Books that are recommended that really shouldn’t be

We’ve all read that book with high expectations because everyone we’ve talked to has raved about it. Then we read it, and kick ourselves for not spending all that time more wisely. This list goes from the bad books, to the absolute worst. Please, feel free to disagree with me.

Ok fine, so I’m not a “true” literature fan, but only because I thought I would die before I finished this book. I remember falling asleep while reading it, and waking up not remembering what I had just read. I don’t even remember enough of the story to expound on it here. Let’s put it this way: if I was a teacher, I would not inflict pain on my students by making them read this book.

 

 

 

I loved the books at one point too, but that was before the TV series came out. In retrospect, the books were boring compared to all the drama that the upper east siders stir up on TV. Some complained when the TV series aired that the characters did not look anything like the way they were described in the book (Jenny’s boobs and Serena’s face to be specific). The point is though, Taylor Momsen made Jenny edgier, which added to the drama. As for Serena, it’s impossible to find a woman who literally looks like a goddess. Blake Lively’s long blonde hair and height does the trick…over time.

 

I thought I would break the rule, and save the worst for last. I realize this was a number one  New York Times bestseller, but if you read deeply into the subliminal messages she sends out, you will realize that she was just really pretentious and dramatic. In the beginning, when she is describing how she feels about her marriage, and creates this whole scene of her sitting on her bathroom floor and talking to God. I disagree with how she went about her entire trip, because I didn’t fully understand why she had to give up everything for it. It was supposed to be a tell all book, but then why didn’t she disclose why she was unhappy in her marriage?  Her story is pretty common; many women travel to get away from the insanity of married life. If the author of Eat, Pray, Love deserves to be titled as a “best selling author”, then so do all those other women. Seriously, watch the movie. Julia Roberts is as fabulous as ever, even when she’s scrubbing floors…

Advertisements

How to fit in in an all girls private school

I went to a private school for what seemed like 11 torturous years, only because for many of them, I didn’t fit in. It wasn’t until recently that I started figuring out why that was so.

I didn’t blend in because I spoke my mind and I expressed my opinions which clashed with those of the stereotypical private school girls. GIrls sort of like these:

Yes, they do exist, except they wear uniforms.

One of the keys to success is to blend in at any cost. If people see that you are different, or that your ideas may be better than theirs, they will start to see you as a threat. So if you tell one of the girls that the shirt she bought at Aritzia is not that exclusive and that you are, in fact, allowed to have the same one, you have basically bought yourself a one way ticket to isolation. Now don’t get me wrong, there were only very few times when I was completely isolated, but it was a rough couple years nonetheless.

Also, don’t be afraid to be a bitch. One of the girls might say that you’re one, but remember, they are no different. Girls are like dogs – they smell fear. Try to avoid doing the following in front of them:

1. Walking with your head down
2. Crying
3. Sitting alone too often

You should also try to always make friends with the right people, which in high school lingo, means the popular people. If they don’t accept you, don’t force them to. It will only display desperation on your part, and they will take advantage of you. Take Cady in Mean Girls as an example – she tried way to hard to be a Plastic, and she only got melted in the end.  Having said all this, don’t be mean or possessive. There was a girl in my class who was on this crazy roll where she was way too possessive and controlling over her friends, and she ended up graduating with half the amount of friends than she started off with. It was a super sad story, but she brought it upon herself. This is one of the most important rules: NEVER  dig yourself a hole. Because in private school, that hole slowly, but surely becomes a very deep grave.

In any case, high school is an awkward, hormonal time in everyones lives. Unfortunately, in an all girls school, the hormones are amplified and playing your cards right becomes crucial in the the dirty game of high school politics.

Be smart girls, good luck!

Women are from Venus, some university students are from Mars

There was a time when a university degree was a one way ticket to a great job and a fulfilling life. Now, thanks to the state of America’s economy, university graduates are finding it increasingly difficult to find well paying jobs. The article I read in the Globe & Mail not only sums up how tough the job market is, but how misled students in certain majors are.

We all know those people who believe that the world will be a better place without corporate greed. Apparently, they exist more in Quebec than anywhere else in Canada, sending the Quebec university students to an entirely different planet. While corporate greed effects the middle class, and governments are taxing heavily, and doctors are charging high amounts for private healthcare, these three sectors provide high paying jobs!  By encouraging students to take classes such as philosophy and ancient roman history, professors are actually disabling them because degrees in these subjects don’t have as much value as science or finance degrees. (I admit, considering the financial crisis, a science degree might be more promising right now)

I am all for doing whatever you are passionate about, but it’s still crucial to think of the future. Philosophy gives you some valuable life lessons, and art history is fascinating but when will you be able to use that knowledge for a successful living? I understand that success has a different meaning to everyone, but I think making enough money to pay for a comfortable living is a common goal for society. Professors can preach their ideas on how students can change the world by learning about “life” and “history”, but it’s also up to the students to think about their future. Is the purpose of university not to get a higher education, broaden your prospects, and eventually find a better life? This article made me think twice.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/opinions/opinion/quebecs-university-students-are-in-for-a-shock/article2418431/

And so it begins

Image

View from my first year dorm

I have always been the type of person to have a plan, no matter how small the decision is. It could be what I’m going to eat that night, or where I want to move to. But it was my parents’ plan for me that turned my life upside down. A plan I never would have thought of.

That is the beginning of the story of how I ended up in Switzerland. Both my parents and myself felt that I should have a broader experience, and the best way to get that was to leave Canada all together. I realized that not only is Switzerland known for it’s amazing chocolates and expensive watches, it also has many famous hotel management schools. I found this fascinating, and soon enough, casual talk on the subject had turned into a trip to Switzerland to visit the schools. What really struck me at first was that this country looks exactly like a postcard. I could honestly saythat Switzerland is picture perfect. Anyway, long story short, I picked a school and spent countless hours filling out application forms, applying for visas, and writing essays about my personal goals. I was all set and so pumped to embark on this new experience.

I could go on forever if I wrote about everything that happened in that first semester, but truthfully, those details are not even important. That semester flew by, and by the end of it, I had met so many fantastic people and had experienced college life in the middle of the Swiss alps! I was all set to start my internship in beautiful Spain, but as I packed my bags I realized how excited I was for the second semester. Little did I know that was when my life would really start.I was surprised at how many people are afraid of leaving what they are used to. When I started to tell people about this program, they mostly said “Oh aren’t you scared to leave?” or “won’t you miss your parents?” or “you’re seriously going to do that?” I answered respectively, “sort of”, “of course!” and “yes, I am because this is what I need to do” Then I started to realize that people have their reasons for staying within their comfort zone. Sometimes, it’s because they don’t want to drift away from their friends. Other times, it is mainly the unsettling fear of the unknown getting the best of them. To each their own right?

The same view 4 months later. 1 semester down, 2 more to go!

Moral of the story? Do it! Take a chance, go on a trip, study abroad, meet new people. I was talking to this guy a few months ago who went on a trip to Turkey as a part of his university course, and loved it. I asked him why, he said “you don’t really know who you are until you go outside of your comfort zone” I couldn’t have agreed more. Putting yourself in a completely foreign environment allows you to see the big picture, because you meet so many different kinds of people. I began to understand why people are the way they are. I could consider that maybe it’s cultural factor, or perhaps in their home country they come from a social circle where their behavior is acceptable. Don’t get me wrong, I am still working on this three years later, but when I saw a different life, my current one fell into perspective. You will start to understand what is really important to you, and as time goes on, your goals and how you can reach them will become more clear.

Would you take a chance like this?