All posts by

Phyllis Feng

International

Why Japan is Obsessed with Blood Types

While Westerners nonchalantly identify themselves by their zodiac sign, those in Japan prefer to go by their blood types. Although seemingly odd and personal, broadcasting your blood type in job interviews, conversations and social media profiles is a common practice in Japan. Blood types are seen as an indicator of one’s character and values, and over the years, this theory has become more and more pervasive in Japanese culture. This concept began in the early

Real Life

Why I Don’t Want Anything for Christmas This Year

With the food-filled daze of Thanksgiving finally clearing away and the first snowfalls of winter, people are embarking on the Christmas season this year with fervor. This is one of the most exciting — if stressful — parts of the year, with visions of carols, evergreens, twinkle lights, and presents. Malls are teeming with friends and family shopping for their loved ones, and Amazon will be swamped for the next few weeks. My circle of

Real Life

Dear Teachers, Stop Trying to Make Me An Extrovert

Throughout my elementary and middle school years, the scrutiny on my shyness hung over my head like a storm anvil. My report cards were flawless but for that one comment that told me to ‘speak up,’ and my parents heard the same suggestion at every conference that it became a mantra we’d laugh about at the dinner table. In my mind, they were whispers that trailed behind me like accusing shadows. I’d always hoped that

Mental Health

6 Signs That Your Therapist Isn’t Right for You

When I first entered therapy, I envisioned the person and outcome: an intuitive, highly keen individual who would analyze my problems and then — boom — ‘cure’ me by the end of the school year. Unfortunately, I realized that my plan was not plausible. Contrary to popular belief, therapy is often times a long, arduous journey — not just with healing yourself, but with actually finding the right therapist that will accommodate your needs. At the end of

Real Life

Complex Versus Minimalist Writing: Which One is Better?

Remember those ostentatious sonnets your English teachers forced you to annotate down to the barest detail? Or those convoluted narratives that made your head ache? Emily Dickinson, Shakespeare, and Charles Dickens were all champions of the written word, and no one can dispute that. Their writing is what can be defined as complex. You usually have to re-read it over and over to grasp the allegory’s meaning, and even then there is still so much room for

Mental Health

The Importance of Highly Sensitive People in Society

Ever since the dawn of my existence, the world always seemed too much for me — too big, too noisy, too everything. Sad books and movies wouldn’t just render me in tears for days, they would debilitate me for weeks. It was harder to concentrate if the light bulb was burning a bit too brightly, if the room was a touch too hot or cold or if anything in my environment was slightly awry. I

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