2017 End Of The Year Goals

Most people wait until the new year to set their resolutions. I want to end my 2017 on a positive note. 2017 started off unstable for me. Suffering from cattiness, bullying, anxiety, and depression the first few months, it appeared like this year was going to be quite the rollercoaster. In August, I moved to California. This was a decision that completely changed my life (for the better).

I am the type of person that dwells on the past. When something doesn’t go my way, I reflect and contemplate why that happened. When I fail to accomplish my already unattainable goals, I get saddened. My perspectives on goals have changed recently. Before I begin listing what I expect to accomplish in 2018, here were my senior year goals:

  1. Get a 4.0 GPA both semesters of school
  2. Befriend all my professors – Ask for extra help and recommendation letters
  3. Earn $10,000 in profit through work, other freelancing opportunities, selling pre-loved things to new & welcoming homes, and blogging (a girl can still dream)
  4. Volunteer once a month. It doesn’t matter where, when, or what charity
  5. Buy a sewing machine then learn how to use it

As you can see, only 2/5 of my goals were achieved. And that’s okay! Earning $10,000 in a couple months without having a steady, full-time job is nearly impossible to do. Volunteering while travelling, in cities I’m visiting without proper transportation is difficult. And how did I expect to lug back a sewing machine from California to Toronto?

My senior year wasn’t a complete flop though. On top of befriending all my professors and getting a 4.0 GPA (So happy about this), I progressed in areas of my life I didn’t even realize needed attention.

 My fitness journey & body appreciation

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It took me 21 years to realize the importance of body acceptance and self-love. For once I am FULLY satisfied and appreciative of my petite, 5’2″ stature. Going to the gym regularly has made me realize that strength (both internal and external) is not defined by an individual’s frame. I feel stronger and healthier than ever before and no person, bigger or taller than me, will ever belittle my self-love again.

Now, onto my end of the year and new year goals

2018 All About Me

Sounds a little conceded, I know. But, the second half of 2017 was rewarding because I was centred on my self and my self worth. For once, I lived my life focusing merely on me. I want to continue this in 2018.

  1. That workout grind continues.
    • Instead of achieving a specific body type, I workout to gain mental strength and stability. It helps me clear my mind. If I gain physical strength as well, that is a bonus!
  2. Work, Work, Work
    • As you have probably assumed, California has drained my bank account (I have no regrets though). Since my course load next semester is extremely light, I plan to find a job, or two, or three.
  3. Take a trip
    • A lot of my happiness this year stemmed from travelling. I made a whole blog section on it. I have the travel bug.
  4. Apply to Graduate School
    • I’m taking a year off before I begin my masters. 2018 is the year to apply to my dream schools.
  5. Start a creative initiative
    • Super general, but I want to keep this a secret. I already have an idea of what I would like to do. I think a leadership role producing some creative content will be rewarding for me.
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School Blues

I have so many issues with people who constantly complain about school. And yes, I totally understand coming from a Middle-Upper class, European-Canadian home, I do hold privilege in the education institution. Curriculums have been catered to my upbringing and I recognize the incorrectness in this. 

However, I am a first-generation immigrant and was the first person in my immediate family to graduate high-school and receive a bachelors degree. My family’s lack of education has constantly pushed me to continue mine. 


Catholic school, private school, studying abroad in Italy, university (both in Canada and America), and soon-to-be graduate school… I have been granted an education, IN A FIELD I LOVE, that many people only dream of. I am grateful for this. One day, I will share the knowledge I have obtained with others.

As a journalism and women’s studies student, I am bombarded daily with assignments, essays, and articles to write. Oh and did I mention that I need to stay up-to-date with current event stories from all over the world? This isn’t to devalue any other major, but I complete way more assignments than the average college student.

Sometimes I wish that my programs would consist of only two exams and one major assignment. This is the standard course load I see in a lot of other majors. But, these were the degrees I chose. And, I have no regrets.

I love school. I would chant it from the top of the CN Tower in Toronto if I could. Sure, those late nights writing 20 page papers were brutal at times. But, I’ve been dreading graduating university ever since I was in Preschool. The end came so soon. How, in the matter of months will I be done 2 university degrees? Sure, I can probably prolong my degree. Take a 5th year, mess around and take a bunch of random courses. But, I’m already taking an extra semester I don’t really need. For what? To boost my already high average into a perfect 4.0. Is that really necessary? Nope, not at all.

This isn’t to brag about my knowledge. Everyone is smart in their own way. But, I saw something the other day that completely disheartened me. And it was this…

It’s so easy to claim you hate school when a big assignment is due. School is indeed stressful at times. But, if you’re constantly going to complain about your workload, skip class, or put in the bare minimum… You should not be in school. School, isn’t for everyone.

My issue arises because I acknowledge that school is a privilege. My parents were unable to receive an education because of familial and economic reasons. Though that was over 30 years ago, these inabilities to access education still occur today. Before you complain about hating school, think of all the individuals who were and still are unable to receive the same opportunity you have been given.

People are denied an education because:

  1. They simply cannot afford it
  2. They have familial duties (Usually tied in with economic inability)
  3. There are no education facilities in their local area
  4. They have disabilities & the society does not want to accommodate them
  5. They are a woman (Usually tied to poor sanitation and lack of menstrual accommodations)
  6.  AND MORE

So please, if learning really is a burden for you, either think twice about your position of privilege or simply question whether a higher education is right for you. As I stated previously, school isn’t for everyone.

UC Berkeley

Ah, the search for graduate school continues. My undergraduate life is coming to an end (CRYING), but a new chapter is about to begin. The big question is… What graduate school should I go to? I need to attend a school that caters towards my program, needs, and views.

Any answers are much appreciated! 

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  • Hoping to get a Master’s in Journalism
  • Want to take elective courses related to my Women’s Studies Minor, like International Relations topics
  • Political views are pretty Liberal, but I want a campus where freedom of speech and opinion is welcomed
  • Even though I’m a graduate student, I still want that college feel
  • I’m a sucker for beautiful architecture
  • I want to be surrounded by hard-working, intelligent people

Now onto the whole reason I wrote this blog post… My trip to UC Berkeley! Berkeley has always been a possible graduate school option for me. It’s renowned for its competitive acceptance rate and academic opportunities. I’ll admit, this university has some outstanding reviews from students, faculty members, and visitors. However, I didn’t realize how well suited this campus was for me until I visited.

The Campus

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Animal Rights Protest in Place

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Sather Tower (The Campanile)

Library

The Social Life

Work and Social balance is extremely important to me. Even though my academics always come first, I make time to explore and have fun. For a school that is home to some of brightest students in the world, this campus sure knows how to party! I had a wonderful time celebrating Berkeley’s alumni weekend at both a Fraternity party and the Football game (GO BEARS)!

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Fraternity Party

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Outside The Fraternity House

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Football Game

Whether I end up going to Berkeley or not, I had an amazing experience learning about the school’s traditions, cultures, and history. I think fate will definitely lead me to the graduate school that is right for me.

Special shoutout to Serena for giving me a personal tour of the campus!

California Dreaming

If you had asked me around this time last year if I would be on academic exchange, I would probably say no. I had a lot of other SHIT going on in my life. But, a turn of events caused me to spontaneously apply to study in California this Fall. I applied exactly one day before the application was due. I received my acceptance letter almost immediately. And just like that, my life was about to change.

The Anticipation

Leading up to exchange, it almost seemed as if everyone was more excited than I was. Everywhere I went, people I knew would stop me and say the most generic travelling things:

“You’re going to have so much fun!”

“You’re so lucky, I never got to do that when I was in college!”

“You’re never going to want to come back home!”

I would usually dismiss these statements. For me, this exchange is was merely an opportunity to study abroad. Whenever people would say I was “so lucky” and was “going to have so much fun,” I would get annoyed. I wasn’t travelling for mere leisure, I was here to go to school. Little did I know that only 2 weeks abroad, I would already feel like a changed person.

The Beginning

I can’t say I really liked California much my first few days here. I was feeling homesick already. I spent my first day alone in a hotel then the following few days in an Airbnb. I was alone in a new country. I didn’t have anyone to call or hang out with. My days were spent lying down in a bed that wasn’t mine, watching Netflix, and ordering in food. I felt as if I had just made the biggest mistake of my life coming here.

This all changed a few days later during “International Student Orientation.” I completely forgot how hard it was to make friends. There was this HUGE line of International students. Over 300 of us. All of them clearly from different countries. But, being the ambitious little woman that I am, I approached the Swedish girl in-front of me (She is now my roommate hehe). One friend, turned into 2 friends, and later that day I already had a whole crew of friends from all over the world!

The Change-Up

It’s funny how meeting new people and FINALLY settling in changes your perception of your environment. Only 3 weeks into my exchange and I already want to call California home. My professors are AMAZING, the weather is beautiful, and my mindset has been nothing but positive. Other than missing my family, close friends, and my dog, I haven’t experienced any sad, anxious or negative thoughts recently. I am truly happy. I see California as a land of opportunity and all I want to do is experience everything.

Stay turned for my new travel series – First stop, CALIFORNIA.

Goals For Senior Year

Each new school year, I make myself a goal list.

My overly ambitious self assumes that (based on the laws of attraction, of course) if I write down my wishes, they will come true. Unfortunately, my Notes app on my iPhone isn’t a genie bottle. I sometimes forget that.

I’m almost embarrassed to share my junior year goal list with you. Basically, none of my “wishes” came true. But, I guess that is exactly what happens when believe that your life path exists as one straight line. You cannot predict or plan your future. I learned this the hard way.

My Junior Year Goal List Was:

  1. Start A Blog
  2. Become A Freelance Writer For A Magazine
  3. Cut Down On Drinking & Partying
  4. Meditate Everyday
  5. Don’t Be Such A Bitch To Men (Some Guys Are Actually Nice)
  6. Start Reading Again
  7. Become President Of AOII

The only goal I was actually able to complete was Number 1. Numbers 2-4 happened partially or later on in the year. Numbers 5-7 didn’t happen at all. What I hate most in life is being labelled as a failure. I feel as if I failed because I was unable to complete all these goals. I’m in complete shock that I’m even sharing this list with the world right now… But, there is a reason why I am doing so. 

No one should have to feel like a failure.

I cannot emphasize this enough. Trying to achieve a certain amount of goals in a short period of time is nearly impossible to do. The motivated self you are at the beginning of a new term isn’t who you will be throughout the actual year. Life is unpredictable. There will be hurdles along the way.

The only reason I decided to keep and even share my failed list of goals from my junior year was so that I can avoid making the same mistakes when creating my new list. Almost instantly I know that adding any goals that involve the help or reliance on other people should be disregarded. You need to be in charge of your goals. You cannot be dependent on the unreliability of others. 

Next, I need to remember that daily schedules get busy. I tend to make goals when my life is at a bit of a halt. The silence I hear in my life now won’t last very long. Soon I will be bombarded with school assignments, events, travel, work, blogging, running errands, and all of the unforeseen circumstances that might come my way. Because of this, any daily or leisure goals this year will be avoided.

You can control the future (Well, to some degree).

Life remains unpredictable. But, striving for a particular end result is in fact do-able. That is, if you remain realistic and continue to be hard-working. I continue to make goal lists because they are what push me through my day-to-day activities. Yes, goals to me are literally an imaginary person I create to forcibly push me in the right direction. And failed goals you might ask? To stick with the same imagery, failure exists as another imaginary friend. Failure was once that friend that used to push me towards success, but has since failed me.  This was either because of a change in my life direction, unforeseen circumstances, etc. Yet, failure will forever be in my life. It now exists as a hardship I have overcome, a lesson I have learned and a push to try even harder in the future.

Now… The long awaited goal list for my upcoming senior year.

My Goal List This Year Is:

  1. Get a 4.0 GPA both semesters of school
  2. Befriend all my professors – Ask for extra help and recommendation letters
  3. Earn $10,000 in profit through work, other freelancing opportunities, selling pre-loved things to new & welcoming homes, and blogging (a girl can still dream)
  4. Volunteer once a month. It doesn’t matter where, when, or what charity
  5. Buy a sewing machine then learn how to use it – THERE WILL BE A BLOG POST UP SOON ON MY NEW OBSESSION WITH RE-WORKED CLOTHES & SLOW FASHION!! LET’S ALL WORK TOWARDS ENDING SWEATSHOPS