Archive for January 2015

All the World's a Stage

Shakespeare quoted one of the most important things shared to mankind. Your life is a story and you’re the main character.

In movies, when someone is about to die, they usually don’t go without a fight. Think of humans against a horde of zombies. No matter how futile their efforts are, they still fight to survive, they try hard to live, they work together to make the battle easier. Your life is just like that, everyone’s life is.

Would you believe it if I tell you that your life is just like a video game, a book, or a film? You’re the player, the main character, the protagonist. Everyone else are just supporting characters, antagonists, and stock characters. Think about it for a second, you don’t want to call yourself the minor character in your life story, it is your life, not someone else’s.

Life is a game, your character is either strong at first or strong at the end. In the real world, we call them prodigies and late bloomers. A prodigy is just extremely gifted, born with the skills and talent, gets special attention while young. A late bloomer is the opposite, a random nobody until the day the late bloomer begins a series of hard work (quests) to improve itself. Both, of course, can reach the same pinnacles of the game, the finales (the boss levels), the best moments in life once achieved. Leaving a mark on civilization, just like Mozart, Einstein, Disney, Socrates, Lincoln, Da Vinci, and many others, whether child prodigies or late bloomers, they all reached the same heights of success. Game is not over, work hard from now on, make a plan—they all did, successful people owe their success to their hard work.

Courtesy of: Matthew Paulson

Life is a storybook, you’re the main character. The story can be set in a millionaire’s house, an impoverished country, or the middle-class neighborhood. A good story requires a great conflict, something the protagonist needs a lot of effort to beat. There’s going to be drama, horror, psychological dilemmas, hardships, and sadness as the story goes on. Also, there will be times of happiness, love, excitement, sentimentality, and friendship. Your story continues chapter after every chapter, some long and some short. The story revolves around you and the conflict: could be your school, peers, family, society, and even yourself. The story only ends when one force prevails, you must overcome the antagonist, do not try to escape it. Work hard to achieve success, don’t procrastinate, a good story has no chapter where the main character does nothing important.

Life is a film, a movie without a specific genre, not just action, not just adventure, not just drama. Life is a mix of many different genres, there’s adventure, romance, suspense, comedy, drama. You either aspire for a movie (life) you want that’s full of satisfaction, or you can aim low and reduce the amount of possible genre mixings. You may not have control of everyone, thus you can’t be the writer of your life, but you’re the director, the one who chooses a vision to follow. Oh, and make sure it’s a cool movie, you’d be able to leave a mark on society.

Dream for a nice life, but don’t forget that a lot of effort goes a long way, studying an hour a day amounts to more than 350 hours in a year. Learning 5 foreign words a day amounts to more than 1800 words a year, enough for language eloquence. I’ve seen a lot of people get the supermodel body after exercising daily, within months. Working hard can get you anywhere, just like when Michael Jordan was in high school, the only thing extraordinary about him, at that time, was that he played as if every game was his last.

Just remember this: dream then start, then you fail, then you succeed… and then you improve.

- Angelo

Preparing for University

Changes in life can seem scary sometimes. Changes can be quick and unnoticeable; while other times, it’s so sudden and we weren't even prepared for it. That’s why some people describe changes as tornados: they hit without any sign of warning and can turn your house upside down completely. I usually don’t like changes because I will have to adapt to the new environment and I’m usually not good at it.

The biggest change I’m facing this year is to graduate from high school. It will be one of my most important life events. I think it will take me awhile to get used to my new life. So I want to prepare early. I asked my friends attending universities and got some tips that will be useful to adapt to changes in your life such as moving, changing school and going to university.

Tip#1:   Make friends
Engage with people, converse, ask questions. When you have friends, you won’t feel lonely. You can have someone to talk to and hang out with. It’s the best to start during the first week, while everyone is in the same boat. It is hard to make the first move, but it will benefit you later on. Be nice and just be you. It’s simple!

Tip#2:   Join clubs
There are lots of activities to do on campus. Take a look at the clubs list and join in. It’s the fastest way to make new friends. You get to meet many people with same interests as you do. Don’t be scared.

Tip#3:   Learn to use the library in semester one
Learning how to use the library resources is always important because you will be spending lots of time here researching. It will be painful learning how to research because it’s boring. But it will pay off later in the year.

Tip#4:   Choose courses you enjoy
You can always go to the first class and see how it goes. If you were bored and didn’t find it interesting, then drop it and find a new year. By choosing a course you enjoy, you will be motivated and willing to learn.

Tip#5:   Don’t over commit
Start with a couple classes. Add more if you have the time for it. Do not start your year with 10 courses and a job. It will stress you out! Slow down and take time to learn.

Tip#6:   Don’t Wait
If you feel yourself falling behind, do something about it immediately. Reread lecture notes and textbooks, ask a friend, do extra practice or ask your professor. Don't wait till right before the midterm/exam to deal with it. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Tip#7:   Ways to save money
Work! Working during school can reduce your debt upon graduation. Most of the schools offer on campus jobs. You can work part-time and save it up. Universities can be expensive! Also, buy used textbooks! Ask around for used textbooks or buy them online (craigslist etc.) It can save you A LOT of money. If you don’t write on it, you can re-sale it next year! 

Hopefully these short and basic tips will be handy once you are in university!

- Lu

New is Always Better 2.0

In my first year here in VANITY I wrote a blog about the advantages of newness, may it be technology, traditions or just plain new ideologies in life. However, that blog was too general. So for this New Year, I am writing about few specific changes that have made my life better since I’ve moved here in Canada.

I guess the first thing that has changed in me is being quieter. Though any people that know me well will say otherwise, I think that I’ve gotten quieter. Usually, I will be the one who keeps a conversation from dying, because dear God I can’t stand awkward silence, but now, I seem to be quite comfortable with it. It gives me peace. Quite antisocial though. I also have a problem of not thinking before talking which often gets me into icky situations even though I did not mean any offense or make myself look stupid, and so being quiet just saves me from this. Being quieter also taught me how to listen. You know that moment when a friend tells you something and you tell him/her something the same from your experiences and you ended up shifting the tide of conversation and you feel like you are not “empathising” anymore and you just look like a big ball of narcissism? (or at least, that’s how I feel) Welp, being quiet once again saves me from doing this. Like I said, as someone who is talkative and uncomfortable of awkward silences, being quiet has finally given me the opportunity to just shut up and realize that not talking isn’t the worst thing in the world and just to drink in what others are saying and being observant is probably one of the greatest pleasures that one should experience.

Another change in my life is probably me being more of a friendly person. Don’t get me wrong, I’m one of the friendliest persons I know, but sometimes I tend to be not so approachable. Some of my friends said that I have this habit of raising one of my eyebrow, and honestly, I do that on purpose (or sometimes not on purpose). I know that raising your eyebrows makes people stay away from you and somehow, I do this technique to feed my anti-social tendency; actually, scratch that. I’m not antisocial, I’m anti-stranger.  So how did I get friendlier or more approachable? As an immigrant, I started with zero friends when I came here. Everything was twice as hard and being new in a new place didn’t make it easier.  I had to put myself out there and put on the biggest smile I can everyday and voila! It actually worked. I have friends and I even find myself eating lunch in the school cafeteria with people I don’t even know! It’s actually better when you’re the one who’s approaching them. Though, sometimes you’ve got to be careful not to come off as creepy! Maybe you should read one of my break-the-ice blog *wink* *wink*

New things in our life can always be seen in a different angle. Sometimes they can be “bumps”, but as I have previously said, try to see the silver lining. New is always better. .. better in some ways we haven’t seen yet!

- Anonymeh

“Change the changeable, accept the unchangeable, and remove yourself from the unacceptable” - Denis Waitley
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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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