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.

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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-

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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.

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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.

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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. 😀

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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. 😉

华晨宇 Hua Chenyu, the Anime Fan!

My posts about Hua Hua are getting views so I figured that many people around the world are interested in learning more about him.

This is one of my favourite videos of him because he is talking about anime in these scenes. There are English subtitles. ^^ His favourite anime is One Piece. MY FAVOURITE ANIME IS ONE PIECE-

*calms down*

Some of the other anime he likes are Assassination Classroom, Tokyo Ghoul, Naruto, Dragonball, One Punch Man, Attack on Titan, Gintama, and Pokemon. His favourite character in Naruto is Orochimaru. He has a lot of figurines at home and really likes Kaneki. He also has a Chopper plush, Chopper hat, Kaneki’s mask, Dragonball pouch and other things!

When asked if he would rather be King of the Pirates or hokage, he answered King of the Pirates. He explains in the video that pirates have more freedom, while the hokage has responsibilities of taking care of the village. This reminded me of Luffy’s quote when he was talking about being a pirate versus being a hero.

Hero? No! We’re pirates! I love heroes, but I don’t wanna be one! Do you know what heroes are? Say there is a chunk of meat. Pirates will have a banquet and eat it, but heroes will share it with other people. I want all the meat!”

– Monkey D. Luffy (One Piece)

Related posts:

Superstar Spotlight: Hua Chenyu

Singer 2018 – 华晨宇 Hua Chenyu Reactions

Singer 2018 – 华晨宇 Hua Chenyu Reactions

Singer 2018 is an incredibly popular show in China. It is always ranked in first or second place on TV in China and it’s watched worldwide. It is a singing competition and the competitors are well-established, famous singers. Obviously I am rooting for Hua Hua (as you can tell by the title and nature of this post). A competitor you may be familiar with is Jessie J from the UK.

I blogged about Hua Chenyu (everyone calls him Hua Hua). You can read it here. I wrote that post in 2017. He gained a lot of fans because of Singer 2018. ^^ He is my number one favourite singer for multiple reasons. I talked about that in that blog post. Hua Hua is truly so talented. These are his performances in each episode, starting from episode 4 (he did not sing in the first three episodes). The show is not done airing and Hua Hua has reached the finals. ^^

Episode 4 – 齐天 Qi Tian

  • This is Hua Hua’s song, not a cover. It’s the theme song for the film, 悟空传 Wu Kong (Remember I wanted to read a novel called Monkey? Wu Kong is the name of that monkey)
  • He won first place
  • He’s amazing at holding long notes
  • He raps in the middle
  • After I watched this video a few weeks ago, I wore all black clothes and pink eyeshadow that day LOL

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Episode 5 – 孩子 Child

  • The original singer of the song is 西樓
  • He’s wearing white clothes and sings at a slower pace. It contrasts from the previous episode
  • This is not one of my favourite performances of his

Episode 6 – 双节棍 Nunchucks

  • The original singer is one of my favourite singers, 周杰伦 Jay Chou
  • Hua Hua made huge changes to the song. I actually prefer this a lot more than the original (I didn’t like Jay Chou’s Nunchucks)
  • It’s rap heavy
  • Hua Hua incorporated Chinese opera – This made the performance one of my favourites from this season 
  • Hua Hua’s stage presence is phenomenal. When he is not performing, he is a little shy and introverted (but so adorable). When he is performing, he is full of confidence. It’s a big change. I love how dynamic he is
  • He came in first place

Episode 7 – 我管你 I Don’t Care

  • This is one of Hua Hua’s songs. Everyone in the audience knows this, which is why he invites them to join him in some parts
  • It’s one of my favourite songs of his because of the lyrics. It’s about being true to yourself, embracing your uniqueness, and not giving a f*k about others’ opinions. If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you probably know that I value being true to myself, even if it means being a little different. If I cared so much about fitting in, then I would not be wearing fruit hair ties or cosplaying as male characters. ^^

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  • Back to Hua Hua – It’s clear that he stands by his own lyrics
  • He placed in first place

Episode 8 – 易燃易爆炸 Super Explosive

  • He is dressed in black because the lyric composer suddenly passed away. He was going to sing a different song but changed it to this at the last minute. It’s his way of mourning her death

Episode 9 – 山海 Mountain and Sea

  • The original is by 草東沒有派對 No Party For Cao Dong
  • The lyrics are quite deep and sad
  • He ranked in fifth place, but I think the performance was wonderful. Up to now, he has always placed in the top three

Episode 10 – 假行僧 Fake Monk

  • This performance is absolutely HAUNTING! It’s one of my favourites 
  • He does a crazy/creepy laugh and I love it!
  • We get to see how versatile he is as a singer. For example, he can sing really high-pitched and we see that here
  • It is a little different, but that makes him unique, special, and it makes him stand out. I understand that some people are not able to get used to this sort of performance

Episode 11 – 平凡之路 Ordinary Path

  • The original is sung by Lion
  • He re-arranged the song. When he arranges music, he does not eat or sleep for two days. It is concerning, but Hua Hua says that he feels joy in doing this. This shows how dedicated he is to his work, and how important music is to him. It’s no wonder that he never fails to deliver amazing performances

Episode 12 – 我 I Am What I Am

  • The original is by 张国荣 Leslie Cheung
  • This is one of my favourite performances of his
  • He came in first place
  • I love the lyrics. “I am what I am… I like who I am…” – This is a theme in so many of Hua Hua’s songs. Common themes he sings about are enjoying loneliness, being true to yourself, and liking yourself. My values line up with his values very well
  • The first thing I noticed was his clothing choice. It looks like he is wearing a bathrobe but I think this choice of fashion goes well with the song’s meaning about being yourself and liking who you are
  • After watching the performance, it is clear that he has experienced a lot of pain. Hua Hua opens up to us through his music. In his childhood, he spent a lot of time alone because his father was always working. Music was what he turned to, similar to what anime did for me
  • It’s a very emotional song. He is almost in tears and the audience is in tears. I almost cried too LOL
  • I almost cried because I was lonely when I was a kid too. I didn’t fit in with the other children at school but I never tried to change myself. At a young age I valued being true to myself. It’s not that I didn’t want friends – I wanted friends who would accept me for who I was. To add onto this – just knowing that he felt pain and loneliness is very sad for me because he is my favourite singer

Final thoughts: The song choices were very deliberately chosen. I know that a lot of non-Chinese listeners like his vocals, but I think it would be great if you could also read English translations of the song lyrics. Then the gaps in understanding will be filled and we can fully appreciate everything he does.

I hope he wins the competition! ^^

Series that Changed My Life

These are the series I’ve learned from. It’s important to note that these include tiny changes too! Needless to say, these are some of my favourite anime, manga, and Japanese dramas.

1. One Piece (anime)

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I watch the anime and I also read the manga. I’m a lot more ahead in the manga lol but I will go back and watch all the episodes (800+). I’ve said this quite a few times in my blog already – One Piece is my favourite anime series of all time.

It showed me what friendship should look like because the Straw Hat Pirates have such a great dynamic. I’ve observed many of the same qualities in my own crew. ^^

One Piece is ridiculously funny and it brought back my laughter.

2. Liar Game (Japanese drama)

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There are two seasons and a few movies. I’ve watched them all lol. There’s also a Korean drama and I’ve seen that too. I’ve also completed the manga. The ending of the manga was pretty disappointing but it’s still worth reading.

Liar Game was one of the things that made me interested in pursuing a degree in Psychology. My university was recently listed at #10 in Psychology, and this is a world ranking. That’s really cool. =D

I used to be super naive. Liar Game (and university) taught me that people tell lies. I think it’s better to know that people are not perfect.

3. Bloody Monday (Japanese drama)

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There are two seasons of the Japanese drama, but I like season 1 more because J is the main antagonist. I’ve also read the first and third season of the manga. I think you should read season 1 of the manga first, but I definitely prefer season 3 because of J.

The drama and manga showed me that our problems are so trivial when we look at the world. That is comforting.

4. Durarara!! (anime)

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I’m not the biggest fan of the manga, mostly because of the art style. I really like the soundtrack in the anime. Season 2 of the anime was not as good because they introduced too many characters in too little episodes. It seemed forced and rushed. The character design for Izaya looked better in Season 1.

Izaya is one of my favourite anime characters. I have to admit, he is a terrible person. However, his quotes on living in the present and moving on from the past “changed” me because the way I approached life changed. I became more present-oriented and I was able to move on from whatever it was that bothered me in the past. I love living in the present.

“You think you’re special? You’re not. Everyone lies, everyone hides things… Nobody makes it through this life being completely honest.”

“The only way to truly escape the mundane is for you to constantly be evolving. Whether you choose to aim high, or aim low. Enjoy each day for what it is.”

“Your guilt will be your past and that will be your God.”

Izaya Orihara

I think I was too harsh on others in the past. The show taught me that perhaps we shouldn’t be too critical of others. After all, there are probably some things that others don’t like about us. We are all dealing with our own conflicts.

5. Hotaru no Hikari (manga)

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There is also a Japanese drama and it has two seasons. I used to be unhappy with myself if I was not productive. There were a certain number of tasks I felt I needed to do every day and I don’t agree with that anymore. It’s okay to just relax some days. 🙂

6. Great Teacher Onizuka (Japanese drama)

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It’s based on the manga and anime. I like the live-action from 1999 but I’m sure the newer one is good too. I haven’t watched it.

I watched GTO right before I started university and it taught me so many life lessons.

7. Kurosagi (Japanese drama)

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There is a movie too but I felt unsatisfied after I watched it. :/ The art style in the manga is not very appealing. I’m caught up on the chapters though hahaha.

The drama doesn’t have such a big influence on me now. When I was high school, I loved Kurosaki so I watched each episode multiple times. He brought out the best person in me because I felt inspired to dress nicer, eat healthier and I even learned to cook some foods. It’s pretty weird that a fictional character can do this.

Superstar Spotlight: Bii 畢書盡

Many people know Bii from the Taiwanese drama, Bromance. I was a fan of his music (he is a singer!) before Bromance existed. Bii is one of my favourite singers and he is my number one idol.

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About Bromance (2015):

It is currently on Netflix with English subtitles. Bii plays Wei Qing Yang, the male in the second couple. I recommend the drama because it has an interesting premise. The actor and actress in the main couple are famous for their previous dramas, such as Fated to Love You and Two Fathers. I really appreciate the close-ups of Bii’s beautiful face but watching his scenes make me sad at the same time because the girl is not me LOOL. I love that he sings the opening theme song, along with three other singers in his talent agency. One of the songs I really like is sang by two people from his talent agency. His solo songs play during his scenes, as well as other romantic scenes.

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My story on how I fell in love:

My friend showed me Bii’s music video for I know. I was busy when my friend showed me so I just listened to the song without watching the video. I thought Bii’s voice was really nice… I decided to watch the video and he was so good looking!

A lot of people say that Bii looks like Luhan, one of China’s most popular stars. Luhan is a former member of EXO. Bii is humble and said that Luhan looks prettier than him. ^^

Then I decided to Google him (LOL this is what I do…). I learned that Bii is half Korean and half Taiwanese, but grew up in Korea. He was scouted by SM Talent when he was a teen in Korea but didn’t go for it. I thought it was really impressive that he became fluent in Chinese because he learned the language after he came to Taiwan.  He talks and sings mostly in Chinese, but he does sing some Korean songs.

After that, I decided to watch videos of him on YouTube. He was so kind to his fan and I began to tear up… I was at school at the time and I was feeling unhappy with myself. After watching that one video I decided I wanted to change myself to be a better person who would help other people and become more true to myself. I wanted to be someone I would like…

After that, I started reading his Facebook status updates. (LOL) He wrote in Chinese and it was tough to understand them at first. I live in Canada and although I am a fluent speaker, my reading skills were lacking. Google Translate helped, and gradually I was able to understand more words. ^^ The reason I was working this hard was because his statuses were unlike other celebrities’ statuses.

I don’t follow him as much as I used to, but I remember he wrote statuses for his fans. He would tell us to dress warm so that we would not get sick, and to drink soup because it was cold out. He told us to sleep early so that we have more energy the next day. Bii was so caring and I was really envious of the many girls who had photos of them hugging him, and fans who watched him perform at his concerts.

Several months after I started liking him, I found out that he sang the Korean version of one of my favourite songs, Dui Wang. Dui Wang is the ending song of my favourite Taiwanese drama, My Lucky Star (2007).

Well, I am turning 21 this year and I am not exactly the same person I was a few years ago. I’m not that obsessed with celebrities anymore but Bii is still one of my favourite singers. ^^