How to Make The Most Out of Your Layover

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Ah a new country and a new state to explore with a long layover, the joy! You question yourself, “can I actually see more than one place during this trip?” Heck yes, you can! Here are some tips that I have for you guys if you plan to explore a new country within a short period of time:

Alright, say that you have X amount of hours to explore another country, or city, what do you do? Okay, before you have a lyover at a certain country, or even a certain place, proper planning and listing definitely helps.

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A.) Plan

Okay, first step is definitely taking the following questions into consideration:

  1. How will you travel? Is it grab/uber, metro?
  2. How much time do you have? First things first, definitely look at the time that you need to be back at the airport (I would say approx two-three hours before depending on whether you are flying internationally or domestically. Secondly, determine the amount of time that you want to spend within the places that you want to visit.
  3. How safe are the places that I want to visit? Is it around a safe neighborhood?
  4. How much do I want to budget for the places that I want to spend? Or my budget in total?

B.) List

Next, is there a specific place that you want to check out in that country/state? For instance, a certain type of food that you can try, but can only be found at a certain location? Or go shopping? Or take pics for the gram? Once you’ve established that, list the places that you want to see in order, according to your priority.

C.) Research

1.)How far apart are the places that you want to see within each other? Are they a 15 minute metro ride? Or a 5 minute grab/uber ride? 

2.) Is there a line within these tourist areas that you want to see? For example, say that you want to grab a famous sushi roll, but the line to obtain that sushi roll is about 45 minutes. On a scale of one to important, how important is it to get that sushi roll to you? If it’s a “OMG I will die it I don’t obtain it,” then possibly going there first?” If not, then hey, can explore other options right? 

All in all, you can definitely make the time to explore when you have a layover. Though it may be a bit short, it is definitely is a good way to see the country, and authentically try their food, no?  Anyways, Happy Exploring!

Forever your Explorer,

Singature Blog

Finding Yourself When You’re Out of Your Comfort Zone

Throughout a couple of my posts, I’ve written one of the reasons why I’ve enjoyed traveling. One of them being discovering your place in the world, begin to compile every aspects of the puzzles in the world, and discover how the world may work, and to thus begin to discover the beauty in humanity.

I mean don’t get me wrong, I’m still set forth in this phrase, but once we begin to get lost in the ways that we’re familiar with, we can actually get lost ourselves… I mean, quite paradoxical, isn’t it? We all yearn to actually discover something new, but sometimes we just want to regress back to the comfort of knowing what is familiar.  In other words, we want to just run back to our past lifestyle. So, how do we deal? How do we shift our mindset to not revert back to our familiar ways?

  1. ) Okay, take this time to GET YOUR SHIIII TOGETHER– as recent undergrad students, let’s be real, we’re still new to this whole adulting thing– I mean while many of us have gotten part time jobs in and took classes, now is our time to actually find something with our degree, to actually voice out and discover who we are in this world.
  2. Always stay vigilant- Okay, so where ever you go in the world, people can take advantage of you, especially in Industrializing country, say the Philippines.) I mean I hear so many stories (and have witnesses some) where if you don’t speak the language that is used in that country, people can actually let you pay more than you expected, or even fall into a situation that is beyond worse than that.
  3. Goals Goals Goals- Okay, so Why did you move? What did you expect was going to happen? What did you want?
  4. Always be open to new things– And sometimes, when you least expect it, you’ll be dropped into new experiences and meeting new people that you wouldn’t think that you have met.

Also, a good friend of mines who also has a blog (http://www.wearesavvyg.com) wrote a couple of advice are super helpful, which are the following:

  1. Never EVER rely on those who say they’re “going to help you.” A lot of people want to “help you,” but very few will follow through with that help. Consider it a lesson learned, and move on. Have a backup plan!
  2. You will discover who your real friends are when time difference becomes a factor.
  3. Some of your loved ones will never ever understand your journey/struggle – It’s ok.
  4. YOUR mental health and YOUR physical health should be at the top of your priority list – be selfish during this time. Get rid of those who don’t contribute to either one in a positive way.
  5. Take this time to GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER
  6. People take advantage of foreigners a lot, lol.
  7. Learn to embrace all negative emotions and never feel bad for feeling it – cry, isolate yourself, sleep all day, whatever. But THEN, create an action plan on how to move forward and grow.
  8. Find something exciting to do (even if it’s just ONE thing)
  9. SAFETY, SAFETY, SAFETY. Don’t just trust everyone, lol. Even if they’re AMAZING.
  10. Dude, just fail. Who fuckin’ cares? I’m 22. If I die tomorrow, I died doing something I can talk about in heaven. If I die in 65 years, then GREAT! I have 65 more years to pursue ALL MY OTHER DREAMS.

All in all, it’s definitely normal to miss the way that you used to live, to miss the people that you were constantly with, and miss the things that you once had. Sometimesbeing somewhere different doesn’t necessarily mean to be lost, but more of a way to discover yourself– to find more of “you.” Happy Exploring!

 

Forever Your Explorer,

Singature Blog

 

 

 

Perspective: Exploring the World

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Hello My Fellow Explorers!!

         Okay, so let’s talk about traveling. Have you guys ever heard the phrase, “The world is your oyster?”  or “Great things comes from outside of your comfort zone?” Yes and yes, I feel that traveling goes beyond seeing architectures and trying new cuisines.It is moreso, a prescription to just get lost from your familiar ways and discover something new about yourself, or in fact gain a new perspective (haha I know suuuper cliche.)

          See, my love for traveling began when I was about four years old (I swear, it won’t be like those stories.) As some of you may know, I was born in the Philippines, and was residing with my grandparents until I was four years old while my parents moved to America to obtain a job, haha I know it may sound horrible to be left without your parents, but actually is al Filipino norm.¹

               Anyways, I was taught to just basically move on my feet, while I traveled back and forth from America to the Philippines. Each time that I travel, I render into the perception that each and everyone of us are the same. I mean despite cultural factors, we all actually live similarly–most job positions are offered similiarly and some people’s values may correspond with your values, etc. For example, rewinding back my first week of living in Singapore has given me the perspective that we may all be related one way or another. There’s about 5,816,067 people residing in Singapore, mostly consisting of Malay, Chinese, and Indians. With that said, when conversing with different people, I’ve learned that the word “Makan” in Malay translates to “eat,” which also is the same translation in Ilocano, one of the Filipino dialects.

The concept of humanity is far beyond amazing, it is in fact such a beautiful aspect

          This actually brought me to the idea that we all may be somewhat related to each other (haha interesting, init?) Anyways, each time that I travel, I begin to think that traveling gives us such a beautiful perspective in life. I mean we know so much about so little. Though there is more information to be learned, I can tell you this: the concept of humanity is far beyond amazing, it is in fact such a beautiful aspect.  We are in fact, cohesively united, which makes us apart of something greater than ourselves. So Friends, I encourage you to go beyond your comfort zone, explore the world, and make something great out of it. 

We are in fact, cohesively united, which makes us apart of something greater than ourselves.

 

Forever your explorer,

Singature Blog

 

 

 

 

Gearing for GREatness

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Okay, so some of you guys may be asking, “Why the heck did you take the GRE, rather than going straight for the MCAT?”  In my previous blog post https://thelykac.com/2019/02/06/how-should-i-fill-in-my-gap-year/,  I mentioned that I’ll be taking a post bach prior to entering medical school, which is one of the reasons that I decided to take this entrance exam rather than the MCAT. Also I don’t feel prepared to take the MCAT because I haven’t completed some classes that will be apart of the MCAT. Nonetheless, here are some testing strategies that I learned when taking the GRE:

1.) Simulate Test Day

Okay, so the GRE is about 4 hours long.  This test is divided into 2 writing sections– an analytical writing component and an argument writing component(which is usually in the first section). It then dives into either the quantitative section or the verbal section, which is about 30-35 minutes long. With that being said, the break will not be given until the 2nd part of the exam. So, try to train your stamina,  especially if you may not have been tested on exam for this long. In order to combat that, I would say to start studying within the same length as the exam or try using the Pomodora App to time yourself on when to take breaks.

In addition, because the exam is in a quiet environment, possibly begin to study in a similar environment.

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For more info, check out:  https://www.ets.org/gre/revised_general/about/content/

2.)  Study Methods

When I first took my GRE, I swear one of my friends described this test to be similar to the SAT, but on steroids.The GRE is basically about knowing the structure of the test questions (what is being asked) in addition to solving it.

a. When studying for the verbal section

It’s suuuuuper important to study for the vocab, as the test mostly consist of words that are very grandiloquent (haha see what I did there?) So when tackling the vocab words, don’t study the definition, study the synonyms as it’s easier to latch onto one word, rather than a complete sentence. For example, the term austere. By definition, it means: severe or strict in manner, attitude, or appearance. Rather than memorizing this whole definition, maybe latch onto the phrase, “strict.” Also, try to dedicate learning no more than 30 words/week. The more words you know on the exam, the better.

b. When studying for the quantitative section

Considering that this is a math portion, I would have to say to understand the equations that you are given– not only memorize them. But really think about what these equations mean. For example, the arc section formula, which is ([θ]/360]2πr). This formula simply means that a degree of a circle( 360) is twice the radius and the angle.

c. When Studying for the writing section

I feel like this portion is pretty straight forward. When it comes to the writing section (and any of the other section), always address the prompt in the beginning of your essay.

D. Resources:

There’s a bunch of different resources for the GRE, such as ETS prep books, Princeton Review, and Kaplan. I used the Kaplan test prep review, which basically is similar to the test questions, and it gives you a breakdown on how to solve some problems.

3.) Plan 

Some people usually try to study for the test about three months in advanced or so. As for me, I studied about three and a half months in advanced.  My schedule was:

Mon&Wed: Quant

Tues&Thurs: Verbal and Quant

Fri&Sun: Verbal

Saturday: Rest Day

Everyday: Vocab

So that’s basically about it. If you guys have any questions that I didn’t address on here, just shoot me a message, and I’ll be glad to answer it for you 🙂

How Should I Fill In My Gap Year?

Everyone has their own path to their career, whether it being in medical school, graduate school, law school, or some other sort of professional school. Though, I kept telling myself that, I have been feeling kind of anxious within the past couple of months because I felt behind in my career. It’s actually been about a month into my gap year, and in all honesty, I don’t regret taking a gap year because my love for pursing medicine have soared. So here are a few things that I have learned thus far:

 

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1.)Explore, Explore, Explore-

We know so much about so little. Our knowledge on certain aspects are superficial. In fact, I don’t know about you guys, but I’m still finding out my interests, my quirks, so on and so forth. Thus, when I mean explore, I don’t mean to just explore the world, but explore your interests– your likes/dislikes. Taking a gap year is a time for introspection. Moreover, growth. So step out of your comfort zone, and do things that you would never expect to do. For instance, I enjoy being active– hiking, running, heading to the gym, yoga, you name it. But never have I ever expected to train for a half marathon, and honestly I enjoy it: the intensity, discipline, and challenge gets me going.

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2.) Further your interest in medicine

I strongly believe that anything can be tied into medicine. However, there is still a stigmatism that “Pre-health students just have to focus on science.” In fact there are so many layers that contributes so much to medicine. What I’m saying is that you don’t have to give up your interest in medicine, solely combine them. For instance, if you’re interested in art, maybe you can volunteer at a hospital to teach patients art, or if you’re interested in a sport, possibly volunteer as a coach if you have time. The bottom line is that you don’t have to trade your interest or hobbies, solely combine them.

As for me, I have always been interested in International Medicine and Global Health. Specifically, I want to understand why certain diseases are more prevalent towards a specific population, why certain people acquire it, and why others don’t. With that said, I have chosen to partake on a medical mission to further learn more about how culture plays a significant amount towards health outcomes. Below is a list of organization/medical mission that I stumbled upon, and sound like a good use for those of you interested:

Mission Trips:

3.) Improvement

If we didn’t get into medical school straight through, there’s always something that we can improve upon when applying. That being academics, volunteer work, shadowing experience, etc.  As for me, one of my biggest improvement that I need to do for my application is to strengthen my academic portion. Though I graduated with a double degree (B.S Biology and B.A English), I’m kind of embarrassed to say this, but my GPA is definitely not where I want it to be. With that said, I’m applying for a post-bacc program.

 

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In all honesty, there are so many things to do in a gap year. I think the main thing is to not lose hope for a career in medicine. Just because you didn’t go straight through to medicine after undergraduate does not mean that you won’t get in. Everyone’s path to medicine is different, just don’t lose sight of the prize. 🙂 

Live Out Your Dreams

Everything begins with the vision that we create for ourselves– whether it being medical school, being an ultimate body builder, or xyz. However, we create this goal for ourselves, but we don’t execute upon them… why? Don’t let your dreams go to waste, be that person that you envision yourself to be.

What’s In Your Carry On?

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Is there anything more to include in our carry on? Since traveling is more popular during this time of the year, I thought that it will be helpful to scrounge up on a blog post on items that will make long flights and layovers less agonizing.

A. Toiletries–  

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Sometimes our flights may be too long to the point where we may feel uncomfortable. Here are a few list that may ease that feeling.

  1. Tooth brush/tooth paste
  2. Dry shampoo/ hair brush I usually use the “Perk Up” dry shampoo from Sephora. The best thing about this product is that it can be used with any type of hairstyle (curly, straight, etc.). But any dry shampoos will definitely do.
  3. A pair of clothes/underwear

B. Entertainment-

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Whether it being a book or, an iPad, having some sort of entertainment will help to kill up on time. Plus, it will definitely give you sometime to catch up on readings or shows.

C. Skin Care-

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  1. Moisturizer/Sleeping Masks– A change in cabin pressure and reduction in humidity levels takes a toll on your skin causing it to become more dry and dull, which is one of the reasons why it’s essential to carry a moisturizer or a  sleeping mask. The moisturizer that I use is the Neutrogena Hydro boost and the sleeping mask that I use is the water sleeping mask by Laneige.
  2. Chapstick/ Lip scrub– Not only does the skin get dry, but the lips too can peel and dehydrated.
  3. Makeup Wipes– I know that prior to our flights, us gals usually come in to the airport with a full face or at least with some makeup on.   

 

D.Health-

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  1. Teas- Traveling to different areas, especially abroad may allow us to have motion sickness. Thus, teas do help to alleviate this feeling
  2.  Food Some airlines may not offer complimentary foods, so having maybe a box of granola in your carry on or some sort of snack will especially help with budgeting.
  3. Medication– I won’t elaborate on why this is important, but some medications  that has helped me, especially with long travels are the following: Tylenol, Nausea, Vicks, and a first aid travel kit
  4. Surgical Masks I definitely have to thank one of my good friends for this idea. Surgical masks are definitely helpful in the prevention of illnesses and for the prevention for embarrassment. Although an airplane uses a HEPA filter that helps with ventilation, it’s still not enough as microbes are still being transmitted by airborne droplets. Thus, as we don’t have enough spacing in an airplane at times, close contact is more conducive for a person to transfer these microbes. Secondly, by using a surgical mask, no one will be able to tell if you were drooling

Now knowing the benefits with these items, you can now put a “check” and place them on your carry on. Happy Adventuring!

 

Feeling Lost Can Mean Being Found

The title does seem to be a bit paradoxical, but it does seem to be true. Feeling lost can absolutely be your guide to what you want in your life.  I’ve been contemplating about writing this post, maybe because I thought that I had everything all planned out, but nothing ever goes accordingly to what was planned in life.

During this past semester, I haven’t been happy with myself– I have been isolating myself from loved ones, neglecting some commitments, and just straying away. My reason for being is because I felt like when I look at these activities, I feel like I have been disappointing myself. I’ve always been the type of person who plans out everything from head to toe… haha yes, especially during my days. This past semester, however, I just felt a bit lackluster in life… I don’t know if it was senioritis, or anxiety, or just uncertainty. I didn’t intend on taking a year off to get into medical school, but I my plans changed.

Now that the seamster is coming to an end, and graduation is right around the corner, there are so much introspection that I am doing. For those of you who have been feeling lost, just know that you are not alone. Everyone feels like this at one point in their life, but don’t let this emotion consume you or get the best of you. So, here are a couple of things that I found to kind of help me get out of this obstacle.

1.Shifting your mindset

You know that common phrase that everyone tells you, “Your mindset dictates your actions.” Honestly, this statement is pretty accurate. If you tell your self that you’re not good enough, then definitely you begin to think that you are not worthy enough to accomplish certain tasks. Obviously that is a lie because you were not placed on this earth to just be “average.” In order to rectify all of these negative thoughts, look at inspirational quotes, listen to podcasts, anything. In all honesty, whatever situation that you encounter, you are in charge of every situation, and how you handle these situations boils down to your mentality.

2. Reconnect with your past self

What hobbies do you enjoy? Did you stop, if so, why? When you’re in the situation of feeling lost, reconnect with your self by looking back at the hobbies that made you happy. Maybe this could be one of the ways that sparks up your happiness again… who knows?

3. Listen to your third eye or your “higher self”

Assess the reason why you feel lost in your life, and let your intuition guide you on your next move. This is definitely a time in your life where you have to block out all of the noise around you, and just listen to yourself. Thus, you know yourself better than anybody else.

All in all, feeling lost is normal in life. It could stem from plans changing in life, feeling unhappy with your current situation, or just wanting to discover more of yourself. With that said, the feeling of being lost is only temporary. I strongly believe that the beauty of life begins when you create it.

 

 

 

My Two Cents for Underclassmen

“I wish I had known this while I was in undergrad,” is a common phrase that we all tell ourselves as we reach our last year of school. As graduation rolls around the corner, I can’t help but reflect on some of the things that I could have done during my first three years of undergraduate. So here are some pieces of advice I have for you guys: 

 

 

1.  Playing A Sport-

Why not play a sport If you enjoy participating in a certain type of activity, such as running, or playing tennis? I was always fond of running, but it didn’t occur in my mind to join the cross country team. Had I known that I enjoy this activity so much, I would have definitely done it. I think one of the aspects that hindered me from joining a sport was not knowing enough information about it. If you guys are interested in joining a sport, definitely talk to someone who plays that sport to get an idea of how their lifestyle is like.

2.) Seeking Out Resources-

A phrase that I have been hearing a lot for the past couple of semester is, “ “If there is a will, there is ALWAYS a way.” We are filled with so much opportunities, and the matter of fact is utilizing advisors, mentors, and professors to help guide you. Honestly, my biggest regret in this portion was not allowing people to help me (kind of a bad move.) I was always the type of person who was like, “I can handle everything myself.” While this can be a good mindset, it is definitely important to seek other people’s help. 

3.) Establishing a Good Group of Friends In School- 

As extroverted as I am, I always isolated myself (haha yes, I do have friends), but I wish I connected more with my peers, especially within the science division. What I mean to say is to always find at least two friends from the same division that you are in because you can not only help each other out with the materials that you guys are struggling with,  but they too know the struggle of being in that major. 

Nonetheless, absorb anything and everything that you can. Don’t be afraid to try anything new. College is hard because it pushes you to surpass your comfort zone, so do everything that you can to make it memorable. 

 

Food: Review

Hong Kong was definitely a trip that is worth remembering– the people, the places, and most of all, the FOOD.  I must say that because I am a pescatarian (my diet mostly consist of seafood– I don’t eat poultry), it was pretty challenging obtaining fresh produce. Nonetheless, the food was pretty ah-may-zing!! Although we can get some Chinese food down the street from where we are, it just feels different eating an authentic meal from Hong Kong. Here are a couple of foods that I tried out

  • Custard Buns-

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To be honest, out of all of the foods that I’ve ate in China, this one was my favorite (and look how cute they are!)

  • Moon Cakes

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There are different types of mooncakes, but I’ve only tried the egg white with the paste. It  was pretty good, I can’t attest to the taste the different mooncakes, but overall I heard that most of them were pretty rich

  • Pineapple Buns 

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  • Snake Soup

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The soup was pretty good– it actually tasted like curry broth.

  • Fish Ball Noodles

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  • Marshmello Banana Toast

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  • Bean Soup

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  • Tofu Pudding

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  • Egg Tart

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  • Egg Waffle

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  • Hong Kong French Toast

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The only difference between Hong Kong French toast and American French Toast is that Hong Kong French toast taste more savory than sweet.