a visual tour: university of toronto

When you are planning to go somewhere with your friends for the day, you would usually do an internet surfing to find the right place that would be most enjoyable and within the comfort zone of your group of friends. In the same way, I think it is safe to say that it is that time of the year where we start to stress a little over the college and university applications that we’ve applied to, especially during this time when things are not very clear to us due to the virus. Not only are we stressing over whether or not we’ll get accepted into our desired program, but we also have the tendency to think about the drastic change that is about to come and flourish our way; the uncertainty of our future. It could also include things like the new environment, the students, the professors. Will it all be the same as high school? Will you be able to adjust yourself quickly? Anyone who is currently studying at post-secondary will tell you that having a visit to the potential schools you plan on going to is an excellent idea so that you are ready for your first day at post-secondary. However, since you cannot visit them right now, let me bring it to you instead when you’re safe at home!

I can gladly say that I had the opportunity to go on a tour for two universities: University of Toronto (George Brown Campus) and Ryerson University. In this blog post, I will be going through some of the exciting aspects that UOFT upholds and welcome you with open arms. I will also be doing the same thing for Ryerson University in the next blog post for those of you who are interested in reading about it too! Now, I still have some time before I move towards post-secondary education, but since I’ve been volunteering with Brampton Multicultural Centre (BMC), I’ve had the chance to take a visit there! And oh my, it was full of gems…

It was one of the coldest days of Winter that had bestowed upon Toronto. Each snowflake was a cluster of cotton balls falling rapidly from above, and I certainly was not prepared for that weather, which I soon realized after I stepped in a thick layer of snow with my Vans – NOT a great start to that tour. However, as we were met with our tour guide, who was a student at UOFT, I knew that I would be able to find something that I would fall in love with. And soon enough, I found out that there were 42 libraries within the campus. Yes, I said it, and I’m not mistaken. The library that really caught my attention was Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library – one of Canada’s most incredible rare book collections and manuscripts. Now, if you’ve been following along with me for a while on Instagram, you would know that I absolutely LOVE to read so after seeing such a phenomenal library that every bibliophile would die for *literally* because of its vast choices, I knew that this would be perfect for me.

After going to the library, we were taken to their gym, which had an animated view of the campus. The environment is what really brought everything together since everyone seemed to be minding their own business, doing their thing. I wasn’t able to snap any photos due to privacy reasons. Still, the gym is indeed a spot to familiarize yourself with, especially if you’re really into health and fitness, or overall just some self-care that is definitely needed for us.

So, the tour goes on, and we are taken outside again near Knox College to a place called Hart House, which was probably my second favourite spot to visit because of the aesthetic itself. From what our tour guide told us, this spot is usually for those who just want a place to hang out with their friends, maybe do some light reading, or even just acknowledge the fantastic painting and put up your own artwork. I bet you all could agree with how BEAUTIFUL this place is too:

I think that the best thing about visiting an area you’ve never seen before is that you start getting a little bit more appreciative of the things that are around you. I can say that after going on a visit there, I felt more fulfilled with the things that I am privileged to be surrounded with. Especially now, more than ever. With the widespread of COVID-19, the lack of appreciation can easily be clouded away in a whirlwind. Looking back at this tour, it has reminded me of how we tend to always take advantage of things until we cannot have them anymore. This was probably the most perfect time for me to write a blog post because looking back at the photos I’ve snapped, I was able to realize that. If you’ve come towards the end of this blog post, I hope you enjoyed looking at the little perks that the University of Toronto was able to offer. Overall, I really loved the vibe, and I was SO happy that I took the opportunity to go visit because this university has been on my top list to apply to in the future. Some places were closed due to renovation, so I wasn’t able to snap as many photos as I wished. HOWEVER, I encourage all of you to visit the campus (once it’s safe to go), and experience what UOFT has to offer! I’m sure you will enjoy it as much as I did. Other than that, I’m hoping that everyone is staying safe at home in quarantine. Stay safe!

With all the love and beyond,

Salina.

living in quarantine

It was a regular Thursday afternoon when the news broke out. It was also the day of my birthday. Plans were set for March break, cheerful spring days with friends and family in the sun as it starts to creep in after living in the snowy conditions for far too long. Finally, being able to go outside.

It was a regular Thursday afternoon when all the students found out that there would be no school for quite a while. As much as it might’ve been some exciting news, it wasn’t. What would be left of the March break plans? What about the students who are graduating? Everything that once seemed so sure…didn’t seem so sure anymore. How does one go from thinking that they have absolutely everything to absolutely nothing in a day? All of a sudden, everything you know becomes blindsided by the news. Your purpose starts to shift a little. Everything that was once a priority to you is no longer really thought of anymore.

It has taken me around two weeks to wrap my head around the fact that there truly is a virus around us, a contagious virus. The numbers and stats no longer seemed like a joke anymore, it was a wake-up call for me. What was I even doing? I lived my life the way I usually would, dangerously and miraculously coming home every day feeling okay. However, while I thought everything I was doing was acceptable, my loved ones prayed for me and for my safety. It was selfish. What does one do at home every day with nothing to do anyway? I wasn’t quite sure because all I’ve been taught is the lifestyle that has shaped me into what I am: go to work, get good grades in school, study, maybe go out with some friends every now and then. But what do you do when you no longer have power over it?

The easiest thing to do would be to cozy in, binge-watch some Netflix series while you still can. But what difference would that be from the life you previously had to the one you are creating for yourself right now? Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Netflix. In fact, I was binge-watching The Office during the first week! However, I quickly realized that instead of spending my time watching something, I could take advantage of this time to do something that I’ve been holding off on because “it isn’t the right time.” There’s nothing that we can do to make up for the time we are losing. This is why instead of making this situation into a tragedy, take it as an encouragement, a “creative prison” for you to start creating, as Andrew Schulz recently said.

So… what am I doing right now?

As hard as it’s been to keep myself motivated at home, the more actions I take towards the things I’ve been wanting to do, the easier it’s been to keep my creative juices running. It has taken me a while to have that sense of realization, and I’m not going to lie, I’m just getting started. But it also brings me closer to the idea of this being a time of creativity, like water flowing out of you, the creative ideas gushing out of you, making its way through to take action.

The best advice that I can give to you at a time like this before I leave would be this: take it slow, one step at a time, and most importantly… fully embrace it.

“If you cannot change a situation, change the way you react to it.”

-Andrew Schulz

twenty twenty

This year is going to be different,” says me every single year.

And every single year, I do the same things that I wished to change the previous year. It’s not just me though, it’s most of the people around me as well who go through this, but why is that so? When you’re so sure that this year it’s going to be different, what goes wrong? 

I understand that it’s February as you read this post, but I felt like I needed to say something about it when I was in the right state of mind for it. I feel like we all have these high expectations from ourselves from the beginning of the year and are trying to tackle them all at once by putting pressure on ourselves. That would include things like: drinking more water, having enough sleep, being engaged in physical activities like hitting the gym, using less social media, reading more, etc. Even though all of these ideas sound really great and undoubtedly ideal in a person’s life, it’s hard to do them all at once. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t plan these things because it’s going to be impossible to achieve, but achieving it one step at a step is the point that people, including me, have been missing every single time. 

For January, my main focal point was towards my studies and making sure that I get the grades that I wanted. It was the month of finals, and I hustled until the very end. It was tough, and I had no time for myself. My mental health had gone to crap, and I started to stress about everything. However, I ignored it until the very end of January. I finally had a week off from school, which I took advantage of and tried to recover by spending time with people who make me a better me and activities that motivate me to do better. I think that it’s now safe to say that I can now move towards the next chapter of this year, which brings me to February. This month, I wanted to focus more on my health, which includes things like having a diet plan and trying to get enough sleep (since I wasn’t getting any due to all the workload from last month). 

Doing one thing at a time. That is what I am trying to do this year. If you ask me what my goal for the year is, it would be that. One step at a time, pursuing one specific genre of what I want to improve on, slowly. To be able to track my progress, I decided to get into journaling. Journaling is something that I had tried to do a couple of years ago but never really worked out for me. Ever since then, I never thought about it until this year. Knowing that I wanted to do different things every month, I thought that getting back into journaling would be a great way to track my progress and, at the same time, do it with freedom. Let me say this: I do not regret it one bit. I never knew I’d love journaling until I had started it. I’m able to design it the way I want it, the way it can be useful to me, and enjoy designing it too. I’m still entirely new to it, and I’m also not a great artist, but in my opinion, creating something that is yours, only yours, is a beautiful thing to have for yourself. I’m still exploring the world of journaling, and I know that every month, I am going to learn something new from it.

I know I haven’t been as active as I wish to be but I really hope that I can change that this year and create a space for us to learn more from each other. So tell me, what are you guys up to lately? What are some new goals you are trying to achieve? Let me know in the comments! Other than that, I hope you all are having a wonderful Sunday.

With all the love and beyond,

Salina.

growth is a process

“You do not just wake up become a  butterfly, growth is a process.”

rupi kaur

Sometimes, the hardest steps you have to take is what’ll allow you to find freedom for yourself. From time to time, there are things we come across; a feeling, a person, a phase in your life, a decision you need to take, and at times, it could even be yourself. You can’t escape from these things, it’s part of growing and learning, and you’ll continue to face these challenges over and over again – it’s just part of life, it won’t stop. The question is, how are you willing to go about it?

“It’s okay to outgrow from those who prevent you from growing.”

I think the hardest challenge that we face is letting go. How do we let go of something we are unwilling to let go of? At times, you know that that particular thing isn’t good for you anymore, that it brings more negative energy into your life than positive energy. We may be aware of it for the longest time but the unwillingness of letting go stops you from making decisions and moving forward with your life. For a while now, I’ve been meditating upon this thought and when I think about it, I feel like it’s important to understand the difference between being patient and wasting your time. If you think that there’s something that does not really bring out the best in you and you think that it’s necessary for you to end that chapter, then just go for it. Waiting endlessly is just going to put you through more pain so get it out of your chest, done and done. I know that it’s way easier said than done, but trust me, in the end, you’ll thank yourself for being able to trust your own decisions and the process of healing, of growing, of learning, is going to unravel a better version of yourself.

“Don’t set yourself on fire to keep others warm.”

It’s important to realize that you can miss something and not want it back. That’s something that took me loads of time to process. I thought letting go meant forgetting. I’m sure you have heard of that quote that says “forgive but never forget” which is basically the same concept applied to what I’m trying to say here.I believe that it’s okay to miss something, because we are humans. Of course we feel, we want things and people, and that unwillingness to let go will come to and fro every once in a while. 

The reason why I’m writing this blog post is because it’s been something that I’ve been going through and it’s been quite a journey filled with joy, freedom, independence, changes, but it also comes with a burden of things that I haven’t been accustomed to, like  sadness, doubt, uncertainty. It’s taking me a while to construct this post together, owing to the fact that the process of growth comes with a lot of different emotions, like a package. I feel like right now, I’m at this stage of unpacking this package.

There’s this book that I’m currently reading which is called Sacred Powers by David Ji where he basically takes you through the process of transformation from within you and I can safely say that it’s been voyage. I had borrowed it from the library for probably over a month and I never really had the heart to read it until I started to understand that what I needed was some kind of “transformation” if you will. I must say, kismet has a way of playing in its own way, at the right time. I’m still currently reading it but so far, I’m loving it. So if you’re in the same position as me, I think you should give this book a try. 

In conclusion, the message that I want to get across is this: Trust yourself because you know yourself more than you think you do and if you’re frightened about what comes next, don’t be. Learn how to embrace the uncertainty. Allow it to lead you to places. Be brave as it challenges you to exercise both your heart and mind as you create a path towards happiness; don’t waste time with regret. And remember, growth is a process so don’t rush it. Let it take you where it wants and don’t dwell on any negative energy, for it’ll transform you into light.

With all the love and beyond,

Salina. 

“When you are lonely, you have only one dimension—craving another person or thing outside yourself to make you happy. When you are alone, you are multidimensional, with the source of all happiness flowing from within.” 

david ji

being alive & living: the art between both worlds

There was the concept of staying alive and the joy of living, the art of creating and the tragedy of destroying. It still lives amongst us where we are grown up to believe that we have to follow certain rules and live a transparent life, where questioning things too much isn’t acceptable; we have to “play it safe”. I think that this is where the fear of trying new things has come to live with us. Whatever emotion it is that’s holding us back, it has grown to become really comfortable, and so being out there is not something that we are accustomed to be doing. However, I can only speak for myself and I can admit that I’ve been following along these same patterns. I’ve started to become more and more aware of it, and I realized how many opportunities it has consumed in my daily life.


Lately, I’ve been pulling my own strings in order to start feeling more motivated towards what I love to do. In the past month, I’ve realized that it’s easy to say that you’re passionate about something but that doesn’t mean that it can never be taken away from you. Sometimes you get pulled away from them because you bear in mind that those things represent you so even if you are not working with what passionates you, it would always remain by your side since it has become part of you. How very wrong I was. The more I kept telling myself that,  I was being pulled further away from things that I once did so well. Truth is, when you do things with passion, you accomplish them quicker and you feel proud about them but I no longer abided by those rules so all that was thrown down a drain.


There were some things like reading that was so hard to do at some point. Mind you, I’m someone who’s been committed to reading for a couple of years and realizing that I was stuck on the same book for a month was a shocker to me. Instead, I was using my phone way more than I used to. After checking the screen time on my phone, I actually could not believe that it was true. I went from using my phone for 5 hours on an average (which is a lot for me) to over 9 hours per day! Isn’t that crazy? I was certainly so taken aback by it. I preferred to play video games rather than actually communicating with people and prevented me from creating conversations, working on projects that I actually had all planned out but I wasn’t pushing myself forward in order to make it happen, and just do things in general that would actually get me somewhere. I wasn’t living, you see. I thought if I walked along the path with the mindset of just “going through it every day”, I’d be okay.


Turns out, it was the COMPLETE opposite of that. Being alive was… sad. In the end, what is the point of being here if you don’t create a purpose for yourself? Don’t misunderstand it with people giving purpose to you because only you can grab onto it. No one else. It’s SO easy to be blind sighted with what truly matters – Hell, even I got influenced by it! However, thinking about all the time that you’ve lost is never going to change anything or make things better which is why I also decided to do that and try to change the things I do have control over. I’ve heard this famous quote which interprets that time is one thing that you cannot change. I agreed with it for a while until I started to question it. How can you not control time? The “Now” moment is the only thing you do have control over, so what are YOU going to do about it?


I made a commitment to myself and I stuck to it this past week. I started to keep my phone away from me which was the biggest distraction that I had pointed out first thing. I went from 5 to 9 hours of using my phone to around an hour per day! I’m literally so proud of myself *literally pats herself on the back while writing this* I encourage you all to try to do this. Whatever it is that’s distracting you the most, avoid it at all cost and keep telling yourself that you need to accomplish more goals. Start living. Every day is the right time. Not next week, not next month, or next year, but right at this moment.


Here’s to April; a new beginning for all of us.

hello world

I’ve been here at this same place at least eight times, attempting to write something. I write and I delete, I write something else, and then I delete the whole post. That’s just how it goes. Everything needs to be perfect. Now here I am, attempting to write for my ninth time. My apologies, I haven’t properly introduced myself. Don’t worry, there’s really not much that you’re missing out on. First thing’s first, welcome to my blog. It was seriously about time I started this thing and I’m so glad that I’m finally going to bring it to life (unless I end up deleting this post too). Anyway, let’s not jinx it. So, I’m an average teenager who lives in Canada going by the name Salina. I’m short and skinny with hazel eyes. But that’s not the story I’ve come here to write about. I’m here to tell you about my blogging story and why exactly am I here right now. 

 In 2016, I had a blog called The Life of Salina. The name basically gives it all away. I wrote about my life, gave advice on things I had experienced, and published some of my poetry. It was GREAT if you ask me. It was an amazing experience but the blog I previously had… well, I don’t know what to say, really. I grew out of it, I guess. I feel like that energy wasn’t there and I only posted for “the sake of posting”. Fast forwarding things to now… well, I have so much to say. The first major thing I’d like to say is that I moved away. I mean, really far away. I’m home now (in Canada) but getting used to the feeling of it still brings me the heebie-jeebies. It’s a start, though, right? So yeah, that’s one thing. The things following it are all connected; like getting used to a new school, fitting in, etc. You know, all that typical teenage stuff.

No matter where I am in my life or what I’m doing, there’s always this one quote that comes back to me, like a song that’s stuck in your head. It goes something like this: “We all have the same 24 hours. The difference is how we choose to use them.” I literally cannot explain how much value I hold to this. I feel like in the end, time is all we’ve got and once we start to question the things we have control over and the things we don’t have control over, we’ll come to learn that we always have some sort of control over ourselves and that is our power, mon amie. I felt that I needed to channel mine into something that truly makes me happy and, as I started to think about what that might be, the joy of writing came back to me. I wanted to pick up from where I left off a couple of years ago and try to create something unique out of it. Something that people would like and look forward to and that brings me into where I am now as I’m writing this.

Usually, I don’t really set up New Years resolutions for myself because I feel that change can happen whenever you want. However, I did promise myself that this year I will not be hiding. I mean, I want to be something more than I already am. By the end of this year, I want to be able to tell myself, “Wow, I did THAT!” and I just had a gut feeling that blogging was going to be my first step towards getting there. So I now present you with my official blog, Salina Khan. Phew! I’ve been dancing around like a child on Christmas Day waiting until I got everything set to start and I am just so eternally grateful right now to be able to make it official. I have a good feeling about this and I hope that you all can join me on this journey of improvement and changes. I’m just going to wrap this up by saying that I hope that every single one of you is also trying to pursue their goals because this moment right here is all the time you get. You can learn something from me, from how I went from not blogging at all for absolutely no other reason than “not feeling like it” to creating a whole new perspective on it. Whatever it is that you want to do, do it, and don’t let anyone stop you or tell you that you’re doing it wrong because truth be told, as long as you’re trying, you’re winning. That’s all that matters. 

So let me know in the comments below what your goals for this year are. What are some things that you’d like to improve on in yourself? I’d love to hear about them! Other than that, have a marvellous day/night, wherever you are in the world.

With all the love and beyond,

Salina.