New Years Trip: Las Vegas

Hello Snarklings,

 

Since I was MIA (I know you guys are probably really tired of me saying sorry but…. I’m really sorry!) I didn’t get much time to update you guys on my traveling. If you guys don’t know, traveling to different places are one of my favorite hobbies! So without a moment to spare, this is what I did during New Year’s Day for 2017-2018.

Okay so first off if you’re not from the States or if you don’t have dual citizenship make sure that when you’re booking your flight (especially if there’s connections/layovers), your first flight takes off directly to an American city. Why? Since 9/11 the U.S Customs and ICE border policies are very strict and is time consuming compared to International flights. SO it’s in your BEST INTEREST to deal with U.S Customs right away… Unfortunately, I let my mother book the flight for me since I was studying for finals and we had a connecting flight from Winnipeg to Toronto’s Pearson International Airport. If you did not know, that’s one of the largest and busiest airports in Canada. Plus, we only had about 15 minutes (yup cue the panic music) to go through U.S Customs, get our luggage, getting screened, asked about how much money do we have, do we have DACA status, do we need a visa, etc. So that was pretty time consuming and we were worried that we were going to miss our flight. Usually, when I book flights to the U.S I always pick either, Minneapolis or Chicago to get the hard stuff out of the way first because, there would have been a chance that I could have been denied entry while in Toronto (away from home, with my luggage all over the place, and my impending flight that leaves in like 10-15 mins).

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One of the terminals at Pearson International Airport- It looks like a shopping mall to be honest

Once, all that was done, it was a long (like 6-7 hours) flight to Las Vegas. FUN… I tried to nap it off but the seats are way too small for that. But I caught a glimpse of the beautiful scenery outside my window.

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It’s so captivating by just looking a the hills, mountains, and valleys!

Once we arrived we took the uber to the Venetian Hotel which was really nice. Like luxury nice.

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The cool thing about the Venetian Hotel was that it was connected to the Grand Canals Shops and Ceasar’s Palace. It was an amazing (and really tiring, like for real it was quite a long walk) experience

 

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My mother and I did go to check out the other hotels in the vicinity like the Wynn and Palazzo. We also went to both of the premium outlet malls (The North Outlet which is opened and the South Outlet). Transporation was okay (better than the clown drivers in Winnipeg). They were all very nice and made sure that they got us there in time (and with less to pay; thank you Jesus haha). Now, I know that the American dollar is higher than the Canadian dollar but remember that they don’t really tax that much compared to Canadian provinces, plus unlike Canada, when they go on Sale, it really is a sale (I’m saying like 80-95%). I guess Canadians just like to spend more for less while the Americans like to spend less for more (ew).

Communicating with the locals was either a hit or a miss. Keep in mind that this wasn’t my first time in Vegas (I have many of family members living there; family from my Filipino side) plus, I did live in the States a couple of years back when I was a child in the Tri-state area (Cherry Hill New Jersey). So, yes people here are more like coconuts (harder outer shell and a lot more reserved) while Canadians are like peaches (fuzzy on the outside and soft on the inside). I myself is a coconut and a lot harder to crack and may seem cold so I wasn’t really offended at all. In fact, I felt more integrated here than I am back in Winnipeg (I felt like I belong). The only thing that I didn’t like was the vendors’ catcalling my mother to get to buy their garbage… I guess it’s common here but I was raised in a conservative manner to not degrade women. Like seriously, if you want us to buy your stuff (even if it’s a bunch of garbage that I can get for cheap from the dollar store) just be professional about it. But then again, I’m not from here so can’t really complain too much.

Communicating here is a lot easier too. I am part Hispanic, so speaking en Espanol was a no-brainer when I’m shopping or ordering food when many of the residents are of Latin-American (specifically Mexican) descent. However, since I do speak a different dialect (like the lispy Andalucian Spanish), they would always ask where I’m from (omg hahah). This one girl was like “Adios mios! You sound like a politician and Enrique Iglesias rolled into one.” I felt a tad bit embarrassed but brushed it off and said “por sopuesto, I didn’t grow here.”

Just a little tip, always pack extra bottled water with you (You can never forget about hydrating yourself).

If you read all the way, congratulations! I hope this was insightful and if you want any more advice on what to pack or where to go then just email me or leave a comment.

Ciao for now, stay flossy everyone.

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My Thoughts on 2nd Year

Hello Snarklings,

It’s been awhile since I last posted on here. School and personal (a subtle way of saying excruciating and emotional haha) obstacles got in the way. My 2nd year of college really set me and my plans back and I’m here to just get it off my chest.

DISCLAIMER: I will change certain names of people due to privacy reasons.

 

Last September (Fall term), the semester started like every other semester. I got into all the classes I wanted to be registered for (English, Psychology, History, and Organic chemistry), and I caught up with “fri-ENDS” that I made last year… Yeah, you can see where this is going. I tried to keep up and stay focused on studying but my loneliness started to get the best of me and well, I started to long for close intimate friendships. Long story short, the people that I thought had my back just threw me out like I was this disposable piece of garbage and that I was this inconvenience to their lives. I was extremely hurt and it took a toll on my mental health and overall self-esteem and made me question my self-worth and purpose.

Now, before I move on, I want you guys to know that what I tried to do was not a good idea whatsoever and I do warn you that this may be very triggering so just a heads up. Around December (just know that I was basically failing a lot of my classes) I decided to commit self-harm. My reason? I wanted my hidden unforeseeable pain to show up as actual real pain. I started posting it on certain social media platforms and got many concerning messages. Now, many of you are probably asking “Why couldn’t you go for help?” Needless to say, I tried many times in my life to go to therapy. I always thought it was just a temporary fix and that it wasn’t permanent. But, looking back. I want you guys to know that even though it may “feel temporary” it is worth it because it does motivate you to a point that it is possible to improve any mental condition. Now, trying to get help is the worse part. One of my so-called “ex-friends” actually had to tattle on me to the university that I was self-harming. I was mad for a few reasons. One, this person left me for other people when I needed this person the most. Two, I was heartbroken that I was going through a breakup up someone who played with my feelings and my “fri-END” took that person’s side.

What made it worse was that I tried to go through the counseling sessions but it kind of turned into a different direction. Instead of dealing with the friendship and relationship problems it went straight to talking about my really tough and unprivileged childhood, with abuse and neglect. So, although it was an okay experience, it didn’t really help at easing my pain. I did learn a new reflective technique though. The school’s therapist and I made a collage out of magazines to show how I felt deep inside. It was a way to replace the need to self-harm to show my pain physically. And as time-consuming it was, it actually did the same effect. My collage had a mountain with a Cross on the top (signifying that the people from school wanted to crucify me like what the people did to Jesus). I felt like I was an innocent person (like Jesus) who was being targeted for no logical reason besides one person’s strong dislike for me. I verbalized that I feel disconnected and hurt and that I felt like I was sinning because true Christians don’t suffer. True Christians don’t get depressed and that they usually make the best of adversity and triumph over issues like these. My therapist said that this wasn’t a very realistic expectation to have (she’s right; I can’t just relieve my problems by simply “being a Christian”). So, I decided to go on a self-healing journey which evidently brought me here today.

What really ticks me off was that the person that I had an intimate relationship with knows about my mental health problems and that person is even the Vice-President of a mental health awareness group (ironic right?). Yet, this person thought I was using my mental health as a way to “trap them into being with me”… All I can say is some snakes just can’t hold their venom in their mouths… I was broken yeah, and this moment made me realize that some people, even when they’re supposed to know, just don’t get it. I mean you would think that this person would have known not to do that to me with their background but actions speak louder than words. I learned more about evil, tolerance, perseverance, grace, and persecution than what I learned in O-Chem on synthesis and elimination, hydrogenation, or any other time consuming mechanism. I guess I can say that people who were meant to help me were doing the opposite. I just don’t understand how they sleep at night because of it. Once I saw this tweet, I prayed so hard for God to take my life. And every waking morning when I opened my eyes, I always got disappointed that I was going to live for another day. I have to breathe another breath, I have to get up and live. I always asked myself “why do I have to get up and live again when it’s way too painful to live, let alone and trying to live a happy life that I was deprived of.

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Life has been very grueling and interesting. One reason, so much change in just one school year. I questioned my sanity and my strength to pursue medicine (I mean who wouldn’t after going through so much trauma). My GPA fell from 3.5 to a mind-blowing 2.7 (out of a 4.0 scale). I’m basically just trying my best to make the best of it and just focus on school and perhaps just repeat a lot of the classes that I got C’s in and get back on track. I did volunteer work last year summer with Let’s Talk Science and I miss showing kids the fun side of science. I’ve been doing a lot of meditation and self-love to get my mental fitness back to health and trying every strength I have to not self-harm. I know that there is light at the end of this dark tunnel, but just trying to get by is super hard and it’s a really long road. The only positive thing that I learned from this experience is that I’m going to be a much stronger person because of this painful experience.

I’m so sorry if this post wasn’t positive but I cannot stay hidden and pretend that my life is happy all the time. Unfortunate times do happen. Depression happens. And perhaps I will get better somewhere along the way.

Update

Hello Snarklings,

It’s been awhile since I last made a post. I’m on my midterm study break (no classes a week before the actual midterm) so I’ll have time to make some content. Anyway, I just wanted to share with you how things were going (both good and bad; ok there’s a lot of bad than good but hey that’s life). Keep in mind that I am the most unorthodox blogger so I’ll be very honest.

As the pace of the material started to pick up speed, I found myself drowning in constant preparation. This overwhelmed me since I don’t really have a support system (I’m a loner, to be honest) so my psyche was getting hit really hard. I did find a common circle of “friends” through a person that I had a crush on (yeah you can see where this is going; side note: DO NOT DATE IF YOU ARE PRE-MED). Long story short, this quack-quack low life turned me down and basically told me they didn’t want anything to do with me and I obviously did not take it very well. One thing that I want you guys to know is that I have a mental illness called manic-depressive disorder (bipolar is usually common) and it tends to affect my personality’s highs and lows. One thing that people do not understand is that when they see me, they can’t see the “real me” instead they see my disease. It’s very tough. I’m here needing to feel like I belong and cared about but, this illness is not letting me form friendships nor relationships. And it sucks. In fact, when I took my psychology midterm on Thursday, all I was doing was guessing since I could not study due to my heartbreak.

At first, I felt broken and neglected. Suffocating and torn (I even wrote a eulogy for myself… I was watching The Fault in Our Stars like 7 times) on how I’m going to rise above my circumstances. I looked in the mirror and said why can’t you go back to your old and ambitious self? I even screamed, “go to hell”. At this low point, I knew what I had to do. The prescription that I was taking maybe handling my illness but, it was making me feel not the same (I flushed them down the toilet… Yeah I don’t think that was the proper way to dispose of them. Sorry). I started to look for ways to make myself feel better so yes breakup songs are a must (All I Want by Kodaline which I heard from The Fault in our Stars is a must also, Ellie Goulding’s cover of it as well. Oh! and Love Me by Kevin Karla Y La Banda for anyone who understands Spanish). I learned that getting hurt by toxic relationships made me stronger and even more unique (I’m honestly learning more about life than in my lectures haha). In fact, there’s a saying that “the most damaged people are usually the wisest ones”.

Being depressed and going to school, while at the same time trying to make relationships is a bad recipe for living I know but, you know what? I am not my illness, I am a survivor of it. I was not okay yesterday, I am not okay today, and I probably won’t be okay tomorrow but in the near future I will be. So, for the time being, I’m still alive. I’m going to use my pain as leverage to succeed in fulfilling my ambition because that’s how I get stronger. Yes, this was a setback but, it was for my own good. And I’m glad that poor quack-quack low life made me love myself even more. Oh, and at least I have the balls to actually express my true self. Check out this video that made me think.

How to Make a Study Schedule Based on the 168 Hours Method

Hello Snarklings,

Ok so my sophomore year of university is well underway (I start on the 5th of September!) and I was hoping to give you an idea on how I plan out my study schedule for college. This is based on my personal experience so it may or may not work for you but planning ahead is one key factor that ties in success for anyone who wants to do well in school.

Okay, so this is going to require some basic math. Don’t worry it’s not that scary and pretty straightforward. So in one week, we have 168 hours and we do a lot of stuff like eating, sleeping, doing chores, working out, going to classes, and of course studying. So the question is how many hours do I have left after doing these things? The saying is that for every hour of class we need to commit 2 to 3 hours of study. In most universities (but not all so check with your school’s system) in North America, a “half course” is usually 3 units while a “full course” is 6 units which you can use to log in your hours needed to study.

They say that if you’re taking a full load (usually 5 courses for one semester) you should hit a minimum of 35 hours of study per week. You can find out this number by using this formula: Hours in a Week (168 Hours) — Used Hours = Time Remaining to Study 

  • If you have more than 35 hours of study than you have extra time (which you can either use for free time or use them to get ahead and study some more).
  • If you have less than 45 hours of study per week then you need to manipulate the other activities in your life to make room for that minimum of 35 hours of study

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Here’s my hand written version of the above and I get a total of 115 hours used out of the 168 hours per week which gives me 53 hours of study which is good enough for me to keep up and manage (I break up the 53 hours into manageable chunks and log them on my timetable):

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Just an extra tip, if you were to theoretically study every day (even on a Saturday and a Sunday), you can divide the remaining hours by 7 to see the approximate hours you should study each day to hit that. So the minimum is 35 hours to study so if you divide that by 7 you get 5 hours to study each day of the week to do revision and complete assignments. Since I have 53 hours, 53 hours divided by 7 gives 7.5 hours each day which is of course if I want to use those hours. Obviously, I want a life and need balance so I’ll just stick to 5-6 hours a day and use the rest for spending time with my friends. Like I said, it’s all up to you. Some days I will study 7.5 hours to get ahead since I have 53 hours. At other times I just want to hit the minimum 35 by increasing any of the other activities listed on that time activity sheet (I usually increase sleeping and/or exercising haha.)

Like I said, it’s all up to you. Some days I will study 7.5 hours to get ahead since I have 53 hours. At other times I just want to hit the minimum 35 by increasing any of the other activities listed on that time activity sheet. I usually increase sleeping and/or exercising to give me 35 hours. I can even get a part time job however, I don’t like unexpected shifts that can meddle in my study time.

In the end, you get a basic study schedule that you can use to keep yourself on track like this, which I made for my first semester of 2nd year: I LOVE COLOUR CODING!Weekly Study Schedule PDF_0

Just for review

  1. Approximate a number of hours that you do a certain activity for the whole week
  2. Add them up then subtract 168 hours from that number to give a number of hours remaining to study
  3. Adjust the hours of certain activities to hit the minimum 35 hours of study per week or use those extra hours to either study more or have fun (it’s your decision since you’re an adult right?)
  4. Log those activities on a designated time table and you’re good to go.
  5. Try to stick to this plan as much as possible. If not then looks like you have to face the consequences or compromise (another part of being an adult).

 

If you have any questions please email me or leave a comment below and remember to follow my blog for more updates! Ciao for now and stay flossy guys!

 

CPR Training

Hello, Snarklings!

So if you’re pre-med or anything health related i.e nursing, paramedic, dental, etc. You have to go through some sort of CPR training program which is actually a non-academic requirement in many of the admissions to professional schools in health. I’ve taken first aid and CPR training before (back in my lifeguard days haha) so I felt like it was time to upgrade to a more intense form of CPR.

To tell you honestly, I felt so weird clicking on the CPR HCP (Health Care Provider) option when I was registering online. It was something that I never thought I would do until I became interested in health and medicine. I did it anyway and I honestly enjoyed it.

I did mine at the Winnipeg First Aid on 222 Osborne Street. The class was 8 hours (but we finished it in 5-6 hours) and it provided me the skills needed in critical situations.

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The instructor was really funny, informative, and concise. He helped me whenever I needed clarification.

Overall, I felt happy and proud that I have the knowledge to help and stabilize people in need and I hope that once I get into medical school this attitude grows and continues so that I can save more lives.

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My Getaway to St. Andrews and Lockport

Hey, Snarklings!

My family decided to go on a getaway outside of the city again near the north side of Winnipeg in St. Andrews and the bay area in Lockport.

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My family decided to go to St. Andrews to look at the plants and flowers at The Shops of St. Andrews. I enjoyed the different types of trees, bushes, and flowers that the shop had to offer.

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My most favorite type of plants would be succulents!

 

After taking a look at the shops we headed off to Lockport to look around and eat at the famous Half Moon restaurant. It’s a really retro-like restaurant that made me feel like I was in an episode of Riverdale or the Archie comics series. If you guys ever go there buy their banana split sundae!

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After that, we went on a stroll to look at the dam and bridge on the bay just outside the drive in of Half moon. It was very refreshing and I just enjoyed the whole experience. If you guys go there, make sure to take a lot of pictures since it really is a fantastic scenery.

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My Train Ride to Grosse Isle Manitoba

Hey, Snarklings!

My family decided to venture off out of the city to Grosse Isle in the town of Rockwood with an added twist… On a train that remotely looks like the Hogwarts express from Harry Potter! Although that it took 3 hours to get there (the train is not fast at all!), I enjoyed the view of the prairie lands.

The last time I was here was about 5-6 years ago when I graduated from middle school and not much has changed (still a lot of grass and mosquitos). Also, it was a sunny day so thanks God that they gave all the passengers free sunscreen:

 

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Remember to apply sunscreen with at least SPF 30 and re-apply every 2 hours!

 

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The Prairie Dog Central Express

Once we arrived we were given a complimentary potluck with some country singers! There were also a lot of scenery which I decided to capture as well! It really is a family oriented place with kids being pulled on a mini train ride, horses, a mini playground, and little roosters!

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I decided to tour the heritage museum site that’s next door and it was honestly so interesting how people lived back then. From the pioneer styled nursery to their kitchen, and their photos it was so surreal. I actually thought I time traveled back in time. Check out their telephone, radio, and kitchen tools! Their knick knacks are authentic and well kept over generations!

My favorite part of the house was the nursery since it was so creepy looking and had a paranormal feel to it! The empty crib, the dolls, and toys laying around just gave it this Annabelle mood to it.

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These dolls are so scary yet so pretty. I wonder if they still make dolls like these. The one with the one eye closed really gave me the chills.

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I’m guessing that this couple was the parents of the little girl who lived here. Their marriage certificate was on display there along with their wedding photo.

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After the tour of the house, we decided to visit the chapel and schoolhouse that was situated next to one another. It was so cool to imagine how school kids actually sat in one of those seats!

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This trip sure did tire all of us out and on the trip back to Winnipeg I just fell asleep on the train!

Hope everyone else is having a fantastic Summer!