by Aidan Encarnacao



What's your favorite color? 

Red and orange.


What's your favorite go to recipe? 

Don't really have anything too specific but I will make anything Chinese or ramen.


What self-care habits do you intertwine into your daily routine?

Morning yoga.


What's your favorite book and what book had the largest impact on you? 

On the Road by Jack Kerouac. It was a turning point in my life when I read this book and I loved the content it had. Besides that book, I am also a big fan of William Somerset Maugham; one of my favourites is The Moon and Sixpence.

Who can you talk to when you need to get something off your chest?

My friends.


Where's your safe place? 



Have you ever dealt with anxiety? if so, what triggers it & how do you calm your mind?

Yes! I have been suffering from anxiety since I was 17. I get triggered if there is a lot of phone calls, texts, emails or anything that involves with an overload of things to do. So I will finish my work 3-4 days before deadlines so I can relax my mind and not worry about it. I always try my best and not worry about things that I can not control.


Have you or someone you love ever been in a dark place? if so what steps were taken to get out? 

Yes, I had horrible anxiety and depression in my first year in the States. I didn't have any friends and I was was going through something terrible all by myself. First, you need to be determined that you want to feel better, reach out to people that you want to hang out with, get out to meet more people, get fresh air, do things that you're passionate about even if it is just about watching your favourite TV shows -anything that can help take your mind off things.


Do you think social media affects your mental health or has any negative impacts on you? if so, how do you best deal with it? 

I don't have any negative experiences with social media. I love social media; I do see negative aspects of it like how it has changed people's perceptions of success. For their perception of beauty, people began to compare themselves with people on social media habitually. But it depends how you see it. The problem remains the same. Even without social media, people are habitually comparing themselves with others. Social media just magnified this problem. So the most important thing is how to train yourself to have a healthy heart and self-values.


What's the biggest change you can identify within yourself in the past year?

Thinking more rationally, more confident and caring less about others' opinions.


What changes do you want to see within yourself in the coming year? 

Be braver and more decisive to reject others.


What's one of the hardest things you've had to go through in life? how did you get through it? 

Loneliness. I have left home since I was 14 and had been living in other cities and countries by myself and I have never had close friends until recent years. Loneliness is the most challenging thing I have ever experienced. And I can feel the influence of loneliness of my life perception and choices. I'm still learning to overcome it but now that I am older, I learned how to enjoy loneliness. If I can't overcome it completely, I need to learn how to live with it.


What advice would you give to your 16- year-old self?

Think twice before you do anything.


What's the most valuable lesson you've learnt?

Always put yourself first. No one is more important than your feelings.


If you could change one thing within society, what would that be? 

Women can enjoy more equal rights and freedom.