All posts by gloria_ahn

9 Reasons Why Every College Student Needs a Road Trip Part 2


5. Splitting gas money three or four-ways means will keep the costs low. Crash on the couch of a friend’s house to save even more money! Hostels, motels, and hotels are an option too!

6. Roatrips will build your self-awareness and open your eyes to new environments. This will increase your self-confidence. Not only will you have fun stories to tell your parents and family, but you will be able to relate with new types of people with your new stories. This is always a good thing that will develop you into a more capable post-college adult.

7. There is something liberating about driving on the open road that makes my soul feel like it can soar Hopefully, it will for you too. The temporary relocation will refreshen your spirits, rest and exhilarate your senses, and calm your body and mind. Make sure to take turns between your friends so everyone has a chance to take that wheel and feel it too!

8. You will regain your balance and grip on life. A nice roadtrip should give you reassurance that you are at the right place at the right time, and you are doing exactly what you are supposed to be doing. At least, it did for me :)

9. Try going on a roadtrip and if you hate it, well now you know not to go :) Hope you enjoyed my tips! Let’s all go on a roadtrip! :)

9 Reasons Why Every College Student Needs a Road Trip

  1. 12494669_1055645854516386_7628950248094868082_nThe experience forces you to continue feeding your curiosity and exploring in college beyond the walls of your university, dorm, and city. This is your chance to full advantage of being away from home.
  2. Your college friends may turn into your life-long friends. It is great bonding time to get to know each other and a memory that you can always look back on.
  3. You will find out how you and those around you react under pressure and in stressful situations. Things are bound to go wrong on a roadtrip (running out of gas, a flat tire, splitting costs, opposing personalities/strong opinions, car accidents, etc.) and you will learn how to be resilient, and which of your friends are not capable to adapt. Plus, you get a chance to personally test your quick and worldly practical problem solving skills.
  4. You will discover new music that otherwise you would not be exposed to. Driving away from your normal surroundings means your favorite radio stations will be out of range. Try listening to a classical, jazz, or rock station and you may just find a new favorite song. Or you and your friends can all bring your own CD’s and take turns listening to avoid looking for radio stations (and especially the awful commercials) during the drive.

Come back tomorrow for Part 2!

Celebratory Clubbing

To celebrate getting my new job as trainer, I got to go to Disneyland with my friends and enjoy the night. After Disneyland though, the celebratory events continued at a dance night club! I love dancing and it was nice to be surrounded by good friends and just have a good time! For those of you that love to go out, here are some good things to know:

  1. Some clubs don’t validate parking so either get dropped off or make sure to bring money to pay.
  2. A lot of people at the club like to smoke, so if you are allergic or if you have asthma, you may want to find a club that is well ventilated!
  3. Drinks are super expensive — sometimes over $12. So unless a guy wants to buy you a drink, be prepared to spend some serious cash.
  4. For the most part, no guys are going to get angry at you if you don’t give them your number. If they do though, that’s a huge red flag and you wouldn’t want him to have it in the first place!
  5. Drink responsibly. I personally never drink at the club because I want to make sure my judgement is not even slightly impaired. I always give my drinks (pictured here) away to my friends.


Be safe and have fun!

I got the job!

Thank you, John Wooden! By standing on your shoulders’ (standing on the shoulders’ of my giant), I was offered the position of trainer at my catering company! This is the same catering company that I blogged last week about how we cater at the Oscars. From this experience, I learned a few things about how to conduct yourself and how to be one step ahead of the other candidates in your future college jobs or even post-graduation career goals:

  1. Be yourself. I was lucky to have my friend, Jamie, be in the training class the day of my second on-the-job training interview, and she commented that the other candidate, Joe, didn’t seem genuine and like he was trying too hard.
  2. Dress the part. I also noticed that Joe was dressed ever more slightly less formal than I was. We were basically wearing the same business clothes, but I had a suit jacket/blazer over my dress shirt, which made me look less casual.
  3. Know what you are talking about and do your research. The night before, I studied our orientation and training guidebook. I also had knew more additional information outside of the book just from calling the office, and working on the floor in the field.
  4. Be personable with the other candidates and the managers. You want to be someone that is relatable. And smile! Make it look like you are having fun.
  5. Give feedback. Nothing makes supervisors happier than giving them feedback and being a fresh new set of eyes that can make their operation run smoother and more efficiently.
  6. When you do get the job, make sure to celebrate! I went to Disneyland right after I got the call! But you don’t have to do that — grab a fancy dinner or go to the beach! Whatever the case, best of luck on all of your future goals! :)


What $191.10 Looks Like In Japanese Yen

japan 2

Only four more days! And I cannot wait! So, continuing yesterday’s post on converting my U.S. dollar into Japanese cash, I went to the Currency Exchange International in the MainPlace Mall in Santa Ana, California. I didn’t want to convert over $200, because then instead of a $3 fee, I would have to pay $5. So any exchanges under $200 had a $3 fee, $200-$500 had a $5 fee, and anything $500 and over had a $10 fee. Bank of America’s fee was just a flat $7.50 for any amount converted. The teller at the kiosk told me that I had to get it as close to a Japanese bill as possible without going over $200, so she recommended I change $191.10, and then with the $3 fee, the total came out to be $194.10. As you can see pictured here, I have 20,100 yen. The teller also told me as long as I have my receipt from my first original transaction with them, I can get change it back to American money without paying the fee!

I am hoping this will be enough for the week and a half that I will be in Japan. My dad recommended that I take around $100 in American cash too. Worst case scenario, I still have my debit and credit card. Plus, I will be with plenty of other college students that will be able to spot me if I am ever in a tight pinch for extra money. ONLY FOUR MORE DAYS!!!!!

What do you mean my money doesn’t work overseas?


I leave for my pseudo-study abroad trip in 5 days! The last and only time I left the United States, I was only 5 years old. I only remember bits of pieces of my vacation back to the motherland (South Korea), so I feel like that doesn’t actually really count since I was so young. Plus, this will be my first excursion out of the country without my parents too!

One of my biggest concerns about being in another country was money. I knew absolutely nothing about converting my American cash into Japanese money, which an easy google search revealed is Japanese yen. After talking with the other program participants, friends and co-workers that have visited Japan, and the Kakehashi program directors, I learned the basics of how it works. I was going to go to Bank of America, like my friends did, to get the yen but thanks to Yelp, I found a local mall kiosk that had a better exchange rate! They even buy back the yen too, so when I get back from Japan, I can get my American cash back! BOA would have given me about 100 Yen for every $1, and their exchange fee is $7.50. The Currency Exchange International, the store in the mall, gave me 109-111 (depending on the day) and the fee was only $3 for under $200 exchanges. To me, this is a pretty sweet deal! Come back tomorrow to read more!

John Wooden, My Giant

“Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.” -John Wooden

John Wooden was a spectacular human being — a giant that I aspire to be like. I want to learn and study how he lived his one life to the fullest, and not only follow in those footsteps, but rise up on his shoulders and continue his amazing legacy. When I think of his many well-known and inspiring quotes, the first one that comes to mind is this one. This simple quote has defined my habits, mannerisms, and many of my decisions since the day I heard it.

Today, this quote proved to be exactly what I needed. I discovered an interview opportunity two hours before said interview, which was being conducted in a city located an hour away from me. I could have not gone at all and just let this opening pass me by. I could have been late, which would reflect poorly on my character in front of my employers. But instead, because of John Wooden’s quote, I had prepared for an event like this, and had my wardrobe, make-up, and resume ready so that I could make it to the interview — not on time — but even early. By being prepared, I was able to make it to the next round and I have a second on-the-job interview tomorrow! I could not be more excited and happier, but it was thanks to this giant that I had succeeded in always being prepared. So my lesson of the day: Be prepared for anything and everything, and always have extra copies of your business card and resume on you at all times!

Make sure not to “fail” in “preparing” a LinkedIn Profile too!

Who are your giants?

“If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” – Sir Isaac Newton

Many people consider me to be short, some even are convinced that I am a dwarf or, worse – a ”munchkin” from the Wizard of Oz. Growing up, I watched shows and concerts on my dad’s shoulders to be able to see what was going on the stage. For me, reading this quote reminded me of those times of how to see past all those tall heads, I had to “sit” on the shoulders of a giant, my still-taller-than-me-to-this-day dad.

Now, I don’t know how tall Sir Isaac Newton was (I’m sure I could google it if I was really curious), and who knows maybe he had the same struggles of being vertically challenged like me. But what he most likely meant when he used this quote in a letter to Robert Hooke is how his accomplishments in the sciences, physics, and math fields were only possible due to developing and building on those that came before him. Likewise, we need to learn from the past, which is what will allow us to do bigger and better things in the future. One of my giants is John Wooden. Who are your giants?


Happiest Season of All


This past fall semester may be my first one to have achieved a 4.0 GPA. I do not actually know for sure though because my official grades have not all been posted yet. (You best believe I have been checking my transcript every day…) I worked incredibly hard to earn the grades that I did. Not only did I have practicum but I also had a research paper and presentation that was worked on the entire semester. I also won quite a few different scholarships and was accepted into the Kakehashi Project (I leave for Japan in exactly a week!). It was a crazy semester that drew me away from blogging here. Towards the last few weeks of school, I knew that I had to celebrate with a huge bang after the semester that I had. As soon as my last final paper was completed, I was beyond relieved. That euphoric satisfaction of knowing that you did your best is an out-of-this-world sensation. I thrive off of it and I seriously cannot wait for my second to last semester of grad school. As the motto says: work hard, play harder. It truly is the most wonderful time of the year.

Why This Is Your Year


Another year older. Another year wiser. Another year to be had. You have grown stronger and matured into the person you are today. Lessons have been learned, and you will continue to learn in the new year. Just because you have made mistakes, you are not damaged goods. You are cleansed and better for having made them. Embrace the changes that will mold you into the person you were meant to be. This is your year. You have earned it. The universe wants this to be your year. You deserve to be here, alive and well.

You know what it takes to work hard and get the grades you deserve. Your experience from 2015 will carry you into the next academic year of adventure. You are lucky to have the friends and family that you have in your life. And you know that friends are like cookies — you can always make more. The laughter, tears, smiles, and memories won’t stop. In fact, you cannot wait for more and you are looking forward to them. Your bank account may or may not have as much funds as you would like it to have, but you have confidence in knowing that you can make that change this year. You don’t need that extra tub of ice cream. Resist the urge of the impulse by chocolate at the check-out line. Go to the gym. Take the stairs. Give warm hugs. Smile. Dream. Be happy. This is your year, so don’t count the days, make the days count.