Why I’m doing a Mental Health Week: Day 4

Welcome to Day 4 of my Mental Health Week. With each post, I’m talking about a different lesson, tip, or experience linked to my mental health, struggles with depression and anxiety, and life as a UBC student.

Day 4: Hug something

Hug something

I would hug every single person I walk past on the street, sit next to in class, or stand next to on the bus if I could. Physical contact helps me cope with my depression, loneliness, and anxiety. I find that hugging a pillow close to my chest while I watch a movie or my stuffed gorilla while I fall asleep helps. Physical contact with another person can be a complicated thing for a lot of people, but the need for physical contact or “pressure” may still remain.

With the holidays around the corner and exams all around at UBC, stress and fear is high and it can be a scary time. I recommend hugging someone or something as a way of coping and being good to yourself, and celebrating all your hard academic work. It can be a tree, your best friend, the family dog, or a blanket. Whatever or whoever it is, hug something and repeat as often as needed. Especially yourself after you’ve finished every paper, exam, application, and project and kicked all their collective behinds!


Why I’m doing a Mental Health Week: Day 2

It’s the second day of my mental health week with reflections,  tips, and lessons of my own on mental health. Here’s today’s reflection that I subscribe to very strongly.

It's okay to make mistakes

Day 2: It’s okay to make mistakes. I choose to look at mistakes as lessons, opportunities to learn, and a necessary part of my life’s journey. We exist and therefore we aren’t perfect. We aren’t perfect and therefore we make mistakes. It’s exam and final paper time at UBC and so fear of making mistakes – forgetting what you’ve studied, missing steps in an equation, incorrectly citing a source in a research paper – is pretty high. If you find your stress soaring or your anxiety increasing as you fixate on these thoughts, write my mantra down and repeat it to yourself as often as you need (or another positive, self-affirming thought of your own). Stuff it in your pocket, write it on your arm, put it into your phone. Just think, in about two weeks, it’ll all be over and you can exhale deeply and fully.

Connect with me on Twitter or Instagram and let’s keep talking about student life and mental health.


Finals: What should I eat ?

It’s finals time. My work out level is at an all time low (I don’t even walk to class anymore) and my appetite is at an all time high. Now I have to find a way to stop that waistline from reaching at all time high too. And don’t I have a solution!

1) Eat Five Times A Day– Rather than having 3 massive meals and still munching on something in between because you have nothing else to do, how about you keep munching a little something the entire day. Snack on fruits, bread, strawberry yogurt to dark chocolate.

2) Trade Sweet treats for fruits – I have a sudden sweet tooth during exams. I want tubs of ice creams, cakes, and pies. BUT NO. I shall buy sweet seedless grapes, bananas, apples and pears instead. They can be just as sweet as cake and much much healthier.

3) Trade Candy For Dark Chocolate– Dark chocolate is just yum. and the best part is even dairy intolerant people can have them. And its healthy and curbs hunger. So why not ?

4) Try Smoothies – Meet 0% fat Greek yogurt, milk, banana, and frozen strawberries. They can be your best friends if you let them. Put them into a blender and tada ! You have yourself a mini, super nutritious, drink and snack. If you’re someone that needs to sip on something while studying then this the best that you can get. And the best part is the more you have of it, the better. You can go ahead and be adventurous by switching the strawberries for peaches or peanut butter too!

5) Nuts And Crackers To The Rescue! – I love munching on stuff when I’m studying. It provides that necessary distraction that allows me to study better. I’ll explain that logic in another blog post maybe. But if you like to munch too and Doritos are your usual go to’s, how about you try buying wholewheat crackers instead. Better yet, go buy nuts. They are expensive, but oh so healthy! (you could maybe trade peanuts for peanut butter if you’re as cheap as I am)

This is an interesting website to visit of you want to make your snacking tastier –


Side note – I’m going to get so many practice-what-you-preach looks from all the people who know my actual eating habits now..

Don’t Let Exam Results Decide Your Fate

…and just like that, it’s finals season again! Yup, the term’s almost over.  If you’re like me, your motivation curve for this term probably looks like this:

Also, if you’re like me, you are probably mad at yourself for not giving much effort on your midterms because now you really have to ace your final exams. Finals season is probably making you feel worried, pressured, or even stressed. You probably need someone (or something) to quickly remind you that there’s no need to feel any of those. Let me (or the following videos) be that quick reminder.

In all honesty, I believe that finals season is actually an ideal time for studying and learning. No need to wake up early to go to lectures, or to sleep late to finish a paper. You have sufficient time to study and learn. So seize this opportunity to consume useful information, fall in love with interesting concepts, and immerse yourself in a world of exciting ideas.

Study for the sake of learning, not for the sake of grades. Besides, you should not let exam results determine your fate.

Sometimes it may get extremely stressful that you just want to say this:

But trust me, with hope and hard work, everything gets better in time.

Best of luck on your final exams! Don’t be silly and go study; your future self will thank you for that.

*March Welcome*, stressful courses, and general UNCERTAINTY

Hi guys! I’m finally back– I’ve completely put this blog on the back burner for quite a long time. School has been especially stressful these past few weeks and I didn’t know at all what to write about so instead of writing a bunch of halfhearted, emotionally distraught posts I decided to take a break from blogging!!!

I’m still not convinced that March is about to end… I barely remember the month even BEGINNING. But it’s that time of year when high school seniors are getting their acceptances into UBC and deciding where they want to spend the next chapter of their lives. So CONGRATS!!!!! to all those who got accepted. I really hope y’all will consider attending UBC <3.

Last Saturday was MARCH WELCOME. This is the day when all the orientation, Jump Start, Peer Program, and SLC leaders (there are probably many more groups that I forgot/don’t know about) get together for the first time. I am so SO SO excited to be a new member of SCI-TEAM!! Since high school, I have loved being a part of the behind-the-scenes operations of events and I cannot wait to organize fun and informative events for Science students next year! It’s going to be a blast!!

On March Welcome, I first met my fellow Sci-Team members and we got to know each other through ice-breakers and puzzle games. Then we, and the other 1000+ orientation leaders went to the gym for a REALLY INSPIRING presentation that involved all of us turning on the flashlight on our phones. Each light represented a small impactful action each of us took and with over 1000 of us, there really are no limits to the impact that we can collectively make on students. After the assembly, the Sci-Team members met up once again to go over our responsibilities for the next year and continue getting to know each other!

March Welcome was, no pun intended, a WELCOME break in what was truly an INTENSE, STRESSFUL few weeks of the relentless cycle of class, assignments, midterms… lather, rinse, repeat. I had 5 midterms in March and 3 of them had averages in the 50s…. WHOA. This was truly an unprecedented string of terrible averages, and granted, I’m only a first year student, so I’m not sure if this happens every year or if this was out of the ordinary. But until now I haven’t seen any midterm averages in the 50s, let alone 3.

For the most part, I’m not letting these crappy midterms get to me, and my low scores are just adding fuel to my fire when it comes to studying for finals. However, what is really bumming me out recently is just the UNCERTAINTY in my life. As the end of first year creeps closer and closer, I’ve realized that I have no plans at all for the summer. With these unexpectedly low midterm scores, I now have no idea where my grades stand in any of my classes. The recent string of Facebook posts about friends accepting their on campus housing offers only remind me that I still have no clue where I’ll be living next year (read all about it: http://blogs.ubc.ca/katieli16/2014/02/22/what-ive-been-up-to/).

Some people may thrive off of uncertainty and living life day-to-day without a clue (do these people exist?), but I crumble under those situations. My already high anxiety levels spike off the charts and my mind begins to close off. I feel like I’m juggling 100 different things– I’m just ready for classes to end (7 days left!!) so I can focus all of my energy on finals. And hopefully along the way I can get some clarity on summer plans! But for now, it’s just taking things day by day and ENJOYING SPRING WHICH HAS FINALLY ARRIVED. ♥♥♥♥