01/1/13

Be Happy Being Alone

Playlist: Dirty Pretty Things – Waterloo to Anywhere, The Black Keys – Brothers

When I first arrived at UBC, it was the first time in as long as I can remember that I was not surrounded by the hustle and bustle of a big family. Trust me, I love that excitement – but shortly after moving here, I realized that I also really enjoy being alone.

Doing things on my own gives me time to think, wander and appreciate my surroundings in a way that is distinct from when I am with other people. It gives me more of an opportunity to learn what I like to do, rather than which activity is the most convenient compromise among whomever I am with at the time.

And, if I do desire the company of others, there is always the option of starting up a conversation with a stranger. I have actually made some of my closest friends that way. My only disclaimer is to use your better judgment to elect someone you’re fairly sure would be safe to interact with (ie. accepting candy from creepy old men = probably not the safest way to make new friends).

Some of my favorite adventures that I have embarked on by myself so far at UBC have been:

  • Going for a run on a beautiful sunny day and discovering the UBC Botanical Garden
  • Meandering around Kitsilano and finding the quaintest/yummiest ice cream and sipping chocolate café
  • Signing up for a free splatter-painting workshop through UBC Thrive and having a blast making art
  • Being at Wreck Beach with a good book on a gorgeous afternoon and reading/watching the sun set
  • Attending several interesting free/$5 lectures (outside of class) and meeting many of the speakers afterward
  • Going to the UBC Jazz Café and Swing Club Halloween event and enjoying the liveliness of the music and people

Keep in mind that your plans don’t have to be (and probably shouldn’t be) contingent on your friends’ plans. While it may be reassuring to go everywhere with friends, breaking out of your comfort zone and exploring somewhere independently can be a very liberating experience. If you haven’t done so already, I recommend you give it a try!

-N

Splatter Paint Art by Nirel

My Splatter Paint Art

12/19/12

My heart just melted.

Playlist:  The Frames – Lay Me Down

Wilco – I’m the Man Who Loves You

The Beatles – Girl

I’VE JUST discovered this wonderful Facebook page that someone at UBC recently created, through which people at our school anonymously post positive messages directed at an individual or group.

This page gave me such great reassurance that despite what I’ve heard/experienced about Vancouver being somewhat of a “cold” city (in regards to the way people interact with one-another – ie. waving goodbye rather than hugging/kissing on the cheek), UBC is filled with kind, loving and compassionate individuals.

Anyway, this page is something you’ll have to see for yourself. Even if you’re not affiliated with the school, the heart-warming posts are sure to brighten your day.

It’s called UBC Compliments. (:

Love,

Nirel

 

Edit: I mean, I don’t want to give you the wrong idea about Vancouver – the people here are overall very nice and polite. It’s just that the “warmth” that exists in some other cultures (ie. in Latin America) doesn’t exist as prominently here.

Edit x2: I should give credit where credit is due! As I found out after writing this, Queens University in Kingston, Ontario started the whole “university compliments page” trend. Thanks, Queens U!