Aquarium Adventures



I've lived in Toronto my whole life, and I'm always discovering something new about my city. 
When I heard that a Ripley's Aquarium was going to built in Toronto, I'll be honest, I wasn't excited about it at all. Call me weird, but I really don't have the need to spend money on tickets to see fish floating around. But, that place is constantly busy and filled with tourists. So, I was obviously not understanding the appeal.

My cousin's friend actually works there. And, employees actually get a certain amount of free tickets for the year, and she had 3 left over. She decided to give them to my cousin, who in turned gave them to me and my mom. And, we decided to hit the Aquarium.


Although we decided to go on a Thursday, I'm not exaggerating when I say it was packed. Firstly, there was a line not online inside but one forming outside of the location, circling around! And, that was just the line to buy your tickets.

Thank goodness we already had ours. But, finding the doors to enter the place without lining up for tickets was hard. We eventually found a door and surpass that line.  


I do have to say, the aquarium was actually beautiful. There were a lot of little fishes floating around. I saw a few sharks, stingrays, and a sea turtle. That was pretty cool as you only really see those guy in movies.

I took a few pictures! Take a look!













One thing I really like about this place was that there were different sections where you have the chance to touch some of these guys. I actually got to touch a stingray, and it was NOT how I expected. It was slimy  (I think that's really the best way to describe it).

But, it was definitely an experience.

Would I go there again? Probably not. Unless my little cousins would want me to take them. But, I definitely wouldn't be spending money on tickets. 

Have you gone to the Aquarium? How did you like it?
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Back To School Nerves

** this post was meant to be posted earlier today... but, clearly I was too tired to press "publish"... #fail **

Ah, today's the first day back at school. And, here I am at work. 

Wait, what? You may ask...

Yes. I'm actually here. Since I changed my availability around in order to get to and from school on time, I think my managers were a bit smart by scheduling me today for 6:30am. I mean, I've never been to work at this time before and it's killing me. And, the only reason why I'm here is because I don't have a lot of shifts anymore because of school and my limited availability... So, here I am. 

I'm also planning my day out. When I finish my shift, I'd have 1 hour to get to school. It's supposedly a 30 minute drive on the highway, but you'd never know if there's going to be build up on traffic. PLUS, I'm going to have to find a parking spot. There's a parking lot right beside the school, but if that is full, we are allowed to park at 2 other parking lots which is just a little further away from the campus. Oh, and I still have to purchase my parking pass. And, I still have to find my way around the campus for my class. And then, stay widely awake for my 3 hour class. 

Sounds fun. 

But, even with all that planned out for the day... my mind is elsewhere. I'm actually more nervous for school itself.

It's my second round of post-secondary school. I already received my bachelors degree, and going back to school feels like I'm starting back at square one. Except for the fact that, this time around I will be 4 years older than the students who are just leaving high school to start this route. And, there's the expectation I have for myself and from others that this time around, I will know how to academically succeed because it's my second time in school. Or just get better grades. Basically do a better job than I did in university. 

I'm also nervous because this is for nursing

I heard from friends who are currently in nursing programs, that it is very strict. It's strict in a sense where you have to hold onto a certain grade in order to continue with the program and later graduate. It's not even that! I was look through some job requirements for nurse, and some also require a certain GPA in order to be considered.  I mean, it makes sense... other's lives depend on your, right? So, I'm a bit nervous. It's kind of a lot of pressure. 

I'm not nervous about the whole starting in a new school, and making new friends kind of thing. I've went through that before, so I know what to expect and how to approach others this time. Plus, it will be a bit easier this time around since my cousin and I are starting this program together. 

Speaking of which... I'm also a bit nervous about her. I don't mean to put her on blast, but I'm really hoping she does her part and not depend on me entirely to get through the program... especially when it's going to come to the math course. With math, I need a lot of alone time to figure it out for myself before I can help others. Also, she studies differently than me. I personally like to study everything alone first before studying with a group. I just find it more productive for myself... Hopefully she will be okay with me needing my ow studying time. 

Besides being nervous, I'm actually quite excited. I've been wanting to get into the nursing program since 2013... That's 2 years into my bachelors program. I don't regret finishing my bachelors, don't get me wrong. But, it's finally nice to be in a program where I know there is always a job/career path waiting. So, that's something to be excited about! 

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How to Save Money on Textbooks

Anyone else feeling broke after the Christmas holidays? I know I am…

And, with the little extra purchases I need to make, i.e. buy my parking pass, money is a little tight on my side of the corner #studentproblems. But, luckily, I didn’t leave everything to last minute. I guess this is something I learned from my 4 years in university.

Last month, so approx. a month before school starts, I started my search and purchases for textbooks for the upcoming semester. And, with the holidays coming up, I knew I needed to save as much as I could to afford it all without breaking the bank.

So, for my fellow students who found their way on my blog, I’m going to share with you a few of the steps I took in order to help me save!



HOW TO SAVE MONEY ON PURCHASING TEXTBOOKS

1. Do your research early!

  • Check the school bookstore use their prices as a starting point
  • Change your search to other school bookstores that are nearby (prices are relatively the same)
  • Check prices online – bookstores in the city (i.e., Indigo), or online shops like Amazon or Ebay. These prices are generally cheaper than bookstore prices.
  • Look for "Buy and Sell Textbooks at (insert school name here" Facebook groups 

2. Don’t be afraid of the word “used”.


  • Majority of the time, “used” can mean it was literally used for a year (or duration of the course). 
  • It is good to take extra precaution and further research when doing a purchase online. For instance, certain sellers on Amazon may describe “used” as good and usable condition, whereas other sellers describe items as “used” when they are missing the cover, or is an ex-library book. But, these are extremes.
  • When using Facebook groups, you can always message the seller for pictures of the book!

3. You don’t have to purchase bookstore packages.

  • A lot of times, your school bookstore will try to make you think that you should buy your textbook with the addition of extra books, or access codes to online resources. 
  • Always ask your prof! They are the only ones who know whether you will need to do any extra purchases
  • A lot of the time, courses don’t require extra books or online access codes that are included in these bookstore packages. I say you opt for purchasing the textbook on its own.

4. Choose the E-Book route.


  • The world is becoming so tech-savy that a lot of textbook companies make their publications of textbooks available as a e-book. 
  • This not only makes it easier to have access to your material without carrying the physical textbook, the cost of e-books is almost 3/4 the cost of the physical copy! Savings right there.
  
BONUS TIP: SELL YOUR TEXTBOOKS

I think there is misconception that students need to keep their textbooks throughout the entire course of their academic career. This is not the case. As you go through the years, you are more likely going to take courses that are more specific to your interests and degree… and that means, purchasing textbooks specific to that subject.


  • SELL YOUR BOOKS. How much you want to sell your books is completely up to you. But, I tend to use other sellers from Facebooks as a price point.

With this option, I find myself selling my textbooks and using that money towards purchases of textbooks I need! I usually don’t mind myself spending extra money on textbooks. Just the money I made. 

Did these tips help? What are some ways you save money on textbooks?

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Cutting Off My Hair -- VLOG

Hi, guys! I'm finally back with a vlog! It's a new year, and I decided to start it off with a bang... And, I  have a good one for you guys...


I've been wanting a change for a while. 

And, like the title of this post clearly indicates, I chopped off my hair! I've actually been thinking about doing this for a long time, and with the cold weather being a HUGE motivator, I came home from work and it was right then and there I decided to chop it off.

It was both fun and nerve racking. Luckily, I took a video of all of it to share and remember this experience! 

Enjoy!



What do you think? Have you ever gave yourself your own haircut?

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January Goals

Hello, day 2 of 2017!

Although this year I opted out on creating New Year's resolution, I did choose a word of the year. So, that is completely separate from today's post. My months are not complete without setting a few goals for myself at the beginning of the month. 

And, 2017 won't be any different. It's the first month of the New Year, and I want make sure I start off the year with a bang, and hopefully continue this stride for the months to come. I mean, I definitely came through with all of last month's goals; hopefully this month will be just as successful.  

December Goals Revisited:
  1. Work as many hours as I can. Yay for me, because I actually did this! Whenever I was asked to stay a bit longer, or pick up an extra shift, 99% of the time I said "yes". There were really only 2 instances where I said "no" only because I already booked that day off ahead of time. But, other than that, I was basically working full-time hours for a part-timer. And, I'm super happy about that, I was able to save a lot! 
  2. Start preparing for school. Ooo I did this as well! I wanted to pay my entire tuition, create my class schedule, purchase all my textbooks, and buy a backpack! All of which I accomplished! Wohoo.
  3. Enjoy the last month of 2016. I had an amazing December! All that I did was a great way for me to end the year. 
January Goals:
    1. Introduce myself. I'm starting a completely new school in a complete different program this month. My goal this month is to be as friendly as possible, and introduce myself to different people, including students, teachers, clubs; everyone. 

    2. Ask questions. I want to be more active this academic year. This means, whenever I have a question, I want to ask it write away in class. OR, if I'm feeling a bit shy, then to at least write the questions down on a separate piece of paper and ask the prof or TA after class. Regardless of how or when I ask the question, I want my questions answers way before test time. 

    3. Read chapters before class. One thing I want to do this time around in school, is to read the chapter assigned for the lecture before the day of the lecture. And, if I have time, make textbook notes ahead of time. I want to start developing habits for school now rather 2 days before a test. 

    4. Prepare a few blog posts. Preparing a few posts ahead of time will save me ample amount of time. I already know school is going to be hectic. Preparing a few posts now (or at least starting them) will make it that much easier to balance school and blogging. 

    5. Don't be late to classes. I want to get to my classes early or even just on time. But, the earlier the better. I don't like arriving to class late, nor do I want to develop this habit early on. So, the goal is to leave my home (or work) an hour before class in order to arrive at least 30 minutes before classes begin. 

    6. Engage more with other bloggers. I mean, I really have to make more of an effort to reply back to comments the moment after I read them. I always think about what I want to reply, and end up telling myself to do it later... and, I tend to forget altogether. Also, I want to make more of an effort to be a more engaged reader on others blog.

    What are your January Goals?

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    2017 Word of the Year

    HAPPY 2017! 

    For the past few years, I've chosen a word for the year instead of creating a list of "resolutions" to follow. For me, I find that choosing a word for the year to focus on really helps me to create goals that are better directed towards myself. 
     
    In 2014, I chose the word trust; in 2015, my word was happy; and last year for 2016, I chose peace.
    For me, selecting a word to focus on throughout the year, really gives me the chance to reflect and see how much I'm growing throughout the year - especially when keep a journal devoted to that word alone. Like I said, it gives me the chance to really see change and growth in myself.

    This year, I chose the word PATIENCE.


    This year, I want to learn to focus on being patient not only with others, but also with myself. I find that I can easily get frazzled or frustrated in different situations, and this year I want to change that. I wasn't always like this. In fact, I was good at being patient with others, especially. Then, one day I just got tired of everyone and found myself easily annoyed. #sorrynotsorry Okay, maybe I'm a bit sorry... hence the reason why I'm choosing patience as my word for 2017...

    This year, when it comes to others, I'm hoping to be more patient. And, I feel in order to really accomplish this is to begin by really listening and contributing to others. Whenever they have a problem or just want to simply talk, I want to try to be more present in the conversation and let them finish speaking before chiming in my two-cents. I want others to know that they have my full attention. 

    I also want to learn to be patient with myself. I also tend to get frustrated with myself when it comes to not accomplishing tasks on time, or if I don't get something done the way I originally wanted. I think one way to accomplish this is by relaxing. Mainly, I think relaxing and thinking before I speak negatively is the best way to develop patience with myself. 

    And, it to make it more apparent to myself, I think it would be best to start a separate journal about my frustrations. I would write situations that make me upset or frustration, and reflect on ways to improve my behaviours when it comes to being patient with others and myself. 

    Choosing a single word to focus on the entire year may seem like a relatively easier task, but I think it provides a challenge - a challenge that can really improve the self. So, I'm hoping for a good change this year, and I intend to do so fully. 

    Wishing you guys a great year for 2017! Happy New Year!


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