Reflections on the three-day strike

Don’t cross picket lines.

February started off strong at Concordia with the three-day strike from Jan. 31 to Feb. 2. In total, over 10,000 students were on strike—a dramatic increase from the 6,000 I’d initially reported, as many departments voted at the last minute to strike. 

For those who participated in picketing efforts, the university was a whirlwind of activity. Though many classes were canceled in solidarity with the strike, others insisted on ‘business as usual’. To enforce the strike, student volunteers stationed outside classes to create blockades and discuss with students and professors who attempted to cross the lines. In these interactions, many questions arose. 

Why don’t you picket outside Legault’s house? This sentiment was expressed by those who questioned the efficacy of  striking within the university. While it is true that Concordia is not to blame for the tuition hikes, many have expressed the desire for the administration to fight harder. This sentiment is exacerbated by Concordia’s recent announcement of a bursary program for out-of-province students based on academic achievement, which provides a mere Band-Aid solution (and is based on an unfair meritocracy).  

In addition to putting pressure on the administration, the strike sought to increase visibility for the movement against tuition hikes and to gather momentum toward the threat of a general unlimited strike. A larger-scale strike would apply great economic pressure on the Quebec government and hopefully force the students’ demands to be heard. 

For the strikes to be fully effective, however, wide-spread involvement and solidarity is essential. This was sometimes an issue, as certain professors encouraged students to cross picket lines or attend class online. To cross a picket line disregards the democratic decision of the student body to go on strike. We should all be united for the common cause of advocating for accessible education—students and faculty alike. 

Though obstacles were encountered, I would argue the strike was widely successful. Classes were disrupted, meaningful discussions took place, and many more people are now aware of the strikes and what they represent. The dedication of student volunteers was commendable, and it was especially inspiring to see those who were not even striking show solidarity. Many faculty members expressed their support, and MFA students were particularly kind. (Shout-out to the snack station that was set up in the MFA gallery for picketers at the VA building.) 

The 7th floor of Hall Building and the EV Junction, which served as dispatch stations for picketers, created a lively atmosphere in the university and provided a chance to meet people and recuperate. Various workshops including a film screening and zine-making took place, giving students a chance to redirect their energy and make connections. 

The feeling of success that has followed the strike is heartening, but also serves as a reminder that there is still work to be done. Stay updated on future actions such as general assemblies and ongoing mobilization efforts. It’s important to get as many students as engaged as possible to reach our goal. The fight for accessible education is for everyone—as such, we need everyone’s help. 


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. 

Sports Wrestling

The state of wrestling at Concordia

The wrestling program has always consistently been one of Concordia’s best sports programs. It’s still good, thanks to a family who found a system.

Concordia University is home to one of Canada’s top wrestling programs, thanks to elite athlete and Stingers head coach Victor Zilberman. In 1985, Zilberman obtained a Concordia sports administration diploma, and from then, he eventually earned multiple National Championship trophies while coaching the team. In addition, he’s coached the Canadian Olympic team many times over.

It was in 1977 that Zilberman founded the Montreal Wrestling Club (MWC), which has occupied the Reinitz Wrestling Centre at the Sylvan Adams YM-YWHA since 2001. There, some of the finest wrestlers show up, for three days every week, including Olympic and Commonwealth games gold medalist Guivi Sissaouri, and visitors from the likes of MMA legend Georges St-Pierre. 

David Zilberman, Victor’s son, takes after his father and is currently the head coach of the Stingers team, a teacher at Vanier College, and is in charge of the MWC. 

David Zilberman coaching during a tournament.
Credit: Concordia Athletics

The duo keep their eyes peeled for high-school talent across Canada to recruit to the club. If deemed fit, they will eventually end up wearing the Stingers’ maroon and gold. 

From October to February, the Stingers compete at national wrestling tournaments at least twice a month. So far this season, the team has participated in the following events; McMaster Invitational on Oct. 29, the Concordia Invitational Wrestling Tournament on Nov. 5, and the York Open on Nov 19. 

Coming up next is the University of Toronto Open on Dec 2. The weekend of Dec. 15, a few Stingers alumni will travel to Edmonton for the 2024 Olympic Canadian Team Trials. 

Everyone on the team practices for two and a half to four hours in the morning, and the same in the evening, six days a week. They all work at least one job, all while taking classes at Concordia. “Everyone’s a psycho,” said two-time Pan-American junior gold medalist Alex Moore. The star who is also on the Stingers team was elected as the Outstanding Wrestler of the Tournament for the latest National Championships in February. Moore is currently training to qualify at the upcoming Canadian Team Trials in the 86 kg weight class. 

For MWC member Yann Heymeg, who originally played quarterback for his middle school in Saint-Césaire, which is located just west of Granby. When he suffered an injury to his throwing hand, his gym teacher who was also a wrestling coach, encouraged him to take up the sport. Heymeg would go to the MWC on Thursday evenings and by the ninth grade, he’d dropped football to pursue wrestling. 

Today, at 20 years old, Heymeg has received a scholarship to study recreation and leisure studies at Concordia after graduating from Vanier this fall semester. 

“It’s more gratifying to have an education for free when I’m working hard doing what I want,” says Heymeg, classed at 72 kg. “I give my 100 per cent when training, and I think the coach sees it.” Just this past year, he finished second in the U23 National Championships, and second in the Canada Games.

This year, the Stingers team is missing certain players in different weight classes. Only about half of both the men’s and women’s teams are filled out, so it seems that the team’s ranking has dropped over this past year. The women’s team dropped from sixth to seventh overall, and the men’s from seventh to ninth. The team, however, has hopes in first years making their debut.

Maddie Charlton is a first-year standout wrestler from Halifax, Nova Scotia who moved to Montreal a little over a year ago to train at the MWC. In the 50 kg weight class, Charlton was placed third in her first tournament with the Stingers at the Concordia Invitational, and first at the York Open. “I’m still producing results, but there’s tons of athletes here that are very, very experienced and it’s a good place for me because I’m always being challenged,” she said, impressed by the club’s talent.

Stingers player Jeremy Poirier, classed at 100 kg, is on the other end of his academic career. Onto his fifth year at Concordia, he’ll be graduating at the end of this winter semester. He won the USports National Championships this past February.

The New Brunswick native joined the MWC in 2016, after David Zilberman spotted his older brother, Geno Poirier, excelling with the University of Regina Cougars. Poirier eventually placed sixth at the National Championships. “[David] is tough, he pushes us hard, but it’s great. He shows us all the technical aspects, but he talks a lot about the mental part of the sport.”   

Poirier has ranked in the top two at the Senior Pan-American Championships for the past three years: he was placed second in 2023 in Argentina and in Mexico in 2022,  and first in 2021 in Guatemala. He and Moore won gold medals at the USports National Championships earlier this year at the University of Alberta, now having won multiple times. Poirier is aiming to fly to Edmonton for the Canadian Team Trials if his hamstring heals properly. 

Although the team isn’t in its greatest shape for now, the Zilbermans are regarded as two of the best in Canada, so the Stingers’ fate rests assured in good hands. If you wrestle in Canada, you know the Zilbermans.

Wrestlers to watch:


Maddie Charlton (50 kg)

Virginie Gascon (56 kg)

Sophia Bechard (59kg)

Alexia Sherland (83 kg)


Ryder Church (65 kg) 

Liam Menard (68 kg)

Zaur Arsagov (82 kg)

Angus Scott (90 kg)


Jade Dufour

Linda Morais

Laurence Beauregard

Amanda Savard 

Alex Moore

Frédérick Choquette

Riley Otto

Briefs News

Violent protests erupt in Concordia’s Hall Building

Pro-Palestinian and pro-Israeli protests broke out, requiring police intervention.

At around 12 p.m. on Wednesday, pro-Palestine and pro-Israel gatherings were held in the Hall building. The Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights (SPHR) were holding a keffiyeh sale to raise money for the humanitarian crisis in Palestine Jewish students from Hillel and Start-up Nation arrived soon after to their Shabbat dinner event “to honor and bring awareness to over 240 innocent civilians help captive by Hamas in Gaza.”

Both groups were unaware that they would simultaneously be tabling at the exact same time, as they planned their respective events. For context, SPHR had announced the keffiyeh sale on their Instagram account on Nov. 5. According to an Instagram post by Concordia’s Israeli club, the StartUp Nation, the table for the vigil for Israelis kidnapped by Hamas was booked on Nov. 3. The gatherings at Hall Building soon escalated into protests as members that were not a part of the Concordia community arrived on scene to support their respective groups.

Campus security took action and created a barrier between the two groups, only for about 20 SPVM officers to arrive and diffuse the situation. 

One witness, a Concordia student who wished to remain anonymous, said they saw the police officers create a barrier behind a pro-Israeli activist after they saw this person hit a pro-Palestinian activist with a sign.

The same witness also added that “when the police arrived on scene, they were pretty violent with the pro-Palestinian activists, one officer shoved many protestors and brandished a baton.”

“In my view,” the witness said, “the protest centred on calls for ceasefire and an end to apartheid—there was a statement from an [palestinian] organizer that denounced antisemitism and stated that the fight is with the state of Israel and not Jews.” 

Protesters were seen ripping flags, and throwing water bottles and punches. Two pro-Palestinian protesters were arrested and several other protesters from both sides were injured.

“I’d like it to be known that the protest was not one of hatred towards Jews, but a denouncement of the crimes of the Israeli state,” the witness said about the pro-Palestinian protest. “I believe that is an incredibly important distinction to make.”

Following the events, SPHR released a statement yesterday morning saying “they would like to remind everyone that we, the students, will NOT allow this to deter us from our continued advocacy for the freedom of the Palestinian people.” 

More to come on this developing story.

Interview Music

Life in Xion

A look into the collective that’s growing in Concordia’s music studios.

Multidisciplinary artist Justin Tatone first met Benedict Tan in high school back in 2017. The pair began collaborating over the years. “It was just us making stupid songs and I would produce the beats. It was so bad.” The pandemic later inspired them to take their musical alliance seriously and they began working on a collaborative project in 2020. This union marked the inception of Tatone’s art collective Xion, which welcomed four more members in 2022: Yorgo Al Terek, Leo Deslauriers, Giancarlo Laurieri and E.sko (Elias Skotidakis).

The group’s name is based on the word Zion, which is derived from Tatone’s Jamaican heritage. In Rastafarian lore, it signifies a land of promise. He was also inspired by the 1999 sci-fi film The Matrix, in which Zion is referenced as a land where humans can live freely and without restriction. The intention behind the collective was to “share resources, create a space promised for us,” Tatone explains. The replacement of the Z by an X represents a dissociation from perverse connotations and variations of the word, specifically Zionism—the nationalist movement predicated on reclaiming territory in the Middle East.

As an electroacoustics student, Tatone gained access to the sound studios at Concordia. The available equipment provided him with resources that allowed the group to expand and make music they never would’ve been able to afford to make, according to him. 

The group’s dynamic is highly collaborative: the approach to their forthcoming group album Xion Vol. 1 notably had three producers individually working on a sample (as a background melody) simultaneously. Deslauriers would then splice the renditions together into one, full beat, with drums and other elements being added later. Al Terek, who also studies electroacoustics, describes the process as working in “episodes,” and recalls creating shorter beats with the intent for his colleagues to add to them however they want. 

Each artist fills a specific role, but their contributions converge into a larger, distinct product. “Our collective space serves as the crossroads of artistic expression,” as Laurieri puts it. Tatone wants his collective to be bigger than music: “I want to build a community based on sharing resources. The first step to that is allowing people in the space who aren’t necessarily artists.” 

Laurieri, who is currently a second-year political science student, is an example of this. He has no distinct training in music but plays a key role in the group, serving as its marketing and networking specialist, and as creative consultant. He put together the campaign for E.sko’s Love, Wannabe tour this past summer, a makeshift tour born from booking every open mic and venue in town. The experience was a success, bringing the group to several bars throughout Quebec and even Ontario. “Montreal has so much opportunity for small artists,” Tatone says.

BANE & BLESSING, the electrifying rage-rap album from Tan and Tatone, will finally launch on Sept. 29 after three years of creation. The album is set to be supported by live performances, with punk venues being envisioned. Tatone also expresses interest in embarking on another tour in summer 2024, this time as a collective in support of their upcoming group album, the boom-bap influenced Xion, Vol. 1. He also revealed that a documentary for the Love, Wannabe tour is on the way.

Xion may just be gearing up, but their ambition and output support Laurieri’s description of the group. “It’s a journey of creative convergence where the sum is truly greater than its individual parts.”

Interview Music

DJ PØPTRT is taking over

Meet the Concordia student playing Quebec’s biggest festivals.

Hailing from Kahnawà:ke, DJ PØPTRT (real name Kiana Cross) is an Indigenous DJ and second-year communications studies student. She is coming off a loaded summer which included performances at Montreal’s Club Unity and some of Quebec’s biggest festivals such as the Festival d’été du Québec, the International Balloon Festival, and Piknic Électronik. 

One of the festivals that the DJ performed in was Festival d’été du Québec (FEQ), and she looks back at the experience with nothing but admiration. She also played at the International Balloon Festival and PIknic Électronik, the latter being the biggest crowd she has ever gathered. “I was so focused on transitions and playing music that when I finally looked up to see thousands of people it was surreal,” she recalled.

DJ PØPTRT describes her style as “nostalgic sounds from the classic ‘90s rave scene in a more contemporary vibe.” She incorporates aspects of her Indigenous culture into her music and hopes to “see the world, to tour,; to connect with people and share an insight on who I [Cross] am and my culture.”

The rising artist also got candid about the sacrifices involved in balancing a DJ career with being a full-time student: “It was hard. I remember having a job during the day, a class in the afternoon, and I would DJ until 3 a.m. […]I’m trying to add the human aspect of being kind to myself and healthy, combining both so I can have longevity with this lifestyle.”

A Mohawk artist, Cross shared her feelings about receiving support from Quebec festivals and organizations, given Canada’s negative history with its Indigenous populations.

 “It’s interesting to be in this time, especially as a female Indigenous artist. When people reach out, it’s hard to decipher if they’re simply trying to appease by making it seem like they’re supporting an Indigenous person,” she said.  While she is grateful for the environment she’s in, DJ PØPTRT finds that “there is a lot of work to be done,” and aims to address Indigenous issues and decolonize the music scene.

As an artist who manages all aspects of her career by herself, including graphic designing and business management, Cross has also played gigs in Ottawa and New Brunswick. She now plans to make a breakthrough in Europe following her increasing popularity in Canada. “I’m already making connections and seeing where I want to go,” she told The Concordian.

Be sure to catch DJ PØPTRT’s upcoming show at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa this September, which she describes as having “original music and visuals— a sample of what’s next.”

Community Student Life

University of Münster Case Challenge 2022

John Molson School of Business brings home the first big win at an international case competition since 2019.

This year, the University of Münster Case Challenge (UMCC) took place for the sixth year in a row. Twelve schools from around the globe participated in the event, including the John Molson School of Business representing Concordia University.  

The Concordian had the pleasure of speaking with Michael Lecchino, one of the members on the JMSB team.

“The way JMSB sends delegates to international competitions is you usually have to be a part of JMCC. The JMCC is the John Molson Competition Committee. Once you are a part of this club, you take a case competition course and it teaches you how to do case cracks and get better at these case competitions,” Lecchino explained.

When a student at JMSB gets involved with the JMCC, they often get sent to regional competitions, like the Jeux du Commerce, for example. 

“I was able to participate in and go [to the UMCC] with three other academic delegates. My colleagues were Émile Martel, Dylan Ross, and Taylor Graham. We ended up going to the case competition in Münster, Germany, two weeks ago. There are some case competitions that happen in Australia, Alberta and many more, however they fall into the winter semester,” Lecchino said. 

Lecchino also broke down the competition for The Concordian.

“From when we arrived in Münster, our first case came in on Thursday. This was the shorter case, it was a four-hour case. We crack it and create a presentation and we pitch it to a panel of judges on that very same day,” Lecchino recalled. 

This case was regarding a business called The business wanted to establish a go-to market strategy and acquire business-to-business customers. The JMSB team successfully pitched it to the panel of judges.

“The next day on Friday, we have a ten-hour case. So we spend ten hours going through the case, creating a presentation and we don’t present. We presented on Saturday morning,” Lecchino said.

The ten-hour-long case was a sustainable urban development strategy for the city of Cologne.

On Saturday morning, the winners of each division were announced. These winners faced off in the finals with their respective presentations for the second case. 

“It was the first time we won and we podiumed at an International case competition since 2019,” Lecchino said. 

The UMCC was a great experience for Lecchino, and he recognized it as a huge honour to be able to represent JMSB alongside his colleagues. 


Boba for days

A walk through Montreal in the search of bubble tea.

As a newcomer to Montreal, I am unfamiliar with the many bubble tea shops that surround the SGW Campus of Concordia University. So I was thrilled last Thursday afternoon when Sara, a Montreal local, took me and my German friend Emma under her wing. 

After a long discussion about politics, we walked down St. Catherine. We walked past no less than four bubble tea shops before Sara guided us into the Taiwanese chain Xing Fu Tang.

There was a tragic tea spill on the floor when we walked into Xing Fu Tang, and the air smelled like fresh fruit and caramelized sugar. Black boba pearls bubbled in a golden pot next to the counter, and smooth K-pop tunes tumbled out of the speakers. 

An array of tea choices faced the customer, with everything from refreshing green teas to the classic brown sugar and fresh milk. 

Xing Fu Tang, which means “sugar with happiness,” started in Taiwan in 2018, and now has branches across the globe, including in Canada. They only opened a store in Montreal late last year, and it’s easy to see why it’s now become a local favourite. 

Upon entering the shop, Sara proceeded to ask the waitress for “whatever it is that smells very good.” The waitress replied, “Do you mean that drink that’s spilled on the floor?,” and Sara said yes! I went with a classic brown sugar pearl milk tea, and Emma did too.

It’s the boba (tapioca pearls) that maketh the bubble tea. The first sip is a cautious one, with the drinker uncertain what to expect. 

I started asking myself, “Will the pearls be cooked all the way through? Has the brown sugar soaked through the tapioca?”

Xing Fu Tang’s tapioca pearls are flawless — soft and chewy in the middle, and satisfyingly sweet. The brown sugar pearls offset the milk tea perfectly, and the tea isn’t sickly sweet. 

We take our teas out into the sunshine, and find a bright blue picnic table to sit on. Sara has received a tall passion fruit pearl tea, and was happy with her surprise choice. Emma — who was new to the wonders of bubble tea — took a few tentative sips of her brown sugar milk tea, and announced that while she was a little unsure about the drink, she had fun eating the pearls. We reassured her that boba is somewhat of an acquired taste, and we’ll order her a fruit tea next time.


Concordia For Dummies: The Provincial Elections

Welcome to The Podcast. Cedric Gallant will produce and host this podcast alongside our Section Editors every week. The shows will rotate weekly to cover topics from each section of our newspaper!

This week’s show, Concordia for Dummies, was produced by Cedric Gallant, Gabriel Guindi, alongside our News Editors, Hannah Tiongson, Lucas Marsh, and Staff Writer Mareike Glorieux-Stryckman. Tune in for future episodes of Concordia for Dummies, where we explore topics on students minds throughout the school year.

In this episode:

Cedric Gallant covers this week’s headlines and shares interviews with First Nations leaders around Montreal reflecting on Truth and Reconciliation Day (Sept. 30).

For our Concordia for Dummies segment this week, we decided to host a discussion between a few members of our staff, all of whom came to Concordia with different backgrounds, cultures, nationhood, and native languages. Listen in for a roundtable discussion on the various Quebec party platforms as we head into our Provincial Election Day tomorrow, Oct. 2.

Thanks for listening and make sure to tune in next week!


Chatcordia : The Student Diet

Welcome to The Podcast. Cedric Gallant will produce and host this podcast alongside our Section Editors every week. The shows will rotate weekly to cover topics from each section of our newspaper!

This week’s show, Chatcordia, was produced by Cedric Gallant and Dalia Nardolillo, The Concordian’s Community Editor. Tune in for future episodes of Chatcordia, where we interview students about all things from serious to silly!

In this episode:

Cedric Gallant covers this week’s headlines and interviews Concordians at the Climate march last weekend.

For our Chatcordia segment this week, Community Editor Dalia Nardolillo asked Concordia students what they’re eating as we head into the busy (and often without lunch) days of the Fall semester.

Thanks for listening and make sure to tune in next week!

Workism: my new religion

How do you separate your identity from your work when you’ve become a workaholic?

Last spring, I wrote an article about the hustle culture affecting my mental health and leading to burnout. A year later, I still struggle to find a healthy balance between work and my personal life.

My problem last year was that I felt a social pressure to overwork myself. I kept comparing myself with other people’s achievements and felt insecure about my work in journalism. At that time, I was even questioning my career choice.

Today, I have a similar problem — but now the pressure is coming from within. Though I finally love what I’m doing and take pleasure in writing articles, I’ve let my work define me and have left no space for other hobbies.

“Who am I apart from being a journalist?” I asked myself a few weeks ago, on the train back home after being out working for 12 hours.

I kept holding back my tears for the entire hour-long train ride. I was exhausted, but refused to be upset about it.

That Saturday was the most emotionally and physically challenging day. I woke up at 7 a.m.,  attended a meeting online for another job, went to a café to work on an article, attended a protest, then headed to the library to write another article on the demonstration.

“You love your work and everything you’re doing. You shouldn’t complain,” I kept whispering to myself as I sat on the train with my eyes half-closed.

This has been my routine and mantra for the past month.

Since February, I’ve been working three jobs. I work my nine-to-five internship during the week, then spend my weekends writing for The Concordian and supervising Concordia’s Arts and Science Federation of Associations (ASFA) winter 2022 elections. My mind is constantly occupied with work.

This may sound exhausting to some, but I love it. I absolutely adore what I’m doing because it makes me feel so fulfilled. I get an adrenaline rush attending protests and knowing that the articles I write matter.

I feel as if I have a purpose. Though only one of the three jobs pays me well, I decided to take on as many jobs to fill my CV and feel accomplished. Yet, I can’t help but think I’ve become chained to my work.

The religion of workism has taken over my life.

“Workism” was defined by Derek Thompson a few years ago in The Atlantic as, “the belief that work is not only necessary to economic production, but also the centerpiece of one’s identity and life’s purpose; and the belief that any policy to promote human welfare must always encourage more work.”

Working three remote jobs made it easier for me to let work define my worth and who I am. With my phone glued to my hand, it’s been challenging to disassociate myself from work. If I’m not working for my internship, I’m constantly looking for story ideas or responding to emails.

I no longer have time for leisure activities like reading, journaling, running… I tried squeezing in a day to ski every Sunday during the winter months. Even then, on the slopes, I was working! I kept checking my phone and worked on the chairlift between the runs.

On top of that, the few times I go out and socialize with my friends, I find myself checking my phone.

A few weeks ago, I was trying to get to know someone at a social event, and my phone kept buzzing. Work messages buzzed in my pockets every few minutes as I profusely apologized for the rudeness.

The worst thing was I didn’t even feel that bad because at that moment, if I’m being honest, I would have rather checked my phone than continued the conversation. I couldn’t enjoy my night until I was sure the work was done and settled.

I have yet to set boundaries to keep a healthy balance between work and my personal life but I can say that I’ve acknowledged that if I don’t change my work-life, I will have another burnout.


Graphic by Wendesday Laplante

Trend Anxiety: The interconnectedness of fashion and the world

Slow-fashion, fast-fashion, sustainable fashion, timeless fashion, upcycle, resell, in-season, out-of-season — an endless supply of words to give meaning to the clothes we choose to wear.

At first glance, they seem to be buzzwords, ultimately deeming some clothes “good,” and some clothes “bad.” But more than buzzwords, these terms provide a direct correlation between our clothes and the world around us.

Most of us have now experienced our first large trend cycle, with the return of Y2K fashion. But we are also experiencing trend cycles on a ridiculously smaller scale, one with a timespan of two months, instead of 20 years. Trends cycle so fast it actually induces my anxiety.

I went into H&M on Saint-Catherine St. for the first time in years last week, and felt completely overwhelmed. The fluorescent lights highlighting this season’s neon psychedelic trends, the seemingly infinite amount of clothes, the intensity of shoppers searching for something that will undoubtedly be out of style before they even return home. Not to mention the EDM blaring over the sound systems making me feel even more off-kilter, which only aggravated the situation. I couldn’t help but question, when we buy clothes, what are we buying?

As consumers, we must acknowledge the relation between clothes and the world around us — they don’t just represent your stature. We must understand the direct effect of the fashion industry and fast-fashion on the environment, on its involvement of child labour, and on the society in which we participate.

Once we understand the factors that go into our clothes, it’s important to buy and wear them in a way that is responsible and adheres to our beliefs and morals about the world.

As someone who has loved clothes and fashion from a young age, I have always considered my clothes as a representation of myself. My style fluctuates, which presents to the world my personal growth and changing environments. Moving to Montreal from Halifax influenced my style the most in recent years, with my wardrobe becoming more of a collection built from various trips to the thrift store and less from stops at my local Lululemon. It reflected the culture of Montreal youth and my personal endeavors, mainly that of caring for the environment.

That’s the thing with clothes. They tell others something about you which often remains unsaid. It is a signifier to the world; this is who I am because this is what I wear. But if what we are buying is an extension of ourselves, what do trends have to do with it?

In this case, maybe trends are a signifier to the world simply that we know what is trending. For lack of better terms, wearing a trend makes us cool. It’s not an inherently bad thing. Trends have been around as long as fashion itself has, and it’s not wrong to want to participate in them.

But many of us fall into the trend trap, in which we buy something only to wear it once or twice and never reach for it again. We all remember those early pandemic era trends of 2020 — namely cow and zebra print on literally everything, whether it be pants, tops, hats, shoes or furry bags. I couldn’t scroll through Pinterest without seeing some rendition of the alternative animal print trend, and now you’d be hard-pressed to find them anywhere.

Trend anxiety doesn’t just manifest itself in the chaos of fast-fashion shopping, as it also implores us to keep buying new clothes in order to retain the perception of being “trendy.” In today’s social media-driven world, trends have made fashion more about others than about ourselves.

Maybe you feel really comfortable in a certain trend, and you know you can source it in a sustainable way. You’ve already done the hard part by acknowledging how your clothes make you feel regardless of the perception of others. From here, we can wear trends in a way that respects the interconnectedness of fashion to self and the world around us.

When you’re shopping, choose pieces — regardless of their trend status — that you believe will last a long time. This means assessing the quality and durability of the garment, and questioning whether the piece will stand the test of time in your wardrobe, even when it may no longer be trending. This eradicates the disposability of clothes.

I used to go to the thrift store and purchase every trendy item I found because I thought I’d get the chance to wear them all. Realistically, so many of those pieces went unworn because they’re too hard to incorporate into my daily wardrobe. It’s helped to really consider before buying each item, how will I style this in numerous ways to really get wear out of it? If my style changes, will I no longer care for this item? Is it comfortable enough?

We should all try to buy clothes mainly out of necessity. If you actually need a new pair of jeans, think twice before buying a new skirt or dress. Realistically, clothing is an investment. Buying clothes you know you’ll wear helps the environment, and saves you money in the future.


Visuals by James Fay

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