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BlackEagle5374

Catching up with my Train of Thoughts

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University

University is huge in so many ways. the size is massive, the number of students that it has inside are in the 1000s and the staff is probably in the 10 000s. It will make a huge impact on my life in the future. It may very well determine my job, who my lifelong friends are and where I would find myself satisfied.

Why choose just one?

In the recent year, I’ve started to take up coding classes, learning to code in C++. I also dipped my foot in Mandarin and also in Calculus II.

One question I get a lot from friends is that “Why can’t you choose one thing to do? Why do you want to do so many things?”

I usually laugh it off, saying that I can’t make up my mind. However, being the kind who likes to customize and design everything I get my hands on, maybe the unconscious reason is so that I can come up with an idea to combine what it is that I can and turn it into a job just for me.

I can draw, I like to code using HTML, I also like to teach, and I have a knack for math (but not accounting). In a world that rewards individualism, why should I restrict myself to do just one when I have the resources to create my own job?

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Too much!

Ever find that you bought way too much stuff? Or that you want everything possible? And then the moment when you can’t find the one thing among the many many things that you already have?

Hi world, it’s been a while, hasn’t it? Since the last post, I’ve been spending a good portion of my time looking and searching for very specific things in very broad areas. I often found myself complaining that I can’t find anything, yet I don’t think to take a moment and actually organise things. I have a Google Account, Microsoft, Trello, Dropbox, Canva, Adobe…. I’ve got way too much stuff!

That’s when I remembered the podcast episode Simply Happy from NPR TED Radio hour. The host, Guy, talked to the founder of founder of LifeEdited, Graham Hill. In the interview, they talked a lot about minimalistic thinking – the kind of thinking where you keep what you need, not what you want, and for everything to have more than one purpose.

Then, I thought of a plan to do over the summer. While I don’t have the budget to build/buy a tiny house, I can definitely start on the minimalistic thinking with my lifestyle.

I’ll go through everything I have and sort through what can be deleted/archived and unsubscribed from. Hopefully, it’ll relieve a little stress and just make me a little bit happier.

Stumbling, but progressing forward

It’s been only been a few months since I’ve been an executive of a Member Association. At first, I was terrified of the position and its responsibilities. I found myself scrambling around to find out how to do things and what things to do. Since the association was so small, I also found myself hosting events, talking to people I had never seen before.

And yet, as I sit here looking at the amount of people who came for an event that I organised & am hosting, I feel odd. Could it be happiness? Pride? Maybe after all of the efforts, the hardships and the confusion, for there to be people who are excited to come and to have smiles on their faces.. it seems like the best part of today

You are the fruit that I hope to grow

Ever have someone who has these hopes and/or dreams of which they want you to achieve?

For a lot of people, the first two people to come to mind might be their parents. I’m not sure to say that I’m lucky in that my parents never had a specific plan for what I was to do.

Funny enough, that wasn’t who said the quote in the title. I had just joined a club that was close to being shut down. I had recently started to get involved, talking about ideas that I had for the future to promote the club and that’s when I started to attract the club president’s attention (he was graduating next semester). He started frequently telling me all of these hopes for the new members to grow the club and make it bigger than it had ever been, for it to flourish.

In any other situation, I might be excited because it did sound interesting. Yet, I had that feeling of dread, as though I know that I wouldn’t be able to achieve those big dreams of his.

When I say “join”, I meant that I had recently become one of their executive members, which meant that I had gotten my very first managing position. Upon reading the bylaws, which was required when running to be an executive, I found that there was a lot that I needed to do:

  • Social media advertising (don’t know means),
  • Updating members electronically (can’t type a normal email), and
  • Manage the club’s website (this is the only thing I can improvise on)

… Can I do this?! Will I be able to grow a tree successfully? Or will it wither back into the whole I buried it in?

Those were the questions that popped in my head when I got the position (and they like to come back every once in a while). Several months later, I find myself taking an online marketing course and occasionally updating the website, slowly adapting to the drastic changes in my life.

Many of my friends who’ve heard about it are always eager to hear how it’s going and always seem more than happy to lend a hand or another head every once in a while. As a result, I’m finding ways and people to help me grow the tree and even spread its roots a little further.

That’s not to say that I’m perfectly adapted – I’m finding myself using it as a means of distraction from homework (get away from me, monkey!) – but I’m getting better at it. Sorry, ex-prez. It might be a while before you see my tree blossom, but with everyone’s help

Real and Fake

What’s the difference between what’s real and what’s fake? What’s meant to last and what’s meant to decay? What’s driven by the mind and not just the heart?

After talking with a philosopher/motivational-speaker friend of mine, these were some of the questions that popped in my head as we talked about what it is that we wanted to do during and after university.

As he described, something fake is not meant to last; you might work hard and long to get there, but once you do, you’ll realize that it wasn’t what you wanted to do. Unfortunately, a good portion of the world thinks like this, giving up on trying anything else after having spent so much time to get where they are now.

Something real, however, is something that lasts. Just like something that would be fake, you would hard and long to get to it, but once you get there you want to continue or strive even further.

Something fake is something of which you wake up to, only to wish going back to bed or to not do it all. Something real is something of which you wake up and become energized just by the thought of spending another day doing.

Bare in mind, when we were talking about this, we were talking about lifelong careers, not necessarily our current states, but that’s not to say that it’s not possible to apply that kind of thinking for it. However, it’s important to be aware of goals that become fake and goals that become real.

Breathing underwater (+ Ranting)

The number one stressor in any level of school – PROCRASTINATION… and it’s always a constant battle.

Since CEGEP (College in Quebec), I usually tend to have a productive start of the semester, planning the parts of my assignments, doing bit by bit and getting it done well before the due date. *sigh* unfortunately, it all goes downhill around the midterms.

I swear it’s either that we have hidden assignments that the teachers bring to our attention at that point or they all plan to have additional assignments during the same timespan.

Rantings aside, constantly fighting procrastination is tiring, but the rewards are high. You get your assignments done ahead of schedule, leaving time to review them or to simply do other things while not feeling guilty. Of course, the behaviour of always doing that has its own name – PRECRASTINATION (because social scientists want nothing left unlabelled).

To make it as an analogy, procrastination is slowly decesending into the Mariana’s Trench to the point where there’s little to no oxygen while precrastination is rising in a hot air balloon to the point where you’re exiting the atmosphere and losing oxygen. From that view, there’s nothing to satisfy us humans, is there?

(Again, away with the ranting) In any case, if, like me, you find yourself drowing in the Mariana’s Trench (not literally), get out as quickly as you can and take a breath. After having spent ~15 minutes outside without a jacket & unplugged in -1C, I felt refreshed to start the next assignment among the many others due in the next 2 weeks.

May the odds be ever in our favour

To help yourself is to help others

Ever feel good after helping others? Know anyone who is almost always volunteering to help others in need? Ever help a friend in need? 

From Psychology and Anthropology, I learned that humans are social creatures, learning our survival skills from those around us. From experience, I often felt good after helping others, regardless of how small the act is. 

Something I hear a lot is that to help others is to help yourself. However, recently, I’ve started to think otherwise. 

In an environment like that of a university, they always encourage that students focus on helping themselves before helping others, hence why there’s so many resources to help students do well in their classes. 

I’ve started looking at creative alternatives to break my destructive habits. I started writing again, bought a colouring book (Doctor Who, of course), I got a stress ball (like Sherlock’s skull), and… I painted my nails blue (almost TARDIS-like). 

For every alternative that I’ve tried, I was already becoming scared before even starting, which made me hesitate in starting, but I went ahead. 

As a result, I’m not as afraid of not being perfect, I’m better able to manage my stress, I become aware of what I do I’m stress, and I don’t suppress my artistic side as much. 

Just like many of the articles said, the colouring book did help, just as every other method works. I still get stressed, as any other person, but I understand it better. By doing so, I’m better able to help others, which is what I always love to do. When people ask why I chose that method, I tell them that it allows for me to understand myself and, by extension, others around me. 

Differences in Age Difference

Ever notice that someone might look different? Ever notice that someone learns the material in a different way? Or that someone is somehow able to remember everything they read? 

On a daily basis, one might say that others look different because they have a different background. Maybe they are born in another region, with different parents, and who speak another language. Simple, right? 

Not to everyone. 

Among kids, I notice that they don’t think as we do (not yet, anyways). When they see someone who’s taller, wider, skinnier, darker, paler, speaks another language – anyone who’s different, a lot of them will start to ask questions. 

As someone in Sociology, it might be exciting to see kids wanting to understand more of the diversity in the small world around them. But from their point of view, they might not have seen anyone who was that different from them. 

When they do ask such questions, sometimes the adult tells them to take it back & apologize, as though they meant an insult in asking that. 

When I was asked why I was Chinese, I told the child that the answer would be a very long one. However, it is indeed a good question – for someone of whom that doesn’t have any relatives who are actually from China, why am I Chinese? It would make for an interesting sociological study, but for the child, he was told that it’s because my relatives from long ago are from China (close enough, I would think). 

Back in the adult world, those kind of questions are rarely asked, maybe because we’ve all had similar experiences as the child mentioned before. Maybe we don’t ask those questions because we’re afraid to be taken the wrong way or that we would be seen as rude. 

By reflecting, I start to think that a lot of us are expected to know society’s norms and morals by the time we reach adulthood. However, as I quickly learn in University, everybody has different norms and values that they brought from home. What seems normal to one person from China might seem awkward and uncomfortable to another person who was born and raised here in Canada (and the same vice versa). 

To say that we grow to ignore differences is to say that we grow to become blind. Maybe instead, it might be better to say that we accept or overlook the differences to make connections with people of whom have stories that, to us, are dreams that we hope to one day achieve or experience. 

Leaving Breadcrumbs for the future

Ever hear people encourage to make a brand? Or to make as many connections as possible? Or to have a portfolio with various examples of work? 

In today’s world, where making a website is about as easy as making a cheesecake and where we workers are competing with each other in the millions, one might see why building a reputation would be just what might make you hired. 

But not everyone has the courage or the personality type to make those connections or to be as outstanding. 

With technology constantly evolving, so are our online identities. Just like how we can have celebrities whose name are unusual and occasionally fictional, we everyday individuals have made tens, maybe even hundreds of virtual identities by the time we get out of university. 

So, when we do get a job, does that mean that we have to review all of the names/identities/aliases that we had made up until that point? In a recent seminar that I attended, the speakers talked about our online usernames having a significance in what it is what we do or what it is that we’re passionate about. 

Following that train of thought, we would be able to use our odd username/email/aliases to our advantage somehow? Could bob2000 represent how involved one is in the world of technology? Could a meme found on DeviantArt act as an example to turn a bad situation into a good/funny one? Could a tweet represent how blunt one is? 

As of right now, I’ve got more questions than answers. As I try to figure out what to do with my life, I keep finding myself reflecting my choices over the years, about what I chose to say on social media and on the Internet in general. Hopefully, the breadcrumbs that I’ve left won’t leave my potential employers too disoriented. 

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