How To Complete A Large Task

Imagine you are a waiter/waitress. It’s currently rush hour at the restaurant you work at, and you have 24 plates of food to deliver to the customers in the eating area. Based on past experience at your job, you know that you can handle carrying 3 plates at a time. How would you deliver the plates to customers?

A) Take only 1 trip from the kitchen to the eating area – carrying 24 plates at a time.
B) Take 2 trips from the kitchen to the eating area – carrying 12 plates at a time.
C) Take 8 trips from the kitchen to the eating area – carrying 3 plates at a time.

Halloween, Harry Potter, and Me

Right off the bat, let me just say that I’ve never been a huge fan of Halloween. I’m not particularly fond of dressing up or anything of the spooky and scary variety, but I will tell you: I LOVE candy and all things magical/fantastical. That’s why, for the past couple years, including this year I’ve been professing my love for Harry Potter on Halloween. I’ve been a fan of the Harry Potter series for a very long time and it doesn’t hurt that U of T is basically an architectural twin of the magical universe.

For Halloween, I recommend watching Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets because it is one of the most classic, spooky films in the series (before the darker and scarier themes are set in the later films). In celebration of Halloween and all things spooky (including those remaining midterms), here’s the rundown on the two most Hogwarts-like buildings on campus. Whether you choose to visit for studying or dreaming about Hogwarts is your choice, but personally, I usually choose the latter. Also, because I mentioned that I love candy (love it, I really do), these buildings are rated on a scale of being most like Hogwarts to least like Hogwarts:

Picture of chocolate frog, wizard trading card, and box
(Source: shop.wbstudiotour.co.uk)

1 Chocolate Frog=not like Hogwarts at all and just reminds you of doing school work (bleh)

5 Chocolate Frogs=just like being at Hogwarts so much so that you’ve wondered where your wand has gone (yay)

 

 

 

 

In Which Sargam Seeks Help!

For Self-Care week, I want to share an experience that literally changed the course of my entire university career and perhaps, changed how I will live my life from now on.

Okay, yeah, I’m overly dramatic usually but I’m not exaggerating here, promise. Brace yourselves.

a box of assorted cookies
PS. A lot of my self-care tips include food, in one way or another.

A Friendly Reminder To Be Kind To Yourself

Hey guys, this week is Self-Care Week at UofT. By definition, self-care involves the things you do to take care of your physical and mental health. This week is part of the University’s HealthyU Month, which is an entire month dedicated towards celebrating mental and physical health.

Although it may not be obvious at first, self-care is directly linked to academic success because reaching your goals becomes easier when you are healthy, physically and mentally. In the spirit of self-care week, here are some common self-care practices that can boost your academic potential.

My Dates with Myself

I’m think I am an introvert, I probably always have been. I try not to shy away from it anymore because I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing. Also, I think a lot of people misunderstand what introversion means. It can mean “a shy person” but I like to think that the psychological definition of introversion is much more relevant: 

“a person characterized by concern primarily with his or her own thoughts and feelings

This makes a lot more sense to me; I’m not a quite person because I have nothing to say or I’m scared to say it but more so because I’m taking everyone’s inputs in and assessing my own thoughts first. I’m the kind of person who doesn’t need to have other people around in order to feel happy, energized or active. I’m perfectly content spending a weekend with myself, just going about daily life and reading a book or two (or 10). I like listening to my music and staring into space (or simply staring into space). 

View of Huron Street from Sid Smith Lounge
Chilling in the Sid Smith Lounge and “people-watching” (a fancy term for staring into space)

How To Stay Focused This Midterm Season

A maple leaf has turned mostly orange in colour and is on the pavement

It’s the middle of October and you know what that means? Pumpkin spiced lattes, a chilly breeze, Halloween décor, and midterms. Around this time of year, students often find their schedules filled with due dates, exams, quizzes, labs, papers, and assignments. During times like these, time is of the essence.

On that note, here is a life-hack to help save time: one of the most effective ways to maximize productivity is to minimize distractions. From personal experience, an hour of distraction-free studying is generally equivalent to 5-6 hours of distracted studying. Therefore, by staying focused, you can actually save a lot of time. So, how can you stay focused when studying?

(Unfortunate) Member of the Procrastination Nation

Hi, my name’s Liana and…I’m a member of the Procrastination Nation. It’s a magical nation where I go to avoid all of life’s responsibilities and PROCRASTINATE. I discovered the Procrastination Nation fatefully in the 9th grade when I said to a friend, “There’s a whole group of us that procrastinate. It’s like we’re in our own world,” and thus, the Procrastination Nation was born.

Picture of Liana covering her face with her hand
Me when I see that I have too many things to do…

In all seriousness, it was just a silly term that I used to describe moments when I was procrastinating school work and was off to the “Procrastination Nation”, meaning that I would do anything to avoid actually working. But the funny thing is…I’m a “planned” procrastinator. I know what you’re thinking, “Liana, please stop throwing all these random, weird terms you’ve come up with at me.” Okay, okay, I promise I’m done. But really, I’m a planned procrastinator which means I actually PLAN when and how I’m going to procrastinate, instead of doing what I actually need to do.

The world doesn’t revolve around me?

One of the things about being a university student is that you start to say, “OH SO I’m NOT the only one who…”. When I was in high school, I felt like I was the only one around who cared about the environment or that I was the only one who enjoyed classical music. With a group only 800 students in the whole school and around 200 in my grade, it really was difficult to see diversity. Not to mention, everyone in my grade came from the same neighbourhood and likely grew up there their whole lives so we tended to focus on the similarities between us and our peers while ignoring the parts of us that make us different. 

huron and harbord intersection

When I started at U of T, one of the largest and most renowned schools in Canada, and lived in the city, I truly saw the world from a diverse lens for the first time. Concepts like accessibility, citizenship status, equity and intersectionality were either not in my vocabulary radar or I hadn’t thought about them on a larger scale whatsoever; I had a pretty narrow view of the world which was shaped by what was immediately around me. I also didn’t use the Internet in order to keep up my grades for university. After coming to university, I started realizing my own privilege and found the ways that I could make a difference in the community using that privilege but most importantly, I found communities that eliminated any misconception I had had about being “the only one who…”.

Self-Care Queen at U of T

It’s only a month into school and midterms are hitting us already. In my agenda, there is this backlog of assignments and all the due dates happen to fall within the same week. It happens every year and I’m always looking for more tips on how to stay positive during this time.

this is me at 2 years old and ice-cream is still the only thing that makes me completely stress-free!
this is me at 2 years old and ice-cream is still the only thing that makes me completely stress-free!

Old Habits Really Do Die Hard

Do you ever catch yourself doing something that you 100% know you shouldn’t be doing? Yup… That’s me right now. Before you ask questions, let me explain.

A picture of me wearing a onesie, watching shows on my bed.
This is usually how I watch shows/movies (when I shouldn’t be watching)

This August, I had to present a business pitch to an entrepreneurial community. However, the night before the presentation, I decided to watch a movie. And then another one. Then suddenly, the unusual brightness of my room caught my attention. It was the sun. It was 6am and I had to leave my house within the next hour in order to make it to the presentation in time. It quickly dawned on me that I accidentally pulled an all-nighter before my presentation – and in that moment, all I could do was silently mouth “help me” at the sky, hoping that the universe would give me a break. That day, a very sleep deprived Slesha learned the consequences of staying up too late.

After recognizing the importance of a good night’s sleep, I took a vow to sleep earlier this school year – no later than 1am! Little did I know that “taking a vow” meant nothing without setting appropriate behaviour changing strategies in place. So I should not have been surprised when things didn’t go as I had vowed. Right now, it’s 3am as I’m writing this blog post… and I know I should have gone to sleep two hours ago. So, what went wrong?