I’ll leave this as an archive of my first year – if you want to read more from me (I don’t know why?) check out my new blog: https://angeladai1.wordpress.com/ 

Fears are crashing ocean waves. What differentiates an outstanding student from other students is that they approach the waves, create a plan to leave the shore and embrace the rocky journey towards their destination.

That’s what I had written on my cover letter for the award application, I’d love to leave you with this in my final post on this blog.


So I looked up my last semester’s goals for this term…

  • Participate in a case competition
    • IF PVCC VC simulation counts, then it happened. Otherwise, didn’t get JDC west academic or attend other case comps…
  • Learn to master an interview
    • This is still a work in progress. I still am internally dying during interviews, and I really didn’t do well for COMM 202 interview. It was very stressful. I was very awkward. But, we all start from somewhere, and because I’m not a naturally talkative and loud person, I have room to grow~
  • Find some sort of plans for the summer – internship? Figure out what to study for (CSC, GMAT if I’m considering an MBA?)
    • Taking summer classes instead. Still incredibly upset at myself for dropping FA by accident, but to put it in perspective, I don’t need to take the course now.
  • Get that 4.0 (4.33??? :O) GPA if possible
    • With that math final? Probably not happening. My time management skills went to the trash when trying to balance two finals in a row, and I ultimately can’t do anything about that either.
  • In the long term, after I figure out if I will pursue Finance or not, I’d really like to make myself as appealing as possible for the PMF program… but those are some thin, thin, thin chances of me getting in.
    • PMF program is not the end all be all. I’m not sure if I want to do research, more interested in financial advising. We’ll see, but going for second year rep has definitely put my name out there? Hmm.

Technically I didn’t “succeed” in any goal at all! How hilarious!

But wow, first year is over? This year has been absolutely phenomenal. So many ups, so many downs, and so much learning.

If you told me a year ago not only did I not have to worry about Sauder admission and that I’d not just survive but the UGO would decide to give me an award, I would have cried in joy right then and there because IB exams were stressing me out so much in April and I wasn’t admitted anywhere.

Also, if you told me that I would humiliate myself during interviews, pretty much fail a final, and accidentally drop courses, I would have been incredibly annoyed with myself.

I am so, so thankful that Sauder did decide to admit me because I am honestly in love with the culture here. People work hard and play harder. I felt lonely at first, but I’ve made such great friends here that I can rely on when I don’t feel that I can believe myself.

Because I’m a more reserved, quieter person, I still am really surprised when people ask me if I’m Angela. Granted, running for elections means that I have to put myself out there (and I want to!) so that I can properly represent people and that I am always open to listen to suggestions for CUS. But I’m not a completely nobody? I’m not a stranger? That’s such a … weird thing for me still. I’m just a derp after all?

The best thing out of first year is that I fully understand the UBC motto, tuum est. It’s yours.

Your destiny, your life, it’s for YOU to create.

YOU decide how kind you will be to yourself.

YOU decide how much to study, how much to party.

YOU decide what to eat, how much to exercise.

YOU decide how many good friendships to keep and how many toxic friendships to cut.

The best thing about university and being an adult is that you’re in control of your life. YOU also decide how much you’ll negotiate with your parents on how independent or reliant you’ll be as your relationship changes.

Realising that I have complete autonomy over what I do is a very powerful thing. I can be aware of the pressures around me, but I choose how to deal with them.

You are the person who gives yourself permission to have power. 

One part of me worries that I’ll plateau and fall from here. I worry that I’ll be a disappointment of a rep, and that in comparison, I’m not committing myself as I did this year. I’m not going for the harder programs, getting the higher marks, etc.

Another part of me is excited. Excited to follow my own paths and strengths. Doing the things that I want to do, not things that just make people think of me in awe. I’m excited to learn more about public speaking but also VERY NERVOUS. I’m excited to meet faculty and other staff who are working to improve Sauder in the various committees, whether academic or even for our building.

Do I wish that I lived on residence? Sometimes. But I would not have been able to meet some of my closest friends on the bus, and I’ve had some of the best conversations with my parents on the car ride to Bridgeport station.

Except for my math final, I feel that I’ve left first year really really happy.

Thank YOU, to everyone who has read my posts and commented, and also people who just message me saying they found my mind dumps to be interesting and insightful! I usually hide a lot of these types of thoughts beneath the surface in conversation, since I always fall back on listening rather than talking. I don’t know how to bring these things up in conversation???

Thank you UBC Blog Squad for letting me share these experiences and giving me a space to reflect!

See you on my new blog!


Rejections, Fears; All Part of the Hiring Process

Hi, it’s been a while. One sentence update: got CUS Second Year Rep position, won the Dan Gardiner Outstanding New Student Award! But you can check out my highlight reel on my social media; this blog post is not about highlight reels.


“If you really believe in what you’re doing, work hard, take nothing personally and if something blocks one route, find another. Never give up.”

– Laurie Notaro

This quote was on the nicest rejection email for Round 2 after surprisingly making it through Round 1 of applications for JDC West Academic team. I shouldn’t be this down, because the odds really were against me; the average applicant was going into their fourth year!

I sent my friend a long facebook message telling her how much of a failure I was feeling, and she helped me realize that it was, amongst other fears, because I am really scared of plateauing.

The imposter syndrome and pressure I’m giving myself to beat myself who managed to get the award is just bleeeeugh. As I sit here, an hour into rewriting this blog post and trying to make it concise yet relatable, I’ll admit I’m honestly very, very scared.

The question of “so what are your commitments for this summer and next year?” one that I ask my friends, one that I ask other students during interviews as equity rep really freaks me out. “Why can’t I be doing more things? Why am I always getting rejected? Did my luck from first year run out? Would you really have gotten second-year rep if there were more candidates? You were waitlisted, do you REALLY think you’re more qualified than others when literally your entire year and faculty was accepted earlier than you…” and the internal monologue goes on….

Being in this state of mind, I don’t have advice about these feelings but my wise friend Julianne Nieh does:

  • “Everything is the best arrangement”: if you don’t get a position no matter how much effort you put into it, try not to take it personally and believe it is for the best
  • Explore your options, but also take this time to reflect on what you really want to do.
    • Is this really the pace you want to be going at? Remember not to burn out.
    • Are you really passionate about this club? Stay alert and subscribed to their Facebook page to see if there are ever any additional openings later on in the semester. Go to more of their events.
  • In the end, you’re still human and extracurricular involvement is just one aspect of who you are. You still need to keep your academics up and meet with friends and relax sometimes!

Having thought about this for the past two hours, I’ve come to realize that it’s also a matter of quality over quantity. Even if you don’t have numerous involvements that fill up your resume, one thing that employers look at is how you have excelled in these positions. With your current commitments, how can you go beyond your role to support the team? With an improvement mindset towards your current commitments, you will not plateau. Your team will like you more if you go the extra mile to bring the entire team up, rather than just be half committed.

As for fears, I do want to share parts of the intro and conclusion from my cheesy cover letter that got me the award… I really wanted to go to the beach that day.

Fears are crashing ocean waves. What differentiates an outstanding student from other students is that they approach the waves, create a plan to leave the shore and embrace the rocky journey towards their destination.

Perseverance and optimism while riding waves of fear is what makes someone outstanding.

These past weeks of taking Ls is part of the rocky journey. But it’s helped me realize that for my commitments moving forward, I will have the time and energy to go beyond expectations for each one.

I wish the best for those waiting with baited breath for an interview/position offer; and for the weary presidents, chairs and equity representatives that have booked the past few weeks off to be asking hard questions and making difficult hiring decisions. You guys are so hard working and inspire me.

Also, since I likely won’t have another post out until after exams, I wish you luck with your finals!

Authenticity, Campaigning, Snake Memes

Hey! It’s been a while since the last post when I was at SLC. Since then, I’ve decided to run for Second Year Representative for CUS (Commerce Undergraduate Society), and also Sauder Snake Memes have been a thing over on UBC Confessions.

My platform is of being a warm listener and meticulous implementer. It’s been really wonderful getting to know new people and catching up with friends too. Since I’m a commuter, I usually only come to campus for class, club meetings or work; otherwise I’m at home with my family. I often forget in the midst of school to reach out and connect with people around me, since I forget that’s also one of the moments that I feel the happiest.

The coinciding snake memes trending during CUS elections campaigning is funny, because my friends from high school outside of Sauder have jokingly been calling me a snake since now I’ve thrown myself out there and have asked people to choose me as their representative. It’s funny, because I’m not that much of a backstabber (I think?) and pride myself of being a genuinely nice person. Either my snake act is so on point that I fool myself, or I intentionally fight the fake snake stereotype by choosing things that I really care about.

I won’t lie that one reason I want to be CUS Second Year Rep is to have access to opportunities that the position otherwise would not bring. Of course, I want to improve my reputation so that when I apply for PMF, I may stand out more as a candidate. But also, I do want to get to know more people in my faculty solely because I love to meet new people; I find everyone’s story really fascinating. Regardless if you are a university professor or a cruise ship stewardess, I feel very rewarded when someone is happy after interacting with me.

Yes, that makes me a people pleaser which is one of my weaknesses. But it’s important to keep in mind that being authentic, your point of differentiation, is to be yourself and make choices that may not please other people.

The entire snake meme has me concluding that instead of keeping an uptight, professional image, it’s more important than ever to be my authentic, slightly childish self. I don’t have a crazy party going/drunk persona to hide in order to seem professional because I don’t like partying?? I really do like studying and analysing because that is interesting, and I’m also a warm person and should not have to hide that just because the stereotypical business person is not warm.

I still do not know what I want with my career, but that’s OK, pursuing opportunities that challenge me to push my comfort zone (I love to talk to people but I had always been too self-conscious to do so) also help me learn more about myself.

Hopefully after finishing COMM 202, I’ll really get to know myself. For now, toodles and I’ll see you around in a bit!

​ Let’s see what I learned at the SLC


Absolutely grateful that I learned that the SLC exists and that I went to the conference today!! I didn’t have many expectations going into the conference, but this completely exceeded whatever I thought I was going to learn today!
  1. Got to know a friend better today! Thank you Julianne for spending time with me all day, being OK with me calling your like half an hour before the conference to ask where you were and sharing this day of self discovery and reflection with me! It was so great getting to chat with you and learn about both you and myself as well!
  2. Learned that entrepreneurship is not just a business option, but is vital for change. I still do not necessarily consider myself an entrepreneur, and being in Sauder without having a startup, I don’t feel like I am an entrepreneur and that isn’t an option I am considering. However, the entrepreneurial spirit of taking risks is essential for change.
  3. I need to think hard about who I am and what my values are. I’ve sprinted ever since coming into first year seeking jobs, ECs, etc quite frankly, to not fall behind. Almost being rejected by sauder made me so fearful I felt like I had to try to plan steps ahead and fill up my resume so that I was impressive enough to get to “success” — financial security. Financial security is still incredibly important but I need to figure out why I am running. Now I know that I can sprint, but as San Thiara said, life is a marathon. I need to figure out what I want from life first, but also still be open to some opportunities. And I can change my own personal values as I’m growing, I’m not limited by my current self!
  4. It is not selfish to do only what is in alignment with what you do. Too often I listen too much to the noise and pressures that surround me because I do not yet understand who I am.
There are so many new opportunities springing up and I must figure out which ones align with what I am interested in and not pursue opportunities just because they sound good. Thus, another goal for 2017 is to figure out what my current values are and self-reflect often to understand how I am doing and what I am learning through the experience around me.

If you went to SLC, please feel free to share your opinions on it!

Becoming “Sauder”

(Written Dec. 31, 2016 but only published today as I had no wifi)

Originally I was going to title this post “not Sauder enough” because after spending parts of my winter break networking with people and just reflecting on this first term, I’ve realized that there are opportunities to improve how I carry myself.

I’ve come to realize that personalities are completely malleable and are solely based on how someone reacts and acts. This comes with experience, so obviously nurture and nature have some effect because that affects what experiences a person has. But hypothetically, with lots of effort, a person can change aspects of their personality.

Perhaps you may have realized this already, but for me this has been a revelation because previously to this I bought into the MBTI 16 personalities model and just thought I would always have one profile that would stick to me for my life. That’s pretty ironic because when believing that, I disregarded my own changes in personalities in the 18 years I had been alive.

When visiting family friends this past winter break, a few of my dad’s classmates asked me how I could still speak Cantonese at a fluent (but childish) level despite immigrating to Vancouver when I was 4 and speaking Mandarin at home with my family because my little brother doesn’t understand Cantonese. After some pondering and thinking back to my parent’s video clips of me as a child, I realized that I spoke so much cantonese and kept non-stop talking before I came to Canada. I was the most talkative child you ever met and would chat up my mom’s colleagues on the bus. I suppose I had talked so much when I was a toddler and small child that Cantonese is permanently cemented in my brain so that 14 years later, I can survive in Hong Kong no problem. But by no means is Cantonese my strongest language; I would never be able to write essays in Cantonese like I can in English.

After immigrating to Canada, I didn’t lose my talkative-ness that quickly. My report cards all said that I was a bright girl who needed to learn to wait her turn and raise her hand before she talked. In school I learned to raise my hand before I spoke, and to this day I still participate in class discussions, but somewhere around my childhood and adolescence, I lost the ability to just talk to someone while maintaining eye contact.

Even today, as our car is being fixed just outside of Los Angeles, I had trouble holding eye contact with the Mazda dealer employees and expressing exactly the issue with our car. In my conversations with my closest friends even, I look away from my friends’ faces to talk in the rare occasion I recount a story.

Perhaps whenever I look at someone directly as I talk, I feel as though their focus is pressure for me to be concise?

Overthinking that they may think I’m lame?

I become insecure whenever there is eye contact?

This is the largest area of improvement which I will focus on for 2017. By next year, I aim to be able to look someone in the eye and talk confidently about myself without hesitation.

Learning begins at the end of my comfort zone, so for my own sake, I must meet up with more people just to chat. Practice melts discomfort, and with enough practice, Angela shall no longer be awkward!!!!

The reason this goal is called “becoming Sauder” is because, let’s be real here, Sauder trains students to be networking experts and places a huge emphasis on it. After a few coffee chats with business professionals, they all mentioned how networking helped them secure internships and jobs and they were all confident conversationalists.

So to reach my main resolution of being able to talk confidently while maintaining eye contact, I will:

  • Catch up with more friends in person
  • Attend more networking events
  • Search Google on tips to overcome fear of eye contact

Hopefully with these actions, I can change my personality a bit so that I’m not as awkward in 2017!!

Hope you had a wonderful 2016 and have started 2017 off to a good start!

Reflections on Semester 1

I finished my last final which means semester 1 is over!

The word of this semester is new. I was considering growth, but I’ll delve into detail about why I did not choose that word.

First semester of first year is obviously a transition state since it is a whole new school system with whole new people.

Of course, my transition has not been too rough as I’ve had the great fortune of having high school friends who are in the same faculty and classes as me!! (shoutout to Megan and Michelle for commuting with me and tolerating me in classes!!) Additionally, since I’ve been raised in Richmond, I still live at home so there is no culture shock.

I’ve left this semester quite impressed with myself, to be quite honest. Although my grades are not as great as they were in high school, they’re relatively OK considering I’ve spent more time actually becoming involved (and *gasp* networking like a Sauder student????) And I’ve become more efficient with my studies)

I’ve got my first job, two club positions and presented to Dean Bob with my COMM 101 team in this first semester, not to brag or anything…

But the biggest thing I’ve gained from UBC this first semester is understanding that self care, good habits and a positive outlook are keys to success. I’d really like to thank Meghan and Julianne for tagging me in encouraging Instagram and Facebook posts and I’m so happy to have you guys as such growth/positivity advocates!!!

The reason I don’t want to say this is the semester of growth because in the back of my head, I’m a little apprehensive that the other shoe will drop. As in, I’ll somehow get so arrogant and just feel super secure with what I’m doing that I’ll never keep trying new things and pushing myself because I get into a false arrogance.

Growth is a theme that I want for my entire life, not just a semester. Without putting things into the mindset of growth and constant improvement, I’ll lose perspective on my goals and either put myself for not accomplishing enough in a short amount of time or even worse, decide not to pursue or accomplish anything else for the rest of my life.

Some goals for the next semester are:

  • Participate in a case competition
  • Learn to master an interview
  • Find some sort of plans for the summer – internship? Figure out what to study for (CSC, GMAT if I’m considering an MBA?)
  • Get that 4.0 (4.33??? :O) GPA if possible
  • In the long term, after I figure out if I will pursue Finance or not, I’d really like to make myself as appealing as possible for the PMF program… but those are some thin, thin, thin chances of me getting in.

I wish you the happiest of holidays and that you end this year feeling fulfilled. No matter what your final scores say, you’ve done your best and should be proud!!!


Tips From Finals Week Pt.1

I got through my first week of Final Exams! Here’s what I learned in the past week, I hope this helps you out:

Your Body Comes First.
Rest well, eat well and exercise. Granted, I live at home with my family so my nutrition situation makes this easy to follow, but here are some general tips:

  1. Sleep well: seek eyemasks, listen to instrumental music (here’s an 8tracks playlist to get you started) and set a consistent sleep schedule. Since I set all of my morning/routines with alarms, it’s harder for me to waiver from my sleep time because the thought of readjusting my entire morning routine so that I get 7 hours of sleep is not worth an extra meme to look at on Facebook.
  2. Exercise: Do you have an extra four minutes to spare? That’s right, FOUR MINUTES. I just learned about Tabata which is a HIIT timer with intervals of 20 seconds of exercise and 10 seconds of a break repeated eight times. Set this Tabata Timer on and do burpees as the exercise! If you don’t feel your body collapsing onto the floor after this, I am very jealous.

    Don’t spend time re-writing your notes, do practice questions and when there’s something you don’t understand then reference the textbook or your notes. I confess I have a great love of studyblrs (studyign especially!!!) and all of their beautiful notes. But beautiful notes don’t guarantee that you can recall information from your brain, it only emphasizes that you recognize the information. It took me way too long to realize this, so coming from a place of regret, please consider this point.

As for the stories behind these tips, I nearly did all of the questions possible on MyEconLab and redid all of the homework to help me understand Econ 101. For Chin 341 (If you want a textbook for 341/343/345/347 Facebook Message me m.me/angeladai1), which was the following morning after an evening Econ final, I didn’t study and chose to sleep instead. The dictation vocabulary wasn’t worth studying enough for me to be incredibly sleepy that I would mess up the entire exam.

Hopefully, there will be a part two where I can then tell you that tips guarantee a 4.0 GPA. We’ll see how the rest of my exams go.

Stay warm, dry and safe during the upcoming snow storm!!

Learning to Let Go: Sometimes You Outgrow

During the last week of classes, I made some time to catch up with my best friend during High School. Our conversation was pleasant, and we updated each other about our lives… and before the awkwardness hit, I wrapped things up by saying I had to leave.

I hadn’t noticed how much my interests and attitudes had changed in my first semester at UBC until we spoke. I was annoyed at her passive attitude toward her problems. She acknowledged but did not congratulate me on my new accomplishments. We fell into a pattern of minimal gossip and chatter about makeup and Korean pop culture because we had no value to add to each other’s lives other than to be a listening ear.

Fortunately, she and I were able to speak over the phone this morning after I had mentioned how uncomfortable I felt that we had grown apart. It was inevitable, frankly. We have completely different interests. She found our conversation to be quite empty as well. Our conversation was polite, warm, but we both realized that forcing ourselves to pretend as though we were still in High School and not acknowledging growth was a mistake.

If you feel as though you have outgrown your friends and family when you are reconnecting with them over the holidays, please do not feel guilty. I had tormented myself last night over being a bad friend because I could possibly lose my best friend. Friendships ebb and flow, they do not necessarily start and end like a romantic relationship does. You do not need to “break up” with your friend, you both will drift apart and possibly come back together naturally.

Here’s an insightful article that answers “Is it Wrong to Outgrow Your Friends?” (The answer is no, by the way.)

I will not tell you to sit each of your friends down and talk to them about a fading friendship because not everyone (even some of my friends) are as mature as my best friend. I will let you know that if you are facing this problem, you are not alone at all.

Best of luck on Finals, xo


Influential Adjectives

I’ve always been someone who really looks forward to their birthday. I was that kid who would pronounce to everyone around me that IT’S MY BIRTHDAY!!!

I’m turning 18 on the first day of December. Taking a leap into adulthood. Without really being conscious of it, I do think that in my 17th year of living on this earth, I’ve strived towards having certain characteristics… being:

  • Agile
  • Articulate
  • Assertive

I had other words (proactive, clear) but with a quick thesaurus search, I can find even more succinct adjectives that convey the connotations I am looking for. And they all start with A!

I find this funny, because, during my childhood and adolescence, I didn’t have the best confidence, so I always thought I was “Annoying Angela” and couldn’t think of another suitable adjective (I’m not “amazing” either). But now, I’ve found the three important values that I’d like to embody.

Your words will keep changing as your own values change, and don’t rush the process of finding your own words. But once you do, you can be me and repeat it to yourself in your head and brainwash them into your own consciousness and also plaster them on all of the screens you own.

You can also put these on your LinkedIn page to demonstrate your key values so that others understand you better.

As always,


Holiday Gift Giving: It’s the thought that counts?

I’m slightly conflicted on gift giving this holiday season now that I have an albeit small source of income.

I’ve always enjoyed giving cards and writing grateful messages as they express my feelings about people more than monetary items can, thankfully most people understand that.

I do remember though, once in Grade 7, a toxic friend of mine talked behind my back because I had made a not-that-great looking stuffy. Girl, I spent time on that and I’m so sorry that I’m not as rich as you to have multiple brand name bags (I have none)…

But these past few days, I’ve been giving out little holiday cards made of construction paper and taping small candies to them. I’d like to think that my beloved COMM 101 team enjoyed my genuine heartfelt encouragement before our presentation.

Although the connotation of “it’s the thought that counts” is that it’s an excuse for a cheap present, I’d like to change that into the thought expressed with the gift is what counts. I’m pretty sure that on our last excel lab for COMM 290, my TA was genuinely surprised and delighted with my small handmade holiday card.

If I could convince you to do anything this holiday season, it would be to express your gratitude and joy to your loved ones, whether with gift monetary value or with your words. It may sound dark, but it is not always guaranteed that they will always be around to hear this gratitude expressed.

Happy Holidays, my dear friends, and best of luck going into exams! Be sure to access resources that can help you if you are feeling overwhelmed.