Birthday destress

During the end of the semester,

  • Your To-Do list is long. You complete a ton but each day adds new items to your to-do list – which can be discouraging.
  • You’ve been studying really hard for midterms. Learning is great but studying for hours can drain you of energy.
  • You’ve been putting aside socializing, exercising, eating well, sleep because time is tight.
  • A combination of dreary weather and working really hard and being tough to yourself and not getting as much human connection as you would like makes even the most optimistic feel exhausted and burned out.
  • You might ask yourself, “Why am I trying so hard? What’s the point” and it’s easier to fall into negative self-talk.

This is how a birthday picks you right up. I felt motivated to wake up early and study efficiently so that I could totally devote my attention and time to my friends. I got reminded to take a break to recharge my battery. I laughed so hard when I got a text from my cousin to take a break from studying and go have a fun birthday. He knows me too well.

I remembered how lucky I am to have such supportive friends and family reading birthday wishes in messages and lovely cards. They’ve been helping me each in their own way to help me achieve things that I could not achieve on my own, to support me emotionally  during hard times and who I share the lessons they’ve learned from life with me. I treasure having them in my life and I will strive to as supportive a friend in return.I wish to stay friends for a long time and catch where we left off every time we meet up.

This is a wise quote from Susanna, “Uni and life is hard but we got friends who care about each other to help us get through it.”  Susanna is always right.

Thank you to everyone who has been a part of my life journey so far!

(Edit: I’ve now removed the group photo. )

 

 

 

After last day of classes of first year

Friday:

  • Spend half a hour chilling out with Kevin, Veena and Kelsey soaking in the realization that we’ve finished our last class of first year!
  • Kickstart studying for finals. Spent a couple hours with Kevin coming up with analysis ideas on Bram Stoker’s “Dracula”. We mostly hovered around ideas related to the fear of deviation from conventional gender roles/expectations of Victorian society, fear of reverse colonization.
  • Wait for Valerie at the Nest. Kevin and I spend half a hour talking about retroviruses, antiviral drugs. Towards the end, Kevin had a lot of thoughts and began a though-provoking conversation.
  • This provoking conversation continued on the bus after Valerie meets us.
  • Alyssa’s birthday party at her house:
    • play games: basketball, fooseball, mini billiards. Feel like a kid in a toy store thanks to all the games that Alyssa has
    • “How well do you know Alyssa” quiz
    • Karaoke. Kevin and Kelsey made a deal that they would rap if Veena and I sang. Veena and I sang. It was worth it to see those two rap, well rap for 10 seconds before bursting into laughter.

Saturday:

  • Late start to the day and I took a long time to get going today.
  • Pomodoro technique has helped me this morning. Pomodoro was recommended to me by both Jeffrey and Susanna and I thought it would fun to try something new this exam season.
  • Successfully did an overview of ALL the virology topics in the course notes before completing the quiz. Honestly, I could have done more but hey, I feel accomplished!
  • Had a lot of fun catching up with Laura, Shanae, Louise, Jamie and Chanon at Laura’s birthday dinner at Heart Stock, a trendy pho place on 2nd and Fir Street. Walked down to Granville Island. It’s so nice to do something as simple as talk when you’re spending time with some of the girls that were an integral part of your time in high school.
    • Underrated tip: I think it’s important to have friends in other faculties. It’s fun to talk to someone about classes that you have not taken and likely never will, and learn about the interesting things that they’ve learned. It broadens your range of your knowledge. For example, most of the other girls are in Arts except Laura and I. Louise and Shanae took a visual arts courses that taught how to use Photoshop and other technology to create art. Shanae and Jamie talked about learning about using political correct language. Laura, who is in the faculty of business, studied some interesting HR stuff. Louise and I talked about leptin and ghrelin. You get to have such a diverse conversation if you have friends with different interests and fields of study.
  • Write blog post.
  • Now I’m going to review Bacterial Diseases.  Don’t worry. I am good at refraining myself from talking about what I’ve learned about food-borne diseases when my friends are enjoying their meals 😉

Have a good rest of the weekend everyone!

Our research conference prize!

2016 awardsMy partner Michelle and I won the 3rd place Poster presentation competition at UBC 2016 Multidisciplinary Undergraduate Research Conference. We didn’t expect to win anything so our prize was a surprise bonus.  Personally, the best part of the conference was getting insightful questions that led us consider interesting other things we tweak with our project, the great suggestions on how to improve our project and learning about the research that other people do. Oh, and even one of the judges gave us his contact information because he wanted to refer us to the group that he does research with (cool!).

I’m so  grateful to our mentor, Dr. Matthias Gorges, for all  his guidance and for inspiring Michelle and I to get really interested in this! proud.  I’m glad we made him proud. He said “This is a great accomplishment (think of it being in the top 1.5% of MURC posters) – well done!”.  I’m  really really thankful to my partner Michelle. We worked really well together because we supported each other where the other was weaker. While we were presenting, we also filled in any bits of information that the other left out. Overall, my experience working with Matthias and Michelle involved a lot of learning, and enjoying research as both fun and collaborative! I definitely recommend trying out the Research Experience mentorship to learn about a field of research that you’re unfamilar with, meet a great mentor, and have fun making friends with other students interested in research.

This week, I been more focused on my extracurriculars: preparing for the research conference this week, working with a very friendly and insightful theatre group representative on my play from last year, and just today: reaching out to different blindness and vision impairment related charities, planning and booking a philanthropy event for next week for the club I’ve recently started with my friends called Vision Health Volunteers, as well as spending the evening at our event at Dark Table today! Even though yesterday was hectic, I just become more efficient when there are more demands on my time. As long as you strongly believe in what you’re doing it and you can find enjoyment in doing it, keep doing what you’re doing!

To be honest, our event tonight had some unforeseen mishaps. Though I definitely felt a flare of “Oh no!!” when each time a new problem was added, I surprised myself by how I  was able to force myself to detach emotions/fear/anxiety in order to think through solutions carefully and stay humorous! We’re stronger and better at handling problems than we may think!  Thank you to Valerie, Veena and Winston today.  After the club event, it was fun to go de-stress with these three afterwards on an little adventure. You all know how much I’m glad to have Veen as a friends so today new friend feature: Valerie says the funniest things so she instantly lifts the mood of people around her. Always a pleasure to be around.

I want to shape this blog to incorporate more content that you readers want to hear about. Let me know in the comments or email me at shannayeung@gmail.com what you want to hear about: general topics such as UBC, university, dealing with school/stress/whatever (if I don’t know, I’ll try to find someone more qualified to answer your question), living in Vancouver or specific topics personal to my experience that I’ve mentioned on this blog. Please indicate whether you’d like to be credited for your questions/suggestions or if you would rather remain anonymous.

Enjoy the beautiful weather everyone!

Shanna

 

Who you should appreciate and hold on to

Valentine’s Day special.  If you’re single, you can reflect about the important people already in your life instead of moping about being single. If you’re in a relationship, this applies to appreciating your significant other.

If you have these people in your life, thank them for being there for you. Thank them for being your friends, family, significant other, your dog, whatever. Repay them by doing the same for them: appreciating them for who they are, supporting them through thick and thin, calling them out on their negative behaviour and push them to better. these people have made you as successful as you are today. Love these people with all your heart.

FIRST :  Those people you let into your life appreciate you exactly as you are.

They’ve seen different sides of you and accept you for you are.  By different sides, I mean they’ve seen you be stressed and ripping paper to shreds in your nervousness, know that sometimes you’d rather be a hermit reading a book at home in fuzzy pyjamas than at that exclusive party, seen you be genuinely ugly (personality-wise) and genuinely excited about something random like  how to save printer ink. They’ve saw past the facade of flawless beauty and brains and social butterfly that you put up to show the outside world and instead see exactly who you are without pretending to be someone that you’re not and they still think you’re a decent human being worth spending time with. Hold on to these precious people who appreciate you for exactly who are and appreciate them for who they are too!

SECOND: They support you.
The second round is that these people are positively supporting you whether passively or actively. They’re there when you cry and double check that no one would be able to notice that you cried before after you both go back out to face whatever or whoever made you feel that way. They’re ones who come up with a solution and go with you to seek help. They’re the ones who are sometimes more concerned about you than you are about yourself.  They come attend your concert even though they’re not really into jazz music. Sometimes they’re not patting you on the back but they’re there for you, waiting, watching, being by your side.They And that means a lot.

THIRD: They tell you’re an awful person when you are.
Third round is that those who really care about you tell you what you’re awful at and what you need to change. Maybe you’re always late or rude to someone else. If you’re genuinely not aware, you need someone to point out these problems to you. If you’re been brushing off dealing with your own flaws, your people tell you to shake you into start changing your unacceptable behaviour.

FOUR: They push you to be better.

They go with you to the gym and push you to try heavier weights. They push you to run faster, take less breaks, eat healthier, sleep more. They push you to go apply for that job, scholarship or program. They push you to face your fears whether you’re afraid of public speaking, or finally sending in that short story you’ve been working on for ages. They push you to become more forgiving or more assertive. They push you to try harder or push you to learn to stress less. Whatever they’re doing, they’re making you a better person.

FIVE: Their friendship/love is unconditional

They’re not only flocking to you when they need help themselves. They’re not only in this to take. They’re also in this friendship/relationship to give. They give even when you can’t give back. They’re not just there to look at your notes, or they thought you were popular, – basically they’re not your friend just to get something from you. So even if you change from that girl who buys lavish birthday and christmas gifts for all her friends and takes them to vacations in her family’s vacation home, they’ll still be your friend. If you shed your old image and become popular with the boys/ladies, your friend isn’t going to be overcome with jealousy and refuse to hang around you anymore. In fact, he/she will probably be very happy for you and try to help you find your other half if you’re looking for one or warn of heartbreak. Through all the changes, they’re your constants.

Should someone in your life do all these for you, be grateful that you have him or her in your life. And be that friend /lover for him or her too!

Love lots. ❤ ❥ ♡ ♥ ღ ɞ

Winter Break week 1

  • Work. I’ve learned that I really enjoy teaching. Work, however, consists of many other responsibilities that are not teaching but are required to keep everything running.
  • Working on writing with Alyssa to get through my writer’s block.
  • Bought some textbooks with Alyssa and Kevin
  • Kevin and the prank gift packaging
  • Great to see Silvia again. Once we were talking, time passed by so quickly.
  • Spent lots of time with another friend who I missed very much. To me, bliss is spending time with those I care about very much.
  •  I highly recommend the horror movie, “Good night mother”.
  • Dining in the dark at Dark Table was an interesting experience.
  • Made matcha mochiko which my cousin love due to its chewy texture. I think the ingredients were 1 pound mochiko, 1/3 cup vegetable oil, 1 1/2 cup sugar, 3 eggs, and 3 tablespoons of matcha powder. Relatively healthy compared to pound cakes made with butter.
  • Baked with my mom <3
  • After hours and hours of preparation, Christmas dinner turned out well. So happy to see my older cousins who I missed while they were gone and my cute little cousins. I was also happy to spend time with the rest of my family, especially my adorable grandparents.
  • The limits to my Chinese speaking abilities have really been tested lately.
  • Hockey hosted by Kevin’s family (thanks Auntie Holly and Uncle Peter for hosting such a fun event!).Racing about the ice and chasing the puck again reminded me of how energizing playing hockey is. In the new year, I would like to get on the ice rink more often.
  • Finally started on a project idea. Score.

One more week left:

  • Goal: Finish a draft.
  • Would like to spend time playing Wii with my Minis. Andy has suggested Super Smash Bros.
  • Sleep? Meh. Maybe another time.

You miss all the shots that you don’t take. In 2016, I’m going to push myself to work harder and obtain new experiences.

Hope you all have been having a great Winter break so far!

My friend is now recovering :)

Thursday: 

One of my best friends was finally released from the hospital. It’s been rough for her but she’s incredibly resilient. I was torn between studying for an exam that I had Friday and finding how she’s doing. There are times in life where studying comes second in life. When you’ve been concerned if your best friend might DIE, this is definitely a time where you choose the person you care about over everything else.

She is recovering now and doing well!!!!! So happy that she’s fine and glad that everything went alright. Health is number 1!!! If your health goes downhill, nothing else matters. So if you’re concerned about your health, go see a doctor, dentist, pharmacist (depends on your concern) and get help! Taking care of your health should never be something that you put off. THANK YOU AWESOME DOCTORS AND SURGEONS AND NURSES AND TECHS AND OTHER HOSPITAL STAFF who saved my friend.

Speaking of health, UBC Student Health Services is fantastic. I’ve been a couple times and have been referring my friends to seek care there. (One of my friends is actually going. Success in converting at least one other person to seek professional care when he/she is worried about his/her health. Professions know their stuff. Go. Go. Go!!!!)

That said, the people you care about also care about you. As much I would have loved to, I couldn’t spent the entire night talking to her so after the really important part of listening to her talk about all the craziness that has happened to her, I gently let her know that I had a final tomorrow but let’s schedule time to keep talking tomorrow right after my exam.

Friday:

My friend actually stood me up but later, it turned out that she slept in. I figured that she must have been exhausted so I wasn’t too surprised.  She’s one tough cookie who totally deserved a break so I left a message about rescheduling.

Veena and I treated ourselves to delicious and inexpensive pizza for dinner. Veena ordered cheesy bread, which was (in my opinion) a better version of cheese pizza. Food makes us happy.

We admired the set-up of Nordstrom. It felt like a half-way between the Bay and Holt Renfrew but was closer to Holt Renfrew. I like admiring beautiful places, even if I’ll probably never ever buy anything (haha).

We hunted for Christmas gifts for our friends. One of our friends always paints her nails for good luck before exams so we bought her a set of little polishes in many different colours so she has a colour for every mood and exam. We searched quite the number of places before we found this set so we really hope she’ll like it.

I’ve put together a hilarious prank gift for Kevin. Well, the outside is a prank gift but inside, there’s a gift that I scratched my head a long time to come up with.  It wasn’t expensive but I think it will have a lot of meaning to him.

Veena and other friends have been trying to convince me to pierce my ears for years now so she went with me to Claire’s where I finally got my ears pierced. Susan Tran at Claire’s was very meticulous and cared a lot because she “wanted to make [me] look good” and make my first piercing experience a good memory. If you ever want to get your ears pierced, go find Susan at the Claire’s on Granville.

As usual, Veena is awesome.

A thorough cleaning and reorganization of my room took a long time (I mean a LONG time) but was worth the effort! Having such an organized room makes me happy. I’ve been complaining about my desk so I finally changed it to a smaller, rectangle-shaped desk. Having a smaller desk means that I have to be diligent about keeping the surface clutter free but so far I’m happy.

Saturday

**Highlights of my day were spending time with my family today!!! I feel like I haven’t spent time with the whole family like this in a long time. Something as simple as taking my little brother to the dentist and going out for lunch might be  something that someone else does often but everyone in my family is so busy that going out for lunch as family is extremely rare.

When I talked to my brother on Friday, I promised him that I would take him to the library because he loves to read. I made him promise that he would finish a piece of writing by the end of his winter break. My brother also got a Raspberry Pi set that would be fun to help him build. As a result, after lunch, dropped my brother off at the library, ran errands, went to library to get him and borrowed some books for myself.

I wrote a couple Christmas cards.

Long awaited lengthy chat with my best friend who had surgery. She is required to walk on the treadmill a lot to reflate part of one of her lungs so to keep her company while she walked, I also walked. Memorable line from our conversation: “You’re one who just had surgery and you’ve not breaking a sweat. I’ve been normal and …”  (points to sweaty red face and panting). We multi-tasked like pros: getting our catch-up and exercise in at the same time. Missed her soooooo much. And she knows that she is obligated to try to visit me soon! I will try to video chat with her again so when Misaki and Rachel are done exams and can join me.

After I publish this blog post, I’m going to work on my literature review on lidocaine and send in hours that I’m available to work for the next two weeks.

Sunday (Tomorrow)

For breakfast, I’m meeting with the smart and kind-hearted Silvia who’s been out at UCLA .

Really really need to get working on my play

Really really need to work on a philanthropy project that I’ve cooking in the back of my mind for some time now

In general: I’ve been crossing off lots of minor to-dos but tomorrow, I need to do deep work.

I also want to work on blemish banishing my brother because his face is very teen boy.

Dinner at Yue Shan Society. Goal: to make my grandfather proud.

My reading list: 

  •  Chi Sweet Home  (French version of volume 11) because I have a strange penchant for Japanese manga translated into French because they help me maintain my French.
  • Dracula  by Bram Stoker
  • Richard III by Shakespeare
  • The Mind’s Eye by Oliver Sacks – I’m so excited about this book. I’ve wanted to read writing by Oliver Sacks for a while.
  • The Mind’s Own Physician. – meditation, the mind, neuroscience, psychology, philosophy.
  • HTML5   –  Haven’t decided if I really want to learn HTML5 yet or not. I like designing but to be honest, I’m reluctant to learn a programming language.