‘Must Haves’ for Living on University Residence

With school fast approaching, there is a tempestuous sense of excitement in the air, along with a fair bit of anxiousness: What do I get for school? What kind of supplies do I need? What should I expect? Well there are a few ‘must have’ items you’ll need if you are living on university residence.

Depending on if you are living in a dormitory style bedroom, or sharing a house (or cluster housing) there are a few differences in things that you’ll need to purchase. However, since I have only lived in a dormitory style bedroom, then that’s what i’ll be focusing on here today. A few beneficial things to get that really made a difference in my first year are the following:

  1. Get a mini fridge

I cannot emphasize enough how important this item is. Some university’s cafeterias are not open 24/7, so having a mini fridge to keep leftovers in, or just keeping some fresh fruit, really helps; especially if you are doing a late night study sesh and need something to munch on to keep you going.

And when I say MINI fridge, I do NOT mean buying the smallest size a fridge can come in. I made that mistake first year, and all I could fit in it was some ice cubes and a few apples, and ended up getting a new one that was much bigger. Please do yourself a favour and buy one that has a mini freezer on top (for ice cream of course) and a sizeable fridge space in the bottom. Keep in mind the fridge size restrictions for your university.

I believe mine was roundly 3.2 cubic feet, and I got mine from London Drugs. Below is a picture of my fridge.

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2. Get a Kettle

Being able to make coffee, tea, or ramen noodles are not even a want anymore at university, it’s a necessity. Make sure you invest in an automatic shut off kettle so you don’t accidentally burn down your residence building.

3. Get a Water Filter

I am not sure if tap water is drinkable at your university, but mine was. However, it was still heavily chlorinated so water filters are your best friend; but make sure you get one that’s small enough to fit in your mini fridge, or else you are stuck with gross room temperature water.

Finally, don’t forget to purchase some things to also help make your room, yours. The more it feels like your room, than it’s more likely you’ll do better at living away from home. You may be surprised, but it really does make a difference.

Tequila Cures Sore Throats?

Have you ever heard of Tequila curing sore throats?? Me neither, until I met someone who told me it does wonders.

The night before my FIRST final exam at university, I came down with an excruciating sore throat which left me incapable of focusing on studying for my English final. The night before, one of my friends told me that if you took shots of tequila that it would cure your sore throat. After hearing this, it sounded too good to be true; however, after surfing the web, I found that there are some stories claiming that Tequila really does have this function (click here to read about one of these stories). I figured I had nothing to lose, and decided to give it a shot! (no pun intended).

A few of my friends had come over to study together and I explained to them my plan of taking Tequila shots to cure my sore throat. They howled in laughter at me and thought I was insane and doing something really stupid (which i probably was).

I ran to my room and took a shot of tequila and waited…nothing happened. My throat was still sore. I then figured, well, it most likely was not going to work on the first shot, so I took another one. A few minutes passed and my throat still didn’t feel any better.

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“THIRD TIME IS THE CHARM,” or so I thought. After my third shot of Tequila, lemme tell ya, the only thing I was feeling was feeling a little buzzed in my head. I couldn’t even tell if the pain in my throat was still there. Nonetheless, I figured one more shot wasn’t going to hurt my throat. So yep, I had four shots the night before my English final and ended up doing zero studying.

The next day, I woke up OVERJOYED with happiness. The pain in my throat was gone and I had never felt fresher. I went into my exam, and OH MAN, the Tequila must have had some other magical properties because I finished that course with an A.

 

How To Keep Long Distance Friendships

Moving away from your BFF’s can be one of the hardest things in the world. Not being able to walk over to their house or meet up for coffee is like waking up without any hair on your head: traumatizing and agonizing. Well, at least that’s what it was like for me. I moved to a completely different island without my partners in crime by my side and I was absolutely devastated.

About one year ago, I left my childhood friends whom I’ve known for practically my whole life, and moved to a completely new place with barely any friends. My parents warned me that because I was moving so far away, that my friendships with my best friends would most likely fall apart; however, I refused to believe that.

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My first week away from my best friends was definitely the hardest: I cried everyday, for hours a day, until, one of my best friends came to visit me for the weekend. She came and  brought me lots of housewarming gifts to remind me of her and slowly she started to piece my life back together for me. Ever since she came to visit, she promised me that our friendship could never be broken, and this is how we have stayed close even with the distance:

  1. Visit each other

Yes, it is hard to see each other when you are going to school full-time and your best friends are working a few jobs at a time, however, if you really want to see someone, you’ll find the time. My best friends came to visit me at my university a few times throughout the school year because I couldn’t make it out. But during the summer season, I went to visit them whenever I could too! We took turns taking the ferry over and enduring hours of horrid public transport, but it was all worth it – even if that meant only seeing their faces for a few hours.

2. FaceTime and phone calls are your friend

FaceTime and phone calls are the best things invented. My best friend would call me at least once a week to keep me updated with her life, even if that means just ranting about a bad day she had at work.

3. If you can’t FaceTime, TEXT!

Texting is sooooo easy, especially in this day and age. If your schedules don’t line up, then simply send a text to see how your best friend is doing. It makes your best friends feel needed and appreciated while it provides a piece of mind to yourself, knowing that they are still there for you, regardless of the distance.

If you aren’t a technology person, then here are a few cute ideas that you could do also!

  • Write “Open when letters” to give to your best friend (Pinterest has some great examples). I made these for one of my best friends when she went to school abroad for a year and she loved it.
  • send each other snail mail: It’s old fashion and takes longer, but totally worth it!
  • send each other post cards! cute way to document where you’ve been and what you’ve been doing.

If you have any more ideas on how to keep long distance friendships or have any stories of how you’ve kept them, then feel free to leave me a comment!

 

 

 

Six Drinks From Starbucks That You’ll Love…

Are you a Starbucks fan? I mean, who isn’t! Here are my six favourite drinks from Starbucks that you have to try!

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1. Dirty Chai

Do you love chai tea and coffee? Can’t decide which one? Have no fear, you can have both! A dirty chai is basically a chai tea with espresso. I usually like it with soya milk to add a more creamy flavour.

2. French Vanilla

Are you a French vanilla fan? You can ask for a Latte with a pump of vanilla and hazelnut to give your coffee a french vanilla flavour! I usually only get one pump of each because I don’t like my coffee too sweet.

3. Strawberry Acai Refresher with Lemonade or Coconut milk

If you are a fan of the normal strawberry açai refresher from Starbucks, then you’ll love adding some lemonade for a sweeter taste or coconut milk for a more creamier flavour!

4. Blonde Americano

If you just like your coffee black, or perhaps just some espresso, then I highly recommend the Blonde Americano. The blonde espresso is lighter in flavour (plus it has more caffeine, woo!) and is less acidic unlike your traditional Pike or Dark roast. In my opinion, you kind of get a hint of maple syrup, but that could just be me!

5. Java Chip Frappuccino

Personally, I am not usually a Frappuccino person; however, I absolutely LOVE the Java Chip Frappuccino! It has chocolate chips and coffee so who wouldn’t like it?

6. Nitro Cold Brew

If you love beer, then you’ll love this! This has cold brew coffee with nitrogen infused to give a creamy flavour, but BEWARE! There is LOTS of caffeine in this guy.

Side note* not all Starbucks locations have this.

These are just a few of my favourite drinks to have! If you try any, please leave a comment! I would love to know what you think of them!

 

 

What it’s Really Like to Live Alone

I often get people asking me what it is like living alone, in a new city, with barely any friends. Every time I reply with “It’s really lonely and I have no friends.” Thats an exaggeration no doubt, but however, there are definitely some pros and cons to living alone:

PROS

  1. You have your own space.

There is no one to tell you when you have to come home, you don’t need to worry about waking up your roommate at 2am. You can also walk around in your own home in a sports bra all day and not have a care in the world.

2. Safe Haven

Living alone means you start to really appreciate your home. It is a safe haven where you can let your emotions run free and know you are in a safe place. There is also the perk of not having to listen to some 19 year old boy screaming down the hall, unlike the university residence.

3. Cooking/baking

Living alone means you can cook and bake and HOG the kitchen all you want!!! With no one around to get up in my grill, I can have cookies baking in the oven and making a deluxe meal (no, I don’t mean instant noodles) at the same time and not having to worry about sharing with anyone else.

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CONS

  1. It really does get lonely

I wasn’t joking when I said it gets lonely. I am an extrovert and only having three friends (yes, only three) who live in the same city as me, really is hard. Especially, since they either all work full time jobs or have a significant other in their lives. You wouldn’t believe how many times I’ve face-timed my parents and bawling on the camera because I feel so alone.

2. Cleaning

You wouldn’t believe how much cleaning I do! At least once a week I need to take out a WHOLE day out of my week to clean my WHOLE home. Having a roommate and being able to split the duties would be really nice, lemme tell ya. On my cleaning day, I have to vacuum, dust, clean the washrooms, clean the bedrooms, clean the kitchen, and my least favourite; clean the fridge. Taking out everything in your fridge to wipe down all the food crumbs and spills gets really annoying.

3. Boredom

yep, I can honestly say that even with a job and chores, I get really bored. As a result, I spend WAY too much time on Netflix and binge watch a bunch of meaningless shows; which is partially why I started this blog. Gotta do something with all that free time.

To my roommate: Hurry up and please come back!

Everything you need to know before volunteering abroad

Travelling the world and volunteering with kids sounds like the ultimate summer dream… am I right?

Well, um yes, I’m always right.

ok, definitely not always, but regardless, there are a few things you should know before you decide to hop on a 13 hour flight, thousands of miles away.

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Right after I finished my freshman year, I decided to travel and volunteer abroad to Taiwan. I was teaching English classes and sharing the Canadian culture to students from anywhere between grades 1-6 for three weeks. I also had the privilege of going on a 3 day field trip with them to Alishan Mountain (a place known for its breathtaking sunrises). After my three weeks of volunteer time, I spent another 2 weeks in Taiwan and my last week in Japan. Although this sounds like the summer dream, there are a few things I wish I would’ve known before setting foot out of Canada.

  1. Culture Shock is a real thing

Travelling to a foreign country was a huge cultural change for me. Everything from food and water to language and customs was something I had already been exposed to, but nonetheless, didn’t exactly make it any easier. Heres why:

When I travel, it is really hard on my body. My body gets so upset that I experienced Traveler’s constipation my first two weeks in Taiwan. I had to use 3 enemas and laxatives to finally become my normal self…or so I thought. The following week I was feeling okay up until my last week in Japan, where I experienced severe food poisoning. When I came back to Canada, I had to get 3 tests done (so far) to determine if I had contracted any parasites from unclean food/water, or IBS.

2. Volunteering doesn’t mean it’s easy

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Volunteering is hard work, and it becomes THAT much harder in a different country. I completely underestimated the language barrier when volunteering in a Taiwanese elementary school. When you are trying to teach another language, please remember to bring your laptop because my mom convinced me it would not be necessary to pack it since they have computers at the elementary school. Although she was right, the computers were all in Chinese – something I cannot read. Luckly, I had an English version of powerpoint on my google drive account that I was able to access on their computers, but that only helped me so much. When teaching another language to a variety of children, who are all different ages, it really requires you to get creative and fast! I ended up printing lots of cartoon photos like fishing, snowboarding, zip-lining, swimming and using these to play a game of sherades with the kiddos. However, I had no idea I was going to do all this until I got there because I was under the impression they had lesson plans already in place…WRONG!

3. To be abroad, means you’ll change abroad.

There is always that cliche that says when you travel abroad it changes you. But it is also a cliche for a reason… because that couldn’t be more true! I had never noticed any changes in myself when I was in Taiwan and Japan; however, when I came back home, that’s when I realized I had changed. I’m not a totally different person, but rather the little things in my personality had changed. For starters, I can honestly say that the little things that used to bug me so much, don’t anymore. I just don’t care because there are way more important things in life to spend time worrying about. Second, I am no longer a sloppy, messy person that just leaves things all over my bedroom floor. Perhaps it is because I’m living alone, or perhaps I have more time to clean, but whatever the reason, I find myself maturing in aspects that I didn’t even know existed.

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All in all, travelling and volunteering abroad are loads of fun, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be any bumps in the road!

My word of advice, don’t be a hot mess like me! DO some research before leaving the country. Even packing a few Tums would have made my trip that much more amazing!

Pimples, Zits, and Blemishes…Oh my!

Have you always longed for flawless skin? a pimple free face? or perhaps just a face that you could feel confident in??? Well look no further, as I have the healthiest solution for you.

Growing up, I’ve had the uttermost privilege of having a pepperoni face…yep, that’s how much I loved pizza. But in all seriousness, I grew up with lots of acne and I wanted a solution.

If you are anything like me, my face is SUPER sensitive. I grew up with horrid eczema, so whenever I used any topical ingredient for acne on my face, it would result in my face being smothered in a chemical burn from the harsh ingredients. Then, about 2 years ago, I started using an oral treatment called Skin Accumax. Accumax is essentially vitamins and vegetable derivatives that are used to target acne (and it is healthy…score!) A big company called Stogryn ended up sponsoring me to do their “100 day rest challenge” which involved taking their oral treatment twice a day and documenting it.

 

Below is a link to the companies’ youtube site where you can find my testimonial as well as before and after photos:

I started my journey using Skin Accumax in 2017 and I am still taking them today! Although I no longer have giant zits, I still take these supplements to keep my skin healthy and to keep blemishes at bay! #preventionisthebestsolution

Hello internet, welcome to my hot mess

But, perhaps minus the ‘hot’ part.

With school fast approaching in less than 2 months (horrid, I know) I can’t help but look back at some memorable moments of my freshmen year and know that second year could very well be much worse.

I like to think of myself as a sophisticated woman with impeccable taste, however, my friends will tell you different.

During second semester and final exam period, I did a very, very, very stupid thing. In my defence, I was only running on 4 hours of sleep, but I guess the lack of sleep means I’m extra gullible.

My friends thought it would be funny to watch me suffer minutes before our biology final and let me tell you, it was not. One of my friends, let’s call her Sophie, told me (in all seriousness) that it was scientifically proven that eating excessive amounts of mustard right before an exam would significantly improve brain power. Being a biology student, I found that quite believable…perhaps the spicy flavour excited more brain cells and allowed for a quicker reaction time to the brain that could be beneficial for tackling multiple choice questions… but apparently, not.

Now to me, that didn’t seem like a far-off thing to say, and I clearly believed it, because seconds later I ran over to the condiment table in the cafeteria and started smothering my cup with globs of yellow mustard. I then brought it over to our cafeteria table and started stuffy my face with mustard. I was so focused on becoming smarter for my exam that I didn’t even notice my friends gawking at me and snapping videos and photos of me in this horrific moment.

My eyes started watering and my mouth was very, very HOT! I turn my head to see them all laughing their heads off and howling at my gullibility and stupidity. Not only was I embarrassed, but I also had to write my exam with a burning mouth and a full bladder from chugging so much water.

so, word of advice, don’t eat mustard and don’t be gullible.

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