A blur

It’s surreal to think that a lot of us spent a year at home. Online work, online school, online meetups, online everything. I’m trying to remember how my life was at the time but it’s all a blur. I don’t think life was that bad for me for because I had a lot of sources of entertainment, but I’m much happier now that I can see people in person and explore the city.

Before in quarantine days:

  • I got into letter writing and stamps
  • I got into various crafts
  • I watched a ton of shows
  • I went hard with online shopping, to escape the everyday
  • Small joys: Anything out of the ordinary brought me joy. During this time I came to appreciate a lot of things.

Now after three vaccine shots and with restrictions lifted:

  • I’ve met up with a lot of my friends and had opportunities to dress up again. One of the first things I did was get a hair cut.
  • I’ve visited numerous cafes and restaurants, something I had missed
  • Fun dates with boyfriend
  • I got to see the cherry blossoms this year. There are none in my neighbourhood, so I explored other parts of the province to see them.
  • New experiences: I got a shellac manicure with my coworker yesterday. After hearing that I had never gotten a manicure before, she encouraged me to try it out.

The importance of taking pictures

Without pictures, I feel that a lot of the things I’ve done would have been lost on me. “Put away the phone; enjoy the moment without the phone” is the opposite of how I think… I think it diminishes photography, ignores that people may have poor memory, and ignores that people may want something to look back on. Personally, I get a lot of satisfaction from capturing a good photograph.

To my blogger friends

To my blogger friends,

Thank you for the recommendations. I must thank Irina for introducing me to Ajin, one of my favourite anime. I think the context was that I tweeted that I needed an anime recommendation and listed some of my favourite anime. Then Irina commented Ajin, and she was spot on with the recommendation.

Thank you Nora for tweeting about the Japanese BL drama, Old Fashion Cupcake. I watched it the same night, and it was a 10/10.

Thank you Shoujo for writing about The Scum Villain’s Self-Saving System. Thanks to your post, I was able to enjoy the donghua and then I read the books. Now I am obsessed with SVSSS.

Thank you Crimson for tweeting about buying Hashihime of the Old Book Town on Steam. I am enjoying the game so much! Even the most random thing can be significant.

Thank you Jon Spencer for recommending Japanese Tales of Mystery and Imagination by Edogawa Rampo. I don’t remember the context too well, but I believe it was over Twitter. Rampo is my favourite author of all time, and I recently read The Edogawa Rampo Reader!

There are countless instances like these. We learn about anime, dramas, books, and games one way or another, right? Thanks to all of you, my life is a lot more colourful.

New PC

I built a PC for the first time. I couldn’t have done this by myself, as I’m not tech savvy enough to build a PC from scratch. But I did pick the colour of my case (white, to match my Nintendo Switch OLED) and I helped screw in some of the screws. Hahaha.

I also got a new keyboard, mouse, monitor, and desk mat. The new monitor was unexpected but my family coincidentally had an unopened extra monitor in storage, so that was nice. I have to thank my boyfriend for gifting me the desk mat, mouse, and keyboard. I also have to thank two of my friends for donating their spare keycaps to me, which is how I was able to customize it.

Anyways, I’m absolutely in love with my PC. My favourite part about the setup is the keyboard because it has keycaps from three different keyboards. It was so much fun customizing it, and I think I did a good job with it. The keyboard is from Keychron and it can light up.

My other favourite part is my case because it has a clear cover. I put two of my stands in there (WangXian and BingQiu).

Recent Anime Convention/Artist Market Hauls

Minicomi 2022

I mainly look for MXTX stuff now so I’m glad I found some stuff! I also found a hand-painted pin of blue hydrangeas, my favourites. My boyfriend gifted me the galaxy desk mat in the picture.

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SFU Summer Festival 2022

No MXTX things this time, but I’m really happy with my haul. It was really cool seeing a print of the UBC Anime Club clubroom, as it brought back a lot of memories from my exec days. I like the Karamatsu detail haha. It was my first time seeing Link Click art so I had to get it! My boyfriend gifted me the cute spoon.

Tulip Festival

I went to the Chilliwack Tulip Festival in early May of this year. I went on the last day and was honestly disappointed by the tulips. Future note to self: Don’t go in the final week.

The daffodils were nice, though. πŸ™‚

Update: June 2022

Hey everyone, 

It’s been a while since I last updated the blog. There are a few reasons for this. The first is because I bought the Switch OLED and have been obsessed with Animal Crossing ever since. I visited Minty’s island! 

When I first started Animal Crossing. Minty’s the one on the left.

The second reason for my lack of posting is that I got Covid. Fortunately, the rest of my family members never got it. I self-isolated in my room the entire time and had my meals delivered to my door. I’m grateful for my family’s support. I am also thankful for all the good wishes from everyone on Twitter. 

Although I recovered and tested negative a while back, I still cough every day. :/  

Flowers from my boyfriend.

The third reason is due to a new work schedule. I’ve more or less adjusted to this schedule so expect posts more regularly! However, I do feel tired more often now, and I’m not sure if it is because I had Covid. Does anyone else have a similar experience? 

Free From My Student Loans!

A little while ago, I tweeted that I paid off my student loans. I don’t know if this post will be useful to anyone, but here’s how I did it.

I have two university degrees (one was 4 years and the second was 2 years) and graduated with a debt of $31,827.00. My parents contributed a portion of it through RESP (Registered Education Savings Plan). Otherwise, my debt probably would have been around 50k.

Another thing worth mentioning is that I commuted four hours each school day (2 hours each way) because I live far from the university. I chose not to live on campus because I didn’t want to increase my debt.

I paid off almost 32k in 15 months.

Right before I entered the repayment period, I paid off $10,000 from my savings. I’ve worked part-time jobs since graduating grade 12. In my final year of university, I had three part-time jobs so I had saved up some money. I paid off 10k right off the bat because it would make interest payments a lot easier.

However, I wish that I had started to pay off my student loans when I was still a student. If I had started budgeting really early on, I probably have would have paid off a significant portion of my loans before my graduation date.

I graduated in 2020, back when COVID was still relatively new. After five months of making repayments, the Government of Canada canceled interest payments because of COVID. However, this is temporary so my goal was to finish paying my loans before interest payments returned. Instead of making the minimum payment of $250-350, I made bigger payments like $1000, 2000, or 3000 a month whenever I could.

The biggest thing that helped with repaying my loan was living with my parents. I still live with them. Rent is really expensive in Vancouver, and I have a good relationship with my family so there was just no big reason to move out.

Another thing that helped was that I was super, super serious about paying my student loan debt as soon as I could. It was probably my main focus and goal at the time. That being said, I made sure not to splurge. Well, it’s not in my personality to spend a lot of money in the first place. That’s just not who I am. However, knowing that I had debt made me feel even more so because I felt really poor. “The money in my bank account does not belong is me” is how I felt the entire time. I think that this attitude helped a lot.

My debt wasn’t too large, though I think the average student loan debt for a Bachelor’s degree is 30k. It was manageable, and I feel lucky that I can live with my family. Although living in a pandemic sucks, I didn’t have to pay interest for almost a year which was really beneficial to me.

Present day

Now that I am debt-free, I am planning to open a TFSA but that’s another story (Probably should have done this earlier, to be honest). What I want to say is that my spending habits haven’t changed at all. I record everything I spend in a notebook and calculate how much I spend every week and month. I prefer writing it out but Excel spreadsheets are probably more efficient, haha.

I don’t have a budget, and I don’t really limit myself from spending. I will buy a bubble tea if I want it. However, I just don’t spend that much money so I don’t really see a need to budget right now. If my spending over a certain period was higher than an amount I’m comfortable with, then yes I would absolutely budget. Keeping track of my spending is more about knowing how much I’m spending and where that money is going.

This was kind of a personal post but I don’t mind sharing. I think I’m pretty open in general so I hope that at least one person finds this helpful.

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Thanks to my boyfriend for the congratulatory gift.