Which position of The Concordian should you apply for?

Want to get involved but not sure where to start? Take this quiz to find out!

Have you ever wanted to get involved with student media? There’s no better place to start than right here, with The Concordian. All positions are open for next year, and we’d love to have you on the team. If you’re intrigued, take this quiz to find out what role you should go for! We got some tips from the current team, so you know that this is legit ; )

[Disclaimer: This is just for fun and not to be taken too seriously! Feel free to go for whichever role you like and keep in mind not all available positions are mentioned here—consult our masthead for the complete list.]


Pick a way to manage your stress when you have too much on your plate:

a. Just plowing through the work
b. Drawing something
c. Cooking a recipe
d. Listening to music
e. Lying on the floor
f. Over-organizing your agenda
g. Listening to a podcast or watching a show
h. Getting some exercise

What is your go-to creative outlet?

a. Notes app songwriting and poetry (that will never see the light of day)
b. Drawing, painting, making silly things!!
c. House decorating
d. Making music or DJ-ing
e. Going for long walks to reflect and ruminate
f. Reading & writing (plus a bit of everything else)
g. Anything digital… photography, film, you name it
h. Fantasy football

Choose one thing to bring to a desert island with you:

a. How to Survive on a Desert Island (For Dummies)
b. Art supplies
c. Religious texts
d. Headphones
e. A friend to chat with (and a good croissant)
f. Your diary
g. Personal photographs
h. A ball to kick around

Your preferred way to get content:

a. Getting involved with the community to find a story
b. Learning a new design program to unleash my creative side
c. Touring local museums and reading up on the exhibits
d. Attending a concert
e. Brainstorming about something you’re particularly passionate about
f. I prefer to be an extra set of eyes on the written work
g. Capturing real-time moments and the action
h. Going to a sports event/ watching a game

Pick a snack/beverage to help you work:

a. Redbull
b. Coffee
c. Fruit (specifically pineapple)
d. Tea and biscuits
e. Ice cream (perhaps with a side of brownies)
f. Chocolate and candy (specifically Reese’s Minis and Sour Patch Kids)
g. Gum
h. Snacks are for the weak… I run on pure adrenaline


If you picked mostly a’s…. News!

You are someone who is totally on top of your tasks and always in the know. You’re curious and like to get to the bottom of things with a “just get it done” mentality. If you’re searching for something fast-paced and exciting, and you have a keen eye for stories worth covering, News might just be the section for you!

If you picked mostly b’s… Graphics!

You’re super creative and always have an art project on the go…or many art projects at the same time. You’re constantly doodling and perhaps your friends say you’re on your own planet some of the time. You’re a force of fun with a great sense of humour and imagination… all things that come in handy when it comes to designing great graphics!

If you picked mostly c’s… Arts and Culture!

If you picked all c’s you might be an art history major… or you might just have a keen interest in all things arts and culture. You love gallery openings, readings, and art events, and you’re always down to meet and talk with creators. In the Arts and Culture section, you would get to learn so much about the city through its art scene and would be able to write about all your discoveries!

If you picked mostly d’s… Music!

Music might just be your whole life… you listen to whatever you can, and never know exactly what to say when people ask what your favourites are (there are too many to choose). You love attending concerts and discovering new artists and you’re always looking for recommendations (or looking to recommend). As music editor, you would get the chance to talk about what you love while putting people on to some great stuff.

If you picked mostly e’s… Ops!

Some say you’re a chatterbox, some call you opinionated: either way, you’d be a great fit for opinions. You always want to give your two cents and hot takes, and you love a good debate. Mentally you might be in a hundred places at once, but the chaos makes sense to you and there are always nuggets of gold to be found. Maybe one of those nuggets might just make a great article…

If you picked mostly f’s… Copy editing!

Chances are you’re a huge bookworm and you love all aspects of language and writing. You know the grammar rules and you stick to them, and it helps that you have a great attention to detail. You’re always ready to lend a hand and make work the best it can be, and often you have some great ideas of your own too!

If you picked mostly g’s… Podcast editing! Or maybe photo or video…

You’d be a great fit for a hands-on media role, whether that be through our podcasts, photos, or videos. You have a good ear and a great eye for the sort of content students are looking for, and you love creating with different digital media. Chances are you love seeking out new shows and podcasts and often fantasize about what you yourself can create. Through The Concordian, you could tell great stories in so many different forms of media.

If you picked mostly h’s… Sports!

Chances are you keep up to date with what’s going on in the sports world, especially your favorite teams (which you’re always ready to defend). You’re always down for a good game or event and keen to break down the play-by-play afterward. You might even be pretty active yourself, and are looking for another way to channel your love for sports. If that’s the case, you might be a great fit for Sports!


The importance of the snack cupboard…

…Even if you have an ingredients-only household.

When I was growing up, my mum would keep one of the cupboards in the kitchen pantry stocked with snacks. She would grab a bag of Goldfish for me for my after-school walks to piano lessons, or cheese and crackers before my five-hour ballet class. On the days I didn’t have an after-school activity, I’d be home by 3:17 p.m., and she and I would sit with our snacks and watch something on TV until she made dinner. 

My dad also frequented the snack pantry—like clockwork, he’d gleefully get his bowl of peanuts from the cupboard, sit with whichever PG Wodehouse book he was reading, and munch away. On the rare occasion my mum and I left chip crumbs at the bottom of the bag, he’d happily nosh on those. It took him a while to realize that he’d never get to eat the actual chips unless he had the day off work.

That being said, when I moved for university, it never occurred to me to have a snack cupboard—deep down, I knew that if I had snacks in my house, I would eat all of them in one sitting. Let’s be honest: it’s hard to not sneak a few too many chocolate chips out of the Chipits bag you got on sale at Provigo. 

The amount of times that I’ve been up late writing a history paper or reviewing English sonnets, and wished that the “snack-Saskia” had done the grocery shopping instead of the “healthy ingredients-Saskia” is more than I’d like to admit. I think the older I get, the more I embody my mum; I used to whine when she would wander up and down the snack isles, and now I do that exact same thing, except I don’t pick up the snacks because the “healthy ingredients-Saskia” thinks that she can make everything at home for cheaper (spoiler alert: I can’t). 

My parents, too,now lack a snack cupboard, much to my dad’s disappointment. Whenever I’m home, it’s a little disheartening to see him shuffle to the fridge to get a morose little glass of milk, sit sadly down with just that, and scroll through his Twitter (X) feed to chuckle at his horse-racing content. More than once, I’ve caught him hopefully poking around in the former snack cupboard, just to see if maybe my mum had replenished the snacks. 

The good news for him, though, is that whenever I’m home, my mum buys snacks—so maybe the underlying reason he likes it when I’m home is that he knows he’ll get snacks that last long after I leave. There’s suddenly a variety of granola bars, salted cashews galore, and the occasional bag of chips. Half the time, it’s me going to Costco with my mum and persuading her to, for pity’s sake, just buy her husband some snacks so he has something. His eyes truly light up when he sees the Costco snacks I manipulated my mum into buying—there is no greater love than between a man and his Kirkland chocolate granola bars.

As finals season rolls around, I think that it’s important to have a stash of snacks—as someone who has curated an ingredients household, it’s not fun to be peckish at night and going into my kitchen to see only raw ingredients bought earlier in the week. What am I going to do? Eat a raw potato with some soya sauce? Absolutely not. 

I am truly my own worst enemy in the snacks department.


Forever an overachiever

The addiction of success.

In the midst of finals season, I always tend to be burnt out. But even though I’m mentally and emotionally exhausted, I find myself with an asinine zeal to overachieve. Among all of the hours spent in sweatpants and oversized t-shirts with my hair coconut-oiled and tossed into a ratty looking bun, I also have that self-inflicted need to produce award-winning essays, over-study for my exams, channel my inner Rory Gilmore and declare, “Who cares if I’m pretty if I fail my finals?” 

The pressure to excel is absolutely insane. 

This is a deep-rooted issue and I’m more than aware of that. Since grade school, I got report card comments like, “Saskia is such a pleasure to have in class!” and the aftermath of parent-teacher conferences were along the lines of “Saskia is very bright and mature for her age!” Because of this, I’ve naturally wanted to maintain that standard. 

Being an overachiever means being someone who performs beyond what is expected or to a really high level, and it often goes hand in hand with academic success. Overachievers are typically perfectionists, and tend to do impressive things at a high level. They typically engage in excessive self-criticism, and sometimes even berate themselves when they don’t live up to their own high expectations. 

University students are continuously under the pressure to push themselves beyond their limits, to aim for the best—in the midst of that, it is easy to begin measuring self-worth by academic success. Especially since so much depends on post-secondary education, anything deviating from getting nothing less than a degree with flying colours can be seen as failure. 

The pursuit of success along with the sheer volume of work leaves students feeling drained, and from this emerges the lovely cycle of self-sabotage. Even though you know that you’ve got three essays due in one week, with a final around the corner, you’ll put off your work because you’ll just “get it done later.” Not only is this self-sabotage (let’s face it, will you actually get it done later?) but also procrastination, which is a pretty big evil during finals season. 

As a self-proclaimed overachiever, I focus on the future and am motivated by fear: the fear of failure, regret, embarrassment and ultimately, disappointing others and not living up to potential. While I’m obviously happy about the accomplishments I achieve in school, such as a good mark on an exam or an essay, they aren’t things I dwell for too long on. In fact, even if the grade is good I still find a way to nitpick and think that if only I’d done this better or that better, I could have gotten a higher grade.   

While the overachiever in you might just feel inescapable, let this be a reminder to take breaks and give yourself time to remember that not everything you submit and not every test you take will be the best one you do! At the risk of sounding like a broken record, it is okay to cut yourself some slack—it’s been a hectic semester.


Twenty lessons I’ve learned in 20 years…

…In no particular order

At the ripe age of 20, I definitely don’t have a lot of “life experience.”

However, I am proud to say that I have learned a few lessons, several of which come from observing family members and friends. In honour of my approaching 21st (oh no) rotation around the sun, I decided to reflect on some of said lessons, in the hope that these small slices of wisdom may be even slightly applicable to you. 

In no particular order…

  1. It is okay, if you financially can afford to do so, to stay at a job only until you can no longer learn anything from it. Wise words from my late Opa.
  1. It is completely natural for highschool friendships to fizzle out. The people who you have known for over 10 years tend to stick around for another 10.
  1. Moving out alone (and to a new city) is exciting yet ultimately terrifying. But you do get bragging rights.
  1. If you are not receptive to learning from something that continues to come up repeatedly, life will simply ram it down your throat. Some things you really have to learn.
  1. Watching a loved one slowly fade away is gut-wrenchingly heartbreaking, especially when you know it’s happening but you’re too far away to witness it. As much as you try to prepare for the inevitable, that pit in your stomach won’t fully disappear. 
  1. You will never be “home” again if you move for university; home is where you make it. On the upside, you’ll have a few places to call “home.”
  1. Spend time with your grandparents; it makes them so happy. Talk to them about anything, they’re excited to listen.
  1. It isn’t too late to turn a situation around if you really set your mind to it and it is in your power to do so. Do with that what you will.
  1. Lego is great no matter how old you are. And if you have never accidentally stepped on a Lego brick and been in agony, then I don’t know what to tell you.
  1. Changing yourself specifically for someone else will likely cause complete unhappiness. But don’t shy away from personal growth.
  1. Your grandmother will always give you second helpings of food, so don’t try to refuse.  You won’t leave her house feeling hungry, that’s for certain. 
  1. Listening to your parents will get you to the moon and back if you want it to. I know my parents are reading this and giggling gleefully.
  1. In some situations, people are powerless; never judge someone in a bad situation because leaving it can be easier said than done. Sometimes you just need to stand by and offer what you can. 
  1. Formulate your own opinions and personal values. You are a skilled and reasonable individual, trust your gut.
  1. If your mum says your outfit doesn’t look good, listen—she’s likely right, and you’ll save yourself the haunting pictures. Considering my mum dressed me up in some pretty stellar outfits as a kid, I’m still not sure why she let me out of the house in that outfit I wore for my 18th birthday party.
  1. If you have feelings for someone, shoot your shot, the worst they can say is no. Speaking from personal experience… It’ll take a bit of time, but you’ll get over it eventually. 
  1. There’s a fine line between whether the bad situation you’re in is actually someone else’s fault or your own. You cannot play the blame game for everything.
  1. Your pet will be your best friend. They’re great to vent to as well. 
  1. Be cautious about who you open up to about your past; unfortunately, some will use it against you. Not everyone wants to see you succeed.
  1. Only keep a precious few people privy to your private life. It is a privilege to know what is going on in the life of someone else, should they choose to share it with you.

A month-long study of the Female Archetypes

The final week features: the Lover, the Sage and the Mother.

We are at the end of our study of Female Archetypes and these are the final three: the Lover, the Sage and the Mother. In the last two weeks, I covered the Maiden and the Mystic, and the Queen and the Huntress

The Lover

Starting off strong with the Lover, the embodiment of sensuality and captivating passion. Please note that this particular archetype, no matter how it is spun, should not be diminished to represent a sex symbol; there is so much more behind this archetype. 

This archetype is a charismatic force field with a magnetic presence that draws people in. They spark our need for intimacy and the desire to establish meaningful and strong relationships. Tap into this one to embrace the highs and lows regarding intimacy and self-discovery. At the height of emotional intelligence, the Lover has an appreciation for aesthetics and beauty, as well as strong intuition. The most passionate of all seven archetypes, the Lover teaches us the art of attraction and intimacy.

Unfortunately, sometimes desire can be a bit of a downer. Though the Lover is apt to find intimate partners, it is hard for this archetype to form a lasting commitment. Hence, when the relationship begins to evolve past initial attraction, the Lover tends to pull away. 

A great example of the Lover is Samantha from Sex and the City—known for her animated stories about her sexual encounters, we see how hard it is for her to form a lasting connection with a man. The character, portrayed by Kim Catrall, has a certain magnetism about her, which draws people in. In mythology, Aphrodite or Venus are key examples of the Lover. The Lover compels a woman to fulfill her instincts, whether that be for procreation or pleasure. 

The Sage

The Sage embodies wisdom, insight, and intellect—she is a strategic seeker of truth, guided by reason and understanding. The Sage forms alliances with people as goal-oriented as she is, and pursues knowledge with a passion.

Female attorneys, politicians, and academics can characterize this archetype; these professions typically utilize their keen sense of strategy and stoic practicality and can be seen as mentors. For the Sage, it’s always head over heart. 

This archetype can be overly mind-focused and is not always the best at staying in the present moment. While admirable, the Sage’s strong desire for recognition for her strategic thinking results in basing self-worth on intellect alone.

Athena is a quintessential example of the Sage. She is renowned for her wisdom and intellect and serves as a mentor for various heroes as they pursue their goals. Athena also represents an emphasis on intellect over emotion—she opts for strategic planning as opposed to emotion-driven actions.

The Mother

The Mother, nurturing and compassionate and providing unconditional love, takes care of those around her and is a source of comfort. She is seen as a protector and loves selflessly, even going so far as to make great sacrifices for that love. The Mother is the one who creates our connections with nurturing, protecting, heart-centered relationships. 

This archetype cares deeply for those around her, and gains fulfillment by nurturing others. She fosters growth and her protective instinct is incredible. You’ve got a ride-or-die in the Mother archetype. This archetype is linked with creation, fertility, and responsibility—it represents a maternal instinct. 

However admirable it is for this archetype to be selfless, it can sometimes be too much. The Mother archetype often puts everyone else’s needs before her own, with little regard or attention to her own needs and wants—she gives up on her own aspirations to ensure someone else’s. It is tough for this archetype to set boundaries for her own good.

The Big Bang Theory’s Sheldon Cooper has a spin-off show, in which his mother, Mary, is one of the main supporting characters. Mary Cooper embodies this archetype in many ways. She is nurturing and caring, is always there to lend a helping hand, and is always concerned about her son’s well-being—she’s a loving and supportive character who bestows emotional guidance and stability. Mary also demonstrates selfless devotion as a mother, one of the core aspects of the Mother archetype. In mythology, Demeter is representative of the Mother archetype. The Greek goddess of agriculture, fertility, and harvest, is also Persephone’s mother and is protective of her daughter when she is abducted by Hades.

And there you have it! Those are all seven of the Female Archetypes—bear in mind, no one embodies just a single one. Everyone has different aspects of these archetypes; I recognize many of my personality traits in all seven. I hope you enjoyed this little series just as much as I did researching and writing about it.


A month-long study of Female Archetypes

This week’s features: the Maiden and the Mystic.

We are back for another week with our female archetypes! Quick recap: each week for International Women’s Month, I’ll be exploring the seven female archetypes. 

The Maiden

Jumping right into it, we’ve got the Maiden and the Mystic archetypes (don’t they sound so cool paired together like that?)—the former typically being a symbol of youth and new beginnings and the latter, a beam of wisdom and insight. 

Tap into your inner Maiden to unleash intuition, creativity, and potential for growth, all going hand in hand. She summons new beginnings and an effervescent, youthful quality. This archetype can be seen as embodying the concept of a rite of passage—when you begin something completely new, such as a career or relationship, it is common to rework your identity so that you enter the situation with a fresh perspective. Most frequently, it’s the depiction of a young girl just on the cusp of adulthood, discovering the world with wonder. 

The Maiden exudes innocence, a certain vulnerability, and curiosity; I guess you could say that this is an archetype with the potential to have significant “character growth,” whether good or bad. The Maiden cultivates her agency and inner strength because of the hurdles she is facing or will overcome, all of which become central parts of her personality mosaic. 

The best example in myth would be Persephone and her journey to the Underworld. Quick little synopsis: she was abducted by the God of the Underworld, Hades, and became Queen of the Underworld. In real life, take Audrey Hepburn as an example, especially in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Always an icon, Hepburn portrayed the elusive, fun-loving Holly Golightly. Despite her tragic backstory, Holly was able to put it behind her and enjoy life as she saw fit. She accepted her past but did not let it define her, and instead used it as her strength.

However, the Maiden can easily be drawn to dangerous relationships due to her naivety. She can also struggle to make decisions for herself or be unable to take her life by the reins. 

The Mystic

There is always something fresh and natural about her, and she is able to hold on to her youth even as she matures. 

The Mystic is very inward-focused, and seeks balance within herself; characterising the concept of “growth in private.” She focuses on inner fulfilment and loves her time alone to work on herself from the inside out. She seeks truth to expand on her own consciousness and knowledge, an utmost asset.

This archetype embodies wisdom, spiritual insight, and intuition. She is very in tune with herself, seeks upgrades for herself, and herself alone, and develops a keen sense of self-awareness. She is also serenely perceptive, and seeks inner peace through living a meaningful life in her own control.

Take Grace Kelly for example; an American actress turned Princess of Monaco. In photos, she gives the impression of keeping to herself, almost in a detached way, and was said to be quite shy, even as a child. As I researched this archetype, I noticed how even in the photos of the late Princess Grace, there was a sense of mystery about her—it might be her demeanour or her expressions, but there is definitely a calm and focused serenity about her, which can be attributed to the Mystic.

Unfortunately, it is easy for Mystics to detach themselves emotionally from various situations. While this is great in some aspects, it prevents them from letting themselves fully feel their emotions because they’ve pushed them away. Along with this comes emotional distance, so the Mystic can often assume a cold and distant demeanour. It is easy to lose touch with reality when focusing on inner work, which is also a risk.

So, given the archetypes this week and last, which would you say you embody at this time? Remember, it can change as you grow, whether that be in age or in self —personally, I’ve seen myself in different archetypes at various ages. Check back next week for the final three! 


A month-long study of the Female Archetypes

This week’s features: the Huntress and the Queen.

In honour of International Women’s month, I wanted to look at the seven Female Archetypes: the Queen, the Huntress, the Maiden, the Mother, the Sage, the Mystic, and the Lover. The concept of archetypes first came from Carl Jung, a Swiss psychiatrist—though he created the concept, he didn’t actually establish the female archetypes. All of the credit goes to Jean Shinoda Bolen, who coined the term. 

As much as we try to not put people into strict boxes, it’s always interesting to feel some sort of untold connection to other women. Personally, I’m a bit wary of anything of this sort (who knows how accurate they actually are), but it makes for a fun little research project. 

Now, what better month than March to look into these archetypes? Every week for the rest of the month I’ll delve into two or three of the seven. It might seem like ‘highfalutin mumbo jumbo’ but maybe getting to know these archetypes and channeling your connection with them could help you understand yourself, your personality, and what energy you embody a bit more. Just stick with me.

The Queen

First up, we’ve got the Queen, the embodiment of feminine power. As it may be obvious, she is able to attract the finer things in life for herself as an automatic leader. Elegance, regality, and grace are some words she personifies, and she is constantly building herself up to be the best version of herself. Take Princess Catherine, for example; she carries herself with a certain dignity and elegance, not to mention regality. The Queen channels confidence and poise, and allies herself with like-minded people of substance. 

The Queen archetype is one that many women  aspire to embody, but it’s also important to remember that every archetype or personality has its own flaws.

That being said, the Queen can be prone to arrogance and a sense of entitlement.; even the best of us suffer from putting an act on to mask an insecurity. They can also be easily threatened by other women.

For a bit of perspective, in mythology Hera, Juno, Frigg, Isis, Parvati, or Asherah are great examples of the Queen archetype. They take charge, protect, and are loyal. Some real life examples include the lovely Nancy Reagan, Beyoncé, or (though not actually real) Miranda Priestly from “The Devil Wears Prada.” Each of these women have had problems thrown at them that they dealt with grace; yet, as seen with Ms. Priestly, your power can inevitably get the better of you.

The Huntress

She is independent, she is ambitious… she is the Huntress and lives life on her own terms. Self-reliant with the mission of pursuing her goals, she has a strong and autonomous nature with a desire to be the dominant figure in the room. The Huntress, or the Wild Woman Archetype, is strong, independent, and seeks out her freedom, which is of the utmost importance to her.  The trademark for this one is autonomy, and choosing your own path in life without influence from others.

If you need to feel protected, channel your inner Huntress—it is she who will make you feel protected. If you’re striving towards a certain goal, she’s got you. I think that during the suffragette movements, all of those women were channeling their inner Huntress, but limited to the positive aspects of this type.

The cons of being the Huntress is usually the belief that she can do it all by herself, and her refusal to seek help from others. The Huntress fears vulnerability, and can sometimes shut herself off in order to cope alone (I think we’ve all been there).

Some examples of the Huntress archetype include Lady Gaga, Wonder Woman, Tauriel from The Hobbit, and in myth, Diana, Artemis, Ishtar, or Oya. The goal-driven and self-sufficient archetype is a force to be reckoned with. If this is the one you want to embody but don’t know where to begin, put on a face: pretend you’re acting and the part is of someone independent who does not shy away from achieving their goals because they know that they’ll achieve them no matter what.

At the risk of sounding like a horoscope prediction on the back page of a newspaper, check in next week for a breakdown of two more archetypes!


I moved from Vancouver to the East Coast for university

Should I have thought it through a bit more?

I think that the top question I am asked when I tell someone I’m from Vancouver is: “So like, why are you here [Toronto or Montréal]…?” It has gotten to the point that I, myself, am not even sure. I frequently wonder if I was too hasty with my decision to move for school… Was my choice based on a whim, simply because I wanted to be independent?

I grew up a good seven minutes from the University of British Columbia (UBC), and I always thought that was where I would end up, not only for the convenience and how the name would look on future job applications. Two of my cousins went to UBC, as did my dad (who is now their archivist). Naturally, it was assumed that I would further my studies at UBC.

Upon contemplation, though, I realised that I had lived in Vancouver for 18 years and had done everything I needed to do in Vancouver for that period of my life. I had frequented the Aquarium, gone sledding at Grouse, and called the Island my second home. If I moved provinces, I would be independent… That intrigued me, especially since I’m an only child and have no family out East. 

So, I packed up my life, migrated east, and lived independently. I was entirely self-reliant and I loved it. It would be so hard for me to go back to Vancouver, simply because I have gotten used to my independence and know I would not be able to backtrack. 

I have only found two cons that came with moving away for school. First, my grandparents—I am either the youngest or the only grandchild on each side. I went from seeing my Nani and Opa two times a week, to seeing them both twice a year. I do not like that at all because I miss them the most. This one also became very apparent to me this past December: the harsh reality that my parents are ageing (I know they’re reading this right now and are probably feeling slightly insulted). Especially since I’m not there to see the progression of that, it is so much more apparent to me whenever I’m back. 

Second comes the change in energy from city to city. Going from the mountains and ocean on my doorstep, to looking out the window and only seeing a flat metropolis really took a toll on my mental health. The atmosphere and vibe of a new city can sometimes make (or break) an experience. I might’ve moved twice now for university, but since Montréal is much more similar to Vancouver, I’ve felt more at home. 

I love the independence and adventure of being a few provinces away, but sometimes, I’m mad at myself because I think that my decision to pursue this independence is selfish. It is hard to be completely happy somewhere else when, though by no means forced, there is a sense of familial obligation a ways away. What possessed me to move away from my family and a familiar city, not to mention a prestigious university? It can be quite a guilt trip sometimes. 

From time to time, I find myself feeling whimsical and dreaming about B.C., mentally driving down that precarious loop that turns Broadway into Lougheed, or speeding down south west Marine Drive. When anything to do with B.C. is mentioned in class, I perk up a bit. I know that I’ll never truly be home again, so it is bittersweet when I visit Vancouver, especially since I’m not totally sure where I’ll end up… Only time will tell.


A student’s rant about grocery prices

 I spent $51 for six small grocery items and I’m less than thrilled about it.

Last week, I bought my usual basics at Costco, which usually amount to less than $20 and last me a month. But this time, I added tortillas, a dill pickle salad kit, and Cascade pods (on sale) and bam! Somehow, my bill got bumped up to $51. 

It’s safe to say I wasn’t a happy camper, especially when I had another impending bill with two grocery items I was going to split with my boyfriend: $32 for eight pieces of chicken breast and seven dollars for two bags of gnocchi. 

My own groceries combined with what I was splitting totalled around $80. Seven and a half items for $80—I was floored. 

Being a student and managing your own food expenses is stressful, and I personally have a low stream of income. A little pit in my stomach opens up every time I see the total for basic necessities, which is what groceries are. Why charge so much for something that everyone needs to remain alive? 

This year, prices have really gone up. I understand that we are in a recession, but along with grocery prices going up, discounts are disappearing, which is asinine. If one Metro offers a discount on cheese, why can’t all the other Metro locations (some of which are closer to home) offer the same discount? So, not only are groceries expensive, it’s also time-consuming to go buy them. At this point, I might as well buy a chicken so I can get eggs for free; it can live on my patio for now. 

The Concordian recently wrote about how Provigo got rid of, then reinstated, its 50 per cent discount section…It is definitely a valid assumption that most students shop in that section.  Many supermarkets don’t even offer student discounts and I’m more than certain they can afford it.

I found that shopping at local supermarkets really cuts some of my grocery costs; at some local producers’ stands, you can get strawberries for two dollars and fifty cents, compared to IGA’s six dollars. Though I’m currently less than thrilled with my last Costco bill, I’d recommend finding a friend whose membership you can piggyback on, and split some of Costco’s bigger-ticket items. T&T can also be super reasonable sometimes—it’s definitely a trek, but so worth it. 

Due to the spike in grocery prices, I’m now of the mind that if I can make it at home, I am not going to buy it. I cannot justify spending seven dollars on mayonnaise when I can make my own at home for under two dollars. Pickles became a luxury for me, and I am a pickle girl, so I learned how to make my own. I became a bit of a “do it yourself” girl.

Being alive is so expensive. The best I can say is to take a day to scope out what markets near you can be counted on for cheaper prices, figure out what you can make at home and what big-ticket items you can split with people.

And for pity’s sake, please let me know if any big grocery corporations ever offer discounts… I am not interested in paying six dollars for yoghurt or two dollars for a can of kidney beans. 


Which coast is the best coast?

A local’s perspective on how to eat and explore your way through two of Canada’s biggest cities in 24 hours.

One of my friends told me that I’m going to keep moving east until I end up right back in Vancouver, and that isn’t too far-fetched. I have been constantly migrating east ever since the end of high school— first Toronto, and now Montréal.

As a proud Vancouverite, I know the city like the back of my hand. Seriously, you could plop me down in the middle of Sapperton and I’d know how to get home. The same goes for Toronto. 

Any local of any city has their go-to places and I am proud to have culminated my own lists for both Vancouver and Toronto. I’ve got a lot of food and to-do recommendations; so in honour of summer plans being made, here are my *local’s* recommendations in the two cities.

Up first is my home base, Vancouver—prefacing this with the fact that I grew up in Kitsilano, which is ten minutes away from the University of British Columbia, so these recommendations are in and around that area.

Start the day off on a sweet note at Grounds for Coffee for the best cinnamon buns in the world. My mum and I have been frequenting Grounds since I was a toddler, so that should speak volumes. Alternatively, head up to Blue Chip at UBC for a bite (make sure to grab one of their iconic cookies), and explore the UBC campus. It is genuinely the most beautiful Canadian campus in my opinion and always has something new to check out. 

From there, hop on the 99 B-Line bus and get some sushi from Masa Sushi on Broadway—their Secret Garden Roll is definitely a must. If you aren’t in the mood for sushi, go to Sing Sing on Main Street and order an assortment of appetizers to nosh on. Dodge into a couple thrift stores or any of the hole-in-the-wall antique shops for some unique finds. 

For dinner, head over to Marcello Ristorante on Commercial Drive. Dubbed as Vancouver’s “Little Italy,” this area offers some pretty stellar Italian food, as well as some more thrift stores and parks. Wind down with some ice cream from Earnest Ice Cream on Quebec Street and East 2nd. They’ve always got the most unique flavours—such as whiskey hazelnut and London fog. 

That’s a pretty decent day spent in the main areas of Vancouver (excluding downtown, which is an entirely different world in and of itself ). 

Moving east to Toronto: home to big buildings and the best soup dumplings ever. These recommendations are mainly in and around the downtown neighbourhoods, with the exception of Roncesvalles. Start off your morning at Fran’s for some Toronto staple diner-style brekkie—I am partial to their College Street location. 

For lunch, head to Juicy Dumpling in Chinatown for the cheapest and best soup dumplings ever – I am forever grateful to my friend for introducing me to my now go-to. Explore the Chinatown area for some cool thrift stores and unique memorabilia finds. Or, go to Grillies on Dundas for an amazing pulled pork sandwich. 

Madras Kaapi on College is a haven for some South Indian style coffee; you can also check out the little stores in and around the area for some unique collectibles. My friend and I have spent hours there trying out the various pastries and food. Reunion Coffee Roasters in Roncesvalles is also great to grab a coffee and explore the picturesque little neighbourhood. I love poking around the main strip and wandering in the inside roads—I could easily spend all day there, especially since it’s the first place my Opa lived when he immigrated to Canada in ‘58.

Finally for dinner, check out Vivoli for some killer Italian food! After the surprise birthday party that my friends organized there for my 20th, it is forever a kindred spot for me. 

And there you have it! How to spend 24 hours in two of Canada’s biggest (and polar opposite) cities. 

Hopefully this awakened the tourist within!


Trending or timeless?

My personal favourite female figures and characters to draw inspiration from.

As someone who doesn’t follow trends, it floors me how quick the shift is from lifestyle aesthetics such as “clean girl” with the ice rollers and five-minute Journals, to “mob wife” characterised by loud prints and oversized sunglasses. 

In this world of ever-changing aesthetics, people are constantly changing their fashion, dispositions, attitudes, and lifestyles to fit into a short-lived trend. By the time the average trend-follower reinvents themselves, the social media world has moved onto the next big idea, which leads to time and money getting wasted. 

It makes more sense to pick a couple key, inspirational people to use as a blueprint to stick to, rather than being a version of a trend you might not have understood in the first place. Trends tend to become a lifestyle, not just a fashion ideal—do not adapt to them when you know deep down that a particular lifestyle or fashion sense isn’t truly you. 

That being said, here are my favourite female icons to draw inspiration from. Whether through fashion, attitude, or mannerism, it has truly been a journey to cultivate my blueprint from these women. 

Starting off strong with the beautiful Audrey Hepburn. With her timeless class, style, and charismatic disposition, her looks have always been chic and elegant—and they are easily achievable. Grab some ballet flats or classic loafers, tailored black pants, a loose white button-down, and if you’re feeling mysterious, a trench coat. 

Forever an “It girl,” Lady Diana Spencer’s style became especially sought after in her 1996 post-divorce era. Between her revenge dress, that cute little red sweater with the sheep she wore to a polo match after her engagement, and iconic gym outfits, she was truly a sight to behold. Both she and Audrey kept it quite simple, with basics and a few statement pieces. 

Moving along with the classy and well-put-together style, Natasha Richardson’s portrayal of Elizabeth James in the 1998 classic The Parent Trap is an inspiration, and not just as a mother-figure. Though the character opted for more muted neutrals, the way she was styled gave her a certain level of sophistication. 

Those few shots of Louise Grant from Gilmore Girls when she isn’t in a Chilton uniform are a goldmine. With the simple graphic tees, go-to Levi’s jeans and miniskirts, the ‘90s style has become perennial—especially looking at Monica and Rachel from Friends. There is something so timeless about a culmination of late ‘90s mixed with the sophisticated classiness of elegantly polished looks. The clothes are always in style and can be matched any which way, which is why they are my personal fashion blueprints.
Especially if you’ve heard of these characters or people, you’ll see that there are valuable attributes in each of them. With each trend, it is easy to become obsessed with the aesthetic that comes with it, but it’s important to keep in mind to not blindly follow it because everyone else is – you are under no obligation to do something because everyone else is! Participate in the trends that feel right for you. I can’t stress enough that your lifestyle, clothing, and aesthetic choices don’t have to be the same as everyone else’s; your own are what make you a unique and interesting individual. Create an idea of who you want to be, and start there—it’ll up your confidence and save you from over-consumption.


The lack of self in the chaos of a typical nine-to-five

Should structure eclipse creativity?

I cannot be the only one who debates between having a traditional nine-to-five or rebelling against societal pressure and opting to freelance and work for myself. Before transferring to Concordia, I was at school in Toronto for the sole reason of opportunity: Toronto is where the Canadian divisions of the Big Five publishing companies are, and I saw it as “the land of opportunity” to get a start on my career. Clearly, I got disillusioned. 

My end goal is ultimately the same, but seeing how bleak people look as they’re leaving those grey office buildings makes the “Do I really want to do that?” debate rear its ugly head.

As someone who is more right-brained, the topic of how people can still maintain their creative side around a traditional nine-to-five job is of interest to me. Is a traditional, structured nine-to-five viable for a happy, creative and well-rounded lifestyle? 

Given the cycle of the same place, commute and people, the exhaustion that comes with repetition demotivates us to unleash our creative side. Routine monotony is something that characterizes the nine-to-five: tasks become repetitively predictable, which leads to a torpor of ideas and a decrease in creative thinking. In a typical nine-to-five in-person office setting, there is rarely any room to experiment with creative solutions.This lack of flexibility hinders the nurturing of our own unique creative potential during moments of inspiration. Without our creativity, we become a shell of ourselves. 

Work is a key component of our personal identity—it makes up the good majority of our time and is where we see our professional growth as well as our paychecks. With finances being most people’s Waterloo, it gets difficult to make your passion your profession, but it is our passions that make us who we are. Otherwise, we would all be slightly altered versions of the same person. 

Because of this push to earn to survive, our passions and the component of our identities they create often get disregarded and viewed as “less important” because they don’t contribute to our job. Nonetheless, it’s essential to explore avenues unrelated to work in order to be a well-rounded person. Think about it—someone that can only talk about their job and whose personality is solely their profession is far less interesting to interact with than someone who has passions they can be excited about. Your personal identity needs to be cultivated through your passions. 

Of course, a nine-to-five does not always offer time to pursue your creative passions—jobs in and of themselves are demanding, and by the time the work day is done, you might not have the energy to tune into your creativity. So much of the day turns to be in the interest of the company you work for, and not for yourself, which is unfulfilling to say the least. Creativity becomes lost when there is no space for it. 

I’m not speaking out of assumption as I’m writing this. While everything stated so far applies to an in-person job, it does not necessarily apply to a hybrid or remote position, and I was lucky enough to work a remote nine-to-five position last year. While I had a schedule to keep, the remote option gave me the chance to both work on personal projects when I wanted a break from work and to be a bit more creative with company projects because I had cultivated a motivating environment. 

I am of the mind that either a remote or a hybrid role is opportune for creativity, mostly because of the lack of repetition I touched on earlier. You have the option to create your own working environment, you can step away from your work, and it also gives a certain flexibility that a rigidly scheduled in-person nine-to-five may lack, and a job that offers a hybrid or partially remote option is something that I have looked into. Alternatively, I might do a one-eighty and work for myself—in an age of technology, there are enough resources and opportunities out there to apply creativity and passion and make a career out of it.  

Our whole lives, we’re told to create our own identity, but it is tough to do so when we’re expected to ditch our cultivated and unique selves in favour of a job that might not even bring us personal satisfaction. Constantly keeping busy does not mean productivity ensues. You could complete meaningless tasks but never actually accomplish anything.

The responsibility, networking, and steady paycheck of a nine-to-five are great, but if it doesn’t allow you to develop your own creativity and see a cultivated and personally accomplished version of yourself, then is it worth doing something you aren’t really passionate about? Why work for someone else’s dream when you can work for your own?

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