Tag Archives: university

Life in Quarantine

Over a month ago, when COVID-19 ramped up significantly and caused my classes to go online and my jobs to close, I made the decision to go back to my hometown and quarantine with my family. I’m so glad I made that decision, as I can’t imagine how I’d be feeling if I was alone in my apartment right now.

Temporarily moving back home has been pretty weird. The first few days, I just worried about everything going on, but I slowly calmed down and tried to be more positive. I started adjusting to my new normal, and now I’m completely used to living here. I truly never thought I would live with my parents again, but this is a pretty unusual situation, and at the end of all this I will be heading back to Vancouver, although being there will surely feel different.

My initial plan while staying here was to be extremely productive and do everything I’ve never had the time to do before, but I quickly realized that that was not going to happen, and that’s okay. I needed to relax and focus on my mental health for the first little while before I could think about doing “productive” stuff. I watched movies and tv shows, I spent hours on reddit, I talked to friends constantly. It was actually really nice to have a break – I think I needed it. Life has been pretty crazy, with COVID-19, me finishing my last semester of university, and my post-graduation plans being thrown out the window, at least for the time being. I needed to just unwind and take a break.

Now that I feel sufficiently relaxed, I’m ready to start being productive. I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself – I initially planned to write an entire novel while in quarantine, but the pressure to do so caused a lot of anxiety that led to me being too scared to even start. I’ve since made my goals a little more realistic, and have subsequently started working out, started reading again, and started writing blog posts again (guess I’m doing pretty well so far). There are a few more things I’d like to do, including video chatting with friends, as I’ve done this once so far and found it much more enjoyable than talking over text, plus I would really like to talk to people other than my immediate family. I would also like to do some creative writing, but this time, I’m not going to put as much pressure on myself – I don’t need to write an entire novel, I can write short stories or slowly start writing a novel without pressuring myself to get it done right away. I think if you put too much pressure on yourself, it impedes your ability to actually get things done (or maybe that’s just me).

Apparently, we have at least another month of social distancing left until things go back to “normal”, and in a weird way I am grateful for that, as it means more time with my family and more time (hopefully) being somewhat productive while I actually have time to do everything I want to do. Nobody knows how long this will last, but it’s important that we all take care of ourselves and our mental health right now and do what is best for us, whether that be accomplishing nothing at all or being super productive. We also need to show empathy to others, as not everyone is lucky enough to relax at home and not have to worry about their loved ones. These are truly extraordinary times, and hopefully when everything is said and done, we can work to make this world a better place.

Stay safe, everybody.

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Catching up with old friends

It’s my second solo trip and this time I’ve picked Toronto – a city where two of my best friends from primary and secondary school life. They immigrated to Canada over 6 years ago and rarely go back to Hong Kong. It’s my first time to visit them in Canada, in fact, it’s my first time to visit friends in a foreign country! The last time I met with them was already 2 years ago when we first entered university. That time we talked about the struggles of adjusting to uni life, reminiscing the good old days in secondary school. Two years later today, we are one year away from graduation and we start discussing worries of stepping into adulthood – internship, graduation, life and etc. It’s shocking how fast time passes which we are about to step into a new stage of life. We started to think more about our future and in a more mature manner, it was different from the time where we did silly stuff together in primary and secondary schools, but I am glad that we’re witnessing our growth despite our long-distance friendship.

Hope to see them soon in Hong Kong!

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Reflecting on 2018 and Looking Ahead to 2019

It’s hard to believe that another year has gone by. 2018 was a very long and difficult year for me, but now that it’s over, I can look back on it with appreciation. It was filled with many ups and downs, but I learned a lot, and for that I am grateful.

Some things I learned this past year:

  • I need to stop pushing myself more than I can handle. I had some serious mental health issues this year because of pressure from school and pressure that I’ve put on myself, and it made me realize that I need to stop trying to be a perfect student and prioritize my mental health over everything, even school.
  • I need to be more open with my loved ones about the issues I’m facing. My mental health issues got so bad that I realized that I had to tell someone about them. I opened up to my parents, my boyfriend, and my doctor, and it helped a lot. Just being able to talk about what I was going through and have people supporting me made a massive difference, and I hope to continue to be open about these issues.
  • Not all friends last forever. I recently lost the last of my friends from my first year of university. Though I had slowly lost touch with most of them before this, it still sucked because it forced me to acknowledge that that part of my life is over, and that the people who I thought would be my friends for life actually weren’t. Though I still look back fondly on my memories with them, I know that those friendships wouldn’t have worked long-term and that I will find true, lasting friendships in the future.

While I went through a lot of tough times last year, I also had some really positive experiences:

  • I finished my third year of university, making me more than halfway through my degree.
  • I went back to my old job and I’m really enjoying it. It’s fun and interesting, and I love my coworkers.
  • I moved into a one-bedroom apartment and got to experience the thrill of having my own place and not worrying about a roommate.
  • I made a lot of friends, and I’ve become very close to some of them. I haven’t had many close friends in Vancouver over the past few years, so it’s nice to finally have met some people with whom I have a great connection.
  • I started this blog, which has been super fun and has encouraged me to get back into writing.

2018 was a very mixed year, but I am looking forward to 2019. I’m much happier than I was a year ago, and I think this will be a good year for me. I don’t have any concrete resolutions, because I absolutely never follow through with them, but I do have a few small-ish goals that I would like to accomplish.

  1. I want to eat less red meat (sorry, Mom!). It’s partly because I am a huge animal lover and feel super guilty eating meat, particularly that of very smart and/or affectionate animals like cows, and partly because animal agriculture is a major cause of global warming, and I want to help reduce its impact. I’m not going vegetarian, as I am a very picky eater as it is, but I am hoping that I can eat less or even no red meat (and maybe less meat in general) to do my part to help save the planet.
  2. I’ve been saying this forever, but I want to exercise. It’s partly because I want to get in shape and be physically healthy, partly because I want to improve the look of my body so I can be less insecure about it, and partly because physical exercise helps improve mental health, which is something that I want to work on this year.
  3. This is kind of lame, but I’d like to be more social. I am very introverted and I have a busy schedule because of school, but I want to devote more time to maintaining the amazing friendships I’ve made in the past year, and I think spending more time with friends and less time worrying about school will be good for me.
  4. I want to read more. I’ve barely read anything for fun since I started university, but I have literal piles of unread books on my bookshelves, and I want to actually get around to reading some of them this year. It can be hard to motivate myself to do it, especially because I have to read so much for class that it can sometimes take the fun out of it, but I really want to make an effort this year. Over the winter break, I finally got around to reading Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and it reinvigorated my love of reading, so I’d like to continue pleasure reading, even if it’s just in the summer when I have more free time.
  5. Lastly, I’d like to write more. I’ve loved writing posts for this blog, and I’d like to continue it for as long as possible. I also want to do some creative writing, which is my true passion but which I have not done for years. I constantly write down potential novel or screenplay ideas, but I never manage to follow through and completely plan them out, let alone write them, so this year I’d like to do some creative writing.

I am looking forward to (hopefully) accomplishing most of my goals this year, as long as I stay motivated. What are some of your goals for 2019? Since I posted this so late (sorry!), have you had any success with those goals so far?

My End of Semester Motivation Slump

It’s that time of year again! (No, I’m not talking about Christmas)

It’s time for term papers, finals, and an unbearable amount of stress. There’s no better way to get into the holiday spirit than by spending all of your time and energy focusing on school, right?

For real though, the end of each semester is always the absolute worst. As an English major, I always have multiple term papers and at least one final exam. This semester, I have three research papers, which I hate writing because finding journal articles is super difficult and time consuming, and I’d rather just write a simple essay analyzing the text. To make matters worse, all of my papers are due around the same time (as usual), so I have to scramble to get them all done. I am currently on the verge of a breakdown because of all the work I have to do, and this isn’t even counting the final I have for my online class, which I am super behind in because it’s so boring that I’ve just been putting it off for the last month (which I bitterly regret now).

As my general motivation continues to drop every semester, so does my motivation at the end of each semester. It’s been three months, so the last thing I want to do at the very end of it is write a bunch of papers and study for exams. I’m already completely burnt out at this point and have very little energy left to give, so I can’t be expected to do my best work. I tend to write papers as quickly as possible and only do minimal editing because I’m so done with the semester that I don’t care anymore and just want it to be over. I know I should be working my hardest at the end of each semester, and technically I do (because I have the most work to complete at that point), but I don’t put in as much effort as I do earlier on in the semester when I’m not totally dead inside.

My lack of motivation at the end of each semester is exacerbated by my tendency to procrastinate, so in addition to not wanting to write a bunch of essays, I also tend to put them off to the last minute. I say that I won’t do this every semester, and yet here I am in the same situation I’ve been in at the end of every semester of my degree. You would think that I would’ve learned by now, but apparently not. In fact, I think it’s gotten worse. This semester is a prime example of that, as I haven’t even started my biggest term paper and it’s due in a week. I had plenty of time to work on it earlier, as I had very little homework the last few weeks, but instead of getting a head start on any or all of my papers, I just watched YouTube videos and hungout with my boyfriend. I wish that I hadn’t been so lazy in that last few weeks, because if that was the case, I could have been finished my term papers by now (okay, maybe that’s a bit of a stretch, but I’d have a lot more work done for sure).

Now is the point when I’m supposed to offer advice for motivating yourself and not procrastinating in the last few weeks of school, but, as you can probably tell, I’m not in much of a position to be giving anyone advice. All I can say is that you do not want to be in my position right now, because I’m literally spending all day every day doing homework, so try your best to work on it earlier. The sooner you finish, the sooner you can relax and just watch Netflix all day (or go out if you actually have a life).

Right now I’m trying to get all my papers done as quickly as possible because once this semester is over, I can spend all my time doing Christmassy things, like listening to Christmas music, watching cheesy Hallmark movies and classic Christmas movies from my childhood, and dragging my boyfriend and friends to as many Christmas events as possible. I suppose having something so great to look forward to makes it a bit easier to get all this work done.

A Rough Semester…

Currently, I am a month away from being done with my first year of university. Looking back, there have been a lot of ups and downs. But for this post, I am going to focus on the past semester, because it has been anything but easy.

During winter break, I went through a tough time. Not only was I adjusting to being back home in Washington, but I was also dealing with a breakup. I felt sad and alone, even though I was often surrounded by family. Things got worse when essentially all of the friends I had made at university decided to break things off with me. I couldn’t believe that in one month, I had lost so many people.

Luckily for me, I was around family during this time, so I didn’t go completely insane. But eventually, it came time for me to go back to Vancouver. Unfortunately for me, I got a major tooth ache a couple days before I was supposed to travel home. The day I spent traveling home from Vancouver was filled with pain and puking (from all the medication I had been taking for the pain). However, I was happy to finally be back in my dorm.

For the next two weeks, I was extremely lonely. I ended up taking a two week break from social media, and so I spent my time working on homework, watching Netflix, and face timing my mum. Slowly, things got better. I started to reach out to new people and make new friends, and I began to get over the breakups I went through with my boyfriend and my friends.

The next month was pretty great. I spent time with new people, visited my sister in Pennsylvania, turned 18, went to San Francisco and spent time with family. However, I didn’t escape unscathed — during the month of February, I got sick twice. Once with mild bronchitis, and once with strep throat. After all the stress of winter break and January, my immune system shut down.

Despite all the havoc of the past semester, I choose to keep a positive outlook. Now, as we near the end of March, I am doing much better. I have a wonderful new boyfriend, and some great friends. Even if things didn’t go well for the majority of the semester, that doesn’t mean they will continue to go badly. I still have three years left of university (at least), and I plan to make them as memorable and happy as possible — and I am looking forward to seeing what my second year of university has in store for me.

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