Hello! It has been FOREVER, but I am back with a (hopefully) helpful post because it’s almost time for school, and some people have already started looking for their textbooks.

When I checked my textbook list a few days ago on the UBC Bookstore webpage, it rang up to be about $700.

$700 that a poor, hungry student such as myself cannot afford to dish out. Times are rough.

So after picking through what I could afford to pass up, scrounging the internet and book sites, I looked at my new total: $36.

Not too bad for a hungry student.


The bookstore is a last resort for me. Here are some things I personally try before I even consider buying from there:

1. Facebook groups

This is probably the most popular option. There are tons of textbook selling groups for UBC out there – UBC textbook 4 sale, Buy and Sell – UBC text books, etc. Just click ‘join’ and you’re almost instantly accepted. The process is more time-consuming as you have to coordinate with a seller, but you can save quite a bit. The search function on groups also makes it really easy. I usually buy my Psychology textbooks here.

2. Discount Textbooks

UBC actually has a little corner store in the Village that sells brand new textbooks at discounted prices (usually about $20 cheaper). They don’t have an official list of books they sell, but they have a Facebook group and a website (http://www.discounttextbooks.ca/). From what I know, they have EOSC textbooks, English anthologies, and German textbooks.

3. Amazon, http://www.bookdepository.com/

Sometimes you can find pretty decent deals on books on these sites, with free shipping. Sometimes not. It depends. Make sure you factor in shipping times as well!

4. http://gen.lib.rus.ec/

This is an amazing site. It’s an online library that I’ve found many of my Psychology textbooks on. It’s in Russian, but the books are mostly in English. Theyre usually 1 edition off, but depending on your professor, you could probably get away with it.

5. Do I really need it?

I always recommend waiting for the 1st or 2nd week of classes before buying a really expensive book. Sometimes your prof will tell you it’s not really necessary (more supplementary), or they may allow you to have an earlier edition. Don’t want to make the same mistake I did (ripping off the plastic of a new textbook while the prof says ‘lmao it’s not required’. Savage.)

If you’re in English like I am, most classics/texts can be found online, so I usually just print out copies. Most of the profs are chill with it. Unless you prefer holding $80 in the form of a book in your hands.

6. Library, thrift stores, renting

Not my favourite options, but they’re there. Cheaper alternatives. If you like to write/highlight directly on your textbook, probably not the best.

7. UBC Buyback

It’s not a place to GET textbooks, but to sell. You usually don’t get much, but sometimes, if a course is popular or in demand, you get a pretty good deal (sometimes more than what the FB groups pay)! It’s just a nice way to unload some old books without the hassle of arranging a meeting time, and make back some of that cash you dished out. They have an app on the Play Store called ‘Sell Books’ so you can check if they’re buying your book and for how much before you decide to go.

I sell my old textbooks on FB groups as well.


Looking back on my 1st year, I could’ve probably saved the $400 I spent.

Obviously this guide won’t work for everyone – it’ll depend on your courses/professors/how passionate you are about the subject (maybe you want your own copy to save). Maybe you want to support the bookstore. It’s convenient, definitely. You do you, but if you want to save some money, these are a couple things you can try.

Hope your year starts off with a blast. More from me soon, I hope.

no problem.png

So Meta

“I think, therefore I am.”

lol more like “I eat pizza, therefore I am (flawless)” amirite

On a more serious note, there’s a blog post on thinking, or in my case, the absence of it.

Whenever my teachers in high school would ask the question “what do you think?”, I’d always reply half jokingly: “I don’t.” I say half-jokingly because I’m pretty sure that on some neurological level, I was indeed contemplating things, but on a conscious level, I really hadn’t formulated any smart things to say. I’m definitely the type of person that needs time to process things in her brain before I can come up with something decent in reply, except my processing speed is probably extraordinarily slow even taking this into consideration.

Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy thinking. I think to myself all the time when I’m alone. Sometimes this produces dangerous thoughts that breed insecurities in my mind, but a lot of the time I manage to come up with a response to some question that was asked of me centuries ago. (lagging) It’s only when I’m forced to think within a time constraint or aloud that my mind begins to shut down. For example:

Professor: what did you think about this character?
Me: she’s………………………cool
Me: sry

Okay, so maybe the character really was cool. But you can see that I have some problems when it comes to thinking fast, especially on matters that require a certain level of insight. (maybe I just have problems in general) I prefer writing, or typing to speaking because of this. I’m allowed to make mistakes, fix them, take time and find the right words to say. I’m allowed to wait before answering without fear of being prompted or pressured by impatience. I’m allowed to actually think. So most of the time I stay silent. Listening. Taking in the thoughts of others. A wishy-washy canvas that the artist hasn’t had time to paint on yet because she’s still trying to think of what to paint. Debates? Hell on earth for me. But I love listening to what other people think. I only wish I could accomplish it as easily as they make it seem.

Is this an excuse for my procrastination and silence? Is this a sign of ignorance? Probably, but I’m not naive enough to believe that because I suck at thinking, I won’t take part in important affairs. I only ask for your patience, and some time. If I come up with some stupid reply to your question, I’m sorry. That’s the me trying to appease you quickly. That’s the me throwing in bits and pieces of quotes or cliches or the obvious from fandoms and books and things that make more sense than I do. If you want to know what I really think, it’s going to take a little bit of extra time and effort.

How troublesome.
Yeah, can’t argue with that.

So if you’re in a similar predicament, then rest assured, you’re not alone! Whether you’re trying to change or you’re trying your best to go with the flow, it’s fine to simply take your time. I don’t think it’s such a bad thing to allow yourself that extra space. As for how I plan to deal with my thinking or lack thereof…

…Let me think about it.


I’ve always grown up under the preface that I am never good enough.

Self-created and fed, I suppose. I always loved when the people around me praised me and enjoyed what I did, even if I didn’t. If my parents were happy, and my teachers were happy, then logically speaking, I would be as well, right?

No, not exactly.

My entire self-esteem and worth were governed by how I performed academically. Anything less than an A meant disappointment, not because of the stigmatic “asian fail” (though perhaps in some dimension), but because I just wasn’t good at anything else; not particularly talented in any field. I played the piano, but I definitely wasn’t the next Mozart. My artistic talents were decent but incomparable to anything people deemed worthwhile. Sports were distant planets and I was most definitely earthbound. Somehow, I had it drilled into my void-filled head that this was the only way I could measure up.

It’s this kind of mentality that really eats away at you, you know? I was always, always searching for recognition from other people. I became a monster, fed by praise and on an insatiable diet of public approval that created the illusion of a swollen belly to hide my breaking heart. It didn’t matter to me whether or not these were things I truly desired; if that A+ was meant for society, or for me. Occasionally, I would be moved by things – promises that my happiness depended on no one but myself and that if I were to do things that they should only fulfill my desires. And I tried, I tried really hard to believe in them. But when you’ve had a state of mind implanted within your very way of existence for your entire life, you can’t expect it to go away that quickly.

Slowly though, beginning in the later years of my high school career, I began to change in my way of thinking. The details are blurry – when, how and why are unclear, but I guess my soul was tired. It was still difficult to grasp, even more so to explain to the people around me that the conceptual image that they had of me within their minds wasn’t real. That the people you love are the very same who destroy you.

It’s still a work in progress. No matter how hard I try, I think a lacklustre grade will always hit a nerve before I try and dissipate the feeling of disappointment and “should’ve’s” and “could’ve’s” inside me. It’s still hard to explain to my parents that I’ve realized school is a place to learn and improve, rather than a place to milk out a degree and as much scholarship funding as possible, that achieving constant perfection in my academics isn’t always going to happen. That it’s okay to take it slow as long as you’re moving. It’s even harder when you’re still struggling to come to terms with the matter.

I’m learning that in the end, my degree is simply a piece of paper that tells you where I got it from and what I was interested in, but not the kind of person I am or have been. It tells you all the positives: I’ve officially graduated from an established university and I’ve worked hard. It doesn’t tell you about my insecurities – that I constantly fluttered between worthless and worthwhile; that I used to look at skyscrapers and wondered which would be most pleasant to fall from. And it’ll never tell you about the person I want to be, that I have galactic visions of star clouds and moon diamonds when I know faithfully well I am wholly terrestrial.

And maybe, I will dare you to ask me why I treat my degree as paper so that I can tell you, perhaps inaudibly, that paper can be burned and turned into ash but my dreams are made of fire.



…Pretty much me whenever I tried to blog. (draw write)

Here’s an update on what’s been going on in my life recently (if my life is of any interest at all):

– almost done my midterms!! (do they ever really end though??? and finals????)
– really enjoying my courses and learning things that are of interest to me (Psychology and Linguistics guys, take ’em)
– my eye bags have gone Louis Vuitton (and not because of homework or stress or anything but because I invest so much time into fandoms and the internet and things I really don’t need to but do)
– naps are just wonderful (best naps are supposedly 15-20 minutes but I conk out for 2 hours at a time)
writing crisis: I’ve forgotten how to write, in a sense. I’m so wrapped up in catering to what I think my professors want to see instead of writing the way I used to. I’m no longer writing like me. Where has my style gone? Adjusting to unfamiliar things is a given, of course, but it’s really been a struggle. I can’t even write creatively anymore without wondering about little nuances and structure and organization and things, all of which filter and strain my words so that they become nothing more than fragments of the original thought. I love writing poetry, but I haven’t written a single word since school started. I’ll get over it, though, like all my crises – it’ll just take time, and I hope that blogging can help me overcome it.
– it’s almost Halloween! And my birthday! ew adulthood
– visited my high school twice. It’s really mind-blowing; the sense of nostalgia even though it’s only been a few months. I miss it.
Nutella hot chocolate people. If you’re like me, sweet-toothed and not particularly fond of the taste of coffee (which actually makes me more drowsy), then this drink is perfect to slurp up and study with.


Nutella (or any chocolate-y syrup/spread, really, even old chocolates will do)
Vanilla extract*
Whipped cream*
Toppings (chocolate chips, marshmallows, etc.)*
* – optional

1. Measure out the amount of milk you want and pour into a small pot.
2. Shovel out some Nutella and add it to the milk. (usually 2 tbsps for a regular mug and 2.5-3 for an extra large one, but it depends on your preference of sweetness)
3. Whisk on low-med heat, until all the Nutella is dissolved and the milk turns a chocolate-y colour with a smooth consistency. (usually about 3-5 mins. Make sure to stir constantly so you don’t burn the milk!)
4. Add a few drops of vanilla extract and a dash of cinnamon for flavouring. (optional)
5. Pour into mug and add toppings if desired.

Sorry I haven’t been writing more. I’m trying to find my sense of balance, so I hope you’ll forgive me, and that this update suffices until I can write about something more insightful. Next post guys, I promise. 

Instead, some insight from these lovely women (slam poetry is beautiful and nothing you say can convince me otherwise) on Halloween:

YouTube Preview Image

Happy Halloween everyone. Stay safe and have fun~ 

Future Friends

“Hey, I’m Vicky. Nice to meet you.”
“Me? I’m taking Arts One.”
“Hoping to major in English Literature or Psychology, haha.”

These were my opening statements during the first few weeks at UBC (and now my blog) whenever I met someone new. Safe, ordinary phrases that said more about my education than me as a person. If I had a choice in the matter, this is how I’d rather my introductions begin:

“Hey, I’m Vicky, but you can call me a train wreck because that’s what I am a lot of the time. I get sad a lot and overthink things, but I’m trying my best to remain positive. I’m sorry if I seem strange, though that’d be an understatement, but you seem really cool and I like your shoes.”
“…Wait, where are you going?”


Obviously, based on social circumstances, I can’t simply blather out something like this. Rather, anyone who heard this coming from the mouth of a stranger would probably pretend to have something important to attend to and run away with flailing arms. See, this is the problem I’ve been having for the past few weeks, i.e., how to make friends.


Making friends was always a natural process for me. In elementary, you simply walked up to someone and joined in on whatever game or endeavor they were giggling over and boom: instantaneous bonding. Even in high school, making friends was a cinch. The small class sizes coupled with the fact that the faces surrounding you were familiar as there were only so many classes to take made it so that forming relationships was simple enough. I made friends over laughing and complaining about courses and teasing and in unknown ways. Before I knew it, I had a group of lovely people whom I wanted to share all my experiences with. These people made school worthwhile – although learning was great, getting to be with the people I liked was what kept me going.

But high school didn’t last forever. Of course, that would have been weird. We all parted ways for university and made the most of our last summer together. (is this a soap opera stop it Vicky) I wasn’t too worried; surely we’d stay in touch and I’d make some friends in university and it’d all work out somehow. But after being on campus for two weeks, I realized that I had forgotten how to make friends. Something that used to come so naturally was replaced by something else: uncertainty. Fear. Insecurity. For the first time in my life, I felt pressured to make friends.

Suddenly, I felt as if my childish beliefs and things I adored couldn’t compare to some of the thoughts and interests of my peers. I didn’t have a burning passion for anything. I was boring, and shy, and awkward in social situations. Even working up the courage to strike up a conversation was nerve-wrecking. I always went home right after classes because I convinced myself that “it’ll happen tomorrow.” But the ‘me’ in those tomorrows I had envisioned was still the ‘me’ in those yesterdays. A coward. When my friends asked how school was and shared all of their great experiences with people with me, I’d tell them “That’s great!” and they’d ask “So how’s everything going with you?” to which the only response I could give was “Fine.”

To be honest, I haven’t been a total hermit. I’ve made contact (alien??) with people in my classes, and I think that my overwhelming desire to skip through the awkward first stages of the friendship and head straight to the part where it would be acceptable to insult each other lovingly is what has been making this especially difficult. Perhaps it’s due to the fact that this connection has always been there in some form. These days, people don’t want to break down their walls nor do they have the time for ‘about me’s – they want a name, a face and something that indicates you’re special in a way. Or normal. None of this “I’m kind of sad” business, which I totally understand because, hey, bearing your soul to a perfect stranger is irrational. So I guess normalcy will have to do. “Hey, I’m Vicky, and I’m in Arts One”s will have to suffice until I’m able to tell someone that sometimes, I like the stems on flowers more than the flower itself because it’s proof that it’s connected to the world and alive; that I find solace in thunderstorms because they drown out the silence surrounding me; that the rain will forever be comforting because it swims even as it falls and breaks.

It’ll happen tomorrow. I might still be the ‘me’ I am today but it’s all I’ve got, and in the wise words of Kevin G:


Maybe ‘me’ is good enough to make a few friends.  bunbun