Archive for May 2015

Tips For High School New Immigrants

I’ve been writing advice articles for years, but every now and then new realizations hit me. Since I’m now older and wiser, I think and believe these new ideas of mine could help you guys and save you some time.  

1. There is no shame in summer school 

This shame in summer school belief may not be shared by everyone. From where I came from, summer school is somehow apprehended with a little bit of reluctance. Everybody knows that you’re there because you’re in remedial or repeating a class you failed. No one is there to do advance class. When I first got here, I almost cried when I found out I’m going to summer school. Then I realized, it was for the better. I was there to catch up with my credits so I could graduate in time. Moreover, no one should be ashamed in school during the summer. You’re doing it to better yourself, and, aside from that, you get to make new friends from different schools! 

2. Eating alone in the hallway is not recommended 

I know this may not sound true to introverts, but as a fellow introvert and an immigrant, it would only make you feel sad to eat alone during lunch break. When I was in high school, I never ate in the cafeteria. I never got the chance to meet someone new during lunch breaks.  I remember once I was eating by myself in the stairwell. A sad background music is the only thing that’s missing to make a depressing emo music video.  I thought to myself, "this has to stop". So I begged my high school counsellor to find me friends. Best decision I did in high school (and taking planning 10 online :P) 

3. Decreasing your credit/term load is not always a good thing 

When I got into grade 12, I finally got the chance to have free blocks. I thought I didn’t have to take classes that were not necessary. I thought all I needed really was English 12, the rest were electives. Boy, I was wrong.  I wish I took an Accounting 12 or Pre-Calculus 12 then I would probably have something to write on my résumé as experience or have prerequisites for college courses. Although, spending all those hours reading in the library is a joy too. The caveat is know what credits or classes you need to take before embarking on a schedule with lots of free blocks. 

4. Make friends outside your circle 

For us immigrants, we tend to be friends with the same people like we are. How can that be wrong? We know that birds of the same feather flock together. I was content with the friends that I have in school that I never bothered making new ones in my classes. Now, I can literally say I only have six friends. I don’t have anyone to talk to when they’re busy. I didn’t have friends or even acquaintance in my classes that they weren’t in. Learn from my mistake and step out of your comfort zone and make new friends that are not immigrants like you. You’ll have more connections and more strings to pull when you need it in the future. I know that sounded like a crude business person advice, but we have to accept that connections are important in the adult world, especially when you’re an immigrant. 

5.  Your GPA does not define you 

Like any other parents, mine want me to get good grades. B+ is not good enough.  I get sad when I’m not in the honour roll even though I knew I worked hard. I got so obsessed with getting good grades that I was not learning anymore. Being in school should mean that we are learning life lessons that we can use when we’re done schooling.  I got so fed up with only wanting high grades that I can’t even remember what I learned about last term. And when I finally got into the honour roll, it wasn’t much that gratifying. What’s a grade on a paper going to do when you’re finally out of school and have to do everything on your own? Besides, there are a lot of factors that determine your grades, and your intelligence is not the sole predictor of it. 

I’m sure that sometime in the future, I will find some new realizations and I’ll be glad to share it with you again.  For now, I encourage you guys to take these suggestions into consideration and keep your head high! High school is not a place to dread for! Good luck.  

- Anonymeh

The Anti-Bucket List

(An anti-bucket list is a list of things that one hopes to never do before s/he dies)

Summer is coming and most of us are already making plans to make the most out of it. Usually, we want to try new things; we intend to do things that we haven’t done yet. Some stick to what they have done last year and just revisit it, while others pull out ideas from their bucket list.

A bucket list is a list of things that a person wants to do before s/he dies. Summer is the perfect time to do things we have been wanting to do. However, I want to change things up. Instead of doing things from our bucket list this summer, how about we list some things we wish to avoid doing while we are alive? Here are some things from my own anti-bucket list:

1. Do drugs or smoke

I don’t know about you, but I firmly believe in saying no to (routinely consuming highly addicting illegal) drugs.  Your stance on drugs might be completely different from mine, but I’ve done my research and I know its negative health side effects. I know there are various types of drugs and some of them are harmless. I would love to further explain my side to those who believe otherwise, but it’s hard to shake someone’s belief especially when they formed that since childhood. Additionally, just like what high school or college cliché movies show, there are peer pressures everywhere. It might not be from your peers but we can’t deny that we currently live in an era where the line on drugs is blurred. One second, I’m antagonistic about it, the next second I’m rationalising using it. Thanks, philosophy lecture class. Nevertheless, I wish to never do drugs until I die. That would be quite an achievement for a person like me who changes her mind every 15 seconds.

2. Skydiving

Skydiving is one of the popular things we see on a bucket list. But for me, I would never take the leap of faith simply because I don’t have faith. Kidding aside, I know I have faith, but it’s just not that strong. Every person has their weakness, and I think this is mine. Even if you offer me a million dollars to do a stunt with safety and harness and all, I would not have the courage to do so. This is unfortunate for me because every time someone asks me between having the ability to fly or be invisible, I always choose flying!

3. Be stuck in a deserted place

This is probably because I have watched a lot of horror movies where people get stuck in a deserted place and one by one they die because of psycho-killers. Maybe it’s also the fact that I don’t trust people in this kind of situation. I feel like when this happens, people easily forget being “human” and a war of “all against all” begins. Or maybe, it’s just that I don’t trust my survival skills. 

4.  Wake up before 3am

I know my schedule and I know I never set things to do earlier than 7 am. Normally my wake up time is around 6:40 am. Waking up earlier than that mostly gives me the “sad”. A bit irrational, but the only time I have to wake around that hour is when something bad has happened. I remember being woken up at 2 in the morning knowing that my grandma died,  traveling at 4 in the morning to get in time for a relative’s funeral,  being at the airport before 5 to send off my mom to the airport.  My sister also told me this story that 3am is the hour of the devil and it’s bad to be up at that hour or you’ll see ghosts staring at you (If you’re reading this at night, be careful not to look at the closet. That’s where they hide). It’s probably the last one that I don’t like waking up at 3 in the morning.

5. Choose between two people that are important to you

I think it’s fair to say that this is one of the things that a lot of people dread.  I only see this happen in the movies, but I’ll be wrecked if this happen to me. You just can’t choose one between two people who are important to you. That’s like asking, "if you have to choose between your hands, which one do you keep?"  But you know what, I think what’s worse than this dilemma is to be one of the two people who are being chosen, then not get picked.  #gentlyapplywatertothatburn

These things are from my own anti-bucket list. Yours may be very different from mine, but that’s okay. Just remember that sometimes we need to avoid certain things in order to make space for better, greater things. What’s in your anti-bucket list?

- Anonymeh

What's Up, Vancouver? (May 2015)

Photo by: Kenny Louie

Commercial Drive Street Party 2015
May 1, 2015
Grandview Park
1657 Charles Street (@ Commercial Drive)
Vancouver, British Columbia
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Eat! Vancouver at BC Place
May 1 - May 3, 2015
BC Place
777 Pacific Blvd, Vancouver, BC V6B 4Y8
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One Republic (Concert) at Rogers Arena
May 2, 2015
Rogers Arena
800 Griffiths Way, Vancouver, BC V6B 6G1
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Free Comic Book Day 2015
May 2, 2015
Various locations
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Vancouver Bird Week 2015
May 2 - May 9, 2015
453 W 12th Ave, Vancouver, BC V5Y 1V4
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BMO Vancouver Marathon 2015
May 3, 2015
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Mucho Burrito's Plinko De Mayo (A Cinco de Mayo Celebration)
May 5, 2015
Various locations across Vancouver
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Anne Frank Exhibition at Frog Hollow Neighbourhood House
May 6, 2015 - May 29, 1015
Frog Hollow Neighbourhood House
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IGNITE! Youth Driven Arts Festival
May 12 - May 16, 2015
The York Theatre
639 Commercial Dr, Vancouver, BC V5L 3W3
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Vancouver Public Library Central Branch Architectural Tour
May 16 and May 26, 2015
VPL Central Branch
350 West Georgia, Vancouver, BC
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Breakthrough: Korean Annual Drumming Performance
May 17, 2015
Massey Theatre
735 Eighth Avenue, New Westminster, British Columbia
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Cirque du Soleil: Varekai
May 20 - May 24, 2015
Pacific Coliseum
100 North Renfrew Street, Vancouver, BC V5K 4A5
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BURGEON Youth Environmental Art Exhibition
May 22 - May 24, 2015
Emily Carr University
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May 23, 2015
1585 Johnston Street, Granville Island
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Vancouver International Children's Festival
May 25 - May 31, 2015
Granville Island
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May 29, 2015
Segal Building, 500 Granville Street
Vancouver, British Columbia
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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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