2015 is Just a Number


I had 2014 all planned out for my personal happiness, motivation, and memories:

Last New Year’s Day, I made three resolutions.

1. Find a class at the RAWC; go weekly.

2. Get my G license.

3. If you make a choice, follow through.

Last New Year’s Day, I developed a bunch of pictures of me and my friends and stuck those by my bedroom door. I typed out short motivational quotes and stuck them by my door, too.

“Movies and books—feels lie HERE.”

“Looking good leads to feeling good.”

“Do your thing.”

Last New Year’s Day, I made a moment box out of a shoebox, where I intended to write down memorable moments on scraps of paper and read them at the end of the year.

I begin 2015 with none of the same sentimentality. Everything I planned to do to track 2014 went down the drain somewhere in May. I stopped going to the gym, I never got my G license, and I didn’t keep track of following through with choices I made. I tore the motivational quotes and the pictures of my friends down and stuffed them in a drawer. Moments in the moment box came to a halt (although the first half of the year was a fun read—moment box is definitely worth a try!). None of these habits made me as happy or as motivated as I thought they would.

Although it was nice of me to set my year up for happiness, I was doing it wrong. I realized if I was going to set a goal or change my habits, why wait for a new year? Why did I wait until January 1st, 2014 to set all of those tasks in motion?

Regardless, the resolutions, the quotes, and the moment box didn’t increase my happiness. In fact, I generally felt sad for months last year.

I don’t want to count my life in calendar years any more. If I think about making a change and I think that change will be good for me, I resolve to try it out today. If that change doesn’t work, I’ll revise and make another change. I won’t wait for 2016 to go to the gym or to get my license. Today is just another day, and this year is just another year.

If you’re going to make a change or a resolution, why wait? 2015 is just a number. Try new things regularly. Make small changes to your habits and see how they affect your happiness and motivation.

Resolve to be a better you today!

Have any new resolutions today? Let me know; comment below!

When University Goes out of Its Way to Annoy Me



Ah, the world of pet peeves. It is vast and filled with all sorts of things that tick off both you and me. From workplace annoyances to bathroom pet peeves and everything in between, another one comes to mind: university pet peeves. You know what’s ironic? The phrase “pet peeve” is a huge problem for me. It’s just one of those phrases that annoy me—ha, love it. Talking about pet peeves is all good, light, and funny until that thing actually happens and all goes to hell; then it’s all flipping tables, facepalming and repeatedly headdesking—granted none of those are actual terms (thank you, Internet world).

Here are just a few of my own—and I think pretty relatable—university pet peeves. (I am guilty of doing some of these myself, so please don’t take them personally.

1. The ‘there’s still a minute left’ professors.

You know them, the professors who start freaking out because you start packing up at 6:59. I’m sorry, I’m trying to catch a bus that leaves a minute after class ends, and you expect me to not start packing up? We don’t all have the luxury of a car and we’re all hungry and tired.

2. Aggressive commuters

Chill. We’re all in the same bus. Literally. There’s no need to shove anyone aside when they’re clearly ahead of you. I don’t mind sometimes but it’s downright disrespectful when there’s someone elderly waiting to go in and yet you persistently push through. It’s 8 a.m., no one wants to be here, and everyone has a lecture to go to. Common courtesy never hurt anyone, friend. Here’s a cupcake.

3. Thanks for the notice!

When you catch a 9 a.m. bus, run to IB, and hurry to land a seat in the lecture hall, only to find out that your lecture is cancelled and your next class is at 3 p.m. Thanks for posting the notice literally five minutes before class.

4. Long Tim Hortons lines.

Need I say more? When there’s only one accessible Tim Hortons on campus and everyone decides to get coffee, it is not pretty.

5. People talking in the quiet zones.

These people want to fight me. It’s a quiet zone for a reason. There’s no hidden meaning. Quiet doesn’t actually mean “as loud as you can possibly whisper”.

6. The link from CCT to the Library

Seems like turtles escaped from the ocean and are now socializing in the link between both locations. Please, continue talking to your friend while walking so that there isn’t a huge line of people glaring at you. Then you get mad at people for bumping into you—most of us are looking down while walking or too busy rushing to class to pay attention to people who stop midway and throw us off.

7. Copy/paste book to PowerPoint.

The professors who take the book and literally paste it word-for-word onto a PowerPoint and then read the PowerPoint word-for-word in class for two hours in the most monotonous voice possible. I want to understand things, not have them read to me again just so I don’t understand them again.

8. Then there are…

Two types of people: people who refuse to give you their notes if you don’t give them something back, and people who don’t bother showing up to any lecture without any legitimate reason and then ask for every single lecture handed to them in the form of electronic notes.

First group of people: I missed one lecture. It will not hurt you, I promise, to share your notes with me. We may be vying for the same grade but I won’t ruin you if you give me your notes for one lecture. In fact, I’ll be more than happy to help you later on in the course!

Second group of people: you don’t show up to any lecture at all (mind you, you paid for them) and then when there’s a midterm coming up, you email everyone asking for all their notes. I’m sorry to break it to you, but that’s really presumptuous of you. No one is going to just hand over all their semester’s hard work to you when you didn’t even want to show up to class. Please try to be more mindful of others and recognize how demanding that is.

So there we go! These are just some things that annoy me about university. Comment down below on what annoys you the most!

What Kind of Late-Comer Are You?



It happens to all of us. Missed alarms, hectic schedules, chasing buses, slow people in the hallway, and that coveted cup of coffee are just a few things that have led us to this epidemic. When you walk into class late, there is a good chance the room is pretty much filled, so there are a few people who will stare at you as you make your way to an empty seat. Well, I’m here to let you know, this doesn’t have to be the case.

You don’t have to be a dishevelled, tired, zombie student. Own the room. Become memorable in the best way possible. In order to do that, let’s identify the type of late comer you are.

Are you the:

  • Undeclared Rocker – Walks in, not paying attention to anyone, music is blaring so loud he or she unintentionally draws attention to them.
  • Coffee Caller – It starts with one, but soon they all come. The coffee rangers strut in one after the other and we know why they’re late. That coveted coffee cup is in their hand.
  • Juggler – Papers, notebook, laptop, iPad, cell phone. Struggling to hold onto everything while they fix their hats, scarves, and scan the room for a seat.
  • Tech Guru – Cellphone: Check. Headphones: Check. Possible high-tech watch: Maybe. Definitely an iPad or tablet. They sit down, take out their laptop, charge their phone, and have ten different screens up. They might even be recording the lecture.
  • Late Class Comer – This person is most likely coming from another class in another building.
  • Adjusted Student – They woke up on time, or they’re having a great day. They have a large smile on their face as they walk in, quietly apologizing as they find a seat.

I’m sure we’d all like to aim for the adjusted student, but that isn’t always possible.

Recently, I was five minutes late as a white van in front of my express bus decided to have a leisurely ride at 8:55 am. Three cars behind the van switched to the left lane to keep their sanity and the express bus was stuck behind the van. When the bus turned in to UTM, it was 8:59 and my class happened to be in IB and of course, the room was full. Luckily, I saw an empty seat and dashed to it as soon as I walked into the room.

This brings up the first tip when walking late into a classroom: Scan the room for seats. Look around to see if there are any empty spaces.

Second: Fast walk—don’t run or jog—but fast walk. It’s like you’re slowly rushing to your seat. It’s quick and graceful.

Third: For the students who have one class after another in another building, pack up five minutes before the class ends. You aren’t going to be late and you probably haven’t missed anything important from the previous lecture.


  • You can also send a quick email to your professor asking them to repeat what they’ve said, or head to their office during office hours to clear up anything you might have missed.
  • Or, pack up most of the things you need and leave a pen and notebook or small piece of paper to jot down any last minute notes.

For the jugglers: Carry something small and no less than three things. Make sure it’s not a laptop, unless that’s the only thing you’re going to carry. Rushing to class when you’re late is already a tough task. Make it easier on yourself by carrying less items.

Now, for the late-comers in general, here’s what you do: Take five minutes to get yourself together. Fix your hair, take deep breath, have a drink of water, and relax before walking into class. When you walk in, all eyes may or may not be on you, but walk in with confidence. Instead of scurrying to the nearest seat, scan the room and look for a place to sit. And if you catch a glimpse of the professor, quickly apologize for coming late. You can mouth the words or apologize after class and briefly explain your situation. An email is good enough too.

We can’t always help if we’re late, but we can make the best of the situation and make sure it doesn’t happen again.

What are some tips you have? Share them below!

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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Welcome to Elections Season at UTM



I don’t know about you, but personally, I’m tired of candidates for UTM elections tossing flyers and pamphlets in my face.

Yes, I get it. You’re “lobbying” and “fighting” and “increasing” and “decreasing” and “fighting back” and you’re doing it all for me! Thank you. And I understand that maybe you are trying to make a change to better campus life at UTM. But from the average UTM student’s point of view, you’re making all of these claims with no results. How many elections have been held at UTM, and how many changes have I been able to see? Are you really running for an election to better campus life, or do you just need a role to add to your resume?

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My Time Machine

Sarah Boodram

Something happened recently that brightened my mood yet made me feel really old and nostalgic.  I’m not talking about finding my Pokemon collection from the third grade or listening to the Spice Girls.  I’m talking about television.  Yes…television.  It seems that with our busy schedules, we don’t have the time to watch TV, or at least shows, from this traditional medium.  Instead, we hop on the Internet to catch up on episodes if we missed its original air date. Or, if we still watch TV shows on television, many of us record selected shows on the PVR to view on our own schedule. 

I found myself, surprisingly, watching TV a couple of days ago and noticed that MTV has became my new go-to channel.  Why?  Because MTV now airs re-runs of shows like Clueless, Malcolm in the Middle, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Saved by the Bell, and Student Bodies…a.k.a. TV shows from the 1990s…a.k.a. TV shows from my childhood.


Though I’ve been watching Daria, Breaker High, and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air for some time now, the rebirth of these TV shows seemed quite fitting since I recently decided to re-watch (and re-obsess over) My So-Called Life, another television show from the 90s that’s filled with teen drama, grunge music, fashion, and Jared Leto.

I’ve realized how much time has gone by.  It’s no longer “the 90’s…just the other day,” it’s “the 90’s…two whole decades ago!”  Watching these TV shows make me remember a simpler time when my day didn’t revolve around non-stop “career-driven” activities, but about wondering whether Cher (from Clueless) will get home before her curfew.  Living in the past?  I think not, because sometimes it’s good to add a little nostalgia to life to make you appreciate the present.  So, will I stop watching my favourite 90’s shows because of how old it makes me seem?


The End of Year Blahs


It’s that time of year again. You know, when there are more deadlines than there are weeks of class left.  When we’re in that awkward phase between winter and spring where there’s snow out so you think you should wear a jacket, but it’s getting warm so you really don’t want to. When you spend too much time in the library and forget what daylight looks like. When you wonder if you’ve ever had a social life.

Sound familiar? You are not alone!

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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”?)

I Hereby Profess My Love



Dear Tea,

I need you with every fibre of my being.

You are in my thermos on my commute to campus. As I walk into Davis or North, and the red Tim Horton’s sign reflects into my glasses, you are the first thing I want – especially for those rough 9am classes. I need you before class, I need you after class, I need you in between classes, after my workouts, and as soon as I get home. University students pre-juice before parties, but I pre-tea. Let’s not forget the time we spend together at meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner, and tea time.

“Three teas a day keep the doctor away” is my mantra. Sometimes, I have four to maintain my health.

Steeped, Green, Orange Pekoe, English Breakfast, Earl Grey, Chai – you have so much personality. I love you no matter what name you take, and I like to switch up my tea order to fit all your faces into my day. Most of my income and my OSAP are probably spent on you, and I want you to know that that’s okay. I want you to know that I will always be here for you as you are for me. I will even debit or VISA you when I’m out of change. You’ve been with me through the good times and the bad, and I want to thank you for that.

Remember that night we spent together in the library? You were piping hot and steamy when I peeled back the plastic Tim Horton’s lid to let you breathe. You held my hand and warmed me to the core as I fired up my laptop to write an English paper. I drew you to my lips and immediately my body pulsed with energy. You made sure I stayed awake to meet my deadline. We were on the fourth floor until midnight together. Let’s just say, my lipstick ended up all over you.

Some of my friends don’t understand though. They say you make me nauseous. They say you have too much caffeine in you. They say I should stop seeing so much of you. I’ve tried to explain to them that we’re soul mates, me and you. And they’ve seen that without you, I can’t function. I wander from class to class like a zombie until I’ve had you at least once.

Sometimes I wonder if you love me back. Do you think about me before you go to sleep, and when you wake up? Do you trust me? Do you talk about me to the other teas, or even coffees? Could you live without me? You are the love of my life and I would never trade you for any other hot beverage in the world. I just need to know if you feel the same.

Yours truly,