Matt and Helena talk about healthy relationships with themselves and with others on the inaugural episode of Hammock Chats!


  1. Our Upbringings: Irvine and the East Bay Area
  2. Weekly Check-In (Mid Quarter Burnout) (8:50)
  3. Social Battery And Healthy Relationships (13:56)
  4. There Is No Formula Of Love (19:55)
  5. Headspace And Stress (23:50)
  6. Conclusion: Goals, Aspirations (31:13)

Our Upbringings: Irvine And The East Bay Area

It’s great weather day here in LA, 75 degrees Farenheit and there’s huge groups of people chilling outside at Janss.

Helena: this weather is perfect as a So-Cal Native.

Growing up in Orange County, where it's known for beach living and social life, even in December it's "hit the beach!" weather.

I grew up in Irvine, and it had such a transformation in the past two decades. As a child, it was super suburban.

Now, everyone knows Irvine as “the Spectrum”, and it’s crazy seeing how it went from super quiet to “the next urban area!” between Los Angeles and San Diego.

Matt: Having grown up in San Ramon in the East Bay,I also experienced rapid transformation as well due to a large influx of Asian American immigrants. It’s still shocking how 80% of my school was Asian! I don’t know if I’d be able to survive in a college with less diversity.

At its core, no matter your upbringing, everyone can find something to relate to with one another.

Weekly Check-In (Mid Quarter Burnout)

Helena: Winter is always brutal. However, compared to last year’s where we were online for 4 weeks, this one’s definitely better.

In terms of week 5 burnout, I'm feeling pretty good!

Matt: This week was a hell week. From turning in homework late to having two insanely hard assignments, I definitely felt a lot of stress. However, since so many people cheat in these classes…


Take pride in the fact that you did these things 100% honestly!

Social Battery And Healthy Relationships

Matt: As someone who likes to thinks of themselves as extroverted, I recharge my social battery by talking to other people!


We're really similar in the sense that if we finish x,y,z, we'll reward ourselves by going out with our friends! But that's not everyone's way of rewarding themselves or spending their free time. I know a lot of people who want to just sit by themselves and do self care after a long day of work.

I get a ton of energy from hanging out with my friends and being with people that I connect with. It’s a totally different scenario than if I were to hang out with people I don’t know.

Matt: When you’re making relationships with people, strengthen them by doing it with people who also want to be in your company.

There's no worse feeling than when you ask to hang out with someone, they say yes, and it's clear as day that they don't want to hang out with you.

It makes me feel like I’m the problem. Is it something wrong with ME? Am I not worth someone’s time? What’s super important is the ability to say no to things.


With this large influx of freedom in college, not having to ask parents for permission, we forget how to say no.

I feel a lot more comfortable saying no to things now though, due to my past experiences.

One time, I was hanging out with someone and I didn’t know they would be bringing people I didn’t connect with until last minute, but I felt weird saying no. It wasn’t that good of an experience, but it was also a learning experience.

Next time, I’ll be prepared to say no.

Matt: I never really felt close to people in high school. Being surrounded by people constantly in college, it was a complete 180 for me.

At the start of every quarter, I always have this social anxiety: am I worth people’s time? do people want to hang out with me? and it’s something I just have to overcome.


This has sparked some inner mental review, of all the times I never really wanted to hang out with people but still said yes. You think of this cost of rejecting someone. It takes a level of empathy and understanding on both parties.

Matt: “It’s hard to reject or say no to someone.” Speaking of rejection…

There is No Formula of Love

With Valentines Day around the corner: there’s a train of thought out there that if you were to tell someone that you like them, it puts too much pressure on them to say a yes or no answer.

"The idea behind flirting and flirtation is the concept of deniable plausibility."

Deniable Plausibility: You try to up your level of communication, expressing interests in a way that can still be interpreted as being a friend.

Helena: The follow up then becomes, what does it take to go from friends to the next level of relationships.

Matt: As someone who’s never dated before, I don’t know the answer to that.

Helena: Even someone who’s dated before, I don’t know the answer to this.

"I don't think anyone knows the answer. (Gesturing to janss and swaths of college students) What are the odds that someone here has found the love of their life! What gives me peace of mind is that there's no right formula. There's no way to do relationships or love correctly.

Matt: As Twice (doesn’t) say, there is no formula of love. No one has one right answer.

“I like hearing other people’s perspectives on things.”

Headspace and Stress

Matt: “I broke down in tears in one of my english classes in 10th grade.”

Helena: Moving into Gayley Heights: it was a massive amount of stress. This past month, we struggled with whether or not we should renew our lease for the year.


No matter what choice we made, someone would end up getting hurt. My relationship with other people might have been slightly tainted by my decisions.

I can be a bit of a people pleaser, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I derive my happiness from finding ways to make other people happy.

Helena: Life is stressful. There’s nothing we can do to avoid it, and that’s why we seek professional help. At one point, we just have to accept life for what it is. One day down the line, I hope not to feel so anxious about the current moment.

Conclusion: Goals, Aspirations

Helena: This is the really the first time Matt and I had a prolonged conversation, I’m really glad that we had the chance to do this.

Matt: “ I used to be a group person, I’ve recently learned about the importance of being able to talk to someone one on one.” A big reason why I wanted to do this podcast thing, was that I wanted a way to look back and reflect on what my thoughts are at any given moment.

I'd love to look back on positives. But at the end of the day, even if there are negatives, we can see that feeling shitty is only in a little moment. In the grand scheme of things, our stress is so small.

Helena: “In many years down the line, you’re going to listen to this, and laugh about how stressed you were about your CS homework and how minute it is.”