Where were you born?

I was born in Chongqing, China in 1998 and moved to the U.S. when I was five months old.

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in southern Vermont and will always consider myself an East Coast gal.

Where and what are you currently studying?

I am a freshman sophomore at Marist College (with the privilege of studying abroad in Florence for the 2016-2017 academic year), and I’m majoring in communications with a double concentration in public relations and advertising. I plan on adding a minor in graphic design as well!

What’s your favorite aspect about studying abroad?

In Florence, I loved that every day is an adventure. I woke up every morning eager to get out on the street and be surrounded by a different culture and a more diverse population than I experience at home. Studying abroad is a constant learning experience, and it is something I will be forever grateful for. In addition, being able to travel is a huge plus to studying abroad!

What’s one of the biggest challenges you faced abroad?

The language barrier was one of the most difficult challenges to deal with. It’s not that I had a hard time communicating with the locals, since practically everyone speaks English. However, I found it much harder to learn Italian than I thought it would be. I realized a month in that my expectation to become fluent might have been too ambitious in a place where English is so common. In order to become fluent in Florence, you really have to study it intensively and force yourself to practice 24/7.

What are some of your career goals?

My ultimate goal is to work in editorial someday at Hearst or Condé Nast. I am also interested in event planning, marketing, and public relations. Ideally I will be able to work abroad, because I loved studying abroad so much and discovered an abundance of benefits to living outside the United States.

What made you want to start a blog?

Writing has been a passion of mine ever since I could read and write. I continue to journal on a daily basis; it’s how I destress. I decided to start a blog so my friends and family could keep up with my study abroad adventures. I also knew it would help me build my portfolio.

What advice do you have for college students with similar editorial aspirations?

WRITE! Apply to be a contributing blogger for popular college blogs/websites (ex. FlockU, Society19, the Lala, Her Campus, the Odyssey), write for yourself in a journal, start your own blog. Although sharing your personal writing with an audience is intimidating, I have found the experience to be very rewarding.

What is your favorite place you have been to and why?

My favorite place I have been to (thus far) is probably Budapest, Hungary. I spent Christmas 2016 there with two girlfriends, and we had a celebration to remember. I loved the Gothic style architecture, culturally rich and historic aspect of the city, and the people were very friendly. Check out my travel posts about Budapest here, and put this city at the top of your bucket list!

What bloggers inspire you?

I’m inspired my Julia Hengel (http://galmeetsglam.com/), Shay Shull (http://mixandmatchmama.com/), Brooke Saward (http://www.worldofwanderlust.com/), and Amanda Holstein (http://advicefromatwentysomething.com/) in addition to many other female contemporary bloggers!

Who are your role models?

My biggest role models are my parents and grandparents. Throughout my life, they have consistently shown me what it means to lead a happy & fulfilling life and how important it is to value family. They do nothing but encourage me to achieve my dreams and take chances in life. I wouldn’t be here without them.

Do you have a dog?

Yes! I have the sweetest King Charles Cavalier Spaniel mix named Kiara. She is turning 7 on March 13. Her favorite activities include going to bed early, chasing tennis balls, and barking at our neighbor, Andre, and his two dogs every day at precisely 3 PM.

Do you consider yourself a morning person or night owl?

Definitely a morning person! I don’t mind getting up early to have a cup of tea or coffee, exercise, journal or read, or blog. My mind is most efficient in the morning. Past 10 PM I have a hard time focusing on anything except for Netflix!

What’s the best part of being a young adult?

This is such a tricky question. I have to say that for me, the best part of being an adult is having the freedom to seize your destiny. As a young adult, you’re faced with so many opportunities, aspirations, challenges, and experiences that shape decisions regarding the future. Being young and having this power to achieve your goals and find happiness through both accomplishments and hardships is something that is so precious.

If you could have your own company right now, what would it be?

I would love to either a) open up a cafe with my good friend Sasha or b) sell postcards, agendas, and stationery designed by me. Sasha and I toured cafes all over Europe together, so we have a lot to work with in terms of inspiration and ideas! I also like to practice my calligraphy and doodle skills on cards for people and in my notebooks.