How to Make Small Talk More Meaningful

I’ve never been good at talking to other people, and I find it very awkward sometimes – especially after I say something weird. Over the past few years, I’ve talked to many people and learned how to survive making small talk and how to have more meaningful conversations. Here are some of the things I’ve learned:

Share some things about yourself and elaborate on those things. Ask the other person questions, and pay attention to what they have to say. By doing so, you might encourage the other person to open up and share some things as well. One of the purposes of having a conversation is to learn about other people. By learning about other people, I am often reminded that the person I’m talking to is just a human being. They have their own unique experiences, opinions about things going on, and they’re just trying to get through life like me.

The other person might be feeling awkward too. Many people I’ve talked to have admitted that they’re not good at making conversation with others and prefer to spend time alone, which usually makes me relieved. It’s a reminder that yes, there are introverts and people that feel shy and awkward out there.

If it doesn’t go well, it’s not the end of the world. Life goes on. This is something I’ve learned over the past few years, and it’s actually made me less stressed during a conversation. If I feel as though something hasn’t gone well, I usually end up dwelling on it for a very long time. And honestly, if you get the feeling that someone doesn’t really like you after a conversation, it’s fine – not everyone will like you, and you won’t like everyone either.

Be yourself. I’ve heard so many people say this before and thought it was overrated and cheesy, until I realized how true it was. Often, I felt like I had to pretend to be extroverted and a people-person, so in conversations, I would try to portray myself as an outgoing person. This eventually became a bit exhausting for me, because deep down, I knew that talking to others for long periods of time was actually physically tiring me. Eventually, in more recent conversations, I started talking about the emotions I actually felt and the things I actually enjoyed – and those were things I could actually go on about, since it was honest and 100% true. By being myself, I was able to make friends that I could relate to very easily, and who shared the same mindset as me. The lesson I learned was that if you pretend to be someone you’re not, you will eventually find it exhausting to keep up this facade.

Over the years, these tips have made small talk a bit more enjoyable for me. I’ve come to learn that socializing isn’t something I can avoid all the time (unfortunately), but it can be beneficial in getting to know people and strengthening relationships.

Places to Visit in Vancouver

vancouver

Last week, I went on a five day trip to Vancouver. Throughout those five days, I was tired, but I still enjoyed many of the places I visited, especially the mountains.

After I arrived in Vancouver, I went to Stanley Park and the Vancouver Aquarium. The weather that day was extremely beautiful, and I took many pictures of the Vancouver skyline. There was a variety of sea creatures, reptiles, and amphibians at the aquarium. Outside the building, there was a dolphin being trained, and sea lions being fed.


On the second day, I visited the Capilano Suspension Bridge. The few minutes I spent walking on the bridge were terrifying, since the bridge was shaking so much and I was scared of accidentally dropping my phone into the river below. The scenery was amazing, and I enjoyed walking on the trails throughout the park.


On the third day, I went up Grouse Mountain. There was still a lot of snow on top of the mountain, and I was only wearing my running shoes, which ended up getting soaked. It was very foggy later that evening so I couldn’t get a good view from the top of the mountain.

The two bears at the top of the mountain, Coola and Grinder!

On the fourth day, I went to the Richmond Olympic Oval, and toured the building. There were virtual sport simulators, and a collection of Olympic medals over the years.

Later that afternoon, I went on the Vancouver Harbour Cruise, which sailed around Vancouver’s Inner Harbour. It was raining that day, so I stayed on the deck for a few minutes just to take photos. The view from the cruise is extremely beautiful, and it’s a great opportunity to take some photos of the city’s skyline.



Overall, I enjoyed my trip, although I wish I could’ve spent more time in the mountains. Vancouver is a city that you should definitely visit if you ever get the chance one day!

My After School Routine

my after school routine

School started last week for me, but it feels like I’ve been going to school for the past few months – does anyone else feel that way? However, the fact that I’m always happy to be home after a long day of school definitely isn’t going to change.

Sometimes, I go to Starbucks after school, where I usually get one of their shaken teas. If it’s a bit cold, I’ll get a mocha. I get home half an hour after school ends, and when I get home, I grab a snack – actually, more like a second lunch, because I don’t really eat at school. The type of snack I get varies – sometimes I’ll make myself an omelette, or I’ll go to the snack cupboard and find a bunch of snacks.


After I’m done finding food to eat, I like to watch a bit of Netflix. Last year, I spent up to an hour and a half watching Netflix after school, and this year, I’m trying to change that, since marks are more important and I’ll be getting more homework and tests.

Once that’s done, I start doing my homework – this could take either an hour or a few hours, depending on the amount of homework I have, and how fast I work. If I have the time, I’ll make notes about what I learned today, so that I can go back and study from them for tests and exams. I like listening to music as I study, and two of my favourite songs are “Here We Go” and “Monster”.


I eat dinner, and then I wash all the dishes. If I’m not done my homework, I’ll finish it, and then I grab some fruit to eat. If I’m done everything, I’ll pack my school bag, and watch some Youtube videos, go on Pinterest, Twitter, etc. If I have the time, I might work on a blog post or find new things to write about.

Going to bed earlier is something I’m trying to do, because sleep is very important, and I learned from last year that I can’t function that well on 6 or less hours of sleep. My goal for this year is to have at least 7 – 8 hours of sleep, and be in bed by 10:30 (let’s see how well that goes).

How are you guys doing? Feel free to leave a comment down below!

A Typical School Day – First Semester

School started not too long ago for me, so I thought I’d share with you what life at school is like for me.

*secretly hopes no one from my school sees this*

Currently, we’re in the first semester (September – January) of the school year. These are the first four subjects I’m taking.

First period – Visual Arts 

The class is actually a split class – half the kids in the class are in the same grade as me, the other half of the class is actually a grade above me. Our first unit is drawing, which is one of my favourite units. I don’t know anyone in this class (also I’m too scared to talk to the people sitting near me), so I’m usually on my phone and texting my friends if I have time.

Second period – Math 

I’ve been trying to focus more in math, since my math skills are horrifying and marks are more important this year. Currently, we’re doing basic algebra review (which I’m struggling with), and we have a test coming up next week. All our homework is assigned at the beginning of a new unit, and our teacher doesn’t do homework checks. I have a few friends in this class, which is nice, although one of them is trying to switch into another math class.


Third period – English

My English teacher is incredibly passionate about English, and is also soft spoken – there’s actually no way you can dislike her. We’re currently reading a poem for a poetry unit, and we did a vocab quiz today (I don’t think I got a perfect score on it though). I love my English teacher, and all of my friends are in this class, which is also great.

Fourth period – Lunch

Having lunch during fourth period is honestly great for me, since the period starts a bit after 12pm, and that’s usually around the time I start getting hungry. Typically, I head to the cafeteria to eat lunch with the friends that have the same lunch period as me. It doesn’t take us too long to eat lunch, so after we eat, we still have another hour before the next period starts. Sometimes, I’ll head to the library to do a bit of studying, or we’ll go to the music room and do some practicing.

Fifth period – Music

I love music. The teacher, on the other hand, is another story – I haven’t heard that many great things about my teacher. We spend each day working hard and practicing our music, since the senior wind symphony (made up of more than 100 people!) has a performance towards the end of the month. We also do some music theory review, going over the theory we’ve learned last year.

The homework load for this semester doesn’t seem to be too bad – I don’t get any homework for art and music, there honestly isn’t that much for English, and for math, I get a set of textbook questions (which I struggle with, but I’m getting there). However, I’m pretty sure the homework load will get worse as the semester progresses.

If you’re still in school, how’s school going?

Back to School Haul

I did some back to school shopping  last week – honestly, that’s the only thing I love about August – all the supplies are on sale and there’s so much stationery to look at.


I bought three binders – I only need two this semester (one for math and one for English). The Hilroy binder is a 1.5 inch one, which I’ll be using for math, and I’ll use either the blue or red binder for English – they’re both 1 inch binders.


I bought two report covers mostly because they were on sale, but also in case I need them for English.


I also got these two composition books, one for math, and the other for physics, which I’ll be taking later in the year.


I prefer liquid paper over the tape white out, mostly because the tape one ends up getting stuck, and a lot of the time, it doesn’t even stick to the paper. Also, I like the smell of liquid paper (I know, I know, it’s bad!).


I got a pack of coloured pencils, since we’re expected to colour in our sketches for art, and I end up using them in a lot of the courses I take. And how cute are those MUJI pens?! I love how smooth they are, they don’t bleed into the other side of the page when you use them!

Question of the day: has school started for you? Let me know in the comments!

Ripley’s Aquarium

Yesterday, I had the chance to visit Ripley’s Aquarium. This was my second time visiting, my first time visiting the aquarium was two years ago for a school trip. I went in the early afternoon, and there was lots of people visiting the aquarium as well.







And of course, no aquarium trip would be complete if I hadn’t tried to find Dory or Nemo! I found Dory, as seen in the picture above. I saw Nemo as well, I just forgot to take pictures of him. 

In other news, I’ll be heading back to school in September, and I haven’t finished my back to school shopping yet. Hopefully I’ll finish it soon, since I plan on doing a back to school haul post next week. 

How are you guys doing? Feel free to leave a comment below!

Downtown Toronto 

Hey guys! Sorry for not posting in the past couple of months – I’ve been incredibly busy and I lost the motivation to keep this blog running. I plan on posting more often, so stay tuned for future posts from me!

Fortunately, I’m back with some photos from downtown Toronto. I had the chance to visit the harbourfront and the CN Tower, so I’m going to share those pictures with you!


The huge floating duck was from the Redpath festival, which was from July 1 – 3 (the only reason we went to the festival was for the huge floating duck). It takes less than a minute to go up the CN Tower, and the view from the tower is so beautiful.

How’s your summer going? Anyone back at school yet?

~samantha