perks of being a business student

I’d be the first to say I complain way too much. Lately, I’ve been trying to stay thankful for more things, and one of them is definitely my program. I ever had to pick a degree again, business would still be #1.

ONE: the things you learn are applicable to real life.

Doing taxes? Creating a investment portfolio? Understanding what in the world is happening with your paycheck every payday? Unlike other unfortunate young adults, you aren’t expected to figure these things out on your own. Over break one of my friends taking science confessed that she still didn’t understand what a stock was. After I got over my initial shock, I realized that it just shows how this information that we take for granted is completely alien to others. How many times will your knowledge of the scientific name of a particular complex carbohydrate come in handy in regular walking-down-the-streets life? Probably -2. How many times will you be applying your knowledge of finance? Probably every month, when you’re moaning over your credit card statement.

TWO: let’s face it, we have the biggest job market

I have not heard of many business students who end up being unemployed. In contrast, there are so many people from other programs who end up not getting into the career path they wanted and who then… surprise… get a business degree to increase their job prospects!

THREE: you get to dress fancy… a lot.

I guess this could be a pro and a con, depending on your level of laziness. But business = professional, and professional = getting to justify buying a new outfit every time you go out. You can safely get that blouse knowing there will definitely be an occasion in the near future where you can put it on!

FOUR: all the above for way less work.

Every time a see an engineer’s schedule, I shudder and weep a little bit for them. As a business student, you’re expected to spend a lot of your time socializing and networking instead of just studying – all in the name of building up those “people skills” which are so important in your future career.

FIVE: you need way less school

How many years of school does it take to become a doctor? 11+. What about a lawyer? 7-8. Pharmacist? Again, 8. Accountant? 4 years. The numbers don’t lie. (Although if you take business you know you can find a way to make them skirt the edge of lying…)

SIX: and if you’re the type that likes school… go ahead

Even if you end up deciding that one of the traditional business career paths isn’t for you, your degree will still be applicable to literally anything you want to try next. Like it or not, the world is being run by businesses, so if you want to run the world, speaking the business language is an important first step.

Looking back on why I chose this program in the first place, I can see that I already knew almost all of these reasons (except #4 – that was an added bonus). These are some pretty well-known nuggets of knowledge, but a lot of people looking in from the outside assume that at the end of posts like these there’s going to be some “but”. There actually isn’t. A business degree is pretty awesome, and I definitely don’t regret putting myself in the path of getting one.

I usually like to end these things with some pretty picture that can relate to the post but can also break up the wall of text which is this blog. Since business pictures are pretty boring, and National Ice Cream Day just passed (I ate way too much omg), I found one of three ice cream cones instead. You’re welcome.

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br: when everything feels like the movies

I feel like my time management skills this term have improved a lot more. Or maybe it’s because coop slapped my sleeping schedule firmly into place, so I wake up at a decent hour now. I finally started reading again. Our school’s library has a neat little section of novels chosen by library staff. Last week, I picked one out for the first time. I was in a hurry so didn’t get the chance to go through many books, but this was the one I ended up going home with:

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When everything feels like the movies, by Raziel Reid

Here’s a picture of the jacket summary:

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Pretty cryptic, huh? You can’t tell from this that what it means is that Jude is flamboyantly gay.

Jude’s pov is very interesting. If I could put a concrete feeling into these words it’d be like a Marilyn Monroe documentary – a little wistful, a little ironic, and very delusional. There were several times where I screamed out loud and pleaded with the page not to go where I knew it was going (my poor roommates thought I’d seen a bug, which, admittedly, does arouse the same reaction). But nothing could have prepared me for those last few pages, where the story comes completely off its hinges.

This book was awesome. I need to look at recommended books more often instead of just sticking to the niche of ones I like. As an added bonus, I now cannot walk around without seeing everyone as an actor on set.

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that one time at the movies

An incident happened two weeks ago that bothered me for a while, and I just got reminded about it again today. Even though this experience was small, it made me very introspective.

Context: we were celebrating my friend’s birthday and had booked out our student housing’s theatre for the night. We were in the middle of the movie when three guys came in and said that they had booked out the theatre. What was going on?

I’ll spare you the (un)pleasantries and get to the point. Through a long conversation, it turned out that this is what happened: our student housing website had been under renovation for a while. During this time, they had shut down the function on the website where you could book various amenities in the building. Instead, the front desk had a sign-up sheet where you could sign up for permissions to use the amenities. The afternoon of, we had gone to the front desk to sign up. It looked like the theatre was free so we were able to book it. However, it turned out that at some point the website’s sign-up function had been unblocked and you could now book rooms through there as well. The housing company simply hadn’t communicated this fact to the front desk, so both sign-up methods were still operating, which caused a double-booking this particular night.

No one was willing to give up the theatre. From our end, we were in the middle of the movie and were celebrating our friend’s birthday. From their end, the guy who lived in the building had invited his two friends over. This kind of incident had already occurred to him once, and he didn’t want to lose face in front of his friends again. The front desk was closed so there was no one to mediate the discussion. We thought it was reasonable for us to finish the movie first, because we had gotten to the theatre first. They thought it was reasonable to let them finish using the theatre and for us to come back because they weren’t convinced that we had booked the theatre in the first place.

The conversation became very heated and threats started to be thrown around. Both sides were threatening to call the police. One of my friends actually burst into tears, so we let them take the theatre and left. Everyone was in a pretty sour mood afterwards.

I don’t think any of us really cared about giving the theatre up for them. We had a pretty big TV in our living room that we could use to finish the movie. It’s more about the perceived unfairness of the situation that irked everyone. (Imagine a small child shrieking “but… but that’s not FAAAAAAIR!” and you’d be perfectly visualizing what several young adults were doing in that theatre.) If we had signed up to use the space, how was it fair for us to give it up? I kept thinking back to who was right – there doesn’t seem to be a right answer. If we had to put blame on anybody, this mix-up was the housing company’s fault. But could we have handled the situation any better? I don’t have an answer.

For my part, I’m just glad no fights broke out. Towards the end, I was seriously concerned that fists were going to be thrown. And as empowering as vocalizing your rights is, getting someone’s nose broken would not have been a good ending for anybody.

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5 things you shouldn’t believe

1. “I’m so not ready for that [insert task here]”

I’m pretty sure the world is divided into two sets of people: people who say this and people who hate the people who say this. Unfortunately for me, I fall into the former category. If you belong to the latter, when someone says “I’m so not ready for _____”, simply allow it to translate to “I’m so nervous” in your mind. Not all of us have the confidence to say “I will ace this thing!” in response to that “Are you ready?” question… especially if there’s even a 1% chance we could fail.

2. “You’re still young”

You hear this saying a lot from those of the older generation in relation to life’s milestones. Usually it’s after you’ve given an unsatisfactory answer to one of their probing questions. Unfortunately, when they say “you’re still young”, what they mean is “you’re not young anymore… you should really get your shit together.” And it’s only a matter of time before they start telling you that.

3. “Just kidding!”

Because the best jokes need to be suffixed with “just so you know, this was a joke. Laugh please.” Situations where “just kidding” is used are usually situations where at least a small glimmer of truth was in what was just said, but the voice-er doesn’t want to offend you. Or they do, but they don’t want to be caught by others doing it.

4. “Let’s keep in touch”

How many times have we said this with absolutely no intention of keeping in touch with that person? “Let’s keep in touch” has become the polite way of saying “you’re slightly interesting, but not enough for me to expend effort in building a relationship with” or “you’re not interesting at all. Let me politely get you to leave.” At least there’s a socially acceptable way to dismiss people from your life.

5. “No rush” / “Take your time”

Nothing rushes me more than when someone says “take your time”, because they just reminded me that I am taking up their time in waiting on me. I feel like I was daydreaming while paying for my items at the grocery store, and someone just tapped me on the shoulder and showed me that there was a line full of people behind me. I’ve caught myself being on the giving end of such a line – and if the person then takes more than a few days in getting the item to me, I get legitimately pissed off. I’m trying to get into a better habit of giving others a legitimate timeline instead of simply “no rush” or “take your time” – “could you get this back to me within a week?” means practically the same thing and doesn’t take a dictionary that doesn’t exist to translate.

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dear future me

Blogging 101 Day 4: publish a post you’d like your ideal audience member to read, and include a new-to-you element in it

Dear Future Me,

How’s… whatever you’re up to? Hope you have time for a quick chat. Actually, even if you don’t have time, buckle down sister, you’re going to have to read through this now that you’ve seen it.

What ARE you up to? Are you still doing audit, or are you pursuing some other profession now? Wherever you are, I hope you’ve remembered not to let work take over your entire life. You’re someone that gets easily obsessed, but make sure you’re staying obsessed over the right, healthy things. If you ever lose your way, just remember this: corporations aren’t people.

Are you still reading books? Your brother just started on the Harry Potter and Divergent series. How is your brother? Is he still swimming?

Are you still doing Blogilates? Right now, you’re obsessed with her. You’re even considering becoming certified. Did that end up happening, or have you found some other form of fitness?

What are your current celebrity obsessions? Are Emily Blunt and John Krasinski still together? You’ve been obsessively watching their interviews for about a week now, and they still seem like the most adorable couple ever. I hope they’re still together by the time you’re reading this… don’t tell me if they’ve broken up (although I guess you can’t).

There are some things you’ve realized about yourself lately, and I thought I’d remind you about them in case you forget again:

Think before you speak. Remember that app, Episode, that you were so engrossed in you had to delete it after a month because it was taking over your life? You always put so much thought into every decision you made… you should be doing that in real life too. Think about the consequences of every action you make, everything you say… and for the love of god, stop pushing people away by telling them the worst things about yourself just because you’re afraid. You do not need to “initiate” every friend by revealing a bundle of crazy – if they need to know, they’ll find out at the right time.

It’s OK to be comfortable and not want to change. Being static is not a bad thing – when you feel yourself stalling, it’s not a sign to surge forward to fulfill people’s unmet expectations. I don’t know about you reading this now, but as I’m writing this, you still find yourself evaluating yourself after every single meeting, even if it’s just a gathering of friends. Stop it. You don’t need to be the “bubbly” friend, or the “mature” friend -being yourself is good enough. (Even if it isn’t, no one will tell you, and you can rest easy in blissful oblivion.)

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Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, I hope you’re doing well. Stay strong, stay positive, stay happy. Muah.

who i am and why i’m here

Before we begin: I’m currently taking part in Blogging 101. All my posts related to that course will be tagged blogging101. For those of you who are also into blogging, I encourage you to join me and the rest of the community of bloggers!

The topic of our assignment today was to write a “who I am and why I’m here” post. I figured that since this blog is only the latest of many I’ve taken a stab at, that I would start by explaining my relationship with blogging instead.

I started blogging in elementary school. I was really into creative writing back then, and started a website where I wanted to showcase my writing and other people’s writing as well. For some reason, I thought that if I created a webpage, people would find it, submit their stories to me and I could publish it on my website, and thereby build a community. I had no recognition of how hard it was to even have people find your blog back then. After a few weeks of very few views, I gave up on that venture. (I tried to find a link for you guys, but I forget the name of the site so… sorry).

I then started my first real blog. I posted in this one throughout most of high school. Since I was also writing book reviews for an online company during that time, I also wrote reviews of other books I read on my blog. My teenage self also constantly swivelled between dry sarcasm and major angst, so I also had wrote some “opinion” pieces. Reading them now makes me laugh and cringe simultaneously.

I switched to this blog mostly because I disliked Blogger. My poor blog underwent several major renovations (these were usually done during one of my moody fits and were reflective of those moods – I’ve had a pink blog with fluffy clouds and I ended with a theme reminiscent of a geeky tech blog from the 90s), but they never met my satisfaction for more than a few days. I would look at other blogs for inspiration, and the ones I enjoyed the most were almost always WordPress. One of my favourite bloggers at the time was Singaporean Xiaxue (I even wrote a post about her), and she had talked about wanting to switch over to WordPress (something she never ended up doing for some reason).

So now I’m here. Compared to my other blogs, this one lacks focus, which kind of parallels my life these days. I haven’t had time to read as many books as I used to (< one per term even), so I can’t possibly write any book reviews, and without the inspiration of other writers to draw from, I felt like writing anything was pointless because my technique would stagnate in a pool without flowing influences. Once I stopped for a little while, it was easy to stop entirely.

Why am I trying to revive this stuttering blog? Well, I’ve been reading more blogs lately, and it’s inspired me to give this thing another shot. Whenever I find one of my diaries from back when I was a child, I always get a good laugh.

How is this different from a diary? I don’t keep a diary anymore. In case you haven’t gleaned from some of my entries on this blog or my old one, I can become quite emo given the right conditions. When I’m writing entries just for me, my thoughts turn dark very quickly, whereas when I’m writing on the Internet, the caution of a stranger / someone I know reading this helps keep me in check. It’s my own twisted way of self-protection, I guess.

What topics will I write about? Probably pop culture, university life, and possibly coop? I also want to write more short stories.

What will I hope to accomplish within the next year? I won’t be optimistic in thinking I’ll be able to dedicate to this blog the time that it needs. Hopefully I will at least be able to maintain my goal of one post a month.

almost 20

As the new year hits, I’m realizing that I’ll be 20 soon. Where did all the time go? It feels like yesterday that I was on a grade 6 band trip, wearing my first ever pair of heels and dancing on the bus with my fellow gap-toothed classmates, my flute forgotten in the corner. Do I even know how to play the flute anymore?

Now that I’m almost 20, my family’s perception of my perpetually single status has changed dramatically. In high school, any mention of a boy would receive eyebrow raised and a slight frown. Now, not a phone call home goes by without casual questions about if there are any guys that have “caught my eye”. I feel like a can of food they suddenly found expiring on a back shelf and are now determined to do something with. It doesn’t help that my Mom is also fond of using the “girls have an expiration date” analogy. She seems pretty adamant that my choices are to either find a boyfriend immediately or be an old maid forever.

Almost 20 year-old me has started worrying about other things too. Are the people I’m surrounding myself with now going to be lifelong friends who will end up having a profound impact on my life? Will I ever learn to cook properly? Shouldn’t I have most of this figured out by now?

I’m glad I at least picked a career path with immediate job prospects. Seeing my friends struggling over medical and law school prep is a constant reminder that the path I chose was definitely not the most difficult. It eases my mind knowing I’ll have a solid job to fall back on no matter what. One part of my life that’s neat and orderly. Now to just clean up the gazillion other pieces.

In 6 months and 20 days I will officially have left my teenage years behind. If two decades passed by this fast, how long will it be before I reach 30? 40? What will my life be like then? I feel as if so far, I’ve played a mostly passive role in my own life… I’ve waited around for others to act, and just rolled with the punches. I went to the schools my parents suggested, took the tests they wanted me to take, led the clubs others thought I should lead, applied to jobs everyone thought I should want. So far it’s turned out all right, but what happens when there’s no longer anyone to make the decision for me? I can see it happening already – my parents are slowly backing away from major decisions (except to firmly tell me there’s no way I could ever make it in investment banking… thanks for the vote of confidence Dad), my classmates are all going down unique paths that would be impossible to emulate, my friends can no longer answer my increasingly desperate questions with simple binary answers. At some point I have to turn from someone that’s been learning to someone that’s providing the information. And that scares the shit out of me.

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It feels a bit weird to be done with exams and have absolutely no obligations. I feel like I’ve forgotten how to relax for more than an hour at a time. I worked so hard to look forward to doing absolutely nothing, but after just a day of it I’m already bored.

 

 

Why I Love Anna Akana

I found Anna Akana through Ray William Johnson (ironically, I don’t watch him anymore). It was refreshing to see someone in media who looked just like me. Even after she and Ray broke up and she found a new boyfriend, I kept watching her, because by then she had ceased to be just “Ray’s girlfriend” but stay-awesome-Gotham Anna Akana.

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I found her vlogs to be very empowering and funny, but always with a message. I could relate to all the trouble she had – compulsive lying, being introverted, being a homebody. I loved her videos because she wouldn’t just complain about her problems- she would teach you how to solve them.

Recurring themes in her videos are working hard in order to excel at what you do. She frequently shares her goals in life. Last year, she started a pledge to do ten short films a year in order to improve her storytelling skills. At first, I was heartbroken because I loved her vlogs. Was this the last I would hear of her stories? I loved her tales about her life (how she worked as a cocktail waitress, got tricked into a date, or even regular stories at the gym etc.)- were those going to stop?

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But then Hallucination and Emergency Call came out- and they were absolutely spectacular. True to her word, they kept getting better. I must have watched her most recent short film, Loose Ends, half a dozen times. Her string of short films serves to me as a concrete example of how much someone can really improve just by committing to something.

In most respects, Anna Akana is a figure far removed from me… she’s older, working in a different industry, and on the whole is a way less conservative person. But I like to think that on the inside, we’re on the same wavelength. She constantly inspires me, and her work is symbolic of how hard work and dedication can make a world of difference. Whenever I’m down or feeling demotivated, playing one of her videos will always inspire me- and give me a good laugh. Thanks Anna!

Stay Awesome Gotham

Her Stalker

She’s attractive, athletic, smart. She has a huge circle of friends, and has just gotten an early acceptance into medical school. She seems to have the perfect life.

But she has a secret.

She’s crazy.

Or maybe that’s just what her stalker wants her to think.

He shows up whenever she’s alone. No matter how hard she tries – changing the lock, bolting the window, installing a new security camera – he always manages to get in. She tries to ignore him whenever he visits, but it’s so hard because he knows how to push all her buttons

He has a way of sucking every ounce of happiness from her. He does it systematically, relentlessly, regardless of how hard she cries or how long she begs. Sometimes when she’s too happy, she remembers him, and remembers to keep her happiness under control. He can sense it and it draws him to her, like a shark to blood.

She’s taken to suddenly jerking away from him, as if preparing for a physical blow. But he never uses his hands… those would leave too much evidence, and might prove to others that he had been there. So he just talks.

It’s because of him that she is terrified of being alone. Even minutes of silence terrify her, because she knows that he takes it as an invitation to slip back in. She’s taken to loudly playing the sounds of people socializing when she’s by herself… she takes comfort in their voices, and it keeps his at bay.

Showers are the worst because when she comes out there’s the silence again. She places her cellphone right on the edge of the sink, and as soon as the shower is turned off, she clambers out, soaking wet, to press the PLAY button.

Sometimes she wonders if other people also have an imaginary stalker. One time he showed up while she was walking down the street with Cindy, and she told him to fuck off like she always did. Cindy looked at her in astonishment, so she apologized. Other people must not have stalkers like her. They were so lucky.

One night she’s alone. She has never dreamed about him before, but tonight she does. When she opens her eyes, he’s there. With a strangled cry, she pushes him away. It’s the first time she’s touched him. For once, he has no words.

As he turns to leave, she awakens. Maybe she was asleep this whole time. Maybe she was asleep her whole life. She certainly has never felt more awake.

She chases him down the stairs, through the house. She’s heard his voice a billion times, but she’s never seen his face before. Now that she’s awake, she’s curious. As she goes through the kitchen, she grabs the pen knife. In the living room, she corners him. His hands reach out to touch the wall – for once he is the one who ran – now there is no escape – he turns – she screams –

The knife pierces her stomach. She is looking into his eyes… its eyes… her eyes.

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