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TheDianaEdition.com

My humble beginnings as a lifestyle blogger.

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The Ordinary Haul and Review

19/10/2017
Hi everyone, it's been a quick minute since I've last been on here! You might have seen me post on IG about my frustrations with blogging and instagram so I took a step back but I'm still here! J

Today we'll be talking about a wildly popular beauty company that I'm sure you've heard of already called The Ordinary- a Toronto based company based on no frills with incredibly affordable prices. 

EDIT; as of yesterday they've confirmed that they've opened up a store in financial district so we can all wave goodbye to my money and say hello to more of these reviews!


I've visited their store in Yorkville a number of times and can never leave empty handed, so here is a compilation of the things that I've purchased and my thoughts on them.

Vitamin C
Now I didn't just buy pure vitamin C (that's not really possible) but the reason that this is titled 'Vitamin C' instead of the full name is because I've bought a Vitamin C product from the Ordinary twice with differentiating results.

A bit of science behind Vitamin C- it's a powerful antioxidant that helps fight against free radicals and UVA/UVB rays (make sure that you're still wearing your sunscreen though!) however it is extremely unstable… thus any vitamin C in a lightly coloured/clear jar is a no no. As well, vitamin C products with water in them or ones in a jar (instead of a pump/dropper) aren't the greatest as they'll oxidize real quick rendering them useless on your skin.

The first Vitamin C product is housed in dehydrated spheres of hyaluronic acid (science EH?) in order to get around the dilemma of no water within the product. As such though, the texture of the product is rough. You can feel the spherical balls when you're rubbing it into your face and it feels like fine sandpaper but then dissolves into your skin quickly. It took me a while to get used to it, but seeing as I use it every morning before my sunscreen (as per reasons above!), I found that it was far too rough for my liking. So I looked into other options and found an oil based one housed in vitamin F.

I much prefer this one as the oil is super thin and easy to absorb, however the vitamin C derivative is different than the one above, and it has 20% vit C instead of 23%. None the less, the difference of 3% isn't enough to over take the texture of it, especially as it contains vitamin F. This product is about 4x as expensive, but still under $20 (insane prices right?). Is it enough of a price difference for me to choose one or the other? Maybe, at the 'expensive' price point of $20, that's still not that expensive.

This product is made as a treatment that you can use to help with acne/spots and boyyy does it work. I always had those tiny little bumps on my forehead, but with fairly consistent use of this product it went away quickly. Now that I'm also using a retinol a few times a week and Vitamin C as well, I can no longer use it every night because it negatively reacts to Vitamin C, so head warning not to use them together. The texture is a bit sticky/tacky… like a thick serum. Once I run out of it I might see if my skin returns back to its normal state or whether or not consistent use of other products will help to keep the bumps at bay. None the less, yes yes and yes to this product.

Basic moisturizer that does its job... no frills and I've repurchased it three times already. They do have a larger size of the product however it's always sold out whenever I go into the stores (ahem... far too often). It's honestly just so easy and simple with a great price point so it's become a Holy Grail product for me. Interesting fact, the name of the moisturizer (NMF for short) is actually the clinical terminology for the product and it contains products that are naturally occurring in the skin.

My first dable into a Vitamin A product that I use twice a week at night now, I'm really loving the results with it so far! I see a difference in terms of my pore size, skin texture and especially tone. Currently I'm using the 'beginner' version of retinoid which isn't as potent so that my skin doesn't react badly to it. Once I finish this bottle I might look into options for the stronger variations as I've had no negative reaction to it. They offer a variety of retinoid products so there's one for everyone. It's great for acne and especially as an anti-wrinkle tool if you use it consistently. I really love this stuff and the squalene gives it hydration as well so you don't experience the dryness and flakiness that usually comes with retinoids.

This is great as a spot treatment however seeing as the other treatments have been really good to my skin (YAY!) I don't use this one often (or ever really) because when I do it causes my skin to feel dry and many times it's recommended to not mix salicylic acid with other products that I use.

This company is a hugeee hit, and it's only been around for about a year. Cheers to Deciem and the Ordinary for shaking things up, and making skincare both affordable and accessible for all.


Still on my list to try include the glycolic acid toner and the buffet serum but I'm sure it's on everyone's list because they're always sold out! Have you tried any of these products? What are some of your favourite things from the Ordinary? 

25 Things That I've Learned in 25 Years

13/10/2017
Ah yes, you must have been expecting this post to come up! I took a bit of a hiatus with my blog so what better way to ease back into the swing of things with a classic blog post. It's one of my favourite posts to read so I figured that I would join the band wagon before my birthday on Sunday. It took me a few weeks to put it together because I wanted to be sure that I didn't just throw together a few things last minute, rather I wanted a thought out and cultivated list. Who knows what ideas I'll think of next year! 

Keep reading below to see the key things that I've learned so far in life! 

· Take the time to invest in how you look
· You're never to young to start saving and investing your money
· It's ok to not like beer (because let's be honest here, it makes you bloated af and doesn't even taste that great)
·  Travelling is great and all, but don't do it because you 'have to'. There's nothing wrong with staying to work or help out at home
· You will never have your shit together (maybe for a week or two but then you'll be back to googling 'how to get my shit together')
· Do things that are out of your comfort zone
· Give yourself more time than needed to get from one place to another (especially on your first day at a new job.... as per what happened to me this week)
·    Learning how to wake up early is an amazing blessing
·   If you think you're going to be cold or uncomfortable then you probably will be so bring an extra sweater (or two!)
·   No one likes a negative Nancy
·  Be a badass lady and don't take shit from anyone
·  Sleep should always be made a priority
·  Plan ahead. Plan ahead. Plan ahead.
·  Stay in your own lane (!!!!!!!!!!!)
·  Flexibility and learning to go with the flow will get you very far in life without a headache
·  Small talk is only awkward if you make it awkward
·  Everyone is too busy worrying about themselves to worry about you
·  Life is full of problems, you will never not have problems. Solve them and move on to the next one
·    It's not about being too busy, it's about priorities
·  Do things now that your future self will thank you for (like wearing your sunscreen... everyday!)
·  You can either have excuses or results (also there's a 90% chance that all of your excuses are BS anyways)
·  Working on your weaknesses is good, but you'll get much further if you learn your strengths and play to them
·  Spend the extra money for an UberX instead of an Uber Pool
·  Enjoy the little things in life (Like a hot mug of tea or waking up from a great sleep)

Do you have a favourite one here, or do you think I'm missing something important? Let me know in the comments below!

Thanks for reading :)

What Every Woman Needs at her Office Desk

19/09/2017
Anyone else in the corporate world here? *Raises Hand* 
Once you start working 5 days a week, you realize just how many things you should bring with you or you need at your desk as it quickly becomes your second home- I mean you're there for 8 hours a day so you know that there will be things that you need or problems that need to be fixed before that team meeting with the new VP.



Keep reading below for things that you should always keep at your desk so that you're never in an awkward pickle!

Change of Clothes
Who has not spilled coffee on themselves before and important meeting? Find that person please and show them to me. It's so important to have an extra change of clothes in the case of multiple accidents, rips, spills, period stains etc etc etc. Even if it doesn't match your outfit, you can at least do a quick change while you go to the washroom to fix whatever the situation.

Mini Makeup Bag
So I'm a person who usually brings concealer with them everywhere... if the rest of my makeup is failing, as long as i have my zits and spots covered, I'm golden. If you've had a late night or literally have zero time to do your makeup in the morning, this will at least make you seem presentable... ish. You can create your own mini makeup kit that you always have handy with your top go to makeup items... blush, bronzer, lipstick, foundation... whatever it may be so that you can look and feel polished within a matter of minutes.

Nailpolish Remover and Nailpolish
I'm the kind of person who goes to get manis on their lunch time break because I hate that they're chipping or that cuticles my cuticles are dry. Now, depending on the kind of office you have, you might be able to do this at your desk or you'll have to run to the washroom to do this. Nailpolish might be a bit too intense, but it's a risk that I'm willing to take! One of the AVPs that I used to work with would paint her nails in her office in her regular with zero facks given... You go girl!!!

Scarf
Anyone else get super cold all the time while at work is it that just me? None the less, a scarf to drape over your shoulders or over your bare legs will help to not make you feel like you're in Antartica. Beware, the entire office will ask you 'are you cold?' every minute of every day but you can now answer 'no' because you're wearing said scarf. :)

Mug and Teas
Office people live off of coffee and tea... any hot liquids in general, and if you'v ever read an article about saving money you would know that the first thing on the list is to not buy your morning coffee and make it at home. Although yes this is true, we still all do it. I would recommend skipping your second cup of coffee and brewing some tea. Much cheaper and cosy as well because it's in your own mug. I love being able to make different types of teas at work depending on how I'm feeling. It also helps that there's a David's Tea around the corner from me.

Utensils
Always keep a spare of all utensils with you so that you never have to worry about bringing it with you every day, or running out to a store and awkwardly stealing some plastic cutlery before leaving without buying anything.

Do you guys have any suggestions or holy grail products that you keep with you at your desk? Let me know in the comments below!

-Diana

How to Transition from Summer into Fall

15/09/2017
How is it fall already?

How?

Fall


I'm not a fan of this, the days, months and seasons pass by way to fast for my liking. Although I'm a fall baby (Libras where you at?) I really do enjoy summer, getting to walk outside and feel the heat of the sun warm up your skin, wearing sandals and dresses, ice cream and patios for days. This is the life. Although fall has a certain coziness to it, summer is where the fun is at!

Edit: This post was started in August when it was cold AF and now that it's mid September and we're getting sunshine and weather that feels like 31 degrees, this post might seem strange... and alas, (just like our weather this year) it is. 

In this blog post, here are some things that you can do to make your transition into fall a bit easier, things that you do already in the summer that are important to carry on into the colder months (even when it's not easy!). If you're interested, I also wrote one about how to update your life for spring (check it out). 

Continue to Stay Active

Before the weather gets freezing cold, make sure that you put on a few extra layers and some comfy boots and you'll still be good to enjoy walks outside. Hit up your local park or running trail and enjoy the crispness of the air, the colours of the leaves and the crunch of them under your boots. Try to keep going to the gym on a consistent basis so that once winter hits, you'll still be in the groove of going to the gym every week. If you have a membership to Goodlife, check out this post about the different workout classes that Goodlife offers and my reviews of them. I've tried out a bunch of them and still have so many more to do and discover!

Transition your Wardrobe, Skincare and Makeup

Now you'll be looking more into transition pieces, more layers, and darker colours. Before you officially pack everything away, see what you want to sell or donate so that you don't have the stuff laying around for 6 months only to donate it once the summer comes back around.

For skincare, look into thicker moisturizers and serums, different textures and products that'll give you more moisture as the cold air but dry indoors wreck havoc on your skin's moisture barrier. Introducing overnight masks like ones from Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask (I'm currently using and it's so good!) or doing sheet masks will help to keep your skin soft and supple. It's important to stay consistent with this as the dry air of the indoor heating and the cold wind from outside will wreak havoc on your skin as the months go by. The overnight moisturizer is great (LaNeige has some great options as well!) because I wake up with such soft and supply skin, but it doesn't feel like I have a film on my face, it sinks in like moisturizer but works double duty while you're sleeping to really moisturize your skin.

Makeup wise, get back into them red and burgundy lips! Matte darker colours work well but just be sure that you're lining your lips properly so that the colour doesn't bleed.

Anyone else become so aware of their own lips when they wear a really creamy dark/bright lipstick?

Other great options are bronzer and blush so that you look somewhat alive while your skin starts looking like the same colour as the snow.

Continuing Education 

This topic was one of the first posts that I ever posted and although I would like to say that my writing has gotten better (I can't confirm as I find it weird to reread things that I've published long ago)- the idea is still the same. It's important to work on your mind just as it's also important to look after your body. You can take an online course, a part time evening/weekend course or just go on youtube and read books about something that interests you; finance, cars, science etc. This is the time where you can pursue your passions as taking one course isn't as hard to balance as you think it might be with work/life/home.. it's all about priorities. It's also great for employers to see that you're doing things to further your skills, even if it isn't directly related to your job. They want to see that you're proactive with learning and it'll help to give you a leg up against other coworkers who are applying for the same job.

Change your meals

So seeing as I still live at home, my mom does most (i.e. 95% of the cooking at home) so full disclaimer, this is advice that I have to take! Look into the options for different cookbooks and meals and go to your local farmers market to cook with the fall fruits and vegetables to your benefit (Pumpkin! Squash! Apples!) and see what you can make with them. As the nights get chillier it's nice to have some warm stew in your tummy to heat you up (especially after a long walk!) and I've heard of a number of great cookbooks that you can use that aren't too hard to go through.

Fact: One of me #lifegoals is to cook through an entire cookbook and try every recipe.

Figure out your Finances

Now, as someone who works in finance I pretty much say this all the time to my friends, and yet, they still don't. None the less, that's not the reason that I'm writing this. In the blink of an eye people will be talking about Christmas and New Years and you know what? Das esspensiveeee. Start saving now for those expenses and you'll be happy that you started so early. A tip that I learned from a customer while I was working at a bakery in high school is to save all of your loonies and toonies. Whenever you pay with cash, any loonies or toonies that you get- STASH them away. By the time that Christmas comes around (I mean... Halloween will be here soon and then BOOM, Christmas jingles), you'll have way more money than you ever imagined. Note- this only works if you actually pay in cash and not with card so us millennials might have a problem with this tip.

There are a number of ways that you can figure out your finances, learning how to invest, opening up a TFSA/RRSP account, creating a budget, or even opening up your first credit card. You'll be glad that you started, even if it's just one step... it's one step closer to being financially fit.

If you're looking for other ways to save money, check out my post about the benefits of living at home!

Thanks for reading my thoughts about transitioning from summer to fall! What are you guys the most excited about for fall?

To answer the question that you're all thinking; yes, snuggling in bed with a warm cup of tea, pumpkin spice lattes, fall jackets and boots are all valid answers ;)

Starting a Blog and Blogger Problems

11/09/2017
So you want to start a blog do you? Fine and dandy, take some pics, use some hashtags, write some stuff and then BOOM you’re jetsetting from country to country with companies, getting loads of swag and doing designer bag hauls every week.

Blogging is one of those things that you think is easy and then you start and you realize just how time consuming it can be and how much effort you have to dedicate to it. Read below for some of the things that you need to start blogging and common frustrations of being a blogger!

Starting a Blog


Blog Name

First, what’s your blog name? You want to have a name that is memorable and easy and will stay relative throughout time. Starting a blog while your pregnant and then calling your blog MommaToBe is great for 9 months… but once you give birth the name is no longer that relative. Personally, I like blog/insta names that include your own name in it. Having a name like “fashionlover32"1 doesn’t remind me of WHO the blogger is. If you’re struggling with your blog name I’d recommend that you read this post by Lauryn Evarts from The Skinny Confidential about what to do if you’re stuck on a name. The post looks at why your blog name is important but it shouldn’t stop you from starting your blog. Tons of people (myself included) don’t start their blog because they can’t think of a name which is a big no no.

Truth be told, I changed my name from dajadaily to thedianaedition about a month into starting my blog and instagram. Dajadaily (Daja is my nick name and you pronounce it die-ah) never fully vibed with me as it included my nickname (not my real name) and I didn’t like the ‘daily’ aspect of it (because I knew that I wouldn't be posted daily). None the less, I had pressure on my butt to think of a name and change it. Once I thought of thedianaedition, I took the name and confirmed that it was available on all social media... I would recommend for you to try to keep your username consistent across all social media platforms if you can. 


Starting a BlogBlog Platform

You also need to find a blog host and buy your website. Granted, you can use your website and have it end with .blogger.com or wordpress.com at the end of it, but that doesn’t seem as ‘put together’ IMO. This means that you have to pay for your website (annoying), but you also have to design it as well. I chose blogger because I didn’t even think too much about it but if I could go back, I would likely look into wordpress as I know that it’s quite popular and has more customization features. Then- the layout. This is what gave me the long delay between starting my insta and launching my blog… probably a solid 4 months. I tried designing the website myself.. please don’t do that if you love yourself, just buy a website design. I found mine on etsy, however pipdig is another popular one. Mine cost about $10 and it came with instructions for how to ‘install’ it onto my blogger platform. This was single handidly the biggest jump to finally start launching my blog. (confetti emojis all around!!)

Organization

This is something that I've been struggling with a lot but it's getting better! You have to write out ideas and topics, start creating the post, editing, shooting pictures, and figure out when to post it well in advance. If it's February 10th, it's a bit late to post something about what to wear for 

 Valentine's day. You want to give your readers enough time so that they can use your information and tips to their advantage. Doing something last minute only gives you a few days to create and edit the post as well as the photos which seems like enough time, until you have writers block, the weather isn't great for shooting or your camera dies.

My main point here?


Plan, plan, plan!


Frustrations


Starting a blog can be uncomfortable at first… and it still is for me. Who am I to write about organizational tips, the best beauty products and my workout routine? Who's gonna listen to me? What are my credentials about these topics? Learning about different strategies to grow, telling your family and friends, taking pictures in public, putting yourself out there for the world... it's all really strange but you have to trust your gut and remember why you decided to start. Fear took a huge role in delaying me starting my blog... probably a solid year of thinking about it before executing it! Think of the growth and things that I could have accomplished if I started a year earlier.

When you see people who have been on instagram for only a month or two and having 23x the amount of followers but only a quarter the amount of photos of you…. Although you’re aware that it’s not a contest, you can’t help to wonder what they’re doing differently than you. You've also likely heard about the insta algorithm, the follow/unfollow game and the ever so popular bots. These things can drive you insane "what is she doing?" you whisper to yourself as you see another few thousand followers casually pop up on her feed while you're struggling to reach 1000. 

My Thoughts?


Starting a Blog

Focus on your blog and social media, get better at taking pictures, editing and writing and the followers will come. Be consistent and realize that you might haveto spend some money; not a lot, but you do need to pay for a few basic things like your blog domain, props, software and potentially a camera. Look for support from other new bloggers, reach out to people and don't be afraid. Everyone started at one point, even the most successful instagrammers and bloggers started with the push of a button and followers in the single digits.


What do you guys think? What are your favourite and least favourite things about starting your own blog? Leave your thoughts below in the comments!


-Diana


Fall Goals

08/09/2017
Snuggle up in a blanket, drink some tea and light some candles because fall is here and in today's post we're talking about my fall goals. 

I feel like spring and fall are always the seasons that instil change in people. Yes there are always New Years resolutions but those are fairly short lived as you quickly realize that you're in debt, gained weight, pale, and that winter is nowhere close to being done so your motivation dwindles fast.

Fall Autumn Goals

I love the idea of goal setting, but it's one thing to say that you're gonna do it and another thing to actually work towards your goals every day. Here are a few of my goals that I plan to accomplish for the fall and seeing as I'm writing it out to the whole wide internet, hopefully it'll make sure that I stay on track while also giving some inspiration to everyone that's reading it.

Note: Maybe I could do a follow up post to this and say how I've done and problems I've encountered or ways that have helped me to stay on track? Let me know in the comments if this would interest you!

Fitness

Recently I've gotten into yoga a lot more, but I also want to continue doing weight lifting so I have to make sure to go consistently and switch it up between the two of them. I feel as if it's so much easier to go to the gym in the summer because you don't have to deal with the cold weather and dark nights, however I do hope that I can continue to go 2-3 times a week, even as the weather starts to change. I recently went to women's only Goodlife and I'm pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed it. I'm not uncomfortable when I go to a regular gym, however I feel a bit more comfortable when I go to a women's only one, so I hope that going there will make it easier for me to go consistently. It also helps that there's a Loblaws downstairs from it because they have a great pastries area!

If you go to Goodlife Fitness in Canada, check out this post on my review of different workout classes that they offer!

Blogging

I want to be more consistent with posting on my blog and social media sites. I find that although I have the best of intentions to post and create content, I tend to procrastinate with actually making the final edits to my post, sometimes posting things much later than expected and having long lulls between content. I've now set up a schedule for posting with some other posts being sprinkled here and there. I don't want to post bad content so I want to have content created weeks in advance and write it down in my moleskine agenda to keep me on track. I also want to post every day on Instagram and be more active on Twitter and Pinterest. Follow me if you haven't yet :)

Continuing Education

Giving the fact that I work in finance, I'm currently in the process of studying for yet another finance exam (eye roll) which is so annoying but c'est la vie ya know? As this is something that I'm doing to further my career, I think it's important to work on other hobbies or skills for my own enjoyment and personal development. Things that I enjoy include learning languages, working on my blog and just learning new facts and concepts in general. With that being said, I want to read more books, listen to podcasts, watch more Ted talk videos and documentaries in order to expand my mind. Do you recommend anything specific for me to read/watch?

One of my first posts on my blog is about the importance of continuing education if you wanna check it out :)

Career
I'm one of those people who gets bored of their job after about 9-12 months. Once I've figured out what I'm doing and am able to do it on autopilot, my brain turns to mush and I just want to find another job. Currently that's where I'm at. I want to change jobs and look for something new and exciting within the bank so I'll have to do a lot of networking, additional education and workshops to meet new people and hone in on my existing skills. It's true when people say that networking is so important... even though I kinda wanna ignore that but alas, c'est la vie.

Do you guys have any goals that you're looking to complete this fall? Let me know in the comments below!

-Diana

Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting University

05/09/2017
With summer coming to an end, it's time to kick your life into full gear. No matter if you're going back to school or you work full time, fall is a fresh start for everyone.  Today's post is about the things that I wish I did while I was in university, ways to be more productive, better time management, making new friends and getting better grades. When fall rolls around it's hard not to feel a little excitement about the weather and 'back to school feels' before having a twang of sadness that you're now climbing the corporate ladder instead.


Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting University

When I was in university I was looking forward to working full time, and although I prefer working over being a student (who can say no to a stable pay cheque?) there are still aspects of post-secondary that I miss. Being able to see your friends, choose your schedule, have more freedom and choices than you do while you're working. Here are some tips for those of you who are still in school.

 Note, this is from my perspective as a student who still lived at home and commuted ~1 hour each way to school. As such your experience might be way different than mine, this is just my 2 cents.

Choose your Schedule Wisely
In university I minored in French and as there are limited numbers of classes I had two options. Either take the class from 9-11am twice a week, or take the same class from 6-8pm twice a week. At that time I was looking through my course catalogue imagining how nice it would be to sleep in instead of waking up early (like I was used to in high school) so I circled the 6-8 pm course and went along my merry way. Wow do I regret that. I would sleep in during the morning and then slowly start getting ready to go to school. By the time I got home at night (after an hour commute!) the weather, the weight of my backpack and a full day of classes mentally exhausted me, so I would just go to bed instead of doing any homework....this started a horrible cycle of "I'll just do it tomorrow" and then finding every excuse in the book to wait yet another day.

Really look into the options that you have for classes. Do they offer similar classes at different times? Where are they located on campus? Will it take you a while to walk from Class A to Class B? These are all questions that you need to ask before deciding on taking a course. It might even be worth it to skip a course until next year/semester so that it can fit your schedule better. 

Use Downtime to your Advantage
Sometimes when I would have an hour between classes I would just chill; by myself, on my phone, with friends or go for a walk. I would highly recommend that you use any and all time to your advantage. If you have an hour between classes, go directly from class A to class B and sit down in the room/hallway and do some readings or homework while waiting. If you have an essay you can jot down major points and start figuring out your thesis. You can start searching for books and articles to put on hold at the library for you to pick up. It's so easy to just have this little hour long breaks just slip by and then before you know it, you've completed a full day of classes but haven't actually completed any work.

Make a Schedule and Stick to it 
Schedule in everything, hanging out with friends, study sessions, work, going to the gym etc etc etc. By doing so it makes it a lot easier to stick to the plan instead of "doing it later".  Later, this word should be your enemy while you're in school! Seriously just buckle down and start it now! After a few weeks in school you should start to get a hang of things so now is when you should know how long on average it takes to do readings/homework/assignments per class, so change your schedule accordingly. Maybe in the beginning you have more time for friends and the gym, but once midterms come around, you might have to rearrange some things.

Write it Down and Plan Ahead
Literally it's so easy to do and yet I wish that I was better at it. Now that I'm done school I love my moleskin notebook, I carry it with me and I love cracking it open and filling up the pages. The main problem with using a planner in university was; 1- the agenda was too big for me to carry everywhere and 2- "I'll just write it down later". Go to the bookstore and buy a cute agenda for $20. The ones at school are free however they're large and clunky so I always hated carrying it around with me, and as such, I barely carried it around and never used it, so it was as if I essentially never even owned an agenda, rather relying on "I'll just remember it".

Maybe paper agendas aren't your thing, but seriously, there's an app for that. Whatever it may be to help keep you organized, there's an app for it. 

Use your friends to your advantage and make sure that you keep each other accountable, either with sticking to a study schedule or something as simple as keeping each other accountable for writing in your agendas.

Use your Resources
There are honestly so many resources available for students; financial, physical, educational and psychological- you just have to put in the time and effort to find them and use them. Don't be ashamed. I always had a twinge of guilt that I was going to get extra help because 1- I was nervous about how stupid I would appear to the teacher/TA/student helping me out 2- I would have rather hung out with my friends 3- I didn't want to trek to another part of campus (especially during winter)

Honestly, those are all really stupid excuses (#firstyearmistakes)

Side note, my friends and I would always laugh about #firstyearmistakes that we did because seriously being new in post secondary is a huge change relative to high school.

Join Extra-Curriculur Activities
Now this is probably the most cliché one that there is and I do say it with a grain of salt. Joining a sports team or some sort of club is a great way to meet new people, no doubt about it. But in between a full course load, a part time job, friends, commuting and trying to get ample sleep , I couldn't justify yet another commitment, especially when the hours were all over the place. Sports practices could last as late at 10pm but if I had class until 4.... I didn't want to herp derp around campus for that long. Yes of course I could study, but I couldn't relax at all because I wasn't at home and had my bag with me.

Figure out the Campus Hot Spots
What I mean by this isn't wifi hotspots (although important) or drinking hot spots, rather places where you can find a microwave to heat up your food. Find a place where you're allowed to eat and relax; couches, cheap eating options etc etc. Libraries are great and all but what about just hanging out with your friends? Where do you heat up last nights spaghetti and where can I refill my tea with free hot water?

Also, washrooms.

Figure out where the best washrooms are because when you have layers and layers of clothes, a heavy backpack, headphones and your lunch bag, you need to figure out where you can go to a clean washroom where you have enough space to turn around and put your stuff down.

What do you think are some of the things that you would have told your younger self before starting post-secondary? Or better yet, what are some of your #firstyearmistakes? Let me know in the comments below!

-Diana