How I Stay Focused Throughout the School Term

A lot of people seemed to like my Study Tips & Uni Advice post so I decided to blog about school again! I’m currently doing a Social Work degree at UBC, so I’m taking five courses while doing a practicum. I can still blog and watch anime because I usually finish all my assignments early.

SandyFloweryDairycow-max-1mb.gif

1. Use a calendar to record all your due dates and make a to-do list. Check these very regularly! 

I try to minimize my to-do list all the time because I know that it will get longer. If I see that I have a lot of due dates in the next couple of weeks, I start working on my assignments whenever I have free time. Thinking about the future will help you to not procrastinate. I don’t mean, think about your future career because that is a long time. Instead, think about your future weeks and how tired or stressed you might feel if you procrastinate now.

More importantly, I think the key to not procrastinate lies within your habits. Working on assignments early is a simple task for me because it’s so ingrained in my daily routine. It doesn’t take much willpower. It just happens on its own.

2. Self-care is super important. 

Taking care of yourself physically and emotionally is important because if you are sick or feel a lot of stress, it will be harder to focus on school. To a lot of people, self-care is jogging or doing some sort of exercise that makes them feel good. Honestly, exercise just makes me tired and I don’t enjoy it at all. Self-care really differs from person to person. To me, self-care is watching anime and getting a lot of sleep. Watching anime is not a waste of time if it helps you relax or take your mind off of school work. We all know that self-care is important, but also understand that it will look different for every person.

3. Understand what your priorities are. 

I prioritize school, doing a good job at practicum, and this blog. When your priorities are clear, it’s easier to say “no” to procrastination with your inner voice.

4. Live a fulfilled personal life, while maintaining balance with your school life. 

My personal life consists of being a cosplayer and blogger, and eating foods with friends. These are important to me because if my identity was only tied to being a student, that would be a very sad life. Your hobbies, interests and friendships give you more purpose and you’ll have fun outside of school.

It’s dangerous when you focus too much on your outside interests and not enough on school, so always do self-reflection and think about these different roles.

I write myself letters whenever I feel dissatisfied with my life, and I make an action plan on the things I can do to immediately change my current situation. It’s generally pretty effective. Take comfort in knowing that no one will read these letters except for you, so there’s no need to filter your thoughts! Be as vulgar, petty, or shallow as you wish, given that you do some reflection afterwards. 🙂

5. Know your self-worth. 

I feel like I am going off-topic but this is also related at the same time because if you feel good about yourself and view yourself as a person of value and importance, you might not procrastinate as much. I feel that often times, procrastination stems for feelings of insecurity or dissatisfaction with some aspect of life.

Every person is important and every life matters. Your grades are NOT an indicator of your worth as a person. Please don’t let negative thoughts get the better of you. Each day is a new day, full of possibilities.


Every person is different, so maybe just one thing on this list will help you. Maybe all five are helpful, or maybe none at all. I also procrastinate sometimes. However, when I do, I forgive myself and move on. It rarely happens but I’m only human.

Advertisements

Ita Bag

Ita bags are bags that have a transparent cover. They are great because every bag is different and personalized, depending on how you decorate it. Some people cover the bag with their husbando or waifu, while other people have themes like pastel colours. The rest of us just decorate it however we want!

I love ita bags because you won’t have the problem of losing pins or keychains, provided that they are inside the bag. There are different styles and sizes of ita bags. I decided to get a bigger one because I can fit my cosplays in there. I usually change into cosplay at conventions or photo locations. Plus, I have a bigger space to decorate. Safety pins are great for holding keychains and other things in place.

IMG_20180717_140818_846

How it works – there are two zippers.

20180717_224118

This one came with a band to hang keychains.

My ita bag will always be a work in progress, but here is how it looks as of right now:

20180717_221201

Since I got a bigger bag that I initially planned, I decided to include a variety of anime and other things. A lot of people decorate their ita bags with fake flowers. I decorated mine with an egg. I also have my Death Note and feather pen in there. They’re cosplay props, hahaha. You can see that I didn’t limit myself to only pins and keychains. You can do basically anything you want, and that’s what makes it a fun and creative DIY project. Small plushies are also popular.

If you’re curious about the things on my ita bag, they are:

  • sunny side up egg – originally a hair clip
  • Death Note – cosplay prop
  • feather pen – cosplay prop
  • Ryuk keychain (from Death Note) – originally a necklace
  • Rem keychain (from Death Note) – originally a necklace
  • Misa Amane keychain (from Death Note) – originally a necklace
  • Durarara!! button
  • Celty button (from Durarara!!)
  • Simon button (from Durarara!!)
  • Izaya button (from Durarara!!) x2
  • Mikasa button (from Attack on Titan)
  • Lelouch button (from Code Geass)
  • Dazai keychain (from Bungou Stray Dogs)

This is my third bag with anime accessories.

Best JRPGs for Xbox 360

If you are interested in playing a lot of Japanese role-playing games, it is better to buy a PlayStation. However, there are a couple of great games exclusive to the Xbox 360.

***AMAZING***

Lost Odyssey (2007) – Xbox 360 exclusive

Outlook-LostOdysse

This is my favourite game. I didn’t buy this game at first because I thought I wouldn’t like the mature looking graphics but I was completely wrong. This traditional turn-based game is a gem.

The game touches on the theme of eternal life. Small spoiler, but the main protagonist is immortal. It’s interesting because immortal players will automatically revive after a few turns. Nonetheless, you’ll still die if all your players are dead. Within the game are short stories on the protagonist’s memories, and they are treasures themselves. If I could buy a physical book containing the short stories, I would do it in a heartbeat. I feel like I’ve learned something about life through reading these stories because it makes you contemplate life… The music is very beautiful.

Blue Dragon (2006) – Xbox 360 exclusive

Outlook-51bR4j-gdh

This is a great game for the JRPG beginner. This was my first game and it’s a traditional turn-based game. They made a manga and anime adaptation based on this game series because of its good reception. The game is definitely better than the manga and anime.

Tales of Vesperia (2008) – Xbox 360 Exclusive (not including Japan), but will be available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch and Microsoft Windows later this year.

Outlook-6867e627-5

My biggest complaint is that you can’t skip cut scenes. If you die while fighting a boss, you’ll have to skip over all the text which is annoying sometimes, especially when you just want to kill the damn monster.

Regardless, this is an amazing game. It’s not turn-based, so it requires button smashing LOL. However there is still strategy involved in the game which makes it fun. The characters are quite likeable. I’ve laughed at several parts of the game because of Yuri’s sassiness.

Since it’s getting the Definitive Edition this year (meaning it will be available on other platforms), do buy the game because it’s so much fun.

***OKAY***

  • Enchanted Arms (2006) – Recommend, but not the best
  • Final Fantasy XIII (2010) – Breathtaking visuals, but I couldn’t get into it
  • Star Ocean: The Last Hope (2009) – Couldn’t get into it, but the reviews are pretty good.

***POOR***

  • The Last Remnant (2008) – Don’t do it.

Similar Series Recommendations

In this post I compare similar anime/manga/Asian dramas/games!

1. If you like Detective Conan, you might like Ace Attorney (and vise versa)

 

Both have showed me that people lie all the time and that people will commit murder for silly reasons. Everyone is a suspect!

Detective Conan (also known as Case Closed) is a manga and anime while Ace Attorney is a Nintendo DS game series. Obviously Ace Attorney involves more active participation because you are doing everything. Detective Conan is similar because I always try to figure out who the culprit is before the end of the episode. The culprit is always a character we’ve seen before. This applies to Ace Attorney as well.

2. If you like Liar Game, you might like Kakegurui (and vise versa)

 

 

Liar Game is a manga and Japanese drama series. Kakegurui is a manga, anime and Japanese drama. The live-action for Kakegurui is very good. There are very exaggerated moments, but it resembles the anime in that sense. You have to understand that the exaggerated moments are deliberate. This is my order for Kakegurui: manga > live-action drama > anime.

It is similar to Liar Game because the characters are placed into situations in which they have to play games against other players. The winner will win money and the loser will go into debt (we’re talking big amounts of money, like millions of dollars). These series have showed me that people cheat all the time.

3. If you like Your Lie in April, you might like Our Times (and vise versa)

 

Your Lie in April is an anime that will probably make you cry and Our Times is a Taiwanese movie that will make probably you cry. You might have heard of YLIA but Our Times is very popular as well. It was a highly successful movie in Asia and it’s my favourite movie of all time. I give it 10/10.

Both are similar because a main character tells the other character a lie that is crucial to the plot.

4. If you like Naruto SD: Rock Lee & His Ninja Pals, you might like Attack on Titan: Junior High (and vise versa)

 

Both are gag series and the characters are drawn in chibi-style. I enjoyed both, but I liked Attack on Titan: Junior High more. These are pretty funny and they are done by different creators (so not the original Naruto and Attack on Titan creators).

There is also the Naruto: Chibi Sasuke’s Sharigan Legend manga if you’re interested. I personally couldn’t get into it.

naruto-chibi-sasukes-sharingan-legend-vol-1-9781421597102_hr

5. If you like Fushigi Yugi, you might like Haruka: Beyond the Stream of Time. You might also like Scarlet Heart Ryeo

 

In all three, the female protagonists travel back in time into a feudal period. They are met with a lot of attractive boys.

Fushigi Yugi and Haruka (manga and anime, Haruka is also an otome game) are more similar because the girls are entrusted with a mission that involves travelling with the boys. Scarlet Heart Ryeo (Korean drama) is less similar because the female protagonist stays within the palace grounds.

Now for the ones you probably know already…

6. If you like Death Note, you might like Code Geass (and vise versa)

 

You probably know this already because both are very popular anime. Both involve intelligent protagonists with huge goals. Light in Death Note wants to become the god of the world and Lelouch in Code Geass wants to rule the world. Both gain supernatural powers that allow them to do things that normal people cannot do.

7. If you like Naruto, you might like My Hero Academia

 

This is an obvious one. When I watched The Battle Tournament in the U.A Sports Festival Arc in MHA, I was reminded of the Chunin Exams in Naruto. Naruto is the “weakling” who becomes strong, similar to Midoriya. Both are extremely popular shonen shows.

Study Tips & Uni Advice

I’m graduating this month! Sometimes younger readers ask me questions about university so I decided to write a post about study tips. Hopefully this post will help some of you!

1. If you fail an exam, forgive yourself. 

I actually did very poorly on a paper this term (barely passed) because I misunderstood the purpose of the paper. There was the initial shock when I checked my grade, but within ten minutes I was back to normal. I’m not going to let a bad mark define who I am as a person. I know my own worth. This is something I love about myself because I am able to forgive myself immediately. I am not working against myself, but with myself.

For my next paper, I got an A. Before I wrote it, I emailed the Teaching Assistant a lot of questions. I knew that I wasn’t dumb – I just didn’t understand the purpose of the first paper. For my final exam, I got an A and my final grade was an A-.

2. When choosing electives, pick courses you are interested in.

I’ve taken German cinema and Japanese cinema as two of my electives. No surprise, but I got a higher grade in Japanese cinema. The class average for Japanese cinema was lower than German, but I still did better. My final grade was 12% higher than the class average. I firmly believe it’s because I am more interested in Japanese culture and cinema. I know almost nothing about Germany!

3. Do not enrol in a class just because your friends are in it. 

This is something a few of my friends can agree with. Make sure you’re interested in the course too! I didn’t take a Psychology course because a couple of my closest friends were taking a different class. To this day, I still don’t think I learned anything in that class. I wasn’t interested in it at all and similar to #2, your interest in the course will probably affect your final grade.

4. Make flashcards. 

I did better on exams when I used flashcards. I use Quizlet.com because 1) it’s better to use less paper for the sake of the planet, 2) it’s more convenient because you don’t have to carry a stack of cards, 3) it’s easier in the long-term because if the final exam is cumulative, the flashcards are in one convenient location. You don’t have to worry about misplacing them.

5. It’s okay to say “no” to a social event because you have to study. 

In my second year of university, I went to a birthday party during the weekend and my exam was on the Monday. I did horribly… In my third year of university, I didn’t go to the birthday party and I got something like a 97% on the exam. When I told my friend, she was happy for me. I know that birthday parties are important, especially if the other person is a close friend, but sometimes you have to put your grades first. Make sure you actually study during that time!

6. You can still do your hobbies.

I only recently started to watch anime again during the school term. Prior to this year, I used to go cold turkey on my hobbies like watching anime. I do not recommend doing this because I felt miserable, like I was missing a crucial part of my life. Anime makes up part of my identity. Of course, you still have to study. This is not an excuse to not study or not do your assignments. Hobbies are healthy to do, but you still have to do work. My grades improved after I watched some anime. It’s not the sole cause, but it probably contributed to my wellbeing and overall happiness.

7. Treat yourself. 

If you feel proud about an academic or non-academic accomplishment, treat yourself! Buy yourself that ice cream cone or thing you really want. You deserve it! You worked so hard and it’s time to thank yourself because you are important and you matter.

8. Try taking power naps. 

I like to take 10-15 minute naps when I have to study for long periods of time. I don’t know about you, but I can fall asleep very quickly so I always feel refreshed after I wake up from a nap. I use an alarm on my phone.

Top 4 华晨宇 Hua Chenyu Song Arrangements

Some of these are from the Chinese TV show, 天籁之战 The Next. Hua Chenyu was a contestant in Season 2 (2016). Each contestant has to arrange a song in only 24 hours and their opponent chooses the song for them. These are my favourite arrangements.

 

1. 我的滑板鞋2016 (My Skateboard Shoes 2016)

This is from The Next. This is Hua Hua’s most watched video on YouTube. The reason is probably because the original is… uh-

Hua Hua

Original

That’s a big difference, right? Hua Hua kept the lyrics the same but changed everything else. He doesn’t sleep when he arranges songs because he is committed to his work. This arrangement is the song that introduced me to Hua Hua!

 

2. 齐天大圣 (Journey to the West 1986 opening)

This is from The Next. Hua Hua’s opponent chose the Journey to the West opening and it’s an old song from 1986. There are actually no lyrics so Hua Hua changed the song completely with rap.

Journey to the West (also known as Monkey King or Monkey) dates back to 1592! It inspired Dragonball and a lot of other early anime titles. I think Hua Hua’s version is a great way to get younger audiences interested in these older stories.

 Hua Hua

Original

 

3. 爸,我回來了 (Dad, I’m Home)

This is from the Next and I chose this video with English subtitles (instead of the original channel) because Hua Hua takes the song and tells a story with it. Jay Chou raps and sings in the original, but Hua Hua does something different here. It’s extremely emotional. Hua Hua’s relationship with his father is good, but this is the song that his opponent chose for him.

Hua Hua

Original

 

4. 双节棍 (Nunchucks)

This is from Singer 2018 and I blogged about this song before. The original singer is Jay Chou but I like Hua Hua’s version better. He adds Chinese opera and makes a lot of changes to the song.

Hua Hua

Original


I chose these arrangements because they are very different from the original songs. I love all of Hua Hua’s arrangements and if you compare his versions with the originals, I’m sure you will agree that he is talented at everything he does. 24 hours is a very short time to arrange a song! Don’t you agree?

Catherine – HIGHLY Recommend this Game!

Don’t let the cover fool you, hahaha! I would say that the M rating is because of some blood, not so much because of nudity. I played this game in front of my parents. No big deal.

When the cutscenes are put together, it is exactly like an anime movie. They have all the cutscenes on YouTube in a couple of long videos so if you don’t plan on playing the game, I really encourage you to watch them!

The cutscenes/story of the game mean a lot to me. Vincent, the main character, is placed into a complicated life situation and he needs to resolve his problems. Whenever I am in a very low mood, I watch the cutscenes and I feel better afterwards. Why? One, my problems are not as bad as his. Two, he is a relatable and normal guy (and in the game, you are playing him). Vincent definitely has flaws, but he’s very likeable because he feels real. Three, he gets out of the mess. Every time I watch the cutscenes and play the game, I learn something about myself and about life.

I love how Vincent gets together with his friend group all the time after work. They meet at the regular bar and it’s a normal part of his day. In the bar you can order drinks, send text messages, play at the arcade, watch the news and talk to the other customers.

Now to the actual gameplay. You have to climb blocks. Sounds simple, right? Each night gets harder and you will be chased by something. My favourite monster was probably the giant baby with a chainsaw. That’s where the blood comes in! Initially, I thought I wouldn’t enjoy climbing blocks but it is actually a lot of fun!!! You have to constantly think of strategies while climbing.

It is challenging but you learn that in order to survive, you must continuously adapt to the situation. I think this is very important in real life too. A lot of the time, things don’t go our way but what we do have control over is our reaction to the situation. Plus, being chased by a monster that wants to kill you is quite thrilling. 😀

DSKLA2aUIAAIbBu.jpg-large.jpeg

Completing a stage (especially if you win a Gold Prize) is IMMENSELY satisfying. I feel more happy about completing a stage than acing an exam LOL. Every time I complete a stage, I feel more confident about overcoming my own life situation and this will sound corny but completing a stage in the game is like practice for real life…

The soundtrack is AMAZING. Lamb Game between ♂ and ♀ is my favourite, but I love all the songs.

I’ve been in a happy mood for a long time now but if I am in a bad mood, I know that this game is there for me. I finished this game in about two weeks and I’ll play it on a harder level of difficulty next time! As you can see, I can’t stop raving about this game so yeah, play it. Or at least watch the cutscenes and enjoy the music. 😉