and can only think about enjoying my dinner and watching television (and they always seem to play fun things on Style Network that get me hooked from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. … Thank goodness for commercials so I get up and move for a little bit!). I get a bit sleepy around 9 p.m. so I start getting ready for bed and then put off writing essays for the day after. I’m wondering where all of my diligence has gone since I was great about it for the MCAT, but I am thinking that perhaps once I see my MCAT score next week I will work even harder (whether it is good or bad) and can finally get myself together before school starts!

Baby Bunny

I was tutoring in the Writing Center and I noticed this adorable little bunny outside the window where I was sitting. He didn't seem to notice me until I got the lightbulb in my head to take a picture and just barely caught him as he dashed away in fear from my blue smartphone. I must have seemed like the paparazzi!

There’s so much going on in the next few weeks so I need to prepare mentally, physically and emotionally for this upcoming year. So, I think the week before school I’ll take off for myself to get some fresh air and clean the house, maybe get a head start on reading … Anyone have any ideas for what to do before my summer is gone? Eh, I probably won’t get to it anyway … I need to read up on literature because the MOST Summer Program is ending soon and I need to make a presentation and abstract! Then, I need to be a qPCR psycho so I can crank out all of that data from my experiment…and the list goes on! Enjoy the last of your summer because it’ll be gone before you know it; I’m already counting down the days until Christmas … well okay actually my birthday goes on the list first…THEN Christmas.

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