5 Tips for Studying Productively at the Library


Happy Wednesday! I just wanted to take a moment to let you all know that my posting schedule has changed. I will now be posting on Wednesday at 9 AM PST! Keep your eyes open for new content on Wednesday from now on!

College is all about new and fun experiences: parties, concerts, midnight food runs, and studying. Okay, maybe the last point isn’t the best part about college. But studying is a big part of being a college student! I like to make studying fun by going to different buildings on campus. Each place has a different atmosphere. Some works and some don’t work for me. My favorite place to study is the library. I love the library because it’s a quiet space for me to focus on getting my essay done. Today, I’ll be discussing my 5 tips for studying productively at the library!

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5 Secrets to Decorating a Dorm

Hello again! August is half way over which means one thing: BACK TO SCHOOL SEASON. When I was an incoming college freshman, I was most excited about decorating my dorm room. I spent that summer in awed over dorm room pictures on Pinterest.

Personally, I think it’s important to make your dorm an inviting and welcoming place for you to come home to after classes and work. The dorm acts as our sleeping, studying, eating, social, and Me time space. It can be tricky to decorate your half of an 8 ft by 10 ft room and fulfill all of those spaces. Yet, I have learned it’s possible.

This upcoming school year, I will not be living in a dorm. I actually have my own apartment off campus now. Yay! However, with two years of dorm decorating under my belt, I wanted to share 5 secrets I’ve learned to make your dorm room Pinterest-worthy.

Secrets to Dorm Decorating.jpg

Color Scheme/ Theme

The most important tip I can give about dorm decorating is to have color scheme or theme in mind. For color schemes, I recommend choosing three or less colors and buying pieces with those colors. For my dorm room, I went with a blue, yellow, and grey color scheme that I pulled from my comforter. Since my bed is the focal point of my room, I wanted my decor to compliment it. For example, I bought a yellow throw pillow and DIY a tissue paper tassle to fit my scheme. If colors are not your thing, choose a theme! When it comes to themes, envision what you want the atmosphere to look. Bohomeian? Girly? Relaxing? Bright and loud? Buy your dorm pieces that you feel represent your theme the best. Following a color scheme or theme helps bring a more cohesive look while showing off your personality.

This was my sophomore year dorm!


Set a budget

I hate to break it to you, but you can not afford everything out of the Pottery Barn magazine. It’s heartbreaking; I feel it too. Just because you’re decorating on a college student budget doesn’t mean your dorm can’t look like it’s from a magazine! The first step is to determine a budget. A budget helps you control your spending. After that, start your search for your dorm decor. My favorite stores to shop at are TjMaxx, Marshalls, Home Goods, thrift stores, and Target. These stores have adorable pieces for an affordable price!

Learn the rules

Take a break from your summer vacation and do a quick research of the dos and donts your residence hall has for decorating. I know it doesn’t sound fun, but guess what else isn’t fun? Getting a heavy fine on move out day because you weren’t suppose to use push pins on the wall! Each university has a different set of rules, so make sure you read up on it! For my school, we aren’t allowed to use make holes in the wall or hang items from the ceiling. Yet, your school may say otherwise. Make sure to do your research before moving in!

Proper Tools

Like I mentioned above, each university has their own rules about how to decorate  the dorm. Once you read up on the rules, buy the proper tools needed to transform your dorm! My school didn’t let us make holes in the walls so command strips were my best friends when living in the dorms! Command strips allowed me to hang decorative lights and other lightweight items without making a hole in the wall. The best part is at the end of the year, I just had to carefully remove it and voila! No damage, scuff, or mark left behind. There are command strips that can even hold heavy picture frames! Make sure you are getting the right command strip product for what you are planing on doing!

Super important note: make sure you read the instruction or watch the tutorials on how to properly remove the strips! Lesson learned, if you remove it improperly, it may leave a mark or even peel the paint!

A Piece of Home

Regardless of how close or far you leave home for college, bring a piece of home with you! I promise you will get homesick at least once in college. Bringing something that reminds you of home will help comfort and soothe your homesickness without having to drive or fly back home. For some people, they like to bring their childhood stuff animal or blanket. I actually brought tons of pictures and decorated my space with them. To me, pictures help take me back to a time where I was surround by my friends and family. So it was comforting to look at them on my wall when I was feeling alone at college. Don’t hesitate to bring something that reminds you of home. I promise you won’t regret it.

This was my freshman year dorm! 

I hope you enjoy the 5 secrets I learned on how to decorate a dorm room. Do you have any advice you would like to share? Would you like to see a separate post about my freshman and sophomore year dorm room? Let me know in the comments below! Thank you for reading!

-Kim 🙂

Why should you set goals?


I’m going to be honest: I still have not written my 2016 New Year Resolutions. Nor have I written my winter quarter academic goals. I haven’t even written my goals for my sophomore year of college.

By the time this post is published, I would have survived the first two weeks of 2016 without writing any goals. Could I continue my year like that? Sure, it’s possible. But I do believe that the goals I set for myself helps me become a better person.

I love looking back at the goals I have set for myself. Last year, I found the motivation to write down a long list for my resolution. It was interesting to see what I wanted to improve in myself and with the ones around me.

So if you’re like me and haven’t put into words what you want to accomplish,  here is a list of why you should set goals. It’s never too late to start writing goals.


Goal setting

Determines your strengths and weakness

In September, I posted my Academic Goals for fall quarter. My goals consisted of weakness I noticed during my freshman year that I wanted to fix this time around. It took a while for me to reflect on what worked and didn’t work for me in order to set these goals.

Goals help you determine what you can improve on. It’s a great way for you to reflect on the previous time period and see what are things you could change. Whether it’s to get good grade or be a better person, you first have to determine what your strengths and weakness are.

Motivates you

You are one step closer to achieving your dreams when you write them down, compared to when you don’t. If you see that past you had a plan for future you, you will feel more motivated to make your older self proud. It’s a great way to push yourself to accomplish your goals.

Keeps you accountable

Personally for me, I tend to keep my word more if I write it down (whether on paper or on the computer). Not only will it jog your memory when you see it, but it will also remind you that you wanted to improve yourself. It’s a great way to keep yourself accountable because you don’t want to disaapoint yourself.

Feeling of satisfaction

We all could use a pat on the back from ourselves. We never stop and think “Hey. I should be proud of myself and what I have accomplished.” By setting goals, it allows you to take the time and feel proud that you accomplished something. The feel of satisfaction is a great feeling, so why not set yourself up to succeed?


Thank you for reading! Leave a comment down below of any goals you set for yourself this year!

-Kim 🙂

2016 Blogging Goals

Hello! 2016 is finally here! I can’t believe how quickly 2015 went by. In March of 2015, I started simplybeingkim as another creative outlet and way to document my college experience. I didn’t do a great job keeping up with my “blog every week for spring quarter.” Yet, I came back at the beginning of this fall and have done a *decent* job blogging. This is the probably the longest one of my blogs have lasted. Haha.

I do believe in improving myself and my blog though. This is why I have created 5 goals I hope to maintain and keep throughout the new year!

2015 Blogging Goal (picjumbo.jpg

Be more consistent

Last spring, I made a goal of blogging every single week during spring quarter. I believe I only lasted two weeks. Haha. This year, I hope to start blogging on a more consistent schedule. As of now, I plan on uploading a post every week. I hope it will eventually increase to two posts per week.

Define my blogging style:

A big thing for bloggers is our “blogging style.” Each bloggers has a theme or organization skill they use when they blog or use their social media platforms (ex: Instagram feed). I am still learning what I like and don’t like when it comes to my style. This may explain why my posts organization and layout are slightly different each time. And why my Instagram feed looks like a random mess. Please bear with me while I try to finalize what my blogging style is.

Utilize social media more effectively:

In December, I started using my Instagram more. This has helped increase my following tremendously. I want to continue using Instagram and expand my social media platforms even more. I have a Facebook page already, yet I have not posted a single thing (it’s been up for 3 months! Oops!). I hope that I will utilize my Instagram, Bloglovin‘, Facebook page, and Pinterest more.

Increase my following and my followers’ interactions:

As mentioned before, my Instagram has helped me increase my following tremendously this month. In 2016, I want to continue growing my blog and my followers through my writing and my social media interaction.

Improve my photo quality:

I will admit I take all of my photos late at night and edit them to make them look like I didn’t. This year, I hope to take better photos that will make my blog looking more professional. Maybe I also invest in a DSLR or a point and shoot camera (that’s not an app on my phone) to improve the quality.


Thank you for reading my 2016 blogging goals! Let me know if you have any goals for 2016. They can either be blog or personal goals!

I can’t wait to document my 2016 journey by… simply being Kim.

-Kim 🙂

Snapshot: Roadtrip to Oregon

Hello! A couple of weekends ago, a bunch of Seattlites and I packed up our bags and crammed into cars for a 4 hours drive down to Portland, OR. I had the wonderful opportunity to attend a regional conference for the Vietnamese Student Association (VSA).

Snapshot: Roadtrip to Oregon! 🚘I had a wonderful opportunity to attend a regional conference for VSA. #ontheblog

A post shared by Kim Tran (@simplybeingkim24) on

During the 72 hours weekend, I only got 16 hours of sleep. Haha. It was worth it to attend inspiring workshops, connect with other members from across the region, and be a part of the VSA family.

I’m currently planning my blog posts for 2016! Leave a comment down below what you would like to see from simplybeingkim in 2016.

-Kim 🙂


Blogmas #4: Last Minute DIY gifts

If you’re anything like me, there will be at least one person you forgot to get a gift for. As the clocks ticks, you rush to find or make a gift for them. Here are 2 easy DIY gifts that I made this year that will work perfectly last minute.



Thanks a “latte” 


I was looking for a “bulk” DIY gift to give for the officer board I am a part of. This pun-nny gift was the best way to do it. I ordered a 15 Starbucks frappucino case from Amazon.com. After 15 minutes of printing labels and tying on ribbons, I had a cute DIY that my officers appreciated. Especially since I gave it to them the week before finals. It was a great pick me up gift that will help keep them awake during finals week!

Here’s the link for the free printable I used: http://www.laurenhaddoxdesign.com/?p=1196. Thanks Lauren Haddox for the design!

Hot Chocolate Mug set


Who doesn’t love hot chocolate during the cold months? My favorite part about this gift is how personal it can get. I got this gift for one of my best friends, Karyn. I chose a hot chocolate mix I thought she would enjoy and a monogram mug. You can never go wrong with something monogrammed for that special personal touch!


I hope you enjoyed reading my last minute DIY gifts. Comment below and let me know what you’re gifting your friends and family this Christmas!

-Kim 🙂

OOTN: Fall Ball 2015

Hello again! Every year my university hosts a dance off-campus, usually called Fall Ball. This year it was hosted at the Museum of History and Industry in Seattle. This is my first time attending Fall Ball. It has been a while since I attended a dance. I was excited to have a “homecoming-esque” getting ready party with my roommate.

These photos were taken in front of the graffiti wall at the Legacy of Seattle Hip-Hop exhibit. This was one of my favorite exhibits because of how interactive it was. The exhibit included computers to mix and record music, a dance floor with a video tutorial on famous hip-hop moves, and  chance to listen to hip-hop artists that have influence the Seattle culture.


Dress: JCPenney// Shoes: TJMaxx// Earrings: Claire’s

Fun fact: my entire outfit was items that I “recycled” from previous outfits. My flowy dress was a performance dress I wore when I danced ballroom for a Vietnamese Student Association (VSA) event. My shoes and earrings were bought two years ago for prom. The sparkly sandals were my favorite pair of shoes to wear during my senior year. I wore them to every event including prom and graduation. They were stylish and, most importantly, comfy to wear for hours!


Makeup: Revlon Colorstay Concealer// Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder// ELF Eyelid Primer- Pearl//  Cover girl The Supersizer Mascara// L’Oreal True Match Lumi Powder Glow Illuminator- Rose// ELF Flawless Eyeshadow- Beautiful Browns//  NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil- Cruella

I hope you all are having a great week, even if it is dead or finals week. I wish you the best of luck on your finals. Let’s finish strong!

-Kim 🙂