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Lifestyle

An Apology on Behalf of All Students

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Students can be the worst. But wait! Before you click off, let me explain.

These next few months may be quite challenging. Once reading week is over, it’s full steam ahead to the end of the semester and, if you’re lucky like me, you may be looking for an internship or even worse: a real job! So I am writing this apology to make up for all those times we almost made it to class on time but not quite or the times we accidentally binge-watched the entirety of Parks and Recreation in one sitting and the times we may continue to do these same things.

First off, to all potential employers. I may have sent some really questionable job applications in the past few months. Sorry you had to read those! If it makes you feel better, I did so with the best of intentions!

Dear landlords, I’m sorry if I’ve seemed in a rush to get to work and maybe left a few too many dishes in the sink. I promise to try and make a conscious effort to spend a few extra minutes talking about my day or washing those utensils (honestly!). I would also like to apologize for going to bed at very strange hours. I blame Netflix. Additionally, I will add dancing to “Nightshift” by The Commodores in the bathroom at 1 AM to the list of things for which to apologize (a hypothetical example, obviously).

Dear teachers, sorry if we seem a little less eager to participate or our essays seem to make a little less sense. We promise it is nothing personal. To be honest, I have written more essays in the past month than I can count and I’m considering nominating myself for some literary award. In all seriousness, we know it is a stressful time for you guys as well and hopefully we don’t make it too frustrating!

Dear fellow students and friends, I’ve probably left you on read many times in the past month and I wish I could say that it would be the last time but I think we all know that it won’t be. I’m also sorry if I’ve made plans and we never talked about it again. I promise I really wanted to!

Dear blog readers, I may have not updated as often as I should have. I don’t know how many people actually read these anyway, to be honest. But if you’re a die hard fan I really mean it: I’m sorry!

Dear mom and dad, yes, I potentially went over my data limit and I will make sure I pay for it! I also am sorry for focusing too much on my laundry and grocery list when I get home instead of just spending time together. I know I wouldn’t be here without you. I also may not have texted or called enough just to catch up and forgot to hydrate. I don’t know which is worse in your eyes. I promise to make a concerted effort to try harder in BOTH areas.

And finally, to myself. I may have gone out to eat too many times this month. I may have impulse-bought a stuffed giraffe or plane ticket that I will inevitably have to return. I’m sorry! The future you may really resent me for these things! I may have also been too hard on you. You’re gonna do amazing and you’re capable of a lot more than you give yourself credit for. Never forget that. You’ve been blessed so much.

The moral of the story is a lot of times we students can be stressed out so much that we forget that there are other people also just trying to live their lives and we’re sorry. Please understand we don’t mean anything by it. We’re just trying to maintain top-notch grades, participate in impressive extra-curriculars, potentially hold down a job, and try to keep our head amongst the chaos! To my fellow students, you’re doing fine. Please remember to find some time to allow yourself to decompress. And make sure you stay hydrated!

Thank you for reading!

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Lifestyle

Looking Forward 2020

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It is January of a new year which makes it the season of resolutions. This January is also special because it is the start of a new decade. I feel as if I need to sign up for a gym membership or start a new diet before it is too late. However, whenever I make a resolution I never seem to follow through with it and, from what I hear, this does not seem to be a problem exclusive to me.
To preface this, I have nothing against diets or gym memberships but I do find that sometimes it is easier to change if you start small (read my first blog post for a real-life example!). Resolutions feel very large and in our busy schedules it is not always easy to implement significant changes. I have decided this year to compile a list of small things that I am looking to try out in 2020. My hope is that these are manageable enough to attempt a few times even if that means I do not continue them throughout the whole year.

Dancing the Night Away

Photo taken from Unsplash

The first thing I want to do this year is see some of my favourite artists in concert. I love listening to music but I also think it is very important (and fun!) to support them on tour. Concerts are a way that a lot of artists make money, especially smaller acts, and they never disappoint. I have already purchased tickets for Rex Orange County and I would love to see other artists on tour this year such as Bleachers, Tame Impala, Kanye West & his Sunday Service, Kings Kaleidoscope, and The 1975 (for the fourth time might I add).

Turning Over a New Page

Photo taken from Unsplash

I used to love reading as a kid and I really miss the feeling of being buried behind a great book. During school, I find that I have less time and energy to read which is why I want to challenge myself to read one book a month. This does not seem too daunting a task and I have already started a book called The Life We Bury by Allen Eskens which was given to me as a gift this Christmas. Here’s to more reading in 2020!

The Story of My Life

Photo taken from Unsplash

In addition to reading, I also want to write more which is part of the reason why I started a blog! My family has a Christmas ornament which has a voice message we recorded 10 years ago stored inside. Every year we listen to it and I say “my name is Matthew and I want to be an author”. I do not know if I will ever publish a novel but I do have a lot of ideas to write about. I want to try and make some progress on a written work while also writing in this blog periodically throughout the year. This will also benefit me in my education and future occupation as I am in communications and I currently plan on doing post-graduate work for which I will definitely need to write coherently.

Plant Exchange

Photo taken from Unsplash

This idea was actually presented to me by my youth pastor and one of my friends. They both told me that it is better for the environment to go “meatless” once a week. To go one day without eating meat will definitely seem easy to some, however, many things I casually eat have meat in them. This will also help me to be more conscious of my food consumption which will no doubt be beneficial to my personal health. This simple change also has a great impact so why not try it in 2020?

Challenge of the Day

Photo taken from Unsplash

The final thing I want to try in 2020 is to do one thing every day that challenges me. This may not be possible some days but I still plan to try! These challenges include but are not limited to trying different food/drinks, talking to/meeting new people, going to events, travelling, and trying new physical activities.


I am known to partake in familiar foods instead of branching out. Last year, however, a few of my classmates challenged me to try sushi which I ended up enjoying. I also tried Kombucha, a London Fog, and Bubly (of which I am now especially fond). These may all seem silly but small challenges such as those listed above push me out of my comfort zone which allows me to grow and experience new things. Here’s to not ordering a hamburger at every restaurant in 2020!


These are all of the things that I am looking forward to trying out in 2020! I hope to reflect on my progress at the end of the year. Until then, thanks for reading and good luck on whatever you try in 2020!

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Lifestyle

The Very First Step

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It has been said that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step and, honestly, I believe this to be true. This year, I was able to run a 10-kilometre race in about an hour’s time which works out to roughly 6 miles and some change. Although I still have a while to go before I reach the thousand-mile mark, I was extremely proud of myself considering I had only started seriously running a year and a half prior to the race. To be clear, I do not want to use this post to brag about my accomplishments. I do, however, feel that the idea of beginning a journey is fitting since this is my first blog post.


I initially started running as a way to stay healthy. I often didn’t have the time to do a full workout or go to the gym but I could sacrifice 20 minutes a day to run on the treadmill. I ran like this consistently for a whole year, gradually increasing my speed, before I ever stepped outside. I would like to think it was because it was convenient but the truth is that I was worried I wouldn’t have the right form or pace. I had never been very athletic in my life and it was a major adjustment to start “performing” or practicing in front of the people in my subdivision.


This was all actually my mother’s dream. She set a goal in her mind at age [redacted] that she would run 10 kilometres. Me, a perfectly healthy 19-year old, at the time, never dreamed of this. She invited me along one time with her on one of her runs and, surprisingly, I was able to keep up. From then on, we became running buddies, helping each other when the other was feeling tired, pausing when we felt at the point of injury, and cheering each other on when we just needed that last bit of encouragement to finish.


It was also my mom’s idea to run in a 10-kilometre race. Before I knew it, we were signed up and ready to go. We continued practicing, each run becoming a bit easier and each step a bit less painful. Eventually, we drove down to Niagara Falls for the “Run to the Brink!” 10-kilometre run. We were both feeling pretty nervous as it was definitely a bit more intense than the runs around our subdivision. We were certainly not in Kansas anymore.

The Run (A Thousand Mile Journey)

Praying and shivering in the cold morning air, we began the race. To my surprise, the first 5 kilometres were quite easy. It seemed that our training had paid off. However, the next three really took their toll. My mom told me after the race that there was a point where she was getting ready to stop and then she looked up a saw a Tim Hortons. “I can do it for Tims” she thought, thinking of the warm tea that awaited her once the race was over. Whatever works!

I just tried to focus on my music and the beautiful surroundings. We got to run on a nature trail before the Falls started and the scenery was picturesque. Eventually we made it to the ninth kilometre. I started to feel better knowing that there was only 1 kilometre left. “I can do 1 k!” I thought.


When we rounded the last bend and saw the finish line, our names were announced over the loudspeakers and my brother and dad cheered us on to the finish line. It was a like a scene from a movie! My mom and I high-fived each other, despite being exhausted, and received medals and complimentary water and muffins (in which I generously partook). We had done it!

If you asked me back in high school if I ever thought I would run 10 kilometres I would have laughed out loud. As I said before, I was not the athletic type. To think that none of this would have ever happened had I not stepped on the treadmill that very first time was mind-blowing. But it took a year and a half to be able to work up the courage and stamina to do the race and countless accumulated hours of running, inside and out. Truly, this journey was one of a thousand miles and it is a testament that nothing good comes without hard work and you never know where that first step is going to take you.