All Feature Writing Work

Life Lessons from a 30-Year-Old Undergrad

As a kid, I remember believing that I would never “get old.” Imagining myself as an adult made me laugh. I couldn’t even wrap my head around the idea that I would turn 30 someday. Yet, here I am. Thirty years old, finally finishing my undergrad degree, surrounded by a life I never imagined for myself. I suppose that’s kind of how it goes for everyone. All of a sudden, we’re older than we realize and wonder what the heck happened. But the nice thing about growing up is being able to look back at

You Belong Here. Stop Thinking Otherwise.

So what exactly are we talking about here? To start off, the official term is impostor phenomenon, but it is also known as impostorism, or impostor experience. “It’s the belief, often unconscious, that deep down, we’re really not as intelligent, capable, competent, talented as other people think we are,” Young said. “We have these feelings despite evidence of the contrary, evidence of our accomplishments and abilities.” She continued to say that self-believed impostors diminish or dismiss thei

Your Guide to Dealing With Burnout

Anyone else feeling tired? What about overwhelmed? Or maybe you’ve noticed that you can’t keep your space organized. Have you noticed if your mood changes quickly throughout the day? Yeah, me too. I’m feeling so “over it,” that the little things that cheer me up feel like too much of a chore. Another way of describing it— that Monday feeling, but all day every day. And the feeling has been cranked up to max volume. Turns out, it might be burnout. I kept hearing the word, but I didn’t know exactl

From Caged Bird to Emerging Artist

Gabby Vivar was about 11 when she first saw the Airstream Empress. Of course, that wasn’t her real name, but Vivar never actually learned her name. From afar, she only learned the Empress’ style, energy, and most importantly— her confidence. Vivar and her family had gone on a camping trip. The details of that trip escape her, but it doesn’t matter. That camping trip is when Vivar saw her for the first time. She was the campground host, and she was living in an Airstream. From that first moment,

Leaving the American Dream

As a daughter of immigrants, I was raised with the promise of the American Dream. It’s the idea that if you work hard enough, you follow the rules, and you persevere when you’re knocked down, you will eventually succeed. The thing about the American Dream, the caveat that no one mentions: it isn’t available to everyone. If you are a person of color, if you are not financially privileged, or if you are an immigrant, the system isn’t designed for you. It’s a carrot on a stick— close enough to see

Gonzalez is Going Big

In January, Maythe Alderete Gonzalez was on a retreat at Big Bear with some of her colleagues from the student club For Undocumented Empowered Leaders (FUEL). It had been snowing, so the group decided to go snow tubing. Cell phone service was spotty, driving conditions were not great, and they ended up getting lost on their way there. They had been lost for a while before they ended up on a dead-end road. “Out of all of us, none of us could figure out the maps or figure out what to do,” Adriana

Olives Gourmet Grocer meets the needs of Long Beach community changed by the coronavirus pandemic

In the last six months, Laurie Semon and Erin O’Hagan have been busy adjusting to the new normal. Their store, Olives Gourmet Grocer, has become the epitome of what is now considered an essential business, not only with what they sell at their store, but also with the sense of community they offer to their staff and guests. Throughout the 16 years that Olives Gourmet Grocer has been serving the Belmont Heights community, it has grown and adjusted to meet demand. What started as a grocery store

The Power of Community

On his way home that day, Brandon Kim had a feeling something might happen. Kim, the owner of Sura Korean BBQ, remembers the night of May 31. The night his restaurant, and so many others in Long Beach, were looted. “Everyone knew, everyone knew. You could just feel the energy in the city,” Kim said. “Everyone knew that people were coming to loot and riot. As we were driving home, we were seeing kids with batons in their hands, jumping over fences.” An hour later, he got a call from his landlord

An Evening with Anxiety

We were over 10 weeks into the local safer-at-home order on May 31, 2020. I was sitting on my red recliner when I realized this night was going to be different from the rest. My legs were stretched out in front of me. I was holding my phone with my left hand, my second glass of Malbec on my right. My husband, David, and I had been binging the show Game of Thrones in an attempt to deflect; an attempt to disconnect from reality, if only for a moment. This night, we were watching the episode when t