In America you’re going to have to drive, cook, study, keep in touch with your parents, work part time jobs, build your resume, gym, on top of that make time for loved ones, take care of yourself and sleep. OH….AND off course add to the list; unexpected situations which you don’t want to be in. All of this creates stress.

When you are stressed there are two things to keep in mind.

What can I control? And what can I not control?

“If there is no solution to the problem then don’t waste time worrying about it.

If there is a solution to the problem then don’t waste time worrying about it.” – The Dalai Lama

Don’t waste your time sweating over the small things. I strive to act according to this saying as much as I can everyday. I have a bad tendency to worry. I even worry over the tinest things. I like everything to be perfect. I like linear and straight. I hate zig zag and bumpy. But life is not linear & straight. Life is zig zag and bumpy AND a bunch of obstacles thrown at you 😛

Rather than focus on the things you cannot control e.g “unforeseen circumstances”. Focus on what you can control:

  1. STUDY:  I always tell myself this. No matter how much someone has hurt me, how stressed I am or how homesick I am I will NEVER EVER let that impact my grades. I just can’t. I just don’t want these stressful situations to defeat me. I’m a firm believer that if you work hard, it will pay off. Your grade is a reflection of how much time and effort you invest in your studies. If you’re stressed out go talk to your Professor, or go talk to your friends. You can control your grades. It all comes down to this: Do you want to get an F? Or do you want to rise above your situation and get an A? Looking back there were some classes I took and I let my emotions get the best out of me. There was one class I took that I just barely passed. It was embarrassing and I look back I shouldn’t have let my emotions/stress get the best of me. Getting a good grade during times of unexpected stressful circumstances made me feel powerful. That no matter what life threw at me I could handle anything. I know you can too 🙂
  2. BODY: You know what is the worst enemy of stress? The gym. On a good day or bad day I still go to the gym. This is how you beat stress and look great 😉 at the same time. Making time to go to the gym even if its 20minutes will make you feel calm and relieve stress.
  3. MIND: People put way too much emphasis on physical appearance but not emotional health. Sure, “look good, feel good” definitely is true at times but I prioritize my well being. If I am not mentally prepared or haven’t taken the time to relax I will never be able to accomplish anything.  I strongly believe that you can accomplish anything with the right mindset. That is why each weekend I take time to meditate. I joined a Japanese cultural center a few months ago that is nearby my house. Every first Sunday of the month they have meditating classes and its free! Meditation has helped me learn how to be compassionate,  mindful, aware and focus.

You don’t deserve to feel stress.

I hope this post has allowed you to feel that you are in control. Don’t ever let anything get the best of your emotions. Rise above it. I came to this country with a suitcase full of unresolved problems (family, friends, other situations I didn’t want to be in) but I never once let stress kill me emotionally. Of course, there were times where I’ve cried at home and didn’t go the gym for two weeks straight and ate like crap. But all of that doesn’t hurt the person that caused you to feel stress, it only hurts you at the end.

Please don’t do that to yourself.

You deserve to prioritize yourself.

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Hi Thuy My,
I have been an international student myself & can relate with you almost 100%. It is tough to be by yourself in the States and feel like you don’t have any direction while everything keeps fluxing. But I promise this is a one-of-a-lifetime period of your life to find out who you are, what you really care for and what values you’re willing to sacrifice yourself for. It can be tough at the moment but stay the course, always be truthful with YOURSELF and NEVER compromise. One day you’ll find yourself & realize how blessed you are. I guarantee.
So enjoy the moment, don’t take this experience for granted as one day you’ll look back and be very grateful for it.


Thank you Huy!
I really do believe everything that you say. I’m more settled now so it’s much better. I love it so far.

Your comment made my day 🙂

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