Tag Archive: college

My future still remains unwritten. However, as I take a step back and reflect upon the life that I have written so far for myself, I have realized that, like writing, discovering my truest self is a continuous process of editing and revising as each story unfolds with its own unique cast of characters and plot lines. This collection of stories that I have compiled over the course of my Carolina journey contains a plot for each that usually involves some challenge. These challenges provide an opportunity for me to confront deeply-held perceptions about myself as well as empower myself to take ownership over my thoughts and feelings to overcome adversity. Moreover, it was in my stories of challenge that provided moments for immense personal growth. These moments of personal growth served as a catalyst for an opportunity to reinvent myself towards evolving to a better, more true version of myself.  More than anything, I have learned that my relentless drive to seek the fullest expression of who I am as a human being can only occur through challenging myself towards achieving nothing less than my full potential.

For example, I love the challenge behind articulating the right words to express myself which serves as a way to find my voice-the essence of the many selves that make up my identity as a way of grounding me against the crushing and sometimes overwhelming waves of everyday life; this trail of words becomes a map for how I discovered my truest self. On a more personal level, writing empowers me to accept no one’s definition of my life and to define myself until my words ring true. Furthermore, I am constantly seeking the fullest expression of myself as a human being capable of sharing myself as a whole and authentic being with the world. While much of my future remains unwritten, word by word, I slowly become a little bit closer towards discovering and shaping the person that I desire to become. As I continue to embark on the many adventures that Carolina has to offer, I believe that these words I write will illuminate the path and guide me towards dreams and goals that I have yet to explore. As I continue to change and reshape the words of my story-past, present, and future, I hang on to my blossoming sense of self as a beacon of light leading me toward my truest self.

More than anything, I have discovered that every moment in life is an occasion to rise to the challenge. Rising to the occasion of your own life story requires you to raise the standards of what you expect from yourself. Upon critical reflection of the times that I truly effected change in my life, it was the moments that I strove for standards higher than I expected for myself in times of adversity and challenge. By believing in something greater than yourself-raising your goals and expectations, you empower yourself to become a better and truer you. Our lives are an occasion, let’s make them extraordinary. After all, the rest is still unwritten.

-Michael Lau

Resolutions 101

2011 is here. We are over halfway through January….have you made a New Year’s Resolution yet?  Or are you still trying to think of a goal that you can, well, actually commit to? Making a resolution is hard, and sticking to it is even harder, especially for a college student. Personally, I love New Year’s resolutions. What better way to begin a brand new year than with a newfound determination to improve yourself for the better as a person?

I’ve listed five steps that I’ve used for the past few years that are guaranteed to help you choose a resolution that is both bold and possible.

1) Want V.S. Need…or Want & Need? Make a resolution that is both pragmatic and desirable. If you want to start jogging at 7am in the morning but you aren’t a morning person, then what’s the point? Morning exercise is ideal, of course, but if you don’t like getting up early then maybe nighttime bike rides are better. Make a plan to do homework in between classes instead of waiting until after dinner, and then your evening will be free! The best resolution gives you material benefits as well as personal happiness. Besides, you’ll be much more likely to stick with a goal that you personally enjoy working towards as opposed to a goal that you don’t.

2) Be Realistic. You want to lose thirty pounds, eat all organic foods, and learn to cook in a single year? My dear friend, although I admire your fervor, it takes a lot of work to do each of those things…either you’ll have a mental breakdown by August from trying to do everything at once, or you’ll lose steam. Fast. Your resolution needs to be realistic and attainable. Why not aim to just lose ten pounds? If you’re feeling particularly bold or motivated, you could tie cooking to your weight loss resolution and work towards cooking on the weekends instead of eating processed foods or take-out, which already cuts your calories by a lot if you learn to ditch the butter and oil. Bottom line is, don’t get too greedy with your goals without considering the work that must be done to reach them.

3) Be Specific. If you decide to “be healthier,” what exactly does that mean? Do you want to lose weight, start a daily exercise routine, eat organic food, or what? You can take action in so many different ways in order to “be healthier,” but if you try to focus on too many smaller goals you will lose sight of everything because it will simply be too much.

4) Make a Plan. Let’s say your goal for 2011 is to “avoid procrastination by doing your work when you say you will.” After a while, though, it’s way too easy to simply…give up. Facebook, Twitter, and CNN News are calling to you. By using month-by-month progress checks, you can make sure that you stick with your resolution. For each month, add a new mini goal to your resolution. For instance, in January you may start out easy by simply telling yourself to do work when you get tired of procrastinating (yes, that’s possible). Then, by February, perhaps you’ll create a daily schedule to list what hours to do homework and what hours to surf the ‘Net. Each small step will slowly become a habit.

5) Share It. There’s nothing better than sharing your resolution with a good friend who has a similar goal in mind. It’s best if your friend has a resolution that is slightly different from yours; otherwise, a friendly partnership may become a major competition. What’s great about working towards a resolution together is that you’re able to provide each other with healthy doses of moral support, constant motivation, and positive peer pressure. Plus, it will bring your friendship up to a whole new level that is even more meaningful and enjoyable than it was before.

-Wendy Lu

Heaven’s Gift to the College Student



When you’re passionate about something, you want to tell someone. Whether it’s your favorite movie, a favorite sports team, or a new song you like… you want to tell someone and encourage them to share in the experience. My passion is a little unusual, but it is also the best advice I can give a college student. My advice for success and organization is tiny and cheap, but unbelievably useful… Post-it Notes. You probably already have them on your desk or in your book bag, but I seriously doubt you are utilizing them to their full potential. So, to enhance the Post-it experiences of B&W’s readers, I will share some of my many uses for this magnificent invention: Every single day, a Post-it Note serves as my to do list. Flipping through my daily planner you will find Post-its on every page. In class, when I think about something I want to do later, I write it on my Post-it Note. Even if it’s just to whiten my teeth or look for something on Ebay. I write it down, and I actually complete all the tasks I plan to complete because they are written down. A Post-it is always used for my shopping list. It’s easy to keep with me throughout the day as I think of different things I need, and easy take to the grocery store. Of course, a Post-it is the perfect way to leave a roommate or friend a note. I constantly stick Post-it Note reminders on my desk of meetings and deadlines. You cannot forget anything when Post-its are involved… the neon square beckons you to glance and consequently recall what you need to do. When I am traveling somewhere new, I always write my directions on a Post-it and take the tiny piece of paper with me. Post-its are a guide. Think back to elementary school. Did you ever make the construction paper link chain to count down the days until Christmas? I do that all the time with Post-it Notes. If I’m looking forward to a school break or a visit from friends, I put the sticky pieces of paper all over my desk, and take one down each day until the day I’ve awaited finally arrives. I use the smaller sized Post-it notes as bookmarks when reading and as dividers when organizing a 3-ring binder of class notes. Lastly, Post-its are the perfect way to pass a note to a friend in class—small, easy to fold and secretly share, and it prevents you from having to tear off the corners of your notebook pages. These are just some of the ways that I, personally, use Post-it Notes. However, I am sure these glorious pieces of paper have hundreds of other uses. To make a long story short, I could not function without Post-it Notes… and I don’t think anyone else should.