Feel Good Tunes

So school officially started today and my first class (sadly) is statistics. I’m generally a math person, but for some reason, the very thought of statistics strikes fear in to my little heart. It might be because of all the abstract concepts, or the fact that my lecture is three whole hours long, but either way, I’m more than a little nervous to start off this year!

When I woke up this morning, to get myself ready for my first day, I played some of the most upbeat and cheerful music I could think of. It really did wonders to pick up my mood, amazing what a little dancing or singing along to your favourite music can do when you’re in a low mood!

So, to all of us students who have some difficult and stressful days ahead of us, here are some feel good tunes that never fail to pick me up (and will hopefully do the same for you)!

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  1. Feel Again – OneRepublic (this one never gets old I swear)
  2. Wherever I Go – OneRepublic
  3. Future Looks Good – OneRepublic (clearly you can tell I love OneRepublic)
  4. Bailar – Deorro ft. Elvis Crespo
  5. Catch & Release – Matt Simons (Deepend Remix)
  6. The Greatest – Sia
  7. Side to Side – Ariana Grande
  8. Kids – MGMT
  9. Moves Like Jagger – Maroon 5
  10. On Top of the World – Imagine Dragons (P.S. This video is actually so good)
  11. This Girl – Kung’s and Cookin’ on 3 Burners
  12. Dog Days are Over – Florence + The Machine
  13. Budapest – George Ezra
  14. Hymn For The Weekend – Coldplay (love this collab with Beyonce)
  15. Adventure of a Lifetime – Coldplay

Those are some of my favourite feel good tunes, and I really hope they can lift your spirit like they did mine this morning! Never underestimate the power of some good music, it really does wonders!

Here’s to (finally) starting this new school year! I can’t wait to see what second year has in store!

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The First One

So, I know I technically call Pin & Daisy a fashion and lifestyle blog, but as you can probably tell, it’s been a bit more life instead of fashion. I have a few reasons for this, but mainly, because summer sent me for a whirl! This week has been all about transitioning back in to real life, and as such, I finally made some time and shot a little outfit post for y’all – my first one ever in fact!

On the way to a haircut (which I was way early for), my Blogapher (Blog Photographer – get it hahaha?) and I found the cutest little market and accompanying wall, in Parkdale. The market (very sadly) was still closed, but we took full advantage of the wall, which was a perfect backdrop for today’s low key outfit!

Speaking of Blogaphers (he created his own title I swear), I’d like to introduce you to the lovely guy behind the camera for Pin & Daisy! My best friend David (who is in school for Opera singing – rad I know) takes great shots and is part of the family over here! You should totally go follow him on Instagram, for pics of his (epic) red hair and awesome self!

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Here is David in all his red-headed glory early yesterday!

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Blouse – Old Navy (similar) // Shorts – H&M (similar) // White Converse // Purse – Dooney & Bourke (similar) // Sunnies – Forever21

Today was humid and generally disgusting in Toronto, so I dressed more for comfort and ease than anything else, but I’m loving the vintage/minimalist vibe either way. I got this blouse after a biology exam in April (random I know). It was honestly a little bit of an impulse buy, but I love how vintagey the cut is without being frumpy or old looking (also it’s in my favourite colours – navy and white – so how can you go wrong).

My Dooney & Bourke purse goes with me pretty much everywhere, and is a great purse if you’re looking for something small and easy to wear.

Seriously though, how cute is this wall?? I can’t get over it! Will likely be returning to this spot to take photos a few more times (and to actually look inside the market when it’s open).

Hope you’re all surviving this crazy hot weather!

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Back to the Grind I Guess

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Well, I guess it’s finally happening, a new school year is upon us and while I’ve been looking forward to it for a while, it is a little bitter sweet. Summer vacation is now officially over for most, and the call of Professors and textbooks is all too familiar.

I won’t lie, I’m a little nervous for my second year of university! Things were pretty crazy in my first year and while it was totally awesome in the end, I don’t know what to expect going in to this year. Either way, I’m looking forward to more boundary stepping and comfort zone pushing this year, let’s make it a great one! However you feel about this next chapter in your life (if you’re nervous like me, don’t worry about it too much), I hope you face it with a smile, because you’ve totally got this!

It’s so odd, I remember moving in to my dorm last September. It was crazy, my first year! I could hardly believe it! I was so shy that I stayed in my room all day until my roommate finally moved in later that night, we’d met a few weeks earlier and she was the only person I knew in my residence. I’d never been away from my parents more than a week (wasn’t a camp kind of kid) and had no idea what to expect from living in a dorm. It was a crazy year, filled with ups, downs, and a couple of 360 loops, but I’m here now, a year later, and I’ve become an entirely different person.

I sat down a couple days ago to write this post and didn’t exactly know what I wanted to say. I’ve written a lot over the last month about advice, and what you can do to be successful academically in university, but no amount of articles or tips will prepare you for the crazy so many of you are about to embark on. Even if you’re not going in to first year, and instead are stepping in to high school or middle school for the first time, the feeling is much the same. Everything is different, and there are so many unknown unknown’s that it’s overwhelming.

I guess if there’s anything I really want to tell you, it’s good luck, and I know this is going to be an incredible year for you! I hope you are faced with neat challenges and that you step out of your comfort zone, even if it’s just a tiny bit. I hope you make new best friends, go on adventures and make awesome memories with them, and I hope you make time to take care of your mind and body, that you get enough sleep every night, drink enough water every day and exercise even though it sucks some times!

This year, I hope you take a great big step towards becoming the person you want to be. Join a random club, talk to the girl sitting alone in the cafeteria, and study hard. It probably won’t be all fun and games, but even when it gets tough, I’m sure you’ll be able to soldier through.

If you’re looking for more detailed advice, here are some posts I’ve written about school:

Good luck to all you guys in this new school year! You’re all going to kill it!

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The First Week Of University

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While school has already started for a bunch of people, I have one week left to savour summer vacation and relax before I drown in readings and assignments.

The first week of university is simultaneously the best, and worst week of the year. You’re totally overwhelmed with information about your classes, new people, and might even be starting to feel a little bit home sick. On the other hand, you’re enjoying tons of freedom, and have a newfound sense of confidence and responsibility. Either way, that first week is daunting, especially when your first class is with 1500 other people!

Here are thirteen things you can do in that crazy first week to set yourself up for an awesome semester!

Buy an Agenda — I’ve heard it all:“I had an agenda in high school but I never used it.” and “I have a really good memory, I won’t forget about it.” or “I’m not organized enough to use an agenda.” Does any of this sound familiar? If it does, forget the excuses, and buy yourself an agenda. While your first week (or even month) of university might seem incredibly easy and relaxed, don’t be fooled! Things will pick up soon enough, and when they do, you’ll have no idea what hit you. Having an agenda will help you organize your time and make sure you’re on top of things in the midst of midterm and exam chaos.

Organization and time management is so much more important in university than it ever was in high school, so it’s helpful to have a system for keeping track of everything. It doesn’t really matter what agenda you have, but make sure it fits your needs and is small enough that you can take it with you wherever you go. Write down important dates as you become aware of them, and use it to plan what work you need to get done every day. This way it’ll be pretty difficult to miss a deadline and you’ll be on top of your readings and assignments. You can rest easy knowing that any important information about your classes and projects, have been written down and are easy to find.

Print Out Your Syllabi — These packets of paper are your lifeline for each one of your classes. Once you get them, print them out, hole punch them, and store them together in a folder.

Before your classes start, go through each syllabus and highlight important information including: your professors name and contact information, office hours, test and exam dates, assignment deadlines, and anything else you think will be important to know. As soon as you’ve highlighted these things, you can start transferring important information to other places. Test and due dates should be added to your calendar (I use the mac calendar app) and your agenda, so you have easy access to them, and contact info can be written down in your agenda or on your class schedule.

Keep your syllabi safe, they’ll be helpful once exam time comes around and you can’t remember exactly what sections you covered in class.

Make a Schedule — This might sound like overkill to some, but I always find it incredibly helpful to write out a schedule for the semester and hang it on my bulletin board. My schedule usually involves all my classes, work hours, volunteer times and when I plan to workout.

Having a visual representation of how your day will look is really helpful when things start getting more hectic and time management becomes key. It’ll also make it easier for you to plan what work you can do each day and when, so you stay on top of everything.

Find your Classes — To avoid getting lost and feeling anxious about going to class, do a mock run. Write down each building and room number and visit each of them before your classes actually start. This way you’ll know how to get to class on the first day and you’ll look like a pro doing it (who knows, maybe other freshman will even ask you for directions)!

Start your Readings — Don’t be fooled by the easy going vibe of the first week or two of school. Start your readings and try to get ahead while things are still settling. You’ll thank yourself for putting in the extra effort when midterms arrive and you have a bit more room to breathe.

Figure Out the Textbook Situation — Don’t buy your textbooks weeks in advance. Wait until school starts and check the updated syllabus to make sure they haven’t changed. Your professors will likely also mention whether the textbook is actually necessary in your first class. This way you can avoid buying books you won’t actually use.

Find your Library — You’ll be spending a lot of time at the library, so it’s in your best interest to find it (or one of them) during your first week. University libraries often host a bunch of informative intro courses for first years (and anyone else who’d like to take them) so you can become comfortable with the way your school’s library system works. Trust me, going to the library for the first time when you need to do major research for a paper isn’t exactly stress-free. Help yourself out and get familiar with the library system asap!

Find a Study Spot — This is something I cannot stress enough! Find a place you can study effectively on campus as soon as possible! Having a place you know, you study well in takes away a lot of stress and also eliminates the time you’ll spend figuring out where to go for a study session.

You don’t have to make a big deal about this at first (it is only the first week after all), but try to find a spot you enjoy the atmosphere of and is conducive to your study style. Later on in the semester you can always find new spots, but it certainly helps to know one off the bat, even if it’s not quite perfect.

Join a Club — Just do it! Look up your school’s club directory, and narrow it down to one or two groups you’re really interested in. Clubs are the perfect way to get involved in your campus community and to meet people with similar interests and values. I regret not joining any clubs in my first year and have already made a promise to myself to join one as soon as school starts!

Sign up for an Athletic Class — Take advantage of your university’s athletic facilities and programs. There are likely hundreds of intramural teams and registered classes waiting for you to join them! Sports and classes like pilates or yoga, are great ways to meet friends, and also allow you to set aside some time for personal health. Your body and mind will thank you.

Communicate With your Roommate — Don’t wait until the middle of the year to talk to your roommate about what standards you have for your room. It’s important to get everything out on the table asap so you can talk about the things each of you need to do in order for your year together to be successful. Talking about things early also lowers the chances that you’ll have a full fledged fight later in the year.

Some people suggest creating a contract with your roommate, stating all the things you hold each other to, and others are fine with just talking about their expectations and putting some rules in to place. Either way, make sure you have the talk early on.

Hangout With People in your Residence — Don’t shut yourself away! Even if you’re shy (like I was) make sure to reach out to the girl across the hall or the twins next door. They might become your new best friends, or not, but either way you’ll have someone to eat with until you find a more solid group of friends.

Call your Parents — Don’t forget to call the people who love you the most. Your parents are probably struggling just as much as you are, and would love to hear about how everything is going. They’re also the perfect people to call when you aren’t sure about a class, or how to talk to your roommate when something is bothering you.

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These are a few things I found super helpful in my first year of university and I’ll definitely continue doing them this year.

Good luck to those of you who have already started (I know you’ll have a great year), and enjoy the rest of your vacation to those of you who have another week to go (savour every moment)!

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