2022 Year-End Review

Happy New Year!

Another year, another year-end review post (You can read my 2020 post here and my 2021 post here). I didn’t blog, cosplay, or draw much/at all, but I had a busy year and I’d like to think that I’ve accomplished some things.

I paid off my student loans.

I wrote a post about it and how I did it. You can read the post here. I also set a rainy day fund for the first time after I paid off my student loans, and I’ve reached it. I have a new year’s resolution of saving a good portion of my monthly income, so we’ll see how it goes. Inflation is wild, so expenses are higher while the quality of life is more or less the same.

I got a new job.

It’s a full-time job with benefits, and I work three days at the office and two days from home. I hope I can continue to keep this hybrid model, as this was a COVID thing. For those of you who don’t know, I have a BA in Psychology and a Bachelor of Social Work. You can probably guess that I work in social services. It’s stressful indeed, but rewarding at the same time. The job keeps me busy and I like my coworkers.

I got my full driver’s license.

In British Columbia, we have to take the knowledge test, the Class 7 driving test, and the Class 5 driving test. The Class 5, full test is taken at least two years after you pass the Class 7 test. It has been a long and rough journey to get my full driver’s license. I actually got Covid during the time I was supposed to take my Class 5 test, so that had to be canceled and then rescheduled. I was so happy when I got my full driver’s license.

Celebrating my graduation (two years late!)

I graduated with my BSW at the start of the pandemic in 2020. There was no closure. Everything ended so abruptly that I 100% believe it impacted me negatively. I didn’t bother attending my virtual graduation.

The university held an in-person graduation ceremony for my class in late 2022. I didn’t attend that one either. I didn’t celebrate my graduation at all. In December 2022, I thought about it some more and changed my mind. I thought that I should celebrate my graduation, so I bought a charm for myself. I wear it on my bracelet every day. It’s the Celebration Cake Dangle Charm by Pandora, and it has the word “Congrats” on it. There’s a strawberry on the cake, and I just really like how the charm looks. I like the idea of collecting charms that represent the milestones in your life.

I’d like to thank my boyfriend, family, friends, and WordPress family for your love and support. Thanks for reading!

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).

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Edit on November 14, 2022: I bought a Bulbasaur keycap a little while ago. My keyboard feels more complete.

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.

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.

Festival of Lights @ Vandusen Park!

I went to the Festival of Lights at Vandusen Park in early December, back when the daily Covid case count wasn’t too bad. It’s a bit worrying how high the daily case count is now in British Columbia.

Some of the lights reminded me of fireflies!

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Canada Post Community Foundation Fireflies stamp (2021) to compare.

2021 Year-End Review

I started writing year-end review posts last year. Click here to read my post from 2020.

1. I got into crafts, and I credit the pandemic as the main reason. I’ve been into art since I was a kid, but I didn’t do much of it. Since I stayed home all of last year and the beginning of 2021, I had to do something with all my free time. I attended a virtual workshop for clay, and I became interested in learning how to make a bunch of different crafts. I mostly learned how to do everything by myself, and I’ve made a lot more than what you see here. I still do all of these things.

2. I got a boyfriend. In early 2020, I started writing letters to a guy I knew but was not close with. Becoming penpals was random and spontaneous, but it brought joy to my mundane life. Again, I stayed at home for all of 2020. The guy lives in the same province, so he sometimes brought me bubble tea to my door, socially distanced-style. For this reason, he was the person I saw the most in 2020. And I guess one thing led to another.

Moya knows him as the four-leaf clover guy because my boyfriend surprised me with four-leaf clovers before we started dating. He knew that I like four-leaf clovers, and it was his first time finding them.

3. Blogging and cosplaying were hit negatively. I’m not sure if these were because I have other interests now or because of other reasons. I haven’t been to a convention in a long time, but at least I’m still posting every once in a while. Oh, and you will find me most active on my Instagram or Twitter.

I’ve been thinking about the future directions of my blog and social media accounts. Stay tuned for a post about that in the near future.

4. I am still enjoying the little things in life. This was one of the points I made in last year’s post. The people around me have told me that they’ve noticed this about me, and I’m grateful for what I have and who I am today.

Please let me know how 2021 has been for you. Send me a link if you make a post like this!

Dinner with Moya (Again)

I met up with Moya not too long ago (Click here for the post), and I recently saw her again. We had dinner, and I went to her place afterward for a nice chat.

I only know Moya because of blogging. We went to the same university, but we majored in different fields. I saw Moya on the bus to school a few times, but that was it. If not for blogging, we would have just been strangers on the bus. Interesting, right?