The Anti-Bucket List



There’s certainly been a lot of talk about bucket lists in the past. Everyone’s always raving about skydiving and donating hair and cross-country road trips. Don’t get me wrong, the idea of a bucket list is truly inspiring, but today I’d like to make a list that documents the flipside. The following are some of the things I’d rather die than do before I die. Hopefully you can relate to some of them.

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The Lowdown on Being a Social Media Addict

Let’s just face the facts: we’re all addicted to social media in some way or another. There might be a handful of you that legitimately do not succumb to that social media itch, but the rest of you are probably thinking, “Me? An addict? What? No, definitely not.” Yeah, you! You’re in the same boat as everyone else…and here’s why:

1) The first thing you do in the morning is NOT brush your teeth (c’mon who were you trying to kid?), but instead wade through your Instagram. All of your favourite celebrities have left you filtered memoirs of their days (and dinners) and you aren’t moving that butt until you’ve seen it all. Scroll, double tap, scroll, scroll, double tap.

2) The same celebs will inspire you later to perfectly arrange your breakfast and Instagram it, and although it may not get the same response, you’re satisfied with the twelve ‘likes’ you’ve gotten.

3) Next on your daily checklist is eliminating all the red 1’s and 2’s floating above your apps. While at first they might thrill you, no one wants them hanging around for the rest of the day – you’ve got to make way for more.

4) The secondary activities that stem from step #3 may or may not involve tweeting, re-tweeting, re-pinning, liking everything on Facebook, or dropping a comment or two.

5) Various stages of your day will be documented through Snapchat in the form of selfies (post-shower, breakfast, lecture, gym – the list is endless).

6) And a picture of your latte may slide its way onto Instagram too. #whitegirlproblems.

7) You literally think in 140 characters all throughout the day. And more often than not, you will find yourself saying, “I’m going to tweet that!”

8)   “I’m sorry, I totally missed what you were saying but here’s something really funny on *insert name of social networking site*”.

9) You could respond entirely in memes instead of words because of your extensive knowledge of them.

10) Your followers to following ratio is something you secretly pride.

11) You can’t function without a charger, or an area that doesn’t have an electric outlet, because now anything you say happened in your day basically didn’t. No way to document it.

A Peek Inside The Mind of a 19-year-old Going On 20


There are 253 days until I leave my insecure teenage self behind and enter the world of twenty-somethings.

From what I’ve read, heard, and seen of the world, your teenage years are the years you spend drowning in heartache and regret, yet somehow you reach the climax of your 19th year pining for every ounce of that agony back just so you don’t have to turn 20.

My Facebook feed is constantly prompting me to read “Things everyone should know before they turn 20” and “Things all 20-somethings regret” (suggestions I rarely follow, might I add), and it just pushes me to wonder what it is about putting a two and a zero together that suddenly makes life so particularly daunting.

While I’ll admit to being influenced by the big two-o in some sense or the other, it certainly isn’t in a way that makes me want to flee back to “When you’re fifteen, and somebody tells you they love you, you’re gonna believe them…” No sir, I’m fine, thank you very much!

Well, see, looking back on my insecure teenage self, I see that I spent precisely five years of my teenage life buried in self-loathing, jealousy, insecurity, and entirely too much bitchiness. It was terrible, and I mean terrible as in abominable, repulsive, egregious, deplorable, and horrifying. I was left with only one year (not even) to snap out of my sorrowful state and get real.

I won’t go into the details of what changes came about when I snapped out of it, for the sake of avoiding regurgitating self-help books and motivational gurus. But all I want to say is that, thinking of my twenties doesn’t make me want to hide in a corner with my tail tucked between my legs.

It makes me picture a time when I can finally take control of my own life; a time when I can finally live up to my own expectations (because, really, that’s when you please yourself and everyone around you the most). When I imagine my twenties, I see myself working hard – not just at school, and not for the sake of competition – but for the sake of thriving on the feeling that hard work and its results inspire. I see myself standing tall and feeling independent. I see myself one step closer to achieving my goal of becoming a writer (whether I write fiction, news, or reviews — whatever). I see myself finally becoming the woman my 13-year-old-self dreamed of: One in control of her own life.

(See what I mean by “sounding like a self-help book”?)

A Love Letter to My iPhone



Dear iPhone,

The day we met, I knew you were the best thing to happen to me since chicken nuggets. The first time I held you, I was blown away…no plastic, no bumpy keys. I could type and type and type without having to hear that hideous ‘click’ sound that pressing buttons makes. Your pictures makes the world look like a better place. And your front camera, oh, that front camera…it’s done wonders for my selfies! You never scare the living sh*t out of me when you vibrate, which, sadly, I can’t say for the others in my past. You rid me of that useless obsession, BBM, and for that, I can never thank you enough. You’re so caring…You inform me of the weather conditions before I leave the house so I’m never stuck in flats on a snowy day.

I won’t butter you up too much though. We’ve had our fare share of issues and there are some issues that I just can’t ignore. You frustrate me when you run out of battery in the middle of the day (even on those days when I barely use you) and when you quit apps mid-game. Sometimes you shut off for no good reason and leave me baffled. Why would you do that, iPhone? And when I’m in a heated argument, you keep cramping my style. ‘Shot’ and ‘duck’? Are those new swear words or something? I really thought you knew me better.

Regardless, I know that nothing is perfect, and I wouldn’t be able to do without you, iPhone. People may talk trash and say I can do better, but they don’t understand what we have. I hope that one day you will learn to accept my friend, Flash player, but until then, I can deal with loving you guys separately.

Yours truly,

Karuna Israni

The Little Things


University life in today’s day and age is known to be way more stressful than when our parents and grandparents were completing their education. The peer pressure, the level of competition, and the risk of unemployment, have reached new heights and has placed a lot of unnecessary strain on university students. In trying to escape the hellish workload, we hunt through our imaginations for a grand escape, or a de-stressor that could help lighten our loads. One crucial point that’s often overlooked though, is that life’s biggest pleasures can be found in some of the littlest things. There’s no need to pile on the stress while trying to find ways to cool off because the answer is sitting at the tips of our noses…


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How to Stay Motivated During School

It’s the middle of midterm season, I’m drowning in a sea of loose papers and textbooks, and Teen Wolf is on TV. Despite all of this, I’m still going to pause it all so I can tell you guys how to stay on track.

Pretty generous, I know.


In all seriousness, it could just be me (though I’m pretty sure it’s not), but this semester seems almost twice as busy as the last. Everyone I talk to seems swamped – waist-deep – with schoolwork, and it can definitely be difficult to find encouragement when you feel trapped by your workload.

The dark side may have cookies, but the Internet has Facebook, Tumblr AND Netflix waiting for you.


So, for those of us that are experts of the Web, but are still motivationally-challenged, I present to you three ways to beat your procrastination issues:


This extension is available to almost all types of browsers (yes, even those of you on Internet Explorer). It blocks websites (of your choice) for a specified amount of time so you can focus only what is absolutely necessary –  that you hand your paper before that 9am deadline. I can’t even recall how many times this has helped me in the past.


A lot of people gawk at me when I say I read better with music playing, but I’m sure I’m not the only one. For those of you that are musically inclined but know how much time/effort making a ‘study’ playlist takes, here’s a website with pre-made playlists that are based largely on moods. Hit ‘Explore’ and type in ‘study’ + whatever genre floats your boat, and voila! You’re good to go.

The Pomodoro Technique

Someone in high school suggested this to me. In the simplest terms, The Pomodoro Technique breaks up your time so that you can a) work efficiently and b) prevent a burnout from happening. This particular method suggests creating time slots of 25 minutes in which you work intensely, then take a short break, and then resume your next 25 minutes of productivity. Reminder: your ‘short break’ should ideally be less than 25 minutes long.

And as a special bonus…

You can click here and here!


Go get ‘em, tiger!

How NOT to Psych Yourself Out Before an Exam



Let’s get down to something that’s going to drive us all crazy this coming month: exams. I can already hear terrified shrieks as some of you merely read the word. All-nighters, pervasive coffee breath, and complete disregard for physical appearance are only some of the symptoms of this dreadful epidemic. From what I’ve mentioned so far, it’s apparent that exams can cause a fair amount of panic, be it from testophobia (yes, that’s actually the word for it) or last minute work. So let’s talk about tackling exam stress and avoiding a freak situation at the eleventh hour.

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I’m a Raving Bore


Let’s rewind to my freshman year – September 5th 2012 to be precise. It was the busiest day of Frosh week and I had attended a whopping half an hour out of the entire eleven-hour schedule.

Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy meeting new people – just not in forced program-specific groups, exchanging information about our hobbies and home countries. Unlike my enthusiastic fellow-froshies, I was the perfect blend of awkward and lazy. Group workshops, icebreakers and cheer competitions? I’ll pass.


For this reason, I decided to go only to the last event of the night – Apocalypta Pub or First Pub (which ever one it was called). Apart from the fact that I had friends attending, a party is, in my opinion, a better way to socialize.

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