Your Passion Has Limits: A Fanboy’s Reflection on Overstepping Communal Boundaries


Being an unashamed comic book and superhero enthusiast, I have had a multitude of experiences with other devoted fans of pop cultural phenomena (as you would know if you read my previous blog post). Attending Toronto’s Fan Expo has become an end of summer tradition for me, an occasion that necessitates me to cosplay as some obscure character from the pages of a comic book. So yeah, I fit the “fanboy” profile quite snugly.

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A Ticket to Wonderland



Ever feel like getting away from life? But can’t afford a plane ticket?

We all have a place we go to when life gets overwhelming and if you haven’t discovered that place, I hope you find it. For me personally, when I’m overwhelmed, tired, and discouraged, I try to read something to distract myself. However, not just any book—I read a book about another world, another life, where chivalry still exists but women are strong and independent; a book where the characters are so human you believe they exist and are living amongst us. I try to think about the character’s life, the character’s difficulties, and understand how they overcome their troubles. As odd as this must sound, my sanctuary in books is not for escapist reasons but for relation, perspective, and wisdom. I’ve learned through books that even the villain has a story, that every character has some sort of difficulty—it makes me think of my life and the problems I must overcome. Sometimes, we are so consumed in our problems and our lives that we forget that a world of people exist around us, a world where other people may be experiencing the exact same troubles we are. Whoa, I know that was some deep stuff. What can I say? I like books.

*shoulder shrug*

A book that I hold close to my heart—or rather, a book series—is the Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi. This book changed my life—I know that’s epic, but it was written so beautifully, so genuinely; I believed that I was the main character and in some aspects we were quite similar.

“I spent my life folded between the pages of books.
In the absence of human relationships, I formed bonds with paper characters. I lived love and loss through stories threaded in history; I experienced adolescence by association. My world is one interwoven web of words, stringing limb to limb, bone to sinew, thoughts and images all together. I am a being comprised of letters, a character created by sentences, a figment of imagination formed through fiction.”
― Tahereh Mafi, Shatter Me

In high school, I found it difficult to form strong ties with people—I felt odd and out of place and often felt like no one understood me. I pushed people away, like my family members, and pushed pieces of myself to the far corners of my mind. It wasn’t a great place to be. So one day I found this book and the main character was this broken, isolated girl that was scared of who she might be and who she would become. I was terrified of who I may become and if I would make it to university, so I read to look for relation, for some sort of understanding, for myself through Juliette’s eyes. I found that I should stop worrying and stop pushing people away to accept my life and myself. To be a little odd because I was a book nerd, and oddness surrounds us like oxygen. I learned that I should wake up, to “ignite”,  to start living life with vigor and hope and strength. I accepted who I was after this book series, and until this day, my favourite word is ignite.

When I’m feeling sluggish and discouraged, I tell myself to ignite, to spark a wild flame, to open my closed eyes, to breathe in, to wake up, to live my life because life is so short, and I must make the most out of my time on earth. I love, love, love this book and have worn out the pages with my continuous reading of it.

Anyway, that is my sanctuary, and what I love most about it is that once I crawl out of my hobbit hole and face my life, I can admit where I have gone wrong and apologize for my sour behaviour. I have a moment of clarity of understanding and responsibility. I try to change myself after taking that needed break from life—I try to be better somehow, some way.

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, said Jojen. The man who never reads lives only one.”

― George R.R. Martin, A Dance with Dragons

If the Pants Fit…



Name: Christine Sharma

Age: 20

Body Type: I’m going to say standard.

This is not another article on how you should love your body no matter what size or shape you are.

This is about how all of our bodies are standard body types. You don’t have to define yourself as a “size” or a “shape”. You are not fat and you are not skinny, because using words like “fat”, “skinny”, “tall”, and “short” attempts to define what a “normal” body type is in terms of how much you deviate from the norm. But if everybody has different body types, aren’t we all normal? Can we not all have standard bodies?

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How To: Survive Group Projects


I hate group projects.

Apparently, group projects are supposed to “lessen your load” and give you “teamwork experience” and help you “learn from each other”.

But when you’re dealing with other group mates, that’s not always the case. There will be someone who is completely unresponsive, doesn’t do any work, and doesn’t show up for group meetings, and still gets their name on the assignment. Next, there’s the person who tries to take charge entirely and do everything on their own, and sometimes the group will let this person do all of the work. And then there’s that one person whom you kind of feel bad for because they try to contribute, but most of their work is wrong.

Or maybe I’m just a control freak.

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It’s a ‘Marvel’ous Time to Love Heroes!



Gadzooks! If you’re not already a fan of the Marvel Cinematic universe, there’s no better time than now to become one! Last week, Avengers: Age of Ultron leaked in all of its glory, showcasing the despair and hardship that faces our favourite team of cinematic heroes. Personally, the shot of Iron Man and the Hulk facing off was all it took for me to say, “Marvel, just take my ______ money!” (Feel free to use your imagination there). Seriously, if you haven’t checked it out, go do it now! As if the hype weren’t huge enough already for fans, Marvel announced on Tuesday the full lineup of their next phase of movies… and it’s a doozy! If you don’t know who Black Panther, Captain Marvel, Doctor Strange, and the Inhumans are now, you will in the next five years! Geeks everywhere are surely having “nerdgasms” right now, and I’m no exception. Witnessing Benedict Cumberbatch monologue and cast spells as Doctor Strange in 2016…awesome!

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You Can’t Sleep When You’re Dead



There’s a phrase for university students: “I’ll sleep when I graduate”, and it is an ironic joke—mostly because, sadly, it’s true. We tell ourselves it’s a few more minutes, you’ll make up the time later, but when you finish your work you realize an hour or more has passed. By morning, if it’s an all-nighter, you’re tired and you have to get over it and attend class. You may find yourself falling asleep halfway through, which disrupts your learning process. You don’t take notes, you’re too tired to focus, and you miss the lecture.

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