Its that time of year when kids are heading back to school, state fair food is the focus of many, and summer days are coming to an end. Its also that time of year where we get to select another great Hmoodle girl. For the month of September, we’ve selected Melissa Xiong of Wisconsin.
Talking to Melissa Xiong was a breath of fresh air. She’s a very articulate young lady with alot going for her. She seems to know what she wants from life and won’t be stopped from achieving her goals in life. Brains plus beauty the perfect combination for a Hmoodle Girl.
I recently got the opportunity to talk with Melissa about her passions in life and what she’s doing now. I really enjoyed her ability keep the conversation flowing. This is the outcome of our chat.
Ryan: I’m here with our newest Hmoodle Girl Melissa Xiong. Let me be the first congratulate you on being selected as a Hmoodle Girl
Melissa: Thanks Ryan! I cannot thank Hmoodle enough for this opportunity either, I was so excited when I was chosen.
Ryan: We’re always glad to here when the girls that we selected are excited. Why don’t you tell everyone a little bit about yourself.
Melissa: I am a nineteen year old college sophomore, born to Michael and Jennifer Xiong with six sisters and no brothers, crazy right? My parents are my role models, motivators, and have inspired me in so many ways. They’re a big reason why I am who I am today. My home town is Eau Claire, WI but I am currently residing in Madison, WI for school. I love love to play sports and be active. I have a strong passion for dance and cheer, but I am slowly picking up on volleyball. What can I say? I love to try everything once. I am a vegetarian, I love to talk, laugh and have a great time. I have big dreams and as cliché as this sounds, I love to live everyday like it’s my last. I have a wonderful boyfriend who I love and he supports me and continuously makes me laugh and smile. I cannot express how great he has been. I have the best of friends, and half of them are my sisters! Although they’re very young, I’ve learned so much from them. I love them all to death, they’re the most amazing girls I have ever known, we share secrets, act silly together and they own a big spot in my heart. I love you, Kristy, Ashley, Jacqueline, Maneela, Shania and Isabelle! I’m outgoing and I love meeting new people, every day is new and I try to make my life as happy and humble as it can be.
Ryan: It looks like you’re pretty active with dancing, soccer, and a new addiction in volleyball. Which one of these are you more passionate about?
Melissa: Most Definitely dancing! I love it to the core. I fell in love with it in high school was pretty active with it but now since I’m so busy, I do it every so often. But I have a big passion for it. I had the most awesome dance teachers/coaches and they’ve taught me so much, I cannot thank them enough! I used to play soccer for a Hmong girls team called Phoenix. They’re great girls! They’re strong, dedicated, and motivated. Being away from home, I wasn’t able to train and get in the shape I needed for soccer, which lead to my addiction of volleyball, which I blame my boyfriend for. he plays volleyball too and that’s my current love as well, but I can say I’ve almost tried every sport. I love them all!
Ryan: So you did dance and cheer in high school, How are they different and which did you prefer?
Melissa: Yes, I did. With dance team. We danced for competitions, half time for basketball games, went to nationals in Orlando, FL, went to dance camp (UDA) in the summer, and traveled around WI and a little bit of MN for competitions as well as competing against other schools in our division. Dance team was a combination of jazz, hip hop with techniques from ballet and lyrical as well. With cheer, we did stunts, had cheers, and only competed within our division against other schools as well as going to cheer camp (UCA) in the summer. I love both sports, and yes, they are sports, equally. Although people associate these two as one sport, they’re actually very different if you take time to look at what each portray. I don’t have a preference, whether dance team or cheer team, I had fun, the girls were great and same with the coaches, it was a wonderful experience and I’ve grown so much because of the two.
Ryan: I know you are attending college right now, I’m going to assume University of Wisconsin-Madison. What made you select that school?
Melissa: Yes, I am currently attending University of Wisconsin-Madison. (Go Badgers!) It’s a great campus and I definitely love it here! The people I’ve met are great! Right after touring the campus my junior year in high school, I fell in love with it! It’s big and alive! I wanted a campus that was busy that always gave me something to do, other than studying that is. There are always events going on, it’s awesome. The location is great too, not too far away from home but close enough to go home whenever I wanted to. Not to mention, UW-Mad is ranked one of the top twenty public universities in the nation! So I couldn’t shut Madison down
Ryan: What are you majoring in and again, what made you select it?
Melissa: My intended major is Mass Communication & Journalism with an emphasis in Public Relations. I’m a very talkative person and I love working with others as well. I felt that I needed to use one of my strongest assets, (communication) with my future career because I know it will get me far.
Ryan: What is the dream job you’d like to get with this major?
Melissa: I would love to work with public relations. The job of a PR is maintaining a high profile image for business etc. speaking for the company and basically representing them. I would love to represent big fortune 500 companies or represent a lot of companies working with media/music.
Ryan: You mentioned earlier that you are a vegetarian. What brought this choice on?
Melissa: Well, before I was a vegetarian, I only really ate chicken. I hated fish, venison, red meat, eggs, etc. So really I only gave up chicken which wasn’t too hard. I wanted to challenge myself and see if I could really stick to this healthy eating style, and I have. This November marks the third year of me being a vegetarian and I’m very proud of myself since most people can’t even make it a week! I don’t crave meat or anything. I love vegetables and fruits! People ask how I get my protein and fiber, but meat’s not the only way you can get those essentials, they just rely on meat to get those needs but there are other options as well.
Ryan: How did friends and family respond to this? Have you missed meat at all?
Melissa: Well my friends were kind of shocked and didn’t think I would last. I mean when most people found out I was a vegetarian, were very surprised. If anyone, it would be my mother that was most in shock and kind of in denial that I was a veggie lover. She would still give me meat saying that I was just kidding and that I needed meat in my diet, but after a while, she saw how serious I was about being a vegetarian and she actually supports it very well now. At dinner she accommodates me and I appreciate it and my dad does that as well. I love them both very much! My boyfriend loves meat, but he also doesn’t mind eating a vegetarian meal here and there too. Although I get teased for it, I know they always try their hardest to make me feel comfortable. I love all these people in my life for accepting me, for who I am, usually people are scared because they think I live such a hard lifestyle of cutting meat out of my diet, but really it’s not that hard. I don’t miss meat at all! And I won’t ever go back to it laughs possibly when I’m pregnant, but that would be the only exception!!
Ryan: You mentioned that you like dream big. Care to share some of these big dreams with us?
Melissa: I have big dreams like everyone else. Most of it is a blur, but I know I’m chasing and holding onto something that will definitely be worth it in the end. It’s that feeling that you have, you know? It’s in your gut, like I know I’m going to change some part of the world whether it be small or big. I want to make a lot of money with my future career and give it all to my parent’s; they are the ones who deserve it the most. And although people may ask me, “well how do you know you’re going to make a lot of money? You can’t predict the future” I don’t doubt myself, I’m optimistic and if I want something, I go after it 120%, all the way. Giving up has never been an option for me. So even though I can’t tell the future, I can control the present. I want to make it big, work in all areas and satisfy people as well as myself, I want to be the best I can and be the boss one day, right now, I’m working on it, but one day, I know I’ll be there. Like I say, “in the end, everything will always workout the way it should, it’s just getting there is the hard part.” I like to work and work and work until I accomplish it, and may be tough now, but it will definitely be worth it.
Ryan: I wish you the best of luck with attaining those dreams. Do you have any last words for our readers?
Melissa: Thanks, Ryan! Yes! Follow your dreams because it’s never too late to get what you want, it’s all about putting your heart into it! A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step –Lao Tzu. Thanks to Hmoodle for this great opportunity of being their September Hmoodle Girl!
Once again, we at Hmoodle want to congratulate Mellissa Xiong on being selected as our Hmoodle Girl for the month of September. She’s definitely a young lady that dreams big, but is very capable of achieving those things. Looking forward to seeing more from her in the future.
If you want to be selected as a Hmoodle Girl, contact us at [email protected]