Tag Archives: life

Election Results: time for time


In an unprecedented event of compromise, an insane war was avoided when Crafter’s, Grafts, and the Nihilists reached a consensus on the need for time in Sporyn.


Time, of course has been a tricky construct to enforce since the sun rises and sets at random, uncalculable, intervals, with solar storms continuously raging; sometimes burning blisteringly bright for what feels like days, while at other times rising then immediately plunging us back into darkness three times in a row. However, since more and more people are finding themselves assimilated into the Cults of Sporyn, it’s gotten hard to coordinate any sort of meet up larger then four people.

In true Nihilistic fashion, the Nihilists (myself included) predictably did not want any way to measure our lives or anyone else’s. We argued that the inability to tell people when to meet up in massive numbers helped keep the city peaceful, since war cannot be waged without organizing troops based timing, and all conflict can be kept to wholesome one-on-one fights to the death.

The Crafters were all for creating a new way to standardize their lives, as well as everyone else’s. They agreed with us Nihilists for the most part about needing to keep peace, and offered to draw up plans for some for of police force, which thankfully was immediately shut down.

The Grafts could be persuaded either way, but felt time would be beneficial if they wanted to construct some kind of military parade one day.

A compromised was reached – there will be a reliable way to measure time, but you only have to pay attention to it if you want.

Events will be planned based on solar flares!

Since there are always solar storms no matter how long the sun is up for, tell your friends to meet you at when a certain number of solar flares transpire. That way, only the people attached to the plan have to pay attention to the flares, and anyone opposed to time can go on living as normal as possible.

Professional Complaining – AKA election time

Got a grip? We’ve got an audience.

The apocalypse may have eradicated suburbs, streetlights, waterways, all wheelie chairs, and the concept of Tuesdays, but it did not eviscerate our innate desire to have someone yell about life qualms, while everyone else waits to scream in support of a statement they agree with – This is called Voting.

Oddly enough, this is as non-partisan as the Cults of Sporyn get.
Collective memories of what ‘politics’ were before the great incident of human idiocy (which wiped out a whole tax-bracket of people who considered themselves above death for stringing up sentences like “ethically frugal public-funding”) couldn’t recall much that politics actually helped near the end. Having Cults take out the need for those self-righteous Parties. A distillation of what people actually liked about the whole system turned out to already be a favoured past-time of sentient Sporyn residents; giving speeches about whatever’s going on in their head at any given time.

So we made it a community event.
Sometimes it actually cumulates in something getting changed!
REMEMBER: Topics of this Soapbox screaming time have been already narrowed down by the Crafter’s since those over-organized road kill scrapbookers love micromanaging the rest of us.

1. What to do about the excess children.
Since no one has claimed responsibility of the wild, parentless kids running around Sporyn, and their crying and complaining and entitlement to others finding clothes and shelter for them is getting a little distressing, what do you think should be done about it?

2. Pros and Cons of standardized time.
As no more clocks exist, and day and nights never last for predictable intervals anymore, we’ve been going without measurements of time for the last little while and managing it pretty well!
If you want it back, state your case!

3. The Accountants are pissing us off.
(This problem is particularly dear to my heart)
Those stuck-up apocalypse deniers are just gonna keep going off acting like the old world didn’t get destroyed, judging the rest of us with those blank stares and old world shakes of their heads while they pretend to get promoted at their steady corporate jobs?!
Are we really gonna stand for that?

If you have any thoughts on any of these issues at all, come to the speech ceremony!
Through anger, you too have the power to incrementally improve the City of Sporyn.

25 Things to Do Before You Turn 25

(The author on her 25th birthday, lipstick stains and all.)

FINALLY! Another list where someone tells me what I need to do with my life.

Or really, just like, do whatever you want and don’t buy into the idea that there is a right time to do anything.

I turned 25 about a month ago, and it’s pretty much the same. The build up to the birthday was very stressful, though, because of all the things I thought I would have done by this point in my life. Here is a somewhat helpful list of things that you may or may not want to do before you turn 25, or any time really.

1. Move away from your hometown.

This one was huge for me, and it gave me a lot of opportunities to discover myself in ways I don’t think I would have if I’d stayed home. Being away from your comfort zone has an amazing way of reducing your hang ups and letting you get to know yourself in a different way. Would recommend.

2. Fall in love.

I put it in here because it has been very impactful on my life, however, I realize that many people just haven’t had this happen to them or are not interested in romantic love in any sense. I’m very cool with that. But if you’re afraid of getting hurt, and that’s what’s holding you back, dive right in baby! It’s worth it (I think).

3. Do something that terrifies you.

I went to theatre school and that was the scariest thing a human being can do.

4. Eat mac and cheese at 4am with your roommates.

The best chats happen late at night on kitchen floors.

5. Work hard.

You won’t get anywhere if you don’t put a little elbow grease into it.

6. Try new foods.

This is something that only started happening when I moved away from home. Turns out I’m not as picky as I thought I was!

7. Say yes more often.

Unless you don’t want to. Then, DEFINITELY don’t say yes. But if you’re in your pajamas and someone wants to take you for ice cream just say yes, the best plans are spur of the moment.

8. Make new friends.

I was lucky enough to meet a lot of my dearest friends in junior high, but guess what, there are more people out there! I’ve made some really extraordinary friends in the past few years and they have been such a gift to my life.

9. Say bye to negativity.

People, environments, nah, don’t need them, I’ve got enough of that in my own head!

10. Find a hobby you love and DO it.

Hopefully it’s not expensive, but if it is, you’ll make it work!

11. Try to write an excessively long blog post.

Oh I’m already 25 oops. (Was 25 too many to make a list from?)

12. Get a tattoo.

Tattoos are cool.

13. Learn when to put yourself first.

Being selfless is often seen as a very positive thing, but when you’re constantly putting others before yourself it can end up taking a serious toll on your psyche. It’s okay to be a little selfish sometimes. It is your life, after all.

14. Learn how to cook!

Seriously, become an adult. You don’t have to do it very often but it makes life a lot easier and also makes you more appealing to potential mates.

15. Listen to a ton of podcasts.

Podcasts are the best thing about the 21st century, I think.

16. Give advice.

I often find I learn the most about myself when I’m trying to help someone else out. Don’t give unsolicited advice, though. That is rude an unappreciated. Also don’t tell anyone to definitely follow your advice, just offer it like breadcrumbs to duckies.

17. Share your stories/struggles/experiences.

When you trust someone and really connect with them, that’s when life really starts to get rewarding, and where friendships start to get super deep. One could argue that I tend to overshare, but I think oversharing and connecting with a bunch of people is a much better option than isolating myself.

18. Travel!

Go somewhere that is not where you are right now. It is fun sometimes and also it is sometimes terrible but then you have great stories.

19. Travel alone.

Like the above but way scarier and way more rewarding.

20. Finish something.

A crossword, school, a race, whatever. It feels good!

21. Quit something.

Sometimes things aren’t worth our time or energy. Quitting isn’t always a bad thing.

22. Live with too many people in a big house.

You’ll learn a lot about yourself, about other people, and you definitely won’t want to do this any later than your mid twenties cause it gets kind of annoying. Lots of good parties, though.

23. Let your heart get broken.

Yes, it’s a good learning experience, but more importantly, putting yourself out there enough that there is potential for your heart to be broken is a pretty beautiful thing to do.

24. Eat lots of good food.

The time is coming to love yourself in a way that perhaps you did not before. Eat what you want. Enjoy your life!

25. Fall in love with yourself.

This one is the hardest to accomplish and is definitely a work in progress for everyone, but I would definitely give it a shot. I have a level of confidence that I didn’t have when I was younger and this has made me start to really appreciate the kickass things about myself that I really cherish. If you can’t find those right now, that is so, so okay, but I promise, they are there, and you are most definitely worthy of your own love.


Joe fortes seafood & chop house

I had my friends to visit me over cross ocean from Japan last night.

So I decided to take them to have nice dinner at downtown Vancouver.

My boyfriend actually works at joe fortes as a head chef so we had special dishes.

They were so tired to eat junk food in Canada because they always have healthy Japanese food in Tokyo. So they were really happy to have fresh seafood from Canadian ocean!



We had fresh oysters, which Japanese people are usually scared to eat this seafood because people usually get sick next day. But they were surprised how the oyster was fresh and tasty. So we had another dish of oyster.



This is main dish that my boyfriend chose for me.

The 1.5 lobster tasted amazing delicious and I get full so fast!

I really recommend that you should order the seasonal seafood when you visit.



The desert was from my boyfriend’s boss because he works really well everyday.

They loved this plate so much because they were craving for SUGAR!



I know most of people from joe fortes so it makes my dishes incredibly awesome.

I really appreciate that everyone was welcome us to be there to have dinner and have a good time with my best friends and  my boyfriend.

Also, I was really happy to see my best friends who visit me all time to hang out.

No friends no life <3


Introducing my newest venture: selling Stella & Dot jewelry

In November last year, I made the decision to become a Stella & Dot independent stylist. Stella & Dot is an amazing company that allows women to be their own boss and make their own schedule while empowering them with the tools they need to succeed. Plus the jewelry and accessories are gorgeous, so they basically sell themselves. I still had to consider whether or not I would be able to spend the time needed in order to make it a success. I already have a full-time job and take courses part-time but I knew I could make it all work. Plus, I had support from my boyfriend and my family. I decided to take the leap.

In my first month, I killed it. Making over 1,000 PQVs and earning a spot in the rookie top 10 list! This totally motivated me to keep going and confirmed that it was a good decision to join Stella & Dot.

I’m so excited to see where this goes in the months to come. If you’re interested in becoming a stylist or if you want to get your hands on some jewelry to up your style game this year, just let me know.

The post Introducing my newest venture: selling Stella & Dot jewelry appeared first on Veronica Aarstad.

Here’s to 2018

2017 was a year full of mixed blessings. I will share two of the most unforgettable stories. 

Lost Friendships

I have lost some of the greatest people through distance, misunderstandings, and dishonesty. But this time, I have also met new individuals and reunited with the old ones who I knew are going to be worth a lifetime treasure.

Him/her and I were close, then we faded apart. They’d always reply me with “sorry, I’m busy”, even though I knew they weren’t and I thought about our friendship decaying. I miss joking around, eating, shopping, adventuring together, and seeing them; not so sure about that anymore. I’ve recognized a pattern where people tend to apologize as a reminder to me that they still care for me and consider me as their “good friend”. That ain’t real friendship. That’s just a label, “good friends” over our heads. Whether it was my or their choice of ending the friendship, I like to view it as an experience and opportunity for growth, where I can move the fuck on. No, they were not a mistake nor a regret. They are people who were once special to me and cannot be replaced. 

In my situation, the relationships with people were often drifting due to the “changes” revolving within their lives. I’m not insinuating that my persona has once never changed. In fact, a few years ago, I had a transformation where my life basically took a 180 degree but I was aware that my changes were making positive differences within myself and my surroundings. I didn’t let anyone down with my new adjustments, 110%. My friend(s) weren’t necessarily changing in a bad way, but I knew something wasn’t right when they somehow stopped treating me the same way they used to. It was off. They were no longer the ones I got excited to share my best, upsetting, or embarrassing stories with. I felt uncomfortable.

Honestly though. Who or what influenced those changes on my friend(s) should not affect my special relationship with them. Whenever I did something dumb, you joked around and I would start laughing because of the way that you were laughing. But you eventually just started to respond “oh haha” with a fake smile. I seriously felt like I was speaking to Siri (sorry Apple).

What happened? Where’d you go? Who are you? 

People are countlessly reminded that communication is crucial, and they still choose to avoid it. Whether an argument or opinion may involve swearing or negative comments, I’m ready to listen to what they feel about our friendship. Too bad that never happened to me with him/her. I didn’t have the chance to hear anything. There was only one thing present between us after I shared my thoughts near the end of our friendship: silence. that remained after sharing my thoughts with them, nothing else. “What are you thinking about? Please say something. I miss you”.

I’m not afraid of confrontation, and if you’re scared of me being honest with how I feel about us, I’m sorry for not being sorry. You let a friendship that I once thought would have lasted a lifetime slip out just like that. It made me feel like I’ve been lied to and my heart felt so empty. But you know what? There’s no point to dwell on those lost friendships because I became even closer to the people who are actually meant to stay in my life forever. It was a pleasure to call you my friend because now I know who to consider, “my friend”.

If you’re interested in reading more about friendships, click here.

A New Love

In early summer, I met someone who I never saw coming. A part of me thought I’d never see him again after our first 10-second encounter; I’m glad I can now call him my partner-in-crime, my man. He is someone that truly loved me during a time I underestimated myself and struggled self-love. 

Coming from two totally opposite cities, the field of study, ethnic backgrounds, and many other differences, the one and only similarity we had was how we felt about each other. Not only the amount of hugs, smiles, and kisses he gives me each day matters in how I continue to love him, but he’s the only man I pay attention to because he constantly gives me a better perception on life every day. My fears, insecurities, and doubts melt away when he’s around. Whether he’s not physically close to me, I constantly think about him because he makes me feel worth every ounce of who I am. 

That’s enough hubby talk. How about you? What was your love life last year like? 

2018 is going to be the year I use all of this potential to create greatness.



I already know 2018 will be one of the most challenging years but I know this will be my year. I'm still a third-year university student but I feel that I'm already entering a part of adulthood, I am s t r e s s e d! This year, I'm looking forward to improving my health where I can focus on a proper diet. Weight loss has always been so difficult for me due to my insanely low metabolism. I still remember the time I managed to lose 20 pounds in 3 weeks and rubbing my waist felt good every morning during that time. Realistically, I gained all of the weight back because I wasn't dieting the healthy way it should be. I'm also excited to find out many different products I can munch on when I need a bite or two. I mean, who doesn't like snacking right?



Balancing academics, work, time with people, and time for myself is difficult. However, I've decided that this will be the year I make new adjustments in how I can plan my organized tomorrow. I recently purchased an agenda from Indigo and I'd say the prices are quite affordable (~ $25 CAD), considering the fact that they're much easier to work around with than planning things on digital devices. When I began planning my schedule ahead of time from the beginning of this year, it has already made so much progress on how efficiently I spend my day -- it's life changing! It prevents me from procrastination (which I used to always do) and enables me to complete tasks by squeezing them in even in short time frames. It still makes a difference! My sleeping patterns have also been so much better because I'm avoiding finishing up things last minute. I've never recognized how being constantly productive can be stressful yet I feel good about myself, perhaps entering adulthood pretty early ?!

Personally, I actually don’t deal with the new year new me bullshit. New year is just time passing by but the same shit every year, but one thing I would add and want to challenge myself is being able to talk with strangers and being careless. I want to be able to interact with as many people as I can and make their day greater and worth living than it was yesterday. 


The post Here’s to 2018 appeared first on My blog.

Literacy – should we bring it back?

I’m gonna be real with you guys, I was not the smartest kid in school.
I still have a slice of my Hippocampus intact in my skull, so I remember the days where things like GPA determined self-worth and it was a hotly debated topic in pop culture whether ‘smart girls’ were sexy. (For anyone confused here – it use to be attractive to have exactly two eyes and one mouth on the lower third of the face. Noses were also considered necessary. I know, right? So constricting)
Anyhow, the apocalypse really freed me from that academic insecurity.

But now, The Crafters want to start a newspaper.

I assume by this point they’ve entered the fifty-third round of self-congratulation for this monumentous idea. They probably thought it up while knitting vintage shawls out of dried eel skin from the eels caught in those ditches outside Rat Teeth Cafe.
Their reasoning is that randomly announcing different intentions when crowds around you get large enough isn’t the most efficient way of getting information out there. So I do understand a bit where they’re coming from, there’s more and more people finding the city of Sporyn everyday, but, do we really need to start a newspaper?
Are we going to re-teach people how to read?
What are we gonna make the paper out of?
Do I even need to know what’s going on the community? Are we just re-enabling stalking?

If you’ve got any thoughts about newspaper, news, or paper, leave a comment below

A very bad day

I try to keep the tone of my blog posts light. I have a sense of humour and I can see how different situations can be funny, how I can spin them and make them something positive or quirky. This is easy, most of the time, because I feel that the things that happen to me are amusing, or charming, or at least the kind of tragic that makes people groan and say “me too!”

I can’ really do that right now. I feel like the more I try to stay upbeat the worse the world knocks me down. I used to love school. I used to love my job. I used to feel safe and secure and that I knew you and I knew where I stood. I don’t anymore. I can’t bring myself to laugh right now.

I hate seeing my friends feel this way too. It’s not fair. They make this world too hard for us.

I’m just so, so tired, and so, so sad.

My Tools of the Trade — Modern Calligraphy

If you’re like me, I’ve always found videos of calligraphy that show up on my Facebook newsfeed really therapeutic and mesmerizing to watch. And so, two years ago, I began to rummage through the internet for online tutorials and printed out masses of practice sheets to begin my newfound hobby.

I started from my local craft store, Michaels, and bought several nibs, nib holders, black india ink and a pad of smooth marker paper. From there it was practice, practice, practice until I started developing a preferred style of writing that seemed most natural to me.  Below, you can see a layout of the nibs I have collected over the past two years, along with a few of the pen holders that accompany it.

Nibs + Holders

The Speedball/Hunt nibs were the first few I bought from DeSerre’s: they come in a pack with two holders. The great thing about nibs (or calligraphy in general) is that they are really affordable…but keep in mind that they are also fragile if you don’t store them well. The ones I buy typically range ~$1-2 CAD each. My absolute favourite nibs are the Leonardt 40 (I use this one the most) and the Hunt 99. I find that I tend to steer towards nibs that are more flexible (less stiff) because it helps me write more naturally.

Nikko G and Zebra G are the couple I read lots of blog posts on. I was able to track down a couple of small art stores that carry these nibs in Hong Kong, and being super inexpensive they also came in packs of three in the case that one may accidentally be broken or misplaced. Here’s a quick comparison between the raved on Nikko G and my favourite Leonardt 40.

I don’t believe there’s anything special to talk about about my holders. The one you see on the top with a part that sticks out is the oblique holder. It basically helps you write on an angle that some people may find difficult when writing with a regular holder, but I don’t tend to steer towards it. I find that I grab my Tachikama wooden holder the most as most of my nibs fit in it. For my smaller nibs I use the brown Hunt holder that I purchased with the nibs — again, really affordable.


Ever since I laid hands on my Finetec Pearl Metallic Inks palette I have never let it go. I absolutely LOVE the iridescent glow that it produces when activated with water. Used typically for watercolour brushes, I use a few drops of water and mix it with a small brush for several seconds, then paint it onto the nib. It’s not the cheapest out there, and I purposely purchased it on my last trip to Hong Kong because it was difficult to find in Vancouver. Nevertheless…absolutely stunning.

I did start off with using black india ink but it’s been getting old and I haven’t thought of replacing it since I always just use the Finetec palette. With the help of Photoshop, I digitize my writing and invert the metallic ink on black paper which gives the look of black ink written on white paper (#lifehacks).


I started off using your standard white paper, but found that the sharp (fragile) tip of the nibs would repeatedly catch onto the paper and gave a rigid feel to my writing. I purchased a marker pad from Michael’s that really helps with that problem. The paper is really soft and light, which helps with write smooth, continuous lines so I definitely recommend it for practicing. Typically, I like to use just any card stock I can get my hands on. My mom really enjoys making cards and she has collected a TON of coloured card stock paper, so I usually just take some to use and it’s great for calligraphy too.


…And voilà!

Calligraphy really does take time and practice. At one point when I started, there were times when I did feel discouraged because I wasn’t satisfied with it! In the beginning, I had really wonky, awkward strokes and it really didn’t feel right to me. Those are also the times you need to push through and give yourself even more reason to keep working on it because it takes time so remember to be patient with yourself. Once you start to feel progressively more comfortable, you’ll start to develop your own writing style. I still do feel incompetent sometimes and I really do like keeping calligraphy as a hobby because I know I definitely still have room for improvement! Hope this helps.


Finding my Career Path

When I was a young child, I was gifted a workbook that prompted me to draw what I wanted to be when I grew up. To this day, I still clearly remember the colourful butterfly I drew on that page.

Remembering the blissful days of my childhood when things were so much more simple and all I wanted to be when I grew up was to be a colourful butterfly one day. If it was only that easy. If only I could fly off, care-free and explore the world… No, I’m not a butterfly, but that beautiful butterfly I drew may have signified my exploratory phase into the beginnings of my career: venturing further into the world of visual arts.

Thus, I grew up to love drawing: something that had never ran in my family background. I would draw on any surface I could set my hands on (yes, I remember drawing on the headboard of my bed with a ballpoint pen) and I spend hours on the internet looking for tutorials when I was in middle school. My cute cartoons and illustrations became more detailed, attempting to replicate a photograph on a blank piece of paper. Realism drawings of still objects became hyper-realistic until people thought I had suddenly become a photographer. I naturally developed an eye to see the world and the spaces around me differently, converting the three-dimensional world into a two-dimensional realm in front of me. I thrived in it and it didn’t take long for me to find a sense of identity through drawing and sketching. Everyone around me was certain I was going to be the next Emily Carr. It seemed like I had my career mapped out for me after many long nights of practicing in my bedroom: my professional career path had already been set for me.

The last hyper-realistic drawing I have drawn to date. — March 2015


So it began: my senior year in high school and I was one of the handful of students who had gotten a letter of acceptance into Emily Carr University on the spot. This was what was deemed to happen my whole life by my peers. Was it fate?

Not too long after I received a letter from Simon Fraser University, informing me of my acceptance into their School of Interactive Arts + Technology (SIAT), I had to make a big decision. I had never heard of this program and didn’t know of any graduates or alumni from SIAT. I spent my whole childhood moving a pencil around on paper, was I really going to make the transition to digital design? I thought, and thought hard for awhile, but I sensed an urge to explore my skillset: where could digital design take me? At the end of the day, I followed my gut and took the leap into the realm of design. This period marked my transition into technology and design, pushing my sketching pencils into the back of the shelf.

I didn’t know what I was getting myself into. I didn’t know how to code and I only had intermediate experience with Photoshop. The summer before my first year in university, I spent hours and days going through online tutorials to learn as much of Adobe Illustrator and InDesign as I could. But I loved it. I loved that making a mistake was a simple and quick CTRL/CMD + Z to fix. Strokes and lines were so much smoother, cleaner and there was no accidental smudging — this was fool-proof.

Illustrations done on Adobe Illustrator for a freelance project — October 2015

Slowly, the time and demand I had for sketching decreased and since my second year, I have not posted a single photo of a drawing. Do I miss it? Yes — I can recall the nights when I was upset and drawing took me into a place of serenity, a place where my worries did not exist. It will still always be a part of me: when I brainstorm for my designs, knowing how to sketch is always at the core and every time, it brings me back to my roots — where I started and came from: pencil and paper.

Rough sketches for a game design.

I have made my transition from an artist to a designer and I’m not turning back.

– E

Check out my portfolio work!

How I edit my Instagram Photos


Once in awhile, I’ll get questions about how I maintain my ‘Instagram theme’ and how I edit my photos. I have to admit: it does take some time and effort but I like to try and maintain a certain branding style to my instagram feed. Yes, I strive to live the #aesthetic life — it’s a part of who I am.

This may not work for everyone and people have different preferences and different tastes, so adjust accordingly to your liking! To keep a theme, I find that editing the same way (using the same filter) helps to keep all your photos consistent.
For reference, I work from an iPhone 7. In my photos, I tend to stick to bright whites, decently contrasted, soft shadows and less saturated photos. It works best when there’s natural lighting going on. Overcast days are the best days for outdoor photos. Bright sunlight creates darker and harsher shadows that takeaway from the photo and is also a cause of over-exposure.

First, I use the Photos in-app editor (found on all iOS devices) and put on the “Fade” filter. I’ll always have to adjust the brilliance, shadows, brightness, contrast, highlights and saturation until I’m more satisfied with it. If there’s any unnecessary distractions along the edge of the photo, I’ll just crop it out here.

Next, I’ll go into my app: Facetune. I really only use it for whitening light backgrounds that aren’t completely white and to de-saturate certain areas. I’ll bring that photo into the app and use their “whiten” tool to go over certain areas that are still too saturated.

After I’ve saved that photo, I bring it into UNUM, a very helpful app that organizes and helps me plan how a photo will look in my feed. Some may think it’s excessive, but I find that it is so useful to ensuring that your photos are cohesive with one another before you post it! Once I’ve planted my photo in there, I adjust it accordingly, using the UNUM in-app editor. And that’s about it!


Life after Co-op: Transitioning Back to School

Returning to school after an eight-month co-op placement is not an easy transition and I’ve come across a lot of people have asked me whether I prefer working or being in school. To be quite honest, I don’t have a definite answer, but here are some of my thoughts and opinions based on my experience.

  1. Working was not as stressful as being in school.

    I found a relief from stress the eight months I was working: no studying, no exams, no papers! The work environment was relaxed, flexible and I never felt too overwhelmed trying to meet my deadlines. I would spend most of my day in the office but would go home and not have to think about work rather than coming home from class and still having work in the back of my mind. My weekends were a question of “What should I do with my day today?”.

  2. I found it easier to focus on my own personal goals/growth rather than feeling external pressure.

    My first week back at school, I sat in a lecture while my prof introduced himself to the class and all my mind could remember was him going on about successful students in my program who have gone achieving great things in Silicon Valley. That’s great, don’t get me wrong: it’s an opportunity of a lifetime to work in Silicon Valley. But I find that my program has the tendency to focus on students who have gone off working for large companies that it starts to create a burden for undergraduate students to mold themselves into this standard that somehow Silicon Valley equals success and increased recognition. But the truth is, not every designer/developer ends up working in Silicon Valley and that doesn’t make them any less successful.
    When I was out of school and working, trying to fit into this celebrated mold escaped from my mind and found that I was able to find joy and contentment from within myself. I found it much easier to focus on my personal growth as a designer rather than comparing myself to other students. I was working in a small start-up, but I was proud of what I was learning and how fast I was learning and in that way, yes — I found success in what I was doing and it didn’t matter where I was.

  3. I focused on saving, saving, saving.

    Of course, working meant that I had a source on income and didn’t have to worry about how much I was spending on food or clothes. I wasn’t a broke college student — at least not for the eight months I was working. It doesn’t mean that I splurged on every meal, but generally I wasn’t counting how much I was spending by the dollar. I took the opportunity to build up on my savings so I could have a more comfortable future post-graduating.

  4. I felt disconnected from the school community.

    Working full-time also meant that I didn’t get as many chances to see my friends from school, and I really missed that the most. It took more effort to try and make plans with my friends who were in school, taking classes I was falling behind in because of my absence. It made me realize how much fun school can be when you have the opportunity to take on projects and bond with friends from school. I always felt like I was falling behind on what has been happening in the school community.

  5. I felt like I had more creative freedom in school.

    Working in a company means that as a designer you need to abide by the company’s branding guidelines when creating work. At school, there is a lot more freedom in projects such as choosing your own typefaces, colours and images: most of the time you are free to explore and create in your own style of choosing.

Overall, I’m glad to be back in school but I know I’m going to miss working once midterms and papers hit me. Finishing my first co-op placement, I definitely have a better sense of what I’m looking for for my future co-op placements and what kind of work I like to do. A word of advice? Just because someone is working at a well-recognized company, does not make their life perfect because everyone struggles with different aspects of their life: focus on yourself and your own growth, not on others.



7 things you probably don’t know about me

  1. If I wasn’t a visual/interaction designer, I would love to pursue interior design!

    I love watching home reno shows on HGTV and if I had much more time in life I would most definitely be interested in learning more about interior design.

  2. I have never in my life like Barbies. Well, just dolls in general. Period.

    I remember when my dad came home with a Barbie wearing a Cinderella-like blue gown one afternoon, I almost gagged out the bok choy that was in my mouth when I saw it. I never played with it and tried all attempts to sell it out at multiple garage sales with no luck. Maybe it was the synthetic look and feel that I’ve always found dolls disgusting. To this day, I still don’t know what happened to that Barbie doll.

  3. I used to make jewelry out of paper clips and a pair of pliers.

    It’s true: I always had a bag of paper clips and pliers with me. I made necklaces, bracelets and earrings from twisting paper clips in different shapes.

  4. I was put in an ESL class when I was in elementary school.

    If I recall correctly, in Grade 1 or 2, I was pulled out of class by surprise and dragged to an ESL class. I was born and raised in Vancouver and had never thought or been told I had any problems with my English. Luckily, I was never put back in that class after that one time. In fact, in high school I actually got a lot of compliments from my teachers on my writing and academically did very well in my writing classes.

  5. I wasn’t born into an artistic family.

    I don’t know anyone in either side of my families who shares my artsy side, yet I have always loved drawing and creating. At a very young age, I have always been known as “the artist” of the class. From drawing anime and cartoons to hyper-realistic drawings, I never enjoyed the drawing classes my parents put me in, but preferred teaching myself through practice and experience.

  6. I can’t ride rollercoasters.

    I have a calm and soft heart that can’t take no adrenaline. When I was in middle school I went to Playland for my friend’s birthday and we all went on the well-known wooden rollercoaster. I don’t even know how I was even tall enough, but it was one of the worst decisions of my life. There is only one long bar that comes down in front of your waist (not secure at all!). Being a petite person, I did not feel safe and thought I was about to fly out any minute. I still don’t know how I survived that ride, but I’m glad to still be living.

  7. Being a rhythmic gymnast was one of the most impacting decisions of my life.

    How was it impacting? That’s a story for another time.
    I started recreational gymnastics when I was probably as young as 4 years old just “for fun”. In Grade 3, my school offered an after school rhythmic gymnastics classes so I gave that a try and fell in love with the sport. I continued to train pre-competitively for a short period before entering the competition world for the next four years. I loved — and placed very well in competitions. I had no limits to the way my spine could bend and I took it for granted.
    It wasn’t until I injured my spinal cord during a training — at the age of 12 — when I had to accept the fact that I would never be able to perform the same moves I used to so easily do. I never had a desire to compete in the Olympics, but I still had a raging passion for the beauty of this sport so I continued to compete for another 2 years with an injured spine. I stuck out the pain with many visits to different doctors and physiotherapists before deciding to focus more on my academics and pursue my passion for the arts. To this day (10 years after my injury!), I still occasionally struggle with back pain and I’ve gotten to know my physiotherapist like a friend.