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Why I Stopped Bullet Journaling & Switched To Digital Planning


Up until last year, one of my most popular posts was titled "A Look Into My Bullet Journal", which you can check out if you're interested! I raved about it being the best purchase of 2018, about it being so helpful for my organisation and productivity, and how excited I was to be using it. Well, if it had all those benefits and was so great, why did I stop?


I had initially started off with too many spreads to count, all of them done intricately and aesthetically so it'd look good for the 'gram. As time wore on, I realised I simply couldn't be bothered with always drawing things out when art isn't a strength of mine (those monthly covers were always a battle). I was always trying my best to imitate all the big bullet journal YouTubers I adored, but wasn't ever satisfied with how my own creations turned out.


Once I realised this, I started making my spreads minimal and simple - simple lines, simple headers, and most importantly; no doodles or drawings. Instead of drawing out designs myself, I started buying stickers to decorate the journal with instead.


However, as time wore on and university became more and more busy, I found that I was using the journal as less of a "journal" and more of a glorified to-do list. I would skip certain days or even weeks and leave spreads completely empty, which wasted both paper and my time. To rectify this, I started to plan my time on a day-by-day basis.


Exam season is where I finally made the switch to digital planning. 


I added all my exams into the calendar on my phone and planned out my day-to-day activities by using Google Keep. I didn't find use for the spreads any more and would forget to update my journal because everything was on Google Keep or my calendar anyway. Once I consciously made the switch over to digital planning, I forgot all about the bullet journal!



I've now evolved in which apps I use to digitally plan my time, so a blog post explaining all of that will be uploaded very soon! :)


So what does digital planning offer that bullet journaling doesn't?


One could argue that carrying around a bullet journal won't exactly weigh you down, but I personally found it a hassle to always remember to carry it. Having everything on my phone is just better because I always have it on me. If I need to confirm if I'm busy on a certain day, I can just check on my phone instead of flipping through a bunch of pages! The fact that all the apps I use sync up makes this process so smooth too. 


This varies greatly, but for me personally, buying specific pens and highlighters that don't bleed through, buying a new journal when the current one runs out, and buying the stickers are all things that will add up over time. My phone and laptop were one-time purchases that will last much longer than a physical journal.


Something I hated about bullet journaling is how I'd need white-out right next to me should I make a mistake. If a date or event changed, it would take a lot of effort to correct. Plans can always change, and this aspect really put a damper on the bullet journaling experience. Now, I can essentially decorate my Notion (what I use now) easily and not be afraid to make a mistake, because Ctrl + Z is right there for me!


Those are the main arguments I have for switching over to digitally planning instead of bullet journaling. Both obviously have their own pros and cons, but when I weigh them up I have to say that digital planning is the winner here!


Do you plan with a bullet journal or plan digitally?


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 Related Post: Keeping Myself Organised At Uni

Lessons Learnt From Living Abroad

If you had asked me just 3 years ago if I'd like to move abroad, I would have probably said no. I was comfortable in my bubble in the UK; all my friends were there and everything was predictable and fairly comfortable. So if you had told me I would actually be living abroad pretty soon, I definitely wouldn't have believed you. But here we are almost 2 years later and I've moved to Zambia then China within the span of 4 months. Talk about a plot twist!

I don't remember the move to the UK as particularly significant. I was just going along with what my parents said would happen, and when it happened I just took it all in my stride. Honestly, the people around me were way more excited than I was! But as a 6 year old, it's hard to look at that kind of move with the same perspective as a 20 year old, which is how old I was when we eventually left the UK.

Growing up in, and living among 3 different cultures (so far) has really shaped me into who I am today, which is a topic I want to dedicate an entire post to in the future. It's a cliché sentiment, but all your experiences really do shape you into the person you're going to ultimately become, and today I want to share what lessons from moving abroad (specifically in China) I learnt!

Before we get into it, I have written a few of posts about my time in China, such as some habits I've picked up, experiencing some cultural shock, and my experience being a black woman in China. Do check those out if you're interested!

Becoming self-dependent was the first thing I noticed about myself, and this was molded by the fact that I was now in university too. I didn't have parents or a sister just downstairs to rely on anymore.  My friends were all busy with university or work all the way on the other side of the world. Any decisions I had to make were to be made by and for myself. Having to navigate a new culture, a new language, and new people from different countries all bringing their own cultures and languages was difficult and lonely in the beginning, and it sometimes still is now!

Jumping into adulthood like that was a definite shock to the system, but it's a shock that is now paying off. Being able to take care of my own finances, travel by myself, and live by myself are things I only would have been able to do had I come all the way out here. 

Because I became self-dependent pretty quickly, the next thing I realised was how resilient moving abroad can make you. Being thrown into a new country with a completely new culture has made me way more confident in my ability to navigate through almost any situation! After some time, things or people that used to make me frustrated and easily annoyed turned me into a person who could face these challenges and just keep it pushing. 

A big part of being more resilient is facing and accepting reality. A lot of people will leave university or leave the country they wanted to move to because it didn't live up to expectations, or that the journey wasn't as smooth as they wanted it to be. It's being able to look at your new life and accept that things are different that makes all the difference. 

Finally, another lesson I learnt is that living abroad can make you used to just about anything. What do I mean by this? British people love to complain, and if we're going complain about something, the weather is near the top of the list. I went form complaining about summers of 27° or sometimes even 30° to living in summers of 37° and humidity thrown on top of it. 

Another example is just being outside itself! People staring, pointing, and whispering is part of the norm here and it's something that I've just grown used to. If I'm lost or need help with anything, I can walk up to a stranger and speak a language I've only been learning for just over a year, whereas in the UK if I was lost, I'd be dependent on Google Maps the whole time. 

So those are a few things I've learnt and come to realise since living in China since 2018. Time flies so quick, and in September, it'll be 2 years since I've been here (which is still crazy to me!)

I hope this post was interesting, and if you've ever lived abroad please tell me your experiences below!

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Simple & Easy Kimbap | Recipe

How long has it been since I made a recipe post on the blog? The last recipe I published was my stir fried tofu and broccoli, which was in January of last year!

During my time off social media, I decided to follow a sudden craving, and create my version of kimbap! I'm not claiming this to be traditional or authentic to the Korean staple, but I can vouch that this was absolutely delicious. Using a combination of fresh and cooked veg was a good shout, and it's such a versatile dish to suit to your own needs, which is one of the best things about Asian cooking!

If you like meat, you can add meat. If you're vegan, just take out the eggs, or add your favourite veggies. I loved this recipe because it was so fresh and didn't take up any time at all!

2 1/2 cups rice
4 sheets of seaweed (gim/nori)
2 eggs
1 medium carrot
1/2 cucumber
Optional; sesame seeds and sesame oil

1. So the first thing to do is cook your rice. Please rinse the rice thoroughly about 3 or 4 times to remove the starch and ensure the final product is sticky enough to hold all the ingredients together. This is the first place my kimbap isn't traditional at all; I only had medium grain white rice on hand, and was not feeling the trek across campus to buy short grain, but luckily it turned out just fine! When you rinse the rice thoroughly, add enough water to cover it and cook it until all the water has dried up. When the water has dried up, switch off the heat and leave it to steam in the pot until all the other ingredients are prepped.

2. As the rice is cooking, fry the eggs. Whisk them in a bowl with some salt to taste and fry them in a thin layer a bit at a time. When the bottom is cooked, roll one side to the other using a spatula or chopsticks and add a bit more mixture and cook in the same fashion; rolling the cooked egg from one side to the opposite side and allowing the mixture to flow to the underside so it adheres. Repeat until all the mixture has been used up and the end result is egg. We're going for a tamagoyaki style that we'll cut into strips that are the same length as the nori sheet.

3. For the cucumber, you can either peel it or keep the skin on (I kept mine on!), but just make sure to cut them into thin strips that fit the same length as the nori sheet. Also be sure to scoop out the seeds so the kimbap isn't wet or moist!

4. Prepare the carrot by peeling and slicing into thin matchsticks. When they're cut, fry them in a bit of oil, and add some salt to taste. Don't fry them so they're soft and limp - they should be soft but still have a crunch to them. This should take 1 to 2 minutes.

5. Place the cooked rice into a bowl and season with some salt to taste. This will also help cool it down slightly before we begin rolling. Also optional is adding sesame seeds and sesame oil at this step. When this is done, you're ready to start rolling!

6. If you have a bamboo mat, it can make rolling the kimbap 10x easier, but if you don't have one on hand don't sweat it! Place a sheet of nori (shiny side down) on the bamboo mat and spread some rice in a thin layer on the bottom 2/3 of the sheet.

7. Add your ingredients in an even layer; 2 leaves of lettuce, a strip of egg, some carrot, and a strip of cucumber. Roll the seaweed by using the bamboo mat (if you don't have one, it's fine!), but make sure to roll the seaweed tightly and firmly. Once it has been rolled up, set it aside and repeat steps 6 and 7 for the other ingredients. 

8. Once all the ingredients have been used up, it's time to cut the kimbap. Optionally, you can spread some sesame oil on the kimbap, but I didn't have any on hand so I skipped this step. Wet the sharpest knife you have either in sesame oil or water, and cut the kimbap in even, bitesize pieces, and you're done!

You can serve the kimbap as it is. Traditionally, it is eaten on picnics, but I had mine with some ramen and enjoyed it all the same. Dipping in mayo or soy sauce is another tasty option I'd totally recommend!

Other alternatives I want to try out are: bulgogi kimbap, and tuna kimbap! It's so versatile and you can add any ingredients you have on hand. 

It's best eaten on the day you prepared it, but it can also be stored at room temperature and eaten the next day!

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5 Must-Watch Medical TV Shows

Surprisingly, when you ask a medical student what their favourite medical TV show is, many will say they don't even watch any! A lot of my friends don't have that one medical show that they're attached to, but I happen to enjoy this genre thoroughly! When asked why, a lot of medial students say they're just not realistic or interesting. I totally agree about the unrealistic-ness of it all, but I do find them entertaining to watch, so I'll keep doing so!

Some aspects of medical shows I enjoy are how they tackle issues like insurance, end of life decisions, and the bureaucracy.

I have here a few of my favourite medial TV shows that I want to share with you all, and if you've watched any I haven't listed, do leave them down below!

This is definitely the OG of all medical shows, and the most loved and popular! It's been running since 2005 and we're 16 seasons in and still waiting for more! I love this show because it's thoroughly entertaining - there is intense drama straight from season 1 - and the hundreds of characters all get to have moments where their back stories are explored. I found that there were moments where the drama outweighed the actual medicine and especially from season 14 onward, it seemed heavily focused on the romance aspect.

There were some very cool cases and surgeries I found interesting, like the woman who grew numerous mini spleens following a surgery, the face transplant on the woman with amnesia, the man and woman connected by a pole going through the both of them following an accident, and the woman with toxic blood that made most people lose consciousness.

I honestly feel like this show is 70% drama and 30% showing actual surgeries. I don't recall any specific surgeries or cases that pop out to me, but I can tell you all about my favourite couple and all the crazy things that happen to the characters. I'd recommend this show if you're into the drama of it all but not necessarily if you're looking for medical inspiration.

Once you get past the cringe of the name, it's a great K-drama! The thing about Korean dramas is that they are all focused and principally centered on romance, and the main genre it claims to be is sprinkled around in scenes here and there. Medical dramas are (mostly) set in a hospital and surprisingly has quite a lot of medical content, but it's definitely a romantic drama at the end of the day.

Dr Romantic season 1 is centered around two doctors who work in a big hospital in the city, and after an almost fatal accident and a touch of medical bureaucracy, both end up working in a small countryside hospital. It highlights medical bureaucracy so well, and puts into perspective that medicine and the medical field is still a business that some benefit from, while others suffer at their hand. It follows their journeys as they grow as doctors, while also highlighting other medical professionals like nurses and doctors who aren't surgeons (which I don't think is really done in Western shows!). I have yet to finish season 2, but it follows a similar plot!

This was a hugely popular show when it came out, and I hopped onto the trend and finished the first season in 2 days. When season 2 came out, I just didn't have that same fire anymore, but did manage to get through it eventually. It puts a different twist on all medical shows in that the main character is autistic and training to be a surgeon. There are a lot of cool cases in this one; the very first episode has a tracheotomy (which I still find fascinating whenever I see this in a show), a tumor growing in a fetus that has to be surgically removed, and a man with a 200 pound tumour growing around his body.

I think it balances drama with medicine pretty well, but honestly the characters are a bit forgetful!

This is another Korean drama that actually has quite a lot of medicine in it! It follows a boy and his doctor dad who were tricked into going to North Korea and they ended up being denied to go back to South Korea. He trains as a doctor in North Korea, falls in love, and tries to escape with his girlfriend but they end up separated. When he reaches the South, he starts work as a doctor and tries to find out what happened to his girlfriend. There are a lot of cool surgeries and cases in this one, which I enjoyed.

The drama-to-medicine ratio is surprisingly very good so I'd definitely recommend this to any K-drama fan or medical TV show fan!

What are your favourite medical dramas?

Tell me below!

What Deleting Social Media Taught Me

The trend of deleting social medial is all the rage online. People claiming all sorts of benefits and advantages to either deleting all their distracting apps or just not using their phone at all, and encouraging others to do the same thing too. When deciding to delete social media, I didn't fall into the hype because of what I read online, but rather because my final exams were coming up and I wanted to focus. Just as simple as that!

So sometime in mid-June, I deleted the 3 most distracting apps from my phone; Instagram, Twitter, and 小红书 (a Chinese app similar to Pinterest/Instagram) and gave myself 3 weeks to go without, and this is what I learnt!

Usually, I get to the end of my day and wonder where all my time went. How is it already 8pm? When did it get so dark outside? When you think about it, you may only spend your time scrolling through your apps in 10 minute increments, but those 10 minutes add up fast during the day. They eat up your time and before you know it, you've reached the end of the day with nothing to show for it. I found that whenever I was bored, I'd switch through those 3 apps just for something to do and those 10 minutes would become hours very soon, and it would be a scramble to get something done that should have been done ages ago.

I found that by deleting social media, I was less rushed and could take my time in doing what I wanted to. The first couple of days were honestly painfully long, but on day 3, I woke up and got into the swing of my new routine.

When I study, I set a timer on my phone and put it somewhere I can't reach. To do this, I use the app Forest because if you exit out of the app, the tree you select to grow will die. Sadly, an update to the app now means you can exit out of the app, use your phone as normal with the timer still running in the back and your tree won't die! So, I found that when a lecture was on the boring or difficult side, I was able to "give myself a small break" and scroll through Twitter or update my Instagram story, which meant I was ultimately getting nothing done.

Not having these apps anymore meant that even if something was hard or not that interesting, I literally had to force myself into continuing. Again, the first few days were hard but after giving it some time, I was able to adjust. If I found my mind drifting off, I'd have a stretch and motivate myself to keep going with a snack (or several!)

If you follow me on Instagram, you know I love to update my stories with basically everything I'm doing, cooking, eating, where I'm going etc. Part of it is because I live in China and want to share my experiences online, but another part is because I just love taking photos and find satisfaction in people commenting on the photos and whatnot.

This gets exhausting - every blogger and their mum has spoken about how stressful and tiring it can be to keep up with both your everyday life and your online life on top of that, and I get those feelings very often. Getting rid of Instagram was a relief because I didn't need to share what I ate or did that day. I didn't think "How many people have viewed my story today?" or "What time is it, I need to post something", or anything along those lines. I could just do anything and leave it at that!

Having re-downloaded my Instagram has made me realise that I genuinely enjoy capturing everything, but it still shouldn't be at my expense.

One of the things about social media that draws me in and keeps me hooked is how I like feeling like I'm on top of the news and trends and whatnot. Twitter can find out the breaking story or latest meme before anything else, and finding out about something as soon as it drops is a weird enjoyment of mine. But when I got rid of Twitter and got out of that bubble, I was left with the realisation that it really doesn't matter!

In fact, going back on Twitter has put it in even greater perspective, as I see that getting most of my information from social media (and ultimately from other people, strangers, and their opinions) is really a disservice to myself. Sometimes it's fine to just not know anything, and after the events of May/June, it's important to log off for a while.

As well as all of this, I found myself way more productive and happier overall! Removing the pressure of just your presence simply being online was amazing, and I would definitely delete my social media again or even make a habit out of doing it regularly! Being left alone with just my thoughts and no one else's opinions let me know myself more and I enjoyed that too.

Have you ever deleted social media? What did you learn?

Finishing The First Year of Med School! | Med Diaries 002

Well, what a fail Med Diaries turned out to be, eh? I had initially planned to have these written and uploaded once a month but here we are 3 months after the first post went up, and this is only the second one I'm writing! It was a busy time during May, June, and the beginning of July - finishing the semester and studying for finals, then being told we have to have an extra month of lessons after finals. As I'm writing this now, we have one more week left before summer ~truly~ starts, but all that to say; I'm now officially done with my first year of medical school!

I never thought those words would come true, because some time after June, time started dragging and every day just molded into one another, the routine became monotonous and the studying seemed never-ending. But I'm done now and it feels like a dream!

During the final semester, I was taking regional anatomy, biochemistry, physiology, Chinese language (Mandarin), and sports, and all of them were online, yes even sports! Our next semester is looking to be partly online and partly regularly, but we'll see how it goes what with the whole Covid situation.

So for the next semester, we've got Pathology, Microbiology, Immunology, Pathophysiology, and Chinese History and Culture. I think it's gonna be another tough semester just like the others before it, but hopefully I'll be able to just push through and get to the other side!

Highs of the previous semester were realising that I could definitely motivate myself to do the whole online school thing, and also having free time to both cook and study during exam season (which is practically unheard of for a medical student!). Some lows, however, were the monotony of the semester and also not being able to have lab! The labs for all subjects have pushed to the next semester, which means it's gonna be even busier than what it would have been.

So, this was just a quick little update to say where I've been and what I've been up to!

Please look forward to the next one! :)