2016 Goals

I’ve decided that if I don’t call them “resolutions” that there might be a higher chance of me trying to accomplish them.

I’m actually one of those people that tries to take every opportunity I can to make promises that I inevitably don’t keep to better myself. At the beginning of a new school year, after a particularly unproductive weekend, whatever might motivate me to try and have a New Start to create a Better Self.

At least I realize that I’m not that disciplined of a person and am not that disappointed in my failure but I do know that I steadily improve each time I try to create new habits. In conclusion, it’s not like setting goals for myself is making anything worse so here I go!

1. Develop skills. This includes but is not limited to my coding abilities, decreasing my aversion to networking and spending more time crocheting cool projects.

2. Spend more time reading. Honestly I’ve gone from reading 100+ books a year to less than 50 and I’m not sure why, maybe it was because I’ve been spending more time on the internet or homework is much harder than it used to be but I would like to go back to the former please.

3. Put effort into others. Just because I am an introvert does not mean that I’m allowed to never plan hang outs and not stay friends with the cool people that I have the pleasure of knowing in my life.

4. Clean up. My ability to walk through a dirty room unfazed is stellar, unfortunately that is exactly what I’m trying to curb. Hopefully I can create habits that make it less of a chore to stay tidy!

5. Track money and time. I find that if I know where I am spending my money and my time then I will be much more capable of deciding whether that is something I want to continue or if there are things I need to cut back on.

6. Be the nerd I want to be. Which is someone that is always on top of their schoolwork and rewrites their notes are prettily and pretty much knows everything about all their subjects. Serious goals.

Hello, It’s Me

and I’m back to annoy you with (potentially already outdated???) pop culture references and life updates!

If you know me at all, you can probably guess that school is over and my responsibilities have disappeared which is why I have circled back to this poor, abandoned blog. I had my last of 5 difficult finals today and can safely say that I passed them all but the waiting to know my final mark is always killer.

Currently I’m easing into this feeling of not having deadlines every two seconds. My mind still hasn’t accepted that I’m free yet.

Of course, I’m going to try and get back on the Make-A-Post-Every-Day train so expect some Christmas baking, school project recaps, updates on the construction going down in my city and movie reviews coming at you in the near future!

WIN_20151022_170952

Sportsing All Day Long

My backpack today was about 25% school stuff, 75% sporting clothes and equipment.

As I type this, I am laying on my bed, finally not smelling horrible after a shower, sore on every part of my body with an ice pack on my knee. But man did I ever have a good time today!

There is a 4.5 hour break in our schedule on Tuesdays so my friend and I decided to organize a sports day where we all play football or whatever is the popular vote in a nearby field to pass the time! We did this a couple times last year, getting about 6 people at most but still having a really good time. What changed for this go at it was that we created a facebook group and had no shame at all in inviting everything we knew that would be vaguely interested or had free time and the number of people that showed up was 12!

It was really exciting okay she and I were so happy!

So that happened for around an hour and I’m not even sure who won but touchdowns happened and there were some runs and great catches and everyone got to participate with snapping the ball and being the quarterback if they wanted, totally low-key.

But this is not the end of my day of sports.

It just so happened that we scheduled our first football day right before my first quidditch tryout of the season meaning that a half hour later, I had helped carry some hoops to a different field and was replacing my bright blue running shoes with my bright blue cleats. (Gotta keep some things constant)

The tryout was a lot of introductory stuff for the people that were completely new to the sport with simple drills for them to get used to the broom between their legs and what to do with each particular ball. And new people there were! It was exciting to see how many new faces showed up that were genuinely excited to try out the sport. I tried to talk to a bunch of them to make them feel welcomed because I remember being super nervous at my first tryout.

The whole thing lasted a total of 4 hours for me as there was an introductory hour where some veterans helped new people get the feel of quidditch without being stressed about making a good impression and then an additional 3 of actually trying out. We only did a total of 5 types of drills plus some scrimmages at the end but because of the heat and the constant running I was genuinely exhausted and basically collapsed in bed when I got home.

It was all worth it though, I love being active and I’m definitely going to feel today in my muscles tomorrow but at least it means I did something!

School Year Resolutions

Forget New Year’s Resolutions, let’s talk about School Year Resolutions!

I know it’s a new year and everything which makes people want to turn over a new leaf but when you’re between the ages of 4 and 22ish then change in your life is really dictated by the school year starting every September. You have to adjust to different classes and different people so why not change up a few more things in order to make your life a little better.

Here are a few of mine for my third year of university! If you feel inspired to do the same, please put the link to your post in the comments so that I can check it out!

Write everything down. This ranges from due dates, ideas and journal entries! I know for school especially that I will easily forget about a project or assignment as soon as I leave the threshold of the classroom which tends to be a bad thing. So by physically writing it down somewhere (aka an agenda or wall calendar) that I look at often will alleviate me of future stress! I adore looking back onto old memories – I should give you a room tour at some point because my walls are covered in this sort of thing – and a journal is the most compact way of keeping them. These are some of the years I would love to look back on so this is me telling myself to write it all down.

Set aside time for socializing and being alone. If these moments are already predetermined, life just gets a heckuva lot easier. It’s easy enough to schedule time to hang out with people and go out and have fun but this tends to squeeze out any time I need to be alone and recharge. I’ll often just give people all of my availability and book it up until it’s a Thursday and I’m grouchy and I just want to go home but I can’t because of previous commitments. It’s not healthy to be alone all the time just like it’s not healthy to always be surrounded by people so I need to make sure I keep this in mind now that I have actual university friends.

Read and go outside!! As soon as classes start, I
have a real excuse to be on my laptop all the time and my time spent reading and exploring the outdoors severely drops. It’s easy to get sucked into the black hole of checking every five seconds for notifications that will still be there in a couple of hours.

Cook one meal from scratch each week. This is not my doing, this is my mother’s. I am not a cook. I like to spend the least amount of time in the kitchen as possible because there are just so many other things to do! But since I live at home still and she wants my sister and I to recognize the importance of having some cooking skills, I will need to plan and prepare one meal per week that did not originate from the freezer. I’m only against this in theory cause I also see the value of knowing your way around a kitchen. Still, it’s gonna be hard.

DON’T PROCRASTINATE. It ruins your life and everyone else’s too for that matter. There is not much else to be said here except try harder to stay on top of things! Limit your internet usage! Reward yourself after you’ve finished something, not before! Pleeeease let’s not let the stress build up! There needs to be a support group or something where we just guilt trip each other.

note to self
note to self

Help out around the house. This is something I’ve been steadily improving on since I do live here free of charge which is not something I should take lightly. I’m not renting out my room from my family, I’m living in a house with them and I need to continuously do my part with the workload that comes with it. I don’t care if that’s not how other families do it, but here everyone pitches in (supposedly without being told to) to keep the house well-stocked, clean and functioning.

Man, writing this all down already makes me feel more calm about the new semester and all the work that’s going to come with it. Hopefully I stick to my guns and you won’t see me here 3 weeks later crying about how hard school is when you pretend you have no responsibilities!

Technical Writing and I

It’s a struggle.

I’ve always loved writing. Ever since I was a kid, I would fill notebooks up with random stories usually centered around my current favourite animal and document my day, journal-style. I was a voracious reader and for a good portion of my childhood, I thought I had it in me that I could one day be a famous author. That or a pet shop store owner, that it.

Fast forward to my first year of university where I get to take a wonderful, joyous and soul sucking class about technical report writing.

It could be the fact that it took place at 5pm on a Friday but it could also be the fact that we relearned basic grammar and got reminded that anything imaginative and unprofessional was not needed.

The one thing that I’m actually thankful that I learned in that class was the proper use of the word “whom” which says a lot about everything else that was taught.

Right now, I’m actually required to do a lot of technical reports and summaries for my coop job which feels a lot different from that writing class in that people are going to actually read them and need them to be at a certain level while in class, the only person I had to impress was the TA and only enough to get a decent grade.

The part that is similar is that it’s still like pulling my own teeth in order to produce something other people would consider a professional technical report. I still do love writing as a way to get my thoughts out on paper (hello! I have a blog!) but I find the methods completely different.

I have to go through an entire process where

  • I first ramble out what I want to say in this sort of format, bolding and italicizing words and sections in the process (bold means “is this really important enough to add” and italics means “I’m too busy to find a good synonym right now but there is no way in heck that this word is going to be in the final draft”)
  • Then I need to go back through it and make better sections and subheadings in order for things to be clearer. My saving grace turns out to be bullet points because everyone loves their easy, informative layout but I also don’t have to put together sentences that actually flow!
  • Finally, I correct everything by reading it out loud to myself under my breath and rearranging everything until it is actually good. And I always have to remind myself to go through the bolded and italicized text to fix what past me left for future me.

I think in my time here I have improved on my writing skills just from sheer volume of writing and that those professional connector words like moreover and consequently are slowing worming their way into my textular vocabulary.

I would love to actually go back and read that report on Composite Parts for Automobiles I handed in for my final grade in that class to see how bad it looks from my newly experienced eyes.

Listing 16 Facts About Lists

An amazingly original and zero percent sarcastic idea.

  • People like lists
  • Lists keep people organized
  • Lists help those of us that can’t actually create good sentence flow in a regular paragraph
  • You can use a list to write down thoughts without forgetting them
  • Bullet points help separate ideas
    • Sub lists create a whole new level of fun
    • Literally
    • But also make you feel so much more organized
    • While helping you clump related tasks
  • Lists let you rest your eyes and brain from reading blocks of text
  • Its efficient
  • And much easier to skim if you’re not committed to reading an entire article
  • They help classify the piece of text that appears below
  • Poetry

There once was a girl who would list/To ensure her brain would get the gist/Of what she must do/To keep track of school/Or else some homework would be missed

  • See?
  • Counting makes clickbaiting easy: 10 easy ways to eliminate a body! 17 things he may not be telling you… 6 reasons this sock will change your life!
  • Even I’m curious and I made those up
  • One word: checking off tasks in a to-do list
  • Great for brainstorms
    • To help you realize what might be a glorious idea in your head but fall flat on paper
      • Get it, flat, because paper is 2D
        • When you discover you can continue subheading forever
          • But then get annoyed when the length of a line becomes too short
            • It’s your own fault, sister
  • Not needing to come up with a conclusion

Things I Would Say To My Younger Self

This is a list of things that stemmed from the fact that I tend to cringe a lot when thinking about my past self and what I did or thought. Things that took me forever to figure out and by the time I did, I was very late to the party and second guessing why my friends even stuck around with me.

1) Yes, people can see that pimple. No, they don’t care.

2) Use conditioner, for everyone’s sake. Pretty please.

3) Learn to study now when it’s still easy because in the future you’ll need to and you won’t know how and there will be tears.

4) Don’t be intimidated by people your age or older. Or younger, they really aren’t that intimidating. Maybe that 12 year old dresses better than you but you’ve probably got a few things on them too.

5) Be more comfortable with your silence. You are a quiet person and if you don’t feel like talking, you don’t have to!! That being said…

6) You’re allowed to talk. Just because you don’t talk often doesn’t mean you have less of a right to have everyone hear what you have to say.

7) Please wear jeans. Yes, I know your fuzzy pants match your fuzzy sweater. Now make that go away.

8) Maybe you should have broken a few more rules so that when it came to being older your mom wouldn’t still expect you to do everything she said without question. This one’s iffy actually, past me, but I’m not sure how to get around it here on my part.

9) You like music, go discover it! How did you manage not to have a favourite artist until well into high school?

These are only a couple things that come to mind for advice that could have been useful to give to the past versions of me, albeit I might not be the same person I am today if I suddenly grew a fashion sense in the 8th grade. Who knows. And I’m definitely going to be embarrassed of 19 year old Karen in the future because the cycle never ends.

What about you guys, what are some tips or comments you really really wish you could go ahead and say to previous you? Tell me them in the comments!

Late Excuse

latetweet

You don’t even know how much I relate to this.

I am chronically late and even though it stresses me out it will always always happen.

I watch the clock and have a mental list of things I need to have ready before I go but somehow there’s always a mad rush to grab everything I need for school or going to a friends house and like 4 clementines in my pocket because I never got the chance to eat. Without fail.

One way I’ve learned to cope is if there’s an actual need to be on time like a job interview, I trick myself into thinking the time is 15 or 30 minutes earlier so that I’m rushing to meet that time (which I will ultimately fail) and end up ahead of the actual schedule.

If anyone has tips or want to make me feel better by saying this is how they are too, the comments are open!

Food Day

If you hang out with me and my best friend for max 3 days, you will at some point hear us discussing “Food Day”.

This was a tradition we made up last semester where once a week we each take turns picking a restaurant or food-selling location to go to and treat ourselves.

parks-and-rec-treat-yo-self

We’re engineering students, right, so our schedules are completely packed not to mention all the work and studying that needs to get done. Also we’re pretty conservative with our money and normally pack a lunch/supper so that we don’t have to buy food on campus. But at the beginning of each semester we sit down with our class schedules (which are pretty much identical luckily) and pick a time period where this outing will happen!

It’s a really great motivator because it isn’t something that happens at all except for that day and you get to look forward to it and use it as a reason to get things done. Like “if I don’t finish my lab in time I won’t be able to go to food day”

Also, during it we end up having actual girl talk conversations which really isn’t a normal occurrence. Normally we’re discussing which of our classes has the most heating vents or giggling about how we always race to get out of a certain door first but in this food experience boys actually get talked about and it’s weird but nice.

Our friends think we’re massive nerds because we count down to it and plan it way to much for what it is.

But who cares, it makes our week amazing and food and friendship is amazing.

Resolutions 2015

“new year, new me” I say as I overtake the body of my next host.

– tumblr user masturbending

I’m totally okay with this being the first you hear of me in this new year.

I’ve always been on the fence about making resolutions since it just feels like I’m setting myself up for failure but you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take amirite guys? (so inspirational)

1. Read my Bible every day. I think it’s important to put away time for that kind of thing. My life gets real hectic real quickly and stuff falls to the side but I want to make it a priority to actually try to keep this up.

2. Do something school related every day. I know me and I know that I will try to rationalize that going to school counts as school but this is me on the record saying that it isn’t. Even if it’s just reading through the notes I took that day, it’ll help me immensely to not fall behind which is the major cause of any stress in my life. Also when coop applications start I have to be on that like a lion.

3. Keep my room clean.  It’ll feel really awesome and I like the idea of everything having its own place. I know how quickly it can become a danger zone so I’d like to avoid that because the cleanup is way worse than just throwing a couple things into the laundry bin.

4. Learn how to do my eyebrows better.  I know, this isn’t that important and life changing but eyebrows really do make a face look better or worse so that is something that would be nice to have.

5. Keep in better contact with my friends.  Man, I am so bad at this. I can’t even keep a text conversation going without hour long pauses where my friends are probably definitely sure I died and have already made calls about the flower arrangements at my funeral before I get back to them. And those are the people I see pretty regularly. The people that I have no common locations to run into them are the worst because I super want to continue being friends with them but losing contact is just way too easy.

6. Be less anemic.  I’m not actually anemic I’m just on the verge. But it’s enough for me not to be able to donate blood like 52% of the time which is super annoying so eating iron rich foods and all that good stuff is going to be mandatory for this year. Donating is the bomb.

So yeah, these are my resolutions of 2015, I’d love to know yours down in the comments!