Archive for January 2014

2014 Projects and Goals

Since we are only 19 days into the year, there is still time for you and me to set some year-round goals and try out some year-round projects! If you are looking for some fun year-round challenges to do this 2014, I have listed some of my favourite ones below. This is a customized list intended to assist new immigrant youths in their adjustment to their new environment here in Canada.

1) Reading Goal: 24 Books In A Year

Books are excellent friends. They're those people at the party who are as weird (and cool) as you. Reading 24 books in one year may seem like a daunting task, but it is actually not. That requires you to read only two books per month! My advice? Choose books that you know you'll love! Visit Goodreads to see what other people think of books that you want to read. By doing this challenge, you will not only undergo an enjoyable experience of life lessons and roller-coaster emotions; you will also greatly improve your English skills! If you do not know where to start, check out this list to help you choose what you want to read first. 

2) 52 Week Money Challenge

If one of your New Year's resolutions is to save money, then try this! Each week, you have to save an amount of money that is equal to the number of that week. For example, during the first week, you save $1; in the second week, you save $2; for the third week, you save $3, and so on. If you do this until the last week of the year, you will save almost $1400! However, do this only if you can actually afford to save money. Do not starve yourself just to accomplish this task. I suggest doing this challenge if you spend a lot on the things that you don't need.

3) Photo Challenge: Photo-A-Day

Take one photo every day until the end of the year. I'm sure you have a device that can take pictures (it can be your handycam, polaroid, tablet, or even just your cellphone), so why not try to document your life this year by taking at least one photo every day? You can even upload your photos to Instagram or whatever social media platform you'd like!

4) Movie Challenge: One Movie A Week

For me, this is not really a challenge; it is a hobby! But if you're a new immigrant and want to improve your English, watching at least one English movie each week will definitely help you develop your English skills. Watching movies can make your English listening skill stronger. It can also help you pick up some English phrases/expressions that are commonly used by English speakers every day. Pro-tip: Try to find a movie that shows subtitles. You will enjoy the movie more this way, trust me.

5) Goal: Get involved!

When I moved to Canada, I initially did not know anyone aside from my close family members and relatives. First week of school was hard because I hardly had any friends. Fortunately, I joined clubs which allowed me to meet lots of friends and meet people who share the same interest as me! So this year, I am challenging you to:
- Join at least one club at school
- Join at least another one outside of school

6) Challenge: Keep a blog or a journal in English

Writing your feelings down will not only help you relive your favourite moments, it will also stimulate your creativity and memory. Also, if you do it in English, you will learn to improve your grammar, widen your vocabulary, and discover your own writing style. 

There you have it! We still have 345 days before 2014 ends; you still have 346 days to try and accomplish these goals before the year ends. You do not have to do all of it. Do what you think will benefit you the most! 

Hope 2014 treats you well!


Giving Back is Good

Giving Back is Good

Photo by: Aditya Mopur

              Currently, my schedule consists of going to school, volunteering here and there, and simply hanging out with friends or family. There have been many times where my parents have talked to me asking when I will look for a job, blah blah blah. I mean, that’s good- that’s what I must do- I must go get a job and plan for the future. But there’s something inside me that has a different idea.

              When I graduate from post-secondary (which I hope I do), all I will be doing is work, work, and more work. So I’ve been thinking, why not have fun and do what I want to do while I’m not at the working stage yet? I volunteer my time helping those in need of assistance. I volunteer because I want to, not because I have to. Why? Because I feel like the world has given me enough, and that I should give back.

              Giving back to the community is good. Sometimes our lives aren’t always about the individual us, sometimes it’s about the collective us. What does that exactly mean? Your life isn’t always about you. It’s also about the people around you. There are people living in the streets, new immigrants struggling to communicate, and others- all things where we can intervene and help. It feels good to know that your acts help other people, and make other’s lives better if not easier. On the other side of the spectrum, knowing that someone is there to help when in need feels good. It gives life more meaning. It makes living more meaningful.

              Just think of a world where every individual stops being selfish and starts helping each other out. How perfect of a place would that be! There’s a Coca-Cola commercial that sang “Give a little love and it all comes back to you. You’re going to be remembered for the things that you say and do.” I never knew I would look up to an advertisement phrase before. But these lines are accurate, and you shall try to believe in. The more we give, the more we get after all, eh?

            I invite you to be active in the community. My New Year’s Resolution is to get involved and volunteer more. Make it yours too. You can begin by helping others in need such as helping an old person cross the road, or offer a seat to the elderly while in transit. You can also volunteer in other places like libraries and community centres.

Together, we can make the world a better place. Together, we can make a difference.

Be the change!

If you are looking for ways to volunteer, do not forget to check the volunteer section under our RESOURCES menu.

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Vancouver Immigrant Youth (VANITY) Blog is an online space made for youth, by youth. Here, you will find stories and experiences written by youth immigrants who once felt how challenging it was to be a newcomer in Vancouver. If you are a newcomer in Vancouver (or anywhere in Canada), we hope to give you all the resources you need to feel comfortable in this country. We hope to give you tips and advices on how we adjusted to our lives here as youth immigrants. Through this site, we want to empower you to bring out your full potential.





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