Notes for spring 2013

– Come fall I will partially move out and have flatmates and stuff like that, which merely means that I won’t afford maintaining my current lifestyle. Sucks big time! So I ought to either choose between saving money for prospective travels or spending them on beautiful clothes. And since I have a pretty expensive taste, beautiful clothes always come with a hefty price tag that would instantly trigger heart attacks in my parents. Fortunately, I’ve spent years building a wardrobe that works most of the time and I can be stylish and well-dressed for a few more years without any additional “frivolous investments”/shopping besides items that are much needed. Of course traveling trumps shopping any time as I find it a lot more fulfilling! Traveling also makes me a better and happier person, whereas buying beautiful clothes occasionally yields temporary materialistic happiness.

– I’ve been talking a lot about applying to medical school or becoming a nutrition researcher or even a pharmacist or biochemist so that I can develop drugs and acne treatments. After years of deliberation and wavering between so many different career options in the same field, I finally know what I want to do and study.

– I’m truly excited about going to university as of fall for pre-medical courses like cell biology, biochemistry and more chemistry and mathematics. Turns out my hatred for studying science isn’t hatred at all but quite the opposite. I was certainly an ignorant teenager, and naively thought I could write my way through life like nobody’s business. Be that as it may, I think it’s somewhat spectacular that someone who practically failed maths in middle and high school now wants and is eligible to study university-level mathematics. My high school math teacher told me to give up my dreams of having a career within medicine because I couldn’t do my math… well, he can suck on that now. Truth be told, he should never have become a teacher in the first place.

– Believe it or not, I have started to… wait for it.. work out – at least I’m TRYING – as I simply cannot afford a whole new wardrobe. If money wasn’t a problem, I would probably and seriously not care and keep on devouring unhealthy nosh… Turns out I have to do what other mortals normally do, which is to engage in physical activity. My sedentary lifestyle has taught me that my no-longer-existent completely out-of-this-world teenage metabolism is gone forever. And I thought I could get away with my self-imposed diet…. That’s a heads-up for you know who you are!

– Someone please help me understand why and how people can party hard, socialize and celebrate straight after their last exams. I need at least a week long post-exam rehab that consists of being in bed while eating junk and catching up on cable television. Or maybe it’s just me?

– I and two other ladies are working on a new blog project which I cannot wait to show you all. It’s something unexpected, I don’t think any of you could guess what it’s even going to be about. Well, hopefully not!

69 thoughts on “Notes for spring 2013

  1. If your wardrobe was far from perfection (just think back to teenage years or something), would you still prefer to save money for travel over wardrobe?

    • Good question! I think I would compromise and travel to more affordable destinations, which – for me – would be anywhere in Europe. Now I want to save my money for bigger trips to America and Asia.

      Anyway, if I were to have a wardrobe that didn’t work, then I would have to buy clothes because that would be a physiological need just like food. I know, I could just buy cheap and ugly clothes and be totally careless, but I care about how I look and I would pay a little more for something I’d wear to death. The same applies to eating good food. I couldn’t just eat ramen noodles and porridge every day, that would make me completely miserable.

      These days I feel like I’ve covered everything I need in terms of clothes. The clothes I might buy this year are probably just things I covet and not necessarily something I need. On a different note, as a teenager, I made around $150 (or less) a month and I would save at least $100 of it for beautiful clothes and travels, and yet I managed to travel a lot AND invest in items that I still wear and love today. That said, I bought maybe 5 or 6 items a year. I guess it’s just a matter of how you spend your money. And I also think it’s a good thing for me to limit my budget so that if I have to buy clothes, I would spend the money wisely. Sorry for not answering your question properly. It’s a tricky one as I would be in a completely different situation. Of course I would prefer to travel, I’ve always preferred experience vs objects.

      • I’m in that exact situation right now and I was thinking of just skimping a little on travel (not too far places) and build a decent wardrobe. Thanks for your input! :)

          • I saw in the other comment that you were going to SF… :P Let me know if you want to meet up! I live around there and we could discuss about nutrition/med school stuff (I majored in Nutrition Science). :)

          • I live in San Jose, which is an hour from SF, but I usually take the train to SF. :) You have my email, so let me know!

          • Could you do a post of what’s in your closet? :D Your last one was 2 years ago…

    • I just felt like updating a bit even though I barely have time to do laundry or get some fresh air these days.. haha. Yes, SF and NorCal in the beginning of August for 10 days! Can’t wait to start “planning” the trip and look for a flat etc. I have no idea what to do in SF so far (apart from eating hehe!).

  2. I’m so excited that you’re pursuing medicine (and doing science along the way). I feel like the main advice I would give high schoolers would be that getting poor grades in a subject very rarely cuts you off from pursuing the career you thought you needed that subject for (and I would tell high school teachers to tell students that). There’s almost always a way, even if it means taking a detour for a couple of years. As for your high school maths teacher – what a jackass. But there are a lot of people like that in the world. Best story ever: my Honours supervisor (I did my Honours project in cellular neuroscience) told me I wasn’t suited to science and I should consider a different career. Five years later, I’m about to receive my PhD in neuroscience, I have a job doing research in one of the world’s top cognitive neuroscience research units, and my Honours supervisor quit science and is now a member of a cult, following a guy who thinks he’s Jesus and living on a peanut farm.

    • This is just amazing – I got told by my high school careers advisor that I should set my sights a little lower when choosing universities (in the UK) – when I got offered a scholarship to Harvard a few years later I did consider sending her a letter to let her know how that advice worked out…

    • I remember reading this somewhere on your blog and it’s absolutely amazing!! Well, maybe discouragement on the road isn’t that bad at times if that’s what it takes to get us to the final destination, no? I know that many people didn’t believe that I could handle science (including myself a few years back), let alone acing science, so I’ve had a good time proving myself and others that they’ve been off-base.

      I’ve been taking this detour for one and a half year now and I’m very grateful that it’s even an option.

      And haha, your Honours supervisor can suck it. You rock!

      • Haha great story Jess! I wonder what impact that kind of teacher’s comment has on children/student’s life choices further down the line. Is it possible that maybe, just because you’re told you’re not “made for it”, you just give up something you wanted to do? (now I’m thinking of what I was told at school…)

  3. So excited to hear more about your new project! I definitely hear you about needing that restorative week post finals, some of my friends are already planning parties and all I crave is the comfort of my bed haha! We definitely have to meet up so I can show you around when you visit SF – There is a SF city guide on my blog if you wish to check it out.

  4. I know what you mean about post-exam partying. I thought I could do it all this year, hand in my final papers, move apartments the next day, and start working two days later. Turns out I had to take some time off for complete exhaustion and stress headaches. Junk food in bed is the way to go, and I should stick with that from now on, haha!

    Congratulations on starting pre-med! It’s really unfortunate your teacher had such an attitude towards your aspirations, giving up on his students isn’t a very good teaching tactic. My mom taught high school math for 35 years, and she was telling me that students that barely pass often fall in two categories: those who don’t understand a thing, and those who understand extremely quickly but don’t care or don’t want to practice (to her dismay, I fall in that last category, and based on your recent success, I bet you used to as well).

    Also, I’m looking forward to seeing your new blog project. It’s going to be about, erm, camping, or video games, right?

    • Right?!! My body (and mind) is completely destroyed after weeks of cramming, studying and not to talk about how nervous I get.. I tend to wake up in the middle of the night every night before an exam because of heart palpitations and stress. I probably burn more calories from all that shaking than ever. Last year my very last exam was right before Christmas and I didn’t get to rest for a minute and straight after Christmas I traveled for 10 days and then I was back at school. Never again!

      As for maths… It’s very reassuring to hear that. I never really did any math in middle or high school because I didn’t understand formulas and things right away I thought I was stupid, so I gave up immediately. I don’t think I had teachers that were willing to help me get the basics (which I was lacking). And also I hate to say this but I took school for granted as a kid because I used to be the best in class and thought I could get away with not studying, so I never did any homework (except for the obligatory assignments) until… yeah, two years ago? And thank you, Camille! :)

  5. Congrats Fleurette! That’s terrific! Stories like yours always make me wonder if I could have gone the scientific route if I truly wanted to. Being paid to do Photoshop and internet-things is pretty awesome, but those oil-and-gas girls bring home some pretty mean pay checks!

    Also, working out isn’t so bad once you get used to it. I didn’t work out at all until I was about 21-22, but sine then I have been going to the gym like nobody’s business. Those endorphines, eventually they get to you!

    • Thank you very much, Maja! Haha, I know what you mean. Before I took this detour, I debated between either going into graphic design/art direction or pursuing a career within medicine (I like both directions…). Somehow the latter seemed more realistic and safer in terms of employment opportunities.

      • Interesting, I’m in a similar situation. I’m studying art at UC Santa Cruz, but last year I started taking pre-med science classes to go for medical school and have more stable job opportunities. If you are on the west coast, I live back and forth in Oakland and Santa Cruz and would love to meet you!

        • Awesome! I think I’ll be staying in Oakland for a few days (since I have relatives there) and go to Santa Cruz for a day (depends if my friend and I get to rent a car) too!!

  6. Congrats on making a decision and starting pre-med! I think maths becomes easier the more you do it and it really is practice makes perfect.

    I don’t understand why people drink and party hard after exams, I too just vegetate for a week and eat junk food (in addition to all the stress eating I did leading up to the exams).

    Same here, I started exercising for the first time last year after two bouts of pneumonia and I must say it does improve health. I’ve avoided getting for sick for many months now, touch wood. :D I use one of those Couch to 5k apps, since I like hard figures on how far I ran etc. And Blogilates is good to as so you can do it at home.

    • Thank you! And thanks for the tips, I’ll check out those apps. I don’t know how to exercise properly since I skipped PE class in high school and I’ve never been to a fitness center before… I only exercise wherever no one can see me, LOL.

  7. Hey you’re back, such a pleasure to see a post from you.
    I had the same teacher, and give up for Law (which is not bad) but I would love to have your courage.
    It’s interesting to see a different way from mine. I always put traveling in first, spent all the money I save during University to go in Univeristy in Phoenix and in a 1 month roadtrip. I can’t stand the idea to live in France forever and not experience in others places, right now I’m leaving in Toronto, Canada. But now, maybe because I’m living outside my country which is like traveling every day, I’m starting to invest in my wardrobe, I bought my first A.P.C clothes this year (and I’m 25).
    The more important is to find a balance.
    And concerning food, I could agree more. I just came back from 2 greasy weeks in France, last year was easy to loose some kgs in 1 week, now I need 1 week per kg.

  8. Congratulations. I think you can do anything if you just work hard and with passion. You will go your way. I would love to do something in pharmacy as my grandma always wanted to learn this but because of war she had to stay home to help your mum. But I started business and economics and I’m quite happy with my choice because I have so many options. But nevertheless biology interests me so much.
    When I finished school my friends also partied in Spain and I stayed at home and later travelled with my boyfriend for calm beach holidays. I can totally understand you. I think the party and action thing is some kind of force of society, so everyone parties.
    Good luck with work out. I’m unable to do it regulary :D

  9. Maths and sciences just get better (funnier and more interesting) as you go on. You just need to get through the boring bits… You could say it’s like languages, you gotta swallow some grammar before enjoying conversations, films and stuff.

    Great things ahead Fleurette! All the best

  10. Just wanted to leave a little story : i was bottom of the class in philosophy for my three prep years, and a bit depressed as people so often assume it’s related to intelligence or something…. I got so many condescending comments, and then litterally one month before the exam, i decided i would crack the code, and by not being intimidated i somehow magically ‘got it’. I’m still not quite sure how, but i ended up with one of the 5 best marks out of 1500 people doing the selection. I don’t resent my teacher though, with 50 people in his class he just couldn’t pay the same amount of attention to everyone. But let that be an encouragement for people who think they are ‘not made’ for something : the psychological factor is what really makes you good or bad at something. Don’t ever be afraid !!

  11. Your first note. I am in the exact same battle atm.
    Want to explore asia and have to save up my pennies
    I love how careful you are in consuming stuff

    That must have been the worst uninspiring teacher in the world.

    Can’t wait to hear about your blog project
    your posts are always such a joy!

  12. Congratulations for getting into pre-med! It is a new life starting ahead, how exciting.

    Working out is a weird thing really, for years I didn’t do any sport at all, and then I started running and going to the gym, and suddenly I started loving it! Now I miss it whenever I can’t practice for a while. The only hard thing is to start keeping a regular habit really, but after a short while it becomes quite addictive. If you don’t want to change sizes, be careful with muscular activities though, when I started doing body pump I actually gained weight, and had to eat more protein to get back to my regular size (I too don’t want to change all my wardrobe!)

  13. I hate exam week! I always lose five pounds and need at least a week to recover. I pledge every time that next time I’ll start studying earlier… Maybe this time?
    A year ago I was super ambitious and competitive, but I’ve decided there are more important things in life. I can’t live a life thinking “just one and a half more years” every day that I sit at my desk. Life happens now, who knows what will be in a couple of years. “Life is what happens when you’re busying making other plans”
    I personally don’t party at all. I love a good drink, a nice bar, good music and socializing, but I can’t do the hard drinking, staying up until 5am clubbing any more. That said, never say never. But I feel so much better with only little alcohol, cigarettes etc in my life!

    • Oh and I started working out, too! I do dance aerobics (Tracy Anderson) and I look absolutely embarrassing when I do it in my living room. But it’s fun and you don’t even realize how hard you work, because you concentrate so much on the rhythm and choreography!

      I have a question: How do you handle the bad weather in the winter? I live quite bit further Souther, but it’s still super super cold in the winter and it makes me want to emigrate every time.

    • You’re right, but I believe it’s possible to compromise and both have a life and be content with your education. It really helps to have a few weeks or months off between the semesters.

      Regarding the bad weather, I don’t know. Winter is the time when I do best in school because I just do not want to leave the house and studying makes the days go by faster so that I can finally enjoy the sun when spring approaches!

      • Yes, a compromise is surely possible, but that’s exactly what I’m struggling with. I used to be super competitive and stress out about everything. I didn’t even notice that I lost all the fun and social life I once had. I’m just finding a good balance again :)

  14. Hi Fleurette,

    Long time reader of your blog, congrats on making a decision to go premed. I delay my decision until the end of my second year at university because I really didn’t know what I wanted to do.

    I was wondering whether you’d be interested in meeting up while you were in San Francisco. I grew up in the city and I’ll be around during the first half of August.

    • Thank you, Jess! Sure thing, I’d love to meet up with locals this summer. I hope I have readers in South California, Seattle and Portland too, haha! I’ve met so many lovely people through this little blog of mine.

  15. How exciting, all those amazing life changes! Email me in August when you are visiting SF, maybe we can meet up! It’s hard for me with the kiddos, but maybe my husband can babysit for a bit :)

  16. Hah! Gone were the days when I could eat anything and stay rake thin. These days, I just have to inhale and a bulge will pop out somewhere on the body. I’m with you on travel over clothes. I practically bought no designer items until I traveled (cost a fortune if you’re traveling from NZ to Europe). I think it cost me at least NZD 20K per trip and that was nearly 16 years ago.

  17. So happy to hear that you are doing well! I did those same subject in school – cell biology, biochemistry, genetics etc. Although my current job is totally far from what I studied, I am thankful for the knowledge I gained.

    You are at an exciting phase of your life right now and wishing you the very best!!:)

  18. I’m so excited for you! Congrats on finding clarity and choosing pre-med. I was one of those math failures in high school, but my story didn’t end like most of the gals here. I still suck ;)
    And I really loved the posts on Jess’ and Kali’s blog that touched on the topic of experiences versus material consumption. I trade fashion for travel any day. You’re not alone in that. Though the tug of war…well, sometimes beautiful clothing has its persuasive powers!

  19. Hello! I usually never let comments on blogs, but I have just read all your posts and I would like to thank you of sharing all your thoughts, reflexions and progress.
    I wanted to buy one item per month but after doing the list of my possessions, I have seen that I didn’t need that much except a good pair of sandals. I am thinking about Rondini, it seems to be made in France (I am French) and of good quality.
    Congrats for finding your way! Never trust someone who tells you that you cannot do it, because it is not true! You just need to trust YOU.
    I know you are recovering from your exams. But maybe you can help me to find some good quality brands for each type of clothes?
    I whish you a happy summer!

  20. Hi Fleurette!
    I have a question about the CDC wallet. First, are you still satisfied with yours?
    I’m currently deciding (trying to…) between three models!
    - This one:
    - The same in super fluo green
    - This one:
    … The first two are much cheaper obviously, the neon one is not as boring (but kind of trendy) and I’m scared they are too small (the euro has a lot of coins…)
    They obviously won’t last forever, but I want to make the right choice…
    What do you think?

    • Hi Charlotte. I’m satisfied with mine but I thinking of switching to a proper wallet from APC since my pouch tends to get very messy as there are no compartments for my cards, coins, etc.. You should go for the first one from NAP in black! Or super fluo green if you have a black bag – that way you’d spot your wallet right away!

  21. Hi :)
    I wanted to ask you if you know a brand where I could find a good 7/8 trouser? I am looking for a navy or a black one, but I want to find the perfect one. What do you think of this one?

    I never bought anything at Zapa. It would be perfect with a shirt and flats.
    I also wanted to thank you, after reading your blog (and your old one) I will make a change in my wardrobe and will keep/look for the perfect basics, I have too much clothes and it doesn’t make me feel good. It’s time for a change.
    Thanks :)

    • Hi Marie! I think that one from Zapa is really nice. I know that La Garçonne usually sells very nice 7/8 trousers. Most of them are quite pricey though. And thank you for the kind words! :)

  22. Hi,
    This summer I’m going to Barcelona and I saw on your instagram you were there too last summer.
    Do you have any tips? (except for not going to kiosko haha)

    Thank you!

  23. that’s really fun to read your experience about school, because this is exactly the same for me! all my teachers said that I will not be able to study at university and now I have passed the medecine competitive exam.
    I hope that you going to succeed in your studies!
    Best regards, Lucile

  24. When you did your trip in Paris etc last year, were you alone?
    I am spending a month in london, I’m on my own and I feel a bit alone :(

  25. The endless mental tug of war between spending money on clothes vs travel vs saving for an advanced degree forever plagues me. First world problems? Maybe. But they’re contingent in my mind. Is it more prudent to focus on doing exceedingly well at work and school or do I give in to, for lack of a less cliched term, wanderlust? Because the thought that in the future, bogged down with the burdens of everyday life, I won’t have the chance to freely travel kind of terrifies me.

    I’m excited to see what you’re up to! Just stumbled across your blog and love it. Following you on Bloglovin and all the other usual suspects x

  26. I’m possibly going to be going through the same thing in the next few months – I want to move out so I’ve started my saving but I can’t help but feel a bit anxious about money before I’ve even moved out!!!

    Hannah xx

  27. After seeing the picture you posted on Instagram with your mother, I just wanted to express my sincere condolences. Coming from a total stranger may seem strange, but I wanted to show some support. I cannot imagine how hard that must be … Loads and loads of hugs.

  28. Dear ‘Fleurette’

    We haven’t had much contact, we followed each other on formspring (miloudunord) and maybe we’re friends on goodreads, I don’t remember and it doesn’t matter anyway.
    I saw the lovely picture of you and your mother on instagram too. And it broke my heart. I am so sorry. I really, really am. I remember reading on your formspring that your mother had a terminal illness. Ever since I knew, I have wanted to say something to you, but coming from the same situation, I knew that actually there is nothing that can be said. My father can’t be cured either. So I always ended up silent.
    But now I just have to say something, even if it’s as useless as a whisper in the wind. You strike me as very brave and I have the greatest respect on how the blogpost above is a signature of strength, you’ve been looking forward regardless. Even though I’m a bit older, I can learn a great deal from you. My sincere condolences. I wish you the world. Much love and support,


  29. Another stranger here. I’ve followed your blog for over a year & you’ve completely changed how I view fashion. You’re truly inspirational & no matter how terrible life is, you will persevere. Corny, yes, but true. I am terribly sorry about your loss. <3

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