Category Archives: Ruby

Ruby Liu’s posts

Bullet Journaling – Staying Organized Beautifully!

Anyone who knows me knows I love organization. I get excited about buying planners and stationary (I am indeed a nerd).  I know that other people do not find the same joy in planning. Warning: if you are that person, this article will be painfully boring for you.

Currently, I’m using four planners/calendars: Google calendar, a planner for recruiting, a planner for schoolwork, and a planner for my extracurricular activities.

Recently, I was introduced to something called bullet journaling.  It is “a customizable and forgiving organization system. It can be your to-do list, sketchbook, notebook, and diary, but most likely, it will be all of the above.” I found this concept intriguing because I already keep a journal and a planner but not a combination of the two. I decided to try it out. Here are some examples of bullet journaling:

Image result for bullet journal


  1. Bullet journaling is extremely time consuming. It is a sketchbook, planner, and journal all rolled into one…. which means it takes 3 x as much time as a regular planner if you want to make it pretty like the ones I found above. However, if you already do all of these three things separately, it may actually be a time saver because everything is in the same place.
  2. It is extremely helpful for habit tracking and goal-setting. I now have small and large goals set for myself in a week, month, and year that are carefully organized (they existed before, but  were kind of taped on sticky notes in various locations).
  3. Bullet Journaling is good for the individual that…
    • Has a prolific amount of to-do lists floating around
    • Like goal-setting and habit tracking
    • Enjoys handwriting things

I know that as the semester gets busier, I may not be able to keep up a bullet journal and may revert back to my prior planner/Google Calendar system. For now, it is a welcome form of goal setting and planning.  If you’re interested, here’s a helpful article from Buzzfeed to get you started.


Like most good college students, I want good grades. A wise man once said, “pain is temporary, GPA is forever”.

This semester, I’m struggling. My grades aren’t bad but they aren’t where they’ve been in the past. I’m taking on more challenging classes, more hours, and more nonacademic responsibilities (Is this what being an adult feels like?). I’m used to being a 4.0 student, and this semester, I will no longer have this beautiful, perfect GPA unless some miracle happens(thanks, MPA). I am not meeting my own high expectations.

I spent the first half of this semester living in fear of these grades and numbers ruining my life (My internal thoughts: Oh no! No one will ever hire me because I didn’t make all A’s.  What if I ACTUALLY “fail” and get kicked out of iMPA? Then no one will hire me. I’ll have to live in my parents’ basement ).

All of this fear mongering, courtesy of my own brain, made me  forget why I was taking these classes in the first place. To learn.

My dad is a professor, and he’s always harped that the reason why we get an education is to… well, be educated. The reason I’m taking all these classes isn’t so I accumulate a number that defines who I am. The reason I’m taking these classes is so that I learn valuable skills that I can apply in the future. I need to remember that I actually enjoy this stuff.

Ever since this epiphany, I have been trying to ignore the grade and focus more on learning and retaining the knowledge I’m receiving. I’m going to need it. So far, it has made my experience much more enjoyable and much less stressful. Hopefully, the good grades will just follow. If not, that’s okay. I will die happy knowing that I learned the necessary skills I need to succeed in the future.

A wise woman (me) once said, “GPA is temporary, learning is forever”.

Networking for Introverts

My personality type, according to Myers-Briggs, is INTJ. This means that I’m introverted. When I tell people that I just meet that I’m an introvert, they usually don’t believe me. I’m pretty friendly when you first meet me, I love public speaking. That’s the common misconception about introverts– that we’re all a pack of antisocial outcasts that can’t hold a conversation. That couldn’t be further from the truth.

Introvert.jpg (640×427)

I actually love people; it’s just that when I interact with large droves of them, it drains me. Because of this, networking for many introverts is a nightmare. However, as a business student, networking is vital for finding a job and then excelling at it.

I’ve learned that networking doesn’t have to be draining. Here’s a couple of tips of how I do it:

  1. Don’t try to talk to everyone at once.
    Seriously, you don’t have to talk to everyone at the event.  Instead, choose a couple of people that you can relate to and concentrate all of your energy on them. This is great because you make a more memorable connection with someone AND you don’t get drained by attempting to talk to EVERYONE at once.
  2. People at networking events want to meet you.
    A lot of my introverted friends are too terrified of talking to anyone at the event because they don’t know what they’re going to say. Don’t be scared. Most people want to talk to you. They want to tell you about their jobs. They want to meet you. Just ask them a question about themselves or the company and the conversation will eventually flow naturally.

Remember, you don’t have to be an extrovert to be good at networking. If you’ve been avoiding networking events because your introvert– stop. You can do it!

The Coffee Experience

Saying that I love coffee would be a gross understatement. I LOVE, ADORE, RELISH coffee. Even a small whiff of the complex, bitter, (sometimes) nutty/smoky, and (always) delicious smell never fails to coax my lips into a smile. Coffee, for many college students, is a necessity. It keeps us perky throughout the busy day and can get us through any long night. Additionally, there are actually many health benefits associated with the magical brew like a lower risk of diabetes and liver cancer.

For me, coffee is more than just an energy drink or a health benefit. It’s an experience. I love coffee shops, which double as both vehicles of this experience and good study spots. Here’s a list of 5 of the best coffee shops in Austin (in my opinion):

1. Cafe Medici:
If you’re looking for something close and haven’t checked out Cafe Medici, you need to. Now. Located on Guadeloupe,  it has a great dark roast and Chai Latte. Upstairs, there are really cute tables and couches great for reading or studying.
Cafe Medici

2.  Epoch:
Located on N Loop Blvd, Epoch is a great casual space vending espresso drinks, sweets & pizza from East Side Pies in open, casual space
Epoch Coffee

3. Mozart’s:
Mozart’s is probably everyone’s favorite coffee shop in Austin. Located on Lake Austin Blvd, it has a stunning view and a stunning menu.
Mozart's Coffee

4. Cuvee:
If you love a good cold brew, Cuvee is for you. If you can’t be separated from your laptop… maybe not. The coffee shop/bar has a no wifi policy which I think is a great way to have a meaningful, unplugged conversation with a friend. Plus, look at it. It’s so cute.  Check it out if you’re ever on  E 6th St.
5. Summer Moon:My friend recently told me about Summer Moon, which is about a 20 minute drive from campus. Summer moon is a great study spot with tons of desks and outlets for your laptop. The coffee has a distinct smokey flavor because it’s cooked using brick, wood, and fire. Located on South 1st street, it’s worth the drive.
Summer Moon








If you’re a coffee lover like me, hopefully you can get around to checking these places out. We can LOVE, ADORE, and RELISH the drink together.

I’m Busy

“I’m sorry, I can’t go to _______ with you. I’m busy.” 

I’ve been guilty of saying this a lot lately. My friends in the iMPA program are more or less the same. This past week, Kanye West came to town, but I couldn’t go see Yeezus in the flesh on his Pablo tour. I was too busy doing my large laundry list of responsibilities:

  1. I am taking 17 hours of challenging coursework.
    • I am trying to do the iMPA program in 4 years instead of 5.
    • This has resulted in 4 exams and a project over the span of 10 days.
  2. I work customer service at the Perry Castaneda Library (PCL).
  3. I run a nonprofit that promotes healthy lifestyle choices (shameless plug: come check us out at
  4. I run the club Food Equality Movement Financial Group on campus to raise funds for my nonprofit.
  5. I write for this blog (yay!)
  6. I have interviews and decisions about internships to make.

I know that our advisers and older students in the iMPA program warned about how much work the classes will be, but I didn’t really believe it until recently. The classes have an insane workload, and with my other responsibilities, I’ve been…. well, busy.

My friends not in the program or that aren’t as involved as me often ask me:

“Why are you taking on so many things? Do you like pain?”

My honest answer is yes.

I like having so many things to do. Although I might be stressed sometimes because of all my responsibilities (or all the exams that seem to happen at the same time), I love the feeling of being busy. I love the feeling of waking up and knowing that all of my time will be spent on things that I am passionate about.

My accounting classes may be challenging, but I like them. Educating people about healthy lifestyle choices to prevent early Diabetes through my nonprofit may be an uphill battle, but it is one of my passions and extremely gratifying (I was overweight as a child). Writing/blogging is one of my favorite things to do. My interviews/internship decisions will help me further my career. Helping people at my job at the PCL helps me develop my ability to interact with multiple personalities, and I LOVE books. There isn’t a single thing on my list of responsibilities that I regret.

Even though I can’t see a lot of really cool artists perform, it’s okay. I don’t really mind that much. I would actually much rather commit myself to my commitments. It’s not that I don’t love concerts and fun, it’s just that I love my responsibilities more.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m  busy.