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Hipsta Please.

It’s almost blasphemous how doing something new or being someone different, is now a whole new label people attach to you. I don’t even exactly know what being a hipster entails, but I do know that this – this is one more bag of shit I do not want associated with me. I mean, just because I got one blue streak in my hair and put on a fucking beanie/toque/whatever, does that seriously make me a hipster? Is ‘hipster’ now a synonym for someone who wants to keep her head warm?

Don’t get me wrong, I think people put in effort to go against the gradient are commendable. Exploring new worlds of fashion, spirituality and even politics is a kickass way to expand your horizons, and might just lead you to some of the best experiences you’ll ever have. PLUS I now know that hipsters provide for the cheapest Halloween costume ever. But clearly the irony of being labeled a hipster is lost on most people, along with its almost farcical repercussions.

Firstly, this sudden outburst of people averse to the nuances of popular culture, has led to a whole new trend of exploring the unexplored and the under appreciated. Sure, all that is well and good. Promoting individuality and all that. But this trend seems to have turned into a struggle to be the ‘different’ one in one’s social circle, almost like an incessant need. The one who’s known as the group hipster, just so that they’re in the limelight. The Age of Attention Whoring? You’re sitting right in the midst of it, sweetie. Those trilby hats that were only sold in that one-tiny-shop-near-that-far-away-place, are now literally in every store you’ll ever see.

This urge to defy the mainstream IS the new mainstream. Trying to hard to be a hipster is the precise reason why you’re never gonna be one.

And as if this isn’t mind numbing enough, this hipster trend has extended into the smallest fucking things you do. You switch your radio to punk/alternative/grunge while Roar by Katy Perry is playing for the 53rd time? OMG, so hipster. You’re just dying for the new Nexus 5 to come out? That’s so weird, like, you’re not like anyone I’ve ever met. I’m sorry, I thought being different meant NO tags and labels. Doing something that everyone may not do shouldn’t automatically mean that you’re an Apple-hating, Urban-Outfitters-wearing, sometimes-pseudo-intellectual.

And what about the people who were already hipsters in the traditional sense? Those interesting minds and styles one would come across maybe just a few times in their lifetimes? The ones who couldn’t possibly give less of a fuck about what one sees or says about them? Its become hard to tell who actually ARE those wondrous minds, because everyone’s trying to be them. Thanks to the literary loophole called free verse, random sentences strung together are now lines of “OMG so beauts <3” poetry. The world now knows who The Who is, but only as those four long nosed dudes on the T-shirts they sell in those small shops. That girl you saw 2 years ago with the long feather earrings and a Trilby hat in the streets of Bombay, is now a Forever 21 spokesmodel.

The premise of hipsterisation is pretty cool – the interesting and the hidden can finally see light of day without being questioned constantly. But of course, one of the better things to happen to culture since the decline of bell bottoms can’t glide through our world without some bumps in the way. I personally think it’s fucking ridiculous that pop culture now chases after the different for the sake of being cool, but y’know, as long as you’re original in some sense.

 

 

 

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A N00b’s Guide To University

You know how it goes – typical scared newbie international student enters cool North American university all scared and shiny-eyed. Learns the ways of the world the hard way. Tries to make a semi-serious version of it on the internet. Hopes for praise and recognition. Real talk though – university isn’t easy. And for those of you about to enter the scary world of $100 textbooks, this list might just help make your life a dot easier. Or so I hope anyway.

Family

  • No matter how far away you are from them, keep them close. Keep your parents (and other members you’re close to) updated about your life once in a few days.
  • If you’re an awkward turtle like me and can’t tell your mom you love her – tell her you bought her shoes/lipstick. She’ll get the message. Trust me.
  • Thank your parent(s) if they pay your tuition. They’ll know you value your education.
  • Their lives will go on without you. It’s not a bad thing.

Academia

  • It’s harder than high school because you’re the only one who can push yourself to study.
  • Nobody is going to chase you to get your shit done, so I’d suggest that you stay on top of your schoolwork at all times. Trust me, you’ll be able to enjoy university so much more if you don’t have to leave a party to finish that essay due the next morning.
  • Textbooks are $100 frequently. Or more. Just casually slipping it in there.
  • Most importantly – Cite. Even if you’re taking one word from somewhere other than your own head. Cite it. You’ll never regret it.
  • In case the above point didn’t clarify this enough – Research papers will come your way at least once in your university career. And you will not like it.

Fraternity parties

  • Only cool for a week. Tops.
  • Trust me when I tell you that frats have a very limited repertoire of fun things to do. And they get old. Fast. Beer pong gets sticky; you aren’t getting a boy/girl unless you are or look like John Stamos/Mila Kunis; and it simply boils down to “too many people, too small a place.”
  • Leave them frats behind after the first few toga parties, and get your arse to an actual bar with some real alcohol.
  • Unless you’re under the legal drinking age, and frats are your only source of alcohol. In which case, suck on your pacifier ‘til you’re legal.

Food & Drink

  • Pizza is the solution to EVERYTHING.
  • People do NOT like to be disturbed before their morning coffee.
  • A lot of people like sushi.
  • ^ All of the above should probably be in the Holy Texts to come.
  • Bubble Tea is the new ‘thaang’ too.
  • For people in Canada – Tim Hortons > Starbucks.
  • Whatever quinoa is, it tastes like feet wrapped in shit. But it’s healthy so shut up and eat it.
  • Bagels = Love.

A side note on Alcohol – I believe that the process of consuming alcohol is to drink until you’re happy, then CAN IT. I mean, do you really wanna put on heels and makeup for a night that’s only going to end in you either throwing up all night/passed out in a field full of mice? There will be a LOT of moments for you to get carried away with drinking. Indulge in some, pull back on the rest.

Loneliness

  • It hits at the most inopportune moments.
  • You will probably spend a lot of time getting used to being an adult. Especially one who has to fend for himself/herself.
  • This involves a lot of time by yourself.
  • Most life lessons are learned while lonely.
  • Get involved. Trust me, it really can go a long way, even if you don’t end up making any long term friends out of it.
  • Bright side though – you can listen to All By Myself and pretend this is a sad scene in a movie, as you look out at the rain/snow/leaves floating by. Or, y’know, be sad in the regular people way.

Friends

  • Are not gonna fall into your lap. I’ll be blunt here – ain’t nobody got time fo you, unless you’re willing to reciprocate the effort.
  • Introduce yourself to people in class (read: not creepily), go to that karaoke/sushi dinner your RA is hosting, or join the fucking yoga club if you have to, but do something. Put yourself out there in the smallest and the biggest of ways. Wink at that cute guy in the library. Smile at that chick with the cream cheese ‘stache. She might just introduce you to your weekly breakfast indulgence to-be. Or even another cute guy.
  • Friendships change. They go up, they go down. You can turn friends into family, or they could just fade away. Keep hoping. Move on.
  • There are some really diverse perspectives out there. Enjoy them. Appreciate them. Don’t hate ALL of them.

You

  • If you are leaving home to go to university, remember that home will never be the same again, but in the best way possible.
  • You will never be the same either. Be open to that change.
  • Everyone has his or her own agenda. Everyone is at university to make something of themselves. Don’t lose out because of someone else. 
  • They teach you to be selfish. It’s not always a bad thing.
  • Doesn’t mean you can be a dick. Compromise is key.
  • It is very likely that you will spend a lot of your time with yourself. Treat it in a positive way. Buy a good pair of headphones.
  • Failing? Confused about your path in life? Neon green dip-dye phase? Perfectly normal.
  • Be your own Jackie Chan to your Chris Tucker sometimes. It’s okay to do you.