3 Overlooked Signs of Depression You Might Have Missed - Ayn Bernos

Here Are 3 Signs of Depression I Totally Missed

I'm pretty optimistic. How could I have been depressed?

Depression looks differently on different people, and it’s something I learned the hard way as someone who has always tried to be “the strong one.”

Related: Mental Health Services You Can Avail Of

Disclaimer: The following story is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your mental health professional.

I’m no stranger to taking care of my mental health, as it’s something that I’ve spent the last years nurturing through meditation practices, consistent exercise, a strong sense of community, and even professional help. A peek through my Youtube watch history would show a list of productivity vlogs, online yoga classes, and TED talks. Ask any of my friends and I’m confident a lot of them would say I’m a pretty upbeat, happy person. And even when life has gotten rough in the past, I’ve always been proactive about finding the silver lining through meticulous planning and a sprinkle of optimism.

So you can imagine my surprise when at the peak of my young career, armed with the stability of satisfactory adulthood, I found myself diagnosed with depression again. It came as a shock because my current situation is a far cry from my first diagnosis, when I was unemployed, broke, and stuck in lockdown limbo. Back then, I thought that all the uncertainty and the general state of the world justified my relentless sadness. Obviously, I told myself, it just made sense. But now? What right did I have to feel this way?

What Is Depression?

According to the American Psychiatric Association, depression is a “common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act… Depression causes feelings of sadness and/or a loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed. It can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems and can decrease your ability to function at work and at home.”

Contrary to what I used to believe, depression is not solely affected or caused by one’s experiences. Other than environmental factors, there are also biochemistry, genetics, and personality. So if you’re experiencing symptoms of depression, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. After all, we can’t treat what we don’t know.

That being said, here are some signs of depression I totally missed until my psychiatrist (and other people) pointed them out:

Excessive Sleep

For months, I had blamed my schedule and busy lifestyle for my excessive naps. I thought I was just working myself to the bone like most people my age. But after I had missed two consecutive appointments with my doctor, I realized this was more than the usual case of fatigue. Even my sister had noticed it. “You’ve been sleeping too much. It’s kinda alarming,” she mentioned one time, after I had woken up from another 5-hour nap, multiple days in a row. I remember how I would only wake up to have brunch and go straight back to sleep because I physically could not function.

When I realized what was becoming a really bad habit, I started deliberately finding activities to keep me going through the day. I started surrounding myself with people because I knew that being alone would lead me back to the -same cycle of late nights, late mornings, depressing afternoons, and seemingly endless days of emptiness.


As an extrovert, my self-isolation should have been another glaring sign for me, but because of my own denial, I had waved it off. For weeks at a time, I would stay alone at my condo, only going out for extremely important events and appointments. I refused to walk to the nearby restaurants or grocery stores for food, and instead had everything delivered to me. My family only lived 40 minutes away, but I would make excuses not to go home and visit on the weekends.

In hindsight, I realize now that I was avoiding my loved ones because I did not want to bother them with my disposition. Once, I even told a friend, “I feel like I have no use if I’m not my usual bubbly self.” Which, of course, I now know to be false. I’ve since started spending more days at our family home, and I’ve learned to depend on them once again for emotional support. It was surprisingly liberating.

Losing A Sense Of Purpose

I’ve lived my whole life as a goal-oriented person, and even at rock bottom, I knew there was always something to strive for. From breakups to failed business ventures, there was a fire in me that never really got put out even at the face of challenges. I would argue that these past instances have even propelled me forward. So what was different this time around?

When I looked at my life objectively, I knew that, in theory, I should be okay. Past evidence tell me that I’ve gone through worse, and therefore, I should be fine… right? But there is no negotiating with depression, I learned. Even when I could point out all the great things around me, a debilitating lack of purpose lingered. To paint you a picture, I would wake up long after the sun has risen and lay in bed for two more hours, fully convinced there was nothing in the world that needed me or my attention. None of my old goals that used to excite me feel the same, and even as a chronic planner, I could no longer tell anyone what I wanted my future to look like.

What To Do If You Feel This Way

If these signs feel familiar to you, please seek professional help. Sometimes, it really is the best way forward especially when our feelings of depression get overwhelming. You can start with this list of mental health services and centers.

Other than that, what truly helped me was seeking out emotional support from family and friends. I know that vulnerability can feel uncomfortable, especially for those of us who are so used to being the “happy friend” or the “strong one.” But whoever said that no man is an island was absolutely right, and allowing people to be there for us in times of need can be life-saving and life-changing.

Sleeping in, isolating, and giving up may feel like the most natural things in the world when you’re dealing with depression, but from one survivor to another, let me tell you that better days, when you keep going, are just around the corner.

Continue reading: 8 Stars Who Bravely Opened Up About Seeking Help For Their Mental Health

Meet The Gen Z Fiber Artist Whose Work Has Been Worn By BINI, Nadine Lustre, And More

Gen Z girlies in the fashion industry? We're here for it!

Whoever said there’s ‘no future’ in art-related passions? Well, Erin Cervanez is here to totally debunk that myth. You’ve probably seen her crocheted creations on stars like BINI and Nadine Lustre!

Related: I’m a Marketing Major, Now What? We Ask This Gen Z Marketing Agency Founder for Advice

Coming from the traditional Filipino mindset, we were constantly bombarded with the notion that hobbies are primarily intended for leisure—like another way to de-stress after a grueling workweek of grinding. But this whole concept painted a big ‘X’ on art-related passions, implying that they were burning money. Gen Z is here to prove that this age-old sentiment is not a universal truth.

Meet Erin Cervanez, an exceptional Filipina fiber artist who has proven that passions combined with art are boundless. If her name sounds familiar, that’s because she’s behind mmelc, the brand behind that viral crochet butterfly tops. This 21-year old has taken the art of crocheting—a craft often seen as a chill pastime—and turned it into a thriving small business. You’ve probably seen her crocheted creations on TV screens, worn by your favorite celebrities, content creators, and girl groups. Get to know her and her craft in our interview below.

Erin Cervanez | mmelc.ph

Introduce yourself.

I’m Erin Cervanez, a 21-year-old Filipina fiber artist. I am the creative mind behind my own brand, mmelc. Within my small startup, I specialize in the art of crocheting and knitting, weaving together threads for handmade pieces.

How did you get into the art and business of weaving threads together?

As a crafty kid who got her hands on loombands (the nostalgia! hahaha), I found myself enjoying the slow process of creating. It was almost a decade ago, and it’s also around that time when my Aunt (shoutout to you, Mommy Yeye) brought home the first crochet hooks and yarn that I own. I still have them with me, proving the longevity of crochet.

I’m self-taught; I started with online tutorials for basic techniques and then found free patterns for cute items. After that, I freehanded almost everything I crocheted. I stopped when I reached high school because it wasn’t considered a ‘cool’ hobby back then. It was associated with grandmas on television, doing it in their rocking chairs. I just left the materials under my drawer and never got rid of them.

After years, when the pandemic hit, I decided to get back into the hobby. The world was on pause, and I remembered how therapeutic crocheting is. I started creating again, but this time I shared it on my small platforms. Crochet wasn’t very popular in our generation during those times, but I received great feedback! With less than a P1k allowance, I invested in more yarn and started a page for my creations, turning it into a small business. That’s the foundation of where I am right now. Everything started from there, and I’m eternally grateful.

What’s the concept behind your business?

mmelc.ph is a pandemic baby. It was born from the ‘what if’ of a 17-year-old. We started with a one-woman team and have since grown to include student crocheters working with us. We specialize in selling garments made from knitted and crocheted textiles, with the majority of designs originating from my creative mind. We also cater to fellow crocheters by offering patterns for some of our designs. Patterns are essentially written tutorials on how to create specific items. mmelc.ph is a brand that emerged from a simple desire to share art. Today, it’s more than just a business; it’s a tradition and a lifestyle.

What was your biggest break?

It was way back in 2021 when we shared our own version of the crochet butterfly top. This beautiful gradient top features our outline that mimics butterfly wings. It became a global sensation, with orders pouring in from four corners of the globe. Not to mention the ongoing issue of our product pictures being stolen and shared without permission. Regardless, this design inspired numerous crocheters to create their own versions and even receive commissions for this handmade piece. It remains one of my most memorable breakthroughs.

When you’re creating countless looks for personalities, which project was your favorite and what was the experience like?

Catering to stars comes with its own set of hardships. We are a slow fashion brand, often working on rush orders to meet high demands, but BINI remains one of my favorite projects. I’m a strong advocate for women’s empowerment and supporting local artists. BINI is a group of incredibly talented women, and when Ica Villanueva, their stylist, approached mmelc.ph to create crochet pieces for them, I felt truly honored.

It was surreal to be part of performances I had only observed from a distance. My team and I crafted these pink crochet and knitted pieces for them, even giving birth to new looks. It was an iconic moment.

What was the inspiration behind the look?

While we had creative freedom for some pieces, BINI’s pink look inspiration was provided by their incredible stylist, Ica Villanueva. We carefully craft pieces based on stylist’s pegs and then witnessing them in action on stage or in photo shoots.

How did it feel when you started seeing your works on big platforms?

The excitement never stops. From creating the garments to today, even those around me unconsciously remind us of that moment. It still feels dreamlike, and I cherish these moments. One of my goals is to elevate wearable crochet to the level of clothing we see everywhere, whether it’s everyday wear or pieces for specific shoots and events. Collaborating with celebrities gives me hope that we can bring about this change with the help of their influence. Gratitude always remains at the forefront. Of course, it all boils down to the fangirl in me who never thought we would get this far.

What is your creative process like?

When I conceive a design, I sketch it right away. Visualizing everything is essential, and I learned this the hard way. Trust me, I’ve had numerous designs that went nowhere because I forgot about them. And when I create eyeballed and freehand pieces, I think of designs I’d personally love to wear—ones I’ve never seen before but believe are achievable. It could be something as simple as a tank top in my favorite color or a detailed dress with textured stitches.

I try to crochet every day, but I don’t pressure myself. Despite the prevalence of fast fashion, I remind myself that I have my own pace, my handmade art, and I’m not a factory. Also, a lot of iced coffee, tea, and pain relief patches – haha.

Could you share tips for anyone who wants to get into the business?

Starting a crochet business is a lesson rooted in experience. You’ll never know what it can become if you don’t give it a chance. Monetizing your hobby involves risk, but remember, you can always pivot or step back. Launching a small business means you become your own boss, so if it works out, you’ll look back with no regrets.

While many people have small businesses nowadays, don’t view them as competition. It’s easy to lose self-confidence when you constantly compare yourself to others. Set a goal and stay focused on it. No matter how many times you feel like giving up, you can adjust your approach, but never abandon the goal.

We have a wealth of learning resources available now, as almost everyone is engaged in e-commerce. This is the time to dream big. Keep creating, keep posting, and happy crocheting!

Continue Reading: Here Are 7 Small Beauty Business Ideas for Every Gen Z Girlie

7 Truths I Learned After Moving Out of My Parents’ Home

Play 'You're On Your Own, Kid' by Taylor Swift.

Here are all the things I wish I had known before saying goodbye to the comfort of homecooked meals, Sunday sing-alongs, and my childhood bedroom.

Related: How This Young Creative Manages Living Alone In Her Own Apartment

Leaving the comfort of your parents’ home and venturing into the world of independence is a significant milestone in life. Whether you’re off to college, launching your career, or setting out on a new adventure, moving out on your own is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

When you’re part of a Filipino household, you may consider yourself fortunate to head out in the first place. I was no exception, as my life seemed to be neatly packed into balikbayan boxes the moment I had the opportunity. But still, as exciting as it can be, moving our of your parents’ home can be a rollercoaster ride of emotions. If you’re planning to move out soon, here are all the things to take into account. I know I wish I had known these before saying goodbye to the comforts of home-cooked meals, Sunday sing-alongs, and my childhood bedroom, in exchange for the freedom of having my personal space.

Lesson no. 1: It’s Not ‘For Free’

Now, that paycheck you receive is no longer meant for splurging on late-night online shopping sprees. It’s time to realize that maintaining the cozy life you were accustomed to demands extra effort and financial responsibility. If you’re moving out, prioritize appliances, bathroom essentials, and groceries over those Pinterest-worthy posters and tiny trinkets.

That bed you sleep on, the fridge full of goodies, and the utensils you used back home – none of it appeared for free. All the responsibility now falls on you. The moment you officially step into adulthood, it dawns on you that every item in your home has been purchased and paid for. It may sound obvious, but the reality does hit like a truck. It’s funny because this was the first lesson I learned after moving out. Honestly, how didn’t it click that I had to snag some furniture for myself?

Lesson no. 2: Bills on the Kitchen Counter

Speaking of financial decisions, let’s talk about the dreaded arrival of bills and pending payments. Electricity, rent, water—those envelopes with your name on will start spreading on the kitchen counter. And when you’re keeping track of due dates, math suddenly becomes a go-to subject.

Now, no longer relying on our parents to make those pesky payments disappear is another lesson learned. I guess it’s one of those rites of adulthood. On the brighter side, think of this as proof that you can manage your life, make smart choices, and master the art of adulting.

Lesson no. 3: You’re Not Saying Goodbye to Cleaning and Chores

I recall thinking to myself that I’m free from ‘mga utos ni mama.’ Here’s the plot twist: you will find yourself with more chores. Sure, you’re finally doing your dishes whenever you want and probably hitting the laundromat from time to time, but adulthood doesn’t come with a ‘get-out-of-chores-free’ card. If you could say ‘wait lang‘ back then, you can’t say goodbye to cleaning and chores this time around.

Your newfound independence means that the responsibilities of maintaining a clean and organized space rest on your shoulders. It’s not always about freedom; this lesson teaches you the value of self-sufficiency and taking pride in your personal space.

Lesson no. 4: Sometimes, You’re Not a ‘Strong Independent Woman’, And That’s Okay

When we often hear the phrase ‘strong, independent woman’ proudly resonating, you will learn that you’re not always Miss Independent once you’re out of the family home. From being a working student, supporting myself through college, and moving out at 22, I used to think I could do everything alone—now, not anymore.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still strong for getting this far, but there are days when you will need your mom for comfort or your dad to protect you. I remember crying because I built a cabinet for my high heels, and I had nobody with me. Before moving far from home, condition your mind that there are times when we grapple with uncertainty, self-doubt, and the need for support which we can’t get 24/7. Yes, even when you’re at your lowest.

It’s essential to recognize that seeking help, whether it’s emotional, financial, or practical, doesn’t diminish your independence or strength. Being a ‘strong, independent woman’ doesn’t mean doing everything alone; it’s a reminder that it’s perfectly normal to lean on others from time to time when you have people who are willing to help.

Lesson no. 5: Mouse Moments

The newfound sense of freedom means hanging out with friends whenever you like, doing things on your own terms, and finally having your personal space. It’s exciting and all that but nobody stops to think about having dinner alone and these seemingly mundane moments that can suddenly influence your transition to a new way of life.

When you might think you’re alone now, the truth is you’re on your own—and that’s a beautiful thing. These mouse moments allow you to discover yourself, develop self-reliance, and appreciate being your own best companion. While the thrill of newfound independence is invigorating, always remember to savor these instances of solitude that accompany it.

Lesson no. 6: You Will Miss Out Most of the Time

When you finally move out, the initial rush of independence is looking out for everything that’s in front of you that you forget what you’re leaving behind. In the hustle and bustle of this new chapter of life, one hard-hitting lesson stands out—you’re going to miss out on a lot. Whether it’s your family’s fur baby or the daily check-ins with your parents, FOMO becomes a regular visitor in your room. You find yourself scrolling through social media, seeing snapshots of those gatherings, celebrations, and brunches you couldn’t attend, and the small pang of regret stings.

But here’s the kicker: this lesson teaches you that sometimes, missing out is all part of adulting. It’s about prioritizing responsibilities, making sacrifices, and understanding that there’s a bigger picture at play. You’ll miss out most of the time, but that’s just the trade-off for the adventures and personal growth that come with independence. After all, you’re doing this for yourself.

Lesson no. 7: You Will Finally Think That Your Parents are ‘Right’

After moving out of your parents’ home, there’s a moment when you pause, reflect, and realize that, perhaps for the first time, they were right all along. Their advice, which may have seemed outdated, suddenly starts making sense. Whether it’s the insistence on budgeting, the importance of a well-balanced diet, or those curfews that felt like an imposition, you begin to realize and appreciate the reason behind the nagging. It’s a realization that will bring a smile to your face as you recognize the love and concern that drove their well-intentioned advice. Like, you wouldn’t be here without them.

Continue Reading: Life Lessons We’re Taking From The Barbie Movie

I’m a Marketing Major, Now What? We Ask This Gen Z Marketing Agency Founder for Advice

Good luck!

Whether you’re a fresh marketing major graduate or considering the college program, we’re introducing Micaella Mamanta of The Mika Media for some serious advice.

Related: This Gen Z Entrepreneur Turned A Small Business Into A One-Stop-Shop For Celebs And Content Creators

Congratulations, you’re almost past those sleepless nights and spreadsheets as a marketing major, or maybe you’re considering the college program. Regardless, we’re welcoming you to the real world with endless career choices and opportunities. No pressure, but what’s next after graduation? As you contemplate becoming a PR person, brand manager, or advertising specialist, the transition from being a marketing major to a marketing professional can be both exciting and challenging.

To help you slay this pivotal phase of your career, we’re checking in with a 21-year-old marketing agency founder for who’s been through all that. She’s got the lowdown on the ever-changing marketing game through her unique Gen Z perspective. Get to know Micaella Mamanta of The Mika Media and her words of wisdom to the new generation of marketing majors.

The Mika Media

Introduce yourself.

My name is Micaella Mamanta, but my colleagues used to call me ‘Meka’ or ‘Mes Meka.’ To be honest, I don’t know how it started or the origin behind it, but the ‘ClubMika’ of influencers under Mika Media began to call me by that nickname. I’m 21 years old, born and raised in Calasiao, Pangasinan. Growing up, I knew that business is something I wanted to pursue, which is why I chose a business course.

What was your program in college, and how did it contribute to your current success?

I pursued a Bachelor of Science majoring in Human Resources Management. This course has been incredibly beneficial in my current role, particularly in my small business. It taught me essential skills, such as effective communication with team members and clients, as well as a deep understanding of labor rights.

What career choices are available for those considering marketing as their college program?

For all you marketing majors out there, the world’s your oyster, seriously! There’s a boatload of career options waiting for you to dive into, and they’re not just your regular 9-to-5 opportunities. Some of the diverse paths you can explore include brand management, content marketing, digital marketing, e-commerce management, entrepreneurship, event planning, market research analysis, marketing management, product management, public relations, sales, and social media management. Each of these brings its own bag of challenges and chances to shine, making marketing the place to be for passionate and forward-thinking people.

For those still in school, what are your tips for surviving your college program?

I guess it starts with enjoying every single day of being a student. As a working student, I’ve come to realize what my cousin once told me: being a student is a lot better than facing the realities of life after graduation. It’s about finding your path, building your future, and mastering time management. Surrounding yourself with people who share your goals and radiate positive mantras is crucial. With these elements in place, you’re bound to not only survive but thrive during your college journey.

What about you? What are your plans after college graduation?

My plan after graduation is to continue running my small marketing agency while pursuing further studies in marketing. Learning never stops after graduation, and acquiring a strong knowledge base will be instrumental in achieving my future goals.

Tell us all about your journey into marketing and The Mika Media.

In my two-and-a-half years on my marketing journey, I’ve learned a great deal. I’ve also learned to be teachable. Nothing motivates me more than seeing their growth over the years. Every brand we’ve worked with holds a special place in our hearts.

Now, with The Mika Media, I’m all about ‘The Art and Science of Marketing: Where Creativity Meets Conversion.’ I share tips on how to create viral videos for social media platforms, craft PR packages for beauty brands, all while specializing in influencer marketing.

Why do you believe influencer marketing is important today?

I think that influencer marketing has become increasingly important due to its ability to help brands reach their target audience effectively, build trust, and create authentic connections. These known influencers can help businesses expand their reach, boost brand awareness, and drive sales through their authentic and engaging content, often resonating better with specific consumer segments compared to traditional advertising methods. Moreover, in the digital age, where consumers are bombarded with advertisements, influencer marketing offers a more genuine and relatable approach, making it a crucial component of modern marketing strategies.

With your college program and skills, what can you bring to the marketing industry?

With my degree in Human Resources and the skills I’ve developed, I believe I can contribute significantly to the industry by understanding people’s needs and promoting solutions to their problems.

What’s your message to anyone aspiring to become part of the industry?

Keep trying and always show up. Don’t let anyone dull your sparkle, even if the road to a bright future is tough. NEVER STOP. Through grit and grace, always remember this beautiful verse: ‘God is within her; she will not fall.’ You’ll surely get there.

Continue Reading: Here Are 7 Small Beauty Business Ideas for Every Gen Z Girlie

Which Is Better For You: School Organizations or Internships?

Good luck!

As someone who has experienced both school organizations and internships, I’m here to spill the tea on which one’s your best bet.

Related: 6 Trademarks of Gen Z Interns, According to TikTok

When it comes to college life, people cherish their experiences in school organizations as the best days of their academic years. Whether it’s forging friendships, working with like-minded mentors, or getting experience in fields you enjoy, there’s no denying the significance of these moments. But wait, what about internships? While they are often the first chance for students to experience the “real world”, internships sometimes play second fiddle, often labeled as mere prerequisites for those students on the brink of grad-waiting. But there’s no denying there benefits, which leads to some students being torn between investing their time and extra effort in school organizations or internships.

As someone who has experienced both school organizations and internships, I can attest to the advantages of both, but with internships coming out as a winner to bring to one’s personal and professional development. Here’s why I think so.

Career Clarity

At a young age, I knew I had always wanted to become a part of the beauty industry. All the steps I took were directed toward a college program, internship, and a career path that aligned with my skill set and long-term goals. However, when you’re presented with all of these post-college choices, it’s hard to know what will truly work for you. If you’re a current communication major, you could pursue roles as a producer, director, writer, or other career roles—the possibilities are limitless. The same applies to every college program, and this is where internships come into the picture.

Internships serve as a testing ground for your career aspirations. They allow you to explore your chosen field firsthand, helping you determine whether it aligns with your long-term goals and interests. On the other hand, school organizations, while valuable in their own right, may not provide the same depth of insight into your future career path.

Welcome to the Real World

In relation to the first part, I could have pursued a career as an advertiser or a magazine writer in the beauty industry, and I wouldn’t have gained career clarity if I hadn’t completed three internships that provided me with real-world experiences. This is something that school organizations often lack because they tend to align with your current course.

While school organizations offer extracurricular involvement, they often can’t replicate the day-to-day responsibilities you’ll encounter in a professional setting. After interning in advertising, editorial, and public relations, I had the opportunity to work with people and projects that went beyond the typical ‘requirements’ on campus. That said, I also realized the truths behind those three industries, gaining insight into their inner workings, the challenges they face, and the vital roles they play in the larger landscape.

Soft Skills vs. Skills Specific to Your Career Choice

While school organizations offer you the chance to hone skill sets, it can be limiting all while demanding the same time and extra effort. For example, when I entered the school magazine, I learned about article writing, sentence structure, and all that. However, it was during my role as an editorial intern that I truly realized the significance of establishing a particular voice that connects with the audience, and the essential skill of managing time sensitive stories in the world of editorial work.

Adding to that, internships allow you to apply what you’ve learned in the classroom to real-world scenarios. In comparison to soft skills like leadership, teamwork, and time management, you will gain practical skills, deepen your understanding of your field, and develop problem-solving abilities that can’t be fully replicated in a school organization or classroom.

Nail Networking Opportunities

I remember applying to two more internships and securing my dream position, all thanks to my first internship. After attending events, photoshoots, and seminars assigned by my mentor, I had the chance to meet industry professionals and make new friends who became essential stepping stones in shaping the person and career woman I am today.

In contrast with school organizations, where you’re surrounded by the same professors and peers, internships offer a once-in-a-lifetime chance to connect with more people who share the same passions, interests, and skills that you’ll need in the next chapter of your career. Imagine meeting your potential colleagues and employers even before you graduate from college?

Practical Experiences Enhance That Resume

While adding a long list of extracurricular activities and school organizations to your resume is common, recruiters often place a higher emphasis on practical experiences, particularly when you lack real-world work experience. Internships provide tangible proof of your skill set and capabilities. Including internships on your resume not only showcases your practical experience and industry knowledge but also demonstrates your commitment to your chosen career path. This commitment can be a crucial factor in persuading potential employers during interviews.

Make Money!

While not all internship programs are paid, many are. Earning money while gaining hands-on experience can help cover educational expenses and allowance. This financial compensation is a significant advantage over most school organizations, which are usually unpaid.

Again, not all internship programs are paid. However, note that the company should shoulder all out-of-office tasks and transportation.

Ready to Start Monday?

Internships often lead to full-time offers. By demonstrating your skills and dedication during an internship, you increase your chances of getting absorbed by the same organization once you graduate. This transition from intern to employee is a significant kick-start to your career. If not, internships serve as assets during interviews and when considering other offers. To this day, I’m eternally grateful to the mentors, industry people, and life lessons I gained with my internships—I wouldn’t be here without them.

Continue Reading: R101: 10 UST Organizations That We’re Eyeing At This Year’s Recruitment Fair

Here’s How to Romanticize Your Life as a ~Broke~ College Kid

Living for the mundane moments.

When making the most out of your college years, you don’t have to break the bank.

Related: If You Want to Start Saving, Here Are a Few Things That You Should Stop Buying

When asked about college life, cheap cup noodles, late-night study sessions, and a tight budget often come to mind. But being a ~broke~ kid doesn’t mean you can’t romanticize your everyday experiences. Turning mundane moments into something cinematic—we’ve heard this time and time again, but what does it really mean? 

In the hustle and bustle of coursework, deadlines, and midterms, we often overlook the moments we will miss the most once we’re out of college. Whether it’s taking photos of your coffee cup or going to that championship game, there are countless ways to make the most out of those years—all while maintaining your academics. Maybe you’re a hopeless romantic or simply breaking the monotony; here’s how to romanticize your life as a broke college kid.

Curate a Personalized Playlist

Create a personalized playlist with songs that resonate with your mood. Whether it’s for study sessions, relaxation, or dance parties in your room, the right tunes can change your daily routine. My personal pick? A 2016 movie playlist for my commute. Those OPM tracks make me feel like I’m in a music video.

Play Dress Up for the Day

When your school doesn’t have a dress code, it’s easy to fall into the habit of wearing sweatpants and flip-flops. If you’re feeling lazy, picture that 90s romcom movie montage when the main character chooses her OOTD. Now, putting in that extra effort to plan your outfit? If it means changing your mood for the better and boosting your confidence, then those minutes are totally worthwhile.

Take Pictures Even When It’s a Mundane Moment

You totally don’t need a snazzy camera to capture the good stuff. Your trusty smartphone’s got your back. Take photos of your classroom bestie, carinderia lunch, and that cozy corner in your dorm room. Someday, you’ll look back on these mundane moments and wish you were 20-something on campus again.

Take Yourself Out on a Date

When you’re single and struggling with your classes, self-love becomes your only ally against the world. While it sounds a little self-indulgent, it makes sense to date yourself and dive deep into self-discovery. After all, we often forget the carefree souls we once were before entering college.

It doesn’t have to be over-the-top, too. Head to a cute café or pop into a local museum. Who knows what kind of cinematic moments you might make without blowing your budget.

Have an At-Home Spa Day

Now that we’re all about self-love, add at-home spa day to the list. To transform your dorm room into a relaxing space, start by making sure it’s clean and clutter-free. Then, light some scented candles, head to your everything shower, and apply face masks while playing your personalized playlist. Preferably, schedule your DIY pamper day on a Sunday so that you’ll feel refreshed and ready to tackle another school week.

Mood Lights for an ~Aesthetic~ Atmosphere

I learned this one from my interior design BFF: lighting makes or breaks your living space. And since we’re not breaking the bank, those trending LED lights or ₱99 aura lamps will work just fine when creating a cozier atmosphere. Remember, classrooms are dull enough; don’t bring that energy back into your dorm room.

Write (or Doodle) Whatever You’re Feeling

Just like taking yourself out on a date, journaling encourages self-reflection. It allows you to dive deep into your thoughts, emotions, and experiences, helping you gain a unique understanding of yourself. Your journal is also a canvas for creativity. You can use it for drawing, sketching, or even pasting photographs and mementos. In essence, it helps you cherish the present, plan for the future, and reflect on the past, making it one of the perfect ways to romanticize your life and make the most of your college experience.

Slow Down Your Daily Routine

In the hustle and bustle of college life, it’s easy to rush through your daily routine. Take a step back and savor the small moments. For instance, when you’re walking to your 7 AM class, take a moment to people-watch on campus and appreciate the beauty of your surroundings. You don’t have to do this everyday, but slowing down can make your college experience feel more romantic and less stressful.

Work on a Creative Project

Whether you’re a communication major cramming for finals or studying in a science program, we often forget what it’s like to genuinely feel those creative juices. Creativity can serve as a stress-reliever. When you immerse yourself in a creative project, it provides an opportunity to escape the daily grind and unwind, reducing stress and promoting relaxation. Engaging in creative activities also encourages mindfulness, where you are fully present in the moment, focusing on the process rather than the outcome. And who knows? Pursuing creative endeavors can reignite your passion for life.

Take Half an Hour for an Activity That Brings You Joy

In the midst of lectures, midterm exams, and assignments, it’s essential to set aside time for yourself. Instead of scrolling through TikTok, dedicate 30 minutes a day to an activity you genuinely enjoy, whether it’s reading a book, playing an video game, or working out. This small ritual can help you relax and remind you of the small joys outside of academics.

Continue Reading: With 2023 Coming To A Close, Here Are Small Steps to Building Better Habits

Selena Gomez Is Over Trying To Be Made The Villain

True Alex Russo energy.

Selena Gomez’s reactions at the MTV VMAs led to hot takes and a wide array of thinkpieces. The way she responded to all the viral moments prove that she’s really over all of it and brings up an important discussion about celebrity social media discourse and public opinion.

Related: Miley and Selena Are Taking Back Their Crowns With New Music—and the Internet is Nostalgic

Whatever you think of all the Selena Gomez viral videos and hot takes about her VMAs appearance on social media, she’s over it. The multi-hyphenate’s reactions during the MTV Video Music Awards garnered plenty of attention, and all sorts of discourse has put her on the top of the trends list once again.


Selena went viral during Olivia Rodrigo’s VMAs performance, where the deja vu singer reenacted her vampire music video by staging a faux stage and pyrotechnic malfunction and Selena could be seen holding a hand to her ear. And of course, the narrative people on social media ran with was that she didn’t like Olivia’s performance.

People defended her, though, clarifying that Olivia’s set surprised and confused the audience, especially with the singer’s fake-worried reaction to her own stage. Selena herself commented on an Instagram post about her reaction, explaining “I heard a loud noise and it scared me.”

Selena comment on Instagram: I heard a loud noise and it scared me


Second, when she made a face at convicted assaulter Chris Brown’s nomination, she earned all sorts of reactions—mostly positive, though. She was praised for showing disapproval of the artist. And then she made headlines again when she commented on an iHeartRadio Australia Instagram post about the “incident” saying, “Who cares lol.”


Selena took to Instagram after all that to comment, saying, “I will never be a meme again. I’d rather sit still than be dragged for being myself. Much love.”

Selena Gomez instagram story "I will never be a meme again"


Within a day, public opinion about Selena swayed so fast with just a few seconds of videos and some viral posts. And it’s happened many times to Selena before, her Francia Raisa incident among them.

And while it’s ironic she’s making headlines (even ours) after subtly (and perhaps inadvertently) shedding light on sensationalism, it’s worthy to have a discussion about the problem with going viral, unwarranted think-pieces, and pushing our own narratives on celebrities and everything we see on social media.


Selena has had a year in the spotlight. From the “beef” with Hailey Bieber, to being made a meme multiple times, the star has gone viral so often just for existing—as celebrities often do.

Selena gomez blanket meme

insatgram/selena gomez


And whether or not you like or care at all about Selena, all these instances beg the question of how easy it is for us to fall into the trap of basing our opinion of people and issues on what we see through a screen. Of course, a person’s actions do help form our opinion of them, but in the spotlight, at a time where anybody can post a photo or video without context and frame a moment however they like, our assumptions and hot takes are less grounded on actual facts and context and instead hinges on “what’s this account with thousands of followers implying?” or “what’s the majority of people saying?” for fear of getting cancelled.

Celebrities themselves can also frame a narrative however they like (they literally have teams of people advising and executing such plans), so it’s really been tough to critically examine things or form our own opinions when control of media and public opinion is so easy to take.

So, it’s kind of new and refreshing to see someone like Selena Gomez herself take control of the narrative and stand her ground with the truth on her side. People are quick to turn unnecessarily cruel or perceive not just celebrities, but anyone they see online, not as people but as fodder for hate or gossip or think-pieces. The online world has become so tricky and exhausting that we really often need to take a step back and reexamine ourselves, our obsession with celebrities, and our social media consumption.

Continue Reading: 4 Times Nadine Lustre Unapologetically Set Her Boundaries

5 Things I Want To Tell My 18-Year Old Self Before She Starts College

Besides about the global pandemic, of course.

Don’t we all wish we could’ve done some things differently?

Related: Lessons From Former Org-Active Gen Z Student Leaders

In all honesty, I think my 18-year-old self should give me some advice. She still has some light in her eyes. I truly embody the Taylor Swift lyric “How can a person know everything at 18 but nothing at 22?” and I wonder what my 18-year-old self would think of me now. But with time comes learning, and while past is past, I still wish I could reassure my younger self that everything would be alright.

At 18 I was on my last year of high school, about to enter my dream program at my dream university, so excited at all the new that was about to happen.

Well, all this “new” came at me like a truck. To be fair, a pandemic was new. It was just the opposite of exciting. And after my first low grades and a rejection that truly, unfortunately, shaped my entire college life, I was henceforth sick and afraid of the new. But here I am, looking back, changed by time like water smoothing stone, hoping everything I learned could help someone else.


Resist the urge to underestimate yourself, but keep the humility.

First things first—you’re going to think you peaked in high school. And that’s kinda not true. Kidding aside, college is a shark tank of all the smartest, most ambitious sharks that want the same things you do. It’s easy to get overwhelmed, to think you can get swallowed up by all the doubt and shrink into yourself, believing that there’s no space for you to explore and pursue your dreams. But don’t.

You’re where you are because you, and other people, had faith in your ability and your promise. So keep that faith locked in. There’s enough space in the world for you to learn, to chase your own dreams, and to do what you love.

You can’t give up the moment it gets hard. You can handle more than you think you can.

What to learn Before Starting College

Speaking of underestimating yourself, I’ve always been so guilty of simply passing over opportunities because I think I can’t do it. Or that it’s not “worth it.” I’ve said “okay na yan” more times than I can count. I lower the bar because I’m afraid of pushing myself to the limit only to fail. But I know that you can’t see the view from the top of a mountain without making the climb.

And I don’t tend to regret many things, but looking back, I know I was too complacent and never pushed myself or my work to its best. Unfortunately, I find that I still do that sometimes. But we work through it. You power through the anxiety and the fear of failure, and you’ll strike gold.

Open yourself up to the possibility of enjoying and learning from new experiences.

What to learn Before Starting College

Some of my favorite classes were electives that I took because I was drawn to it, despite the potential of a bad grade, or classes I thought were unnecessary. Some of my lowest grades were in those kinds of classes, too! But as a self-proclaimed nerd, I found that the learning was worth any bad grade. Also, some of my favorite experiences in student organizations were in positions I didn’t even think I qualified for.

I learned so much from those classes and org experiences, and not just about the lessons and the kind of work I did, but about myself and all the possibilities I had in front of me. How would I feel if didn’t let myself be open to the possibility that an experience, while presumably out of my comfort zone, could be great for me? I’ll have spent so much time wondering what if or being ignorant about something that could help me understand myself and the world I wanted to partake in.

Surround yourself with good people, and be the kind of good people you want to be surrounded by.

What to learn Before Starting College

My thesis partner, whom I knew since freshman year, once said to me that they regretted that we only became close during our final year, and while the pandemic (and unfortunate circumstances at the time) did fracture newly-formed friendships, I was lucky to have found friends that will stick with me long-term. I don’t have to tell you to be a good person or a good friend, but you do have to choose friends wisely and with an open mind.

“Time goes fast. Eat it up, but chew slowly.” – Emily Wickersham

This is a shot of the driveway I got lost in the very first time I stepped on campus—the same driveway I spent about 20 minutes in every day both my freshman and senior year before going home. I don’t think it changed much, but I definitely have.

Four years of college went by just like that, and I’ll always feel a sense of resentment at having a full experience ripped away from me. But what the last few years have taught me is that you just have to take life day by day, moment by moment. Life changes and we grow old fast. Before you know it, you’ve graduated and you’re thinking about all the regrets you have and all the things you should have done and writing about them like you’re a 60-year-old with all the wisdom in the world. Regardless, while “make the most of what little time you have” is generic and clichéd, it’s always sound advice.

In all honesty, all that this sentimentality leaves way for is me wishing I knew better before. But the important thing is, I know better now. And hopefully, you do, too.

Continue Reading: So, You Just Graduated From College. Now What?

self-doubt passion

How Self-Doubt Immobilized Me From Pursuing My Passion

Ever feel like you weren't as good as you once thought you were?

Doubts kill more dreams more than failure ever could.

I used to be a pretty confident kid. I was the type of person who loved performing on stage, singing in front of the whole school, and dancing as if I knew how to. Growing up, my family and friends validated me and gave me the boost that I needed to try new things.

RELATED: My Accomplishments Are Sus, Am I Experiencing Impostor Syndrome?

I studied at a Catholic school all my life and my mom closely raised me (almost) entirely on her own. Mostly living a sheltered lifestyle, it was when I entered college where I became exposed to a world that was bigger than me. There were people who wouldn’t think twice about humiliating or hurting me. And on occasions, I would realize that I wasn’t as good as I made myself out to be.

That’s when my doubts started to take over my life.

I lost my friends at the end of freshman year. They said I was too bubbly, laughed too hard, and was too immature. Everything I liked about myself became an insecurity.

I was so conscious about what people thought of me to the point that I would hide from my professors during recitation in fear of saying the wrong answer, I started doubting my writing because I felt like it wasn’t good enough for journalism, I quit chorale because my voice wasn’t as powerful as I had thought. The things that I was so sure about no longer inspired me. Up to this day, I still struggle with the same insecurities. At work, I would second-guess my skills, overthink before responding to messages, and I would get discouraged writing because I felt like my self-worth was measured by numbers.

I felt immobilized; like I couldn’t do anything right because I had so many negative introspections. Sometimes, I felt like an impostor even with my achievements and it made me realize that I gave up my aspirations and my passion, purely because I thought I wasn’t good enough.

This feeling reminded me of an encounter with my Anthropology professor back in college. He took recitations very seriously. He was intimidating, wise, and frankly terrifying. I skipped his classes despite wanting to learn from him because I was afraid that he would call me and I would say the wrong thing. Finally, a good friend noticed that I was avoiding his classes. She asked me to stay because we had a paper to turn in.

My worst fear (at the time) happened. He called my last name for a recitation. And as I read my essay in front of the whole class, the paper I was holding was shaking through my trembling hands. When I finished reading the essay, everyone fell silent. I couldn’t tell what was going on in my professor’s head—his deadpan eyes enough to make me return to my seat in shame. Did I get the assignment wrong? Did I misunderstand the lesson? 

Then he started lecturing the class about self-doubt. How often times, we underestimate the power of our mind and the influence of our voice. He looked at me and told me that he would like to hear about my ideas in class more.

Recently, I had the same experience at work. Responding to work messages still gives me anxiety. Asserting myself feels like I’m being a push-over, and with the work-from-home set-up where all means of communication are through texts and emails, it’s easy to be misunderstood. But I’m grateful to have a team that believes in me, supervisors who see my potential, and a family that supports my decisions. I realized that the only one stopping me from pushing myself further is me.

To this day, I’m still working on getting my confidence back up, but I don’t want to feel entrapped by my worries when there are so many opportunities out there. I want to be able to face a challenge with a brave face on and confidently say: I can do it.

I know I’m not the only one who struggles with self-doubt. Sometimes we become so obsessed with not committing any mistakes that we end up not being able to make room for growth. We are so caught up with being accepted and validated that we forget to live for ourselves. It should be okay to be wrong, it should be okay to feel good about the things you love, and it should be okay to not overthink all the time. Do the things you want to do no matter how daunting it may seem. And if at the end of the day, things still don’t go as planned, give yourself a pat on the back for being brave enough to try.