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OFF THE RUNWAY
ring in the spring! The coming of warm weather comes with our usual floral patterns, loose flowy outfits, and some cooler fitness clothing. But what about the colours we are normally too scared to wear? That's right, mimic the bumblebees and choose your spin on the colour we love. Let’s say HELLO to YELLOW!
o l l e H to
Make use of your black, grey and white tops to counteract your bold statement pieces. In this outfit, featuring a gorgeous flowy skirt with flowers, the belt accentuates the waist, and the boots add some bohemian vibes to a traditional ensemble. Any silver or gold thin necklace adds to an outfit. Finally, grab some sunglasses, a hat, and you’re picture perfect!
The colour yellow doesn’t need to be only casual—solid button downs can add to an outfit. This mustard yellow button down with simple white shoes and an all-black ensemble is classy yet fun.
The heat of spring makes us want to wear everything loose and flowy. Instead of your boring old jeans, try a fun fresh skirt paired with any solid black top to balance out the flair. Here, a gorgeous mustard yellow skirt is paired with a matching mustard bag to carry all your picnic essentials. Although we associate spring with bright and floral patterns, sometimes the familiar solidarity of the colour yellow can add an delightful attitude to an outfit, especially with matching pieces. Although it may seem like a basic highlighter colour, the colour yellow is actually representative of many things—sunshine, happiness, golden hour, and new beginnings. Starting to implement shades of yellow will help get your mindset in a more positive and brighter mood. You do not have to go on a shopping spree to add a pop of colour to your style—many of us have bold pieces hidden in the back of our closet that we are too afraid to wear. Find those brighter pieces and make use of them this spring!
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FROM OUR READERS
Getting Slammed By Slam Poetry IMAN UMAIR-QAISER, 15
hen I was 13, I learned to write spoken word, a type of poetry known for its performance-based style of writing. Soon, I got selected to compete at my school board’s team poetry tournament, and I was ecstatic! At the contest, though, I was deeply nervous. On my way to the stage, I tripped in my heels while climbing up the stairs, and when I did manage to get up on stage, I was so astounded at the sheer size of the audience, throughout the poem, which caused the crowd to wince in sympathy for me. When the competition ended, my school had I was heartbroken. My failure was painful; despite putting in my performance wasn’t enough to determine my worth. Instead, I learned where I went wrong, what my weaknesses were and how I would improve. I worked on both my writing and
performance styles with teachers and friends. I walked with poise. And I didn’t forget my lines, because I had printed a copy of my poem for reference. I didn’t stutter either; I pronounced every word with care. Lastly, I did something I didn’t do last year: I put emotion into the words. The audience didn’t just listen to my poem, they felt and passion for the topic I had chosen. I even helped my team The audience didn’t just listen to my poem, they felt my weaknesses, and turned the performance. them into my strengths.
don’t move on right away; embrace it. Find out where you went wrong, make a game plan, and then work your way back up.
How My Mother Tongue Became a Foreign Language LINA KANAWATI, 21
y parents immigrated from the Middle East and tried their best to pass down their language and culture onto me. But I fought it. I hated going to Arabic school, and I would throw a tantrum every Sunday morning. In high school, I was ashamed of my culture; the language was too harsh, the music was unrelatable and outdated,
distance myself in many ways: dropping out of Arabic school, making friends only I wish, more than anything, with non-Arab people, and that I was fluent in Arabic, telling others I couldn’t speak Arabic. a language which is Now that I am an beautiful. adult, I realize how hard it was for my parents to watch
with them because I never learned how to speak Arabic
properly. When my grandma called me on the phone, I was unable to truly understand and connect with her. At special occasions such as weddings or engagements, I didn’t know the words to any of the songs. All of this is still true for me today; I don’t know Arabic like I wish I did. Arabic, a language which is beautiful. I failed to see this before, but I realize it now: Arabic is a connection to a culture I lack exposure to. My failure is that I didn’t try to learn my I’ve been practicing Arabic. And I’m determined to unlearn culture I could have embraced. At home, I only speak in Arabic, which is already beginning to foster more meaningful relationships with other Arabs. And, through this, the Arabic language has brought me back to the culture of my parents, and my people.
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A Perfectionist’s Guide to Accepting
LANCATER UNIV ERSI School of Biotany
AMAL JAVED ABDULLAH, 20
s a self-proclaimed perfectionist who, as a quick Google search has revealed, suffers from the deadly disease of Atychiphobia, some triggers can really make me feel helpless. A lower mark than expected or a piece of writing that I just cannot get right can send me to perfectionist hell for days. It can be difficult to face an unmet expectation or make a mistake, and not feel deflated or defeated in one’s abilities as a result. It can make a person feel unworthy of their opportunities, or incapable of ever accomplishing a goal or dream. One small failure, if not put in perspective early enough, can lower morale and motivation to the point that it can set off a chain of consecutive failures and mistakes, causing a vicious cycle of fail: feel horrible → fail because you feel horrible → repeat. The roots of my perfectionism are obvious: growing up, I was an academically high-achieving child, often faring well above my peers with minimal effort. Though my academic abilities have since waned, most specifically in the post-secondary world where the content is harder and competition is smarter, my childhood has set an irreversible fear of failure into my psyche. When one is doing well above expectations, even a small slippage can cause a hard and fast fall, and with it, a strenuous injury to one’s faith in oneself. Though this reigns primarily in academics, it has bled into other facets of my life, from creative endeavors, to building a career, to personal development.
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F Atychiphobia It may seem contradictory for perfectionism to be a trait that leads to failure. On one hand, ‘perfectionism’ connotes that the possessor indulges great time and effort into achieving the best they can, and as a result, should achieve great success in life. On the other hand, the accompanying fear of failure insinuates that the victim suffers from irrevocably taxing mental health issues every time they encounter the least off-chance of defeat, and thereby achieves nothing but more failure in life. In my experience, and inarguably in lives of others as well, perfectionism and fear of failure can either motivate or discourage, and walking the line between the two is difficult. Perfectionism can mean knowingly setting goals that are out of reach—because perfection asserts that it cannot stand for mediocrity—and then beating yourself up when they are not reached. This can happen all while being fully aware that you have a history of this vicious cycle of aiming unreasonably and falling uncontrollably. Fear of failure can mean pulling endlessly long hours to complete a task to perfection in order to avoid a low grade, while simultaneously acknowledging that grades are a faulty indicator of success and intelligence, and within a couple of years, all of one’s hard work for a numerical
you out of existence and He would replace (you by) those people who would commit sin and seek forgiveness from Allah, and He would have pardoned them” (Sahih Muslim 50:13). In Islam, we are acknowledged as faulty, mistake-prone beings who will, by our very nature, sometimes succeed and sometimes fail.
metric will be for naught. As expected, this can also be an easy gateway to procrastination. When we want perfection, we tend to put off a task until the very last moment, because there is a subtle unconscious fear of doing it incorrectly.
people procrastinate, it is less because they are lazy, and more because there is a root demotivator that is withholding them from taking the task head-on.
Therefore, contrary to the belief held by most which suggests that perfectionists are greatly productive, they can often be extremely unmotivated to even start. There is no known ‘cure’ to this issue, though perfectionism is not necessarily an illness that we need to be rid of. It is just a part of our personality which, at times, can be a cute quirk, and at other times can be an exasperating fault. How does one deal with this? Personally, I feel that when I am experiencing overly-exaggerated manifestations of perfectionism in myself, it is helpful to envision life as a journey, a path unpaved and rocky, and that there is more value in making an effort to live it in the best way possible than trying to reach an achievable end. When we look at perfectionism in perspective, we see that in Islam, a good Muslim is not someone who has achieved a point where they are faultless and perfect, that they no longer ever commit mistakes. Quite the opposite, we are told in a hadith of the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) that, “By Him in Whose Hand is my life, if you were not to commit sin, Allah would sweep
The Muslim that Allah (SWT) favours is not the one who is perfect, but the one who engages in the daily grind of bettering themselves, the one who has the courage to pick themselves up in spite of the fall. One of the attributes
By Him in Whose Hand is my life, if you were not to commit sin, Allah would sweep you out of existence and He would replace (you by) those people who would commit sin and seek forgiveness from Allah, and He would have pardoned them
of Allah is The Most Forgiving, and because Allah is always ready to forgive us, we should perhaps be kinder to ourselves and learn to forgive ourselves too. Perfectionism and fear of failure can be tricky feelings to navigate; at times, they can be a source of motivation and drive, while at others, of defeat and regret. Despite it all, it is important to keep the greater picture in mind, and remember that beating oneself over tiny details does not do anyone any good. The goal of betterment and self-fulfillment is not to finish the trail and uncover a waiting mythical gift of faultlessness; it is about overcoming the ups and downs, understanding ourselves and the world better, and contributing back real value—it is truly about the journey rather than the destination.
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Moulding Success: a collection of poetry by Yvonne Syed, 18
we are capable of fixing what is broken — of reconstructing entire buildings even after they’ve been demolished, rebuilding an entire city even after the most ruinous of disasters, and restoring entire environmental ecosystems even after they’ve been neglected. we have the capability within us to look beyond ourselves, and fix all that needs fixing in the world around us. what makes us so doubtful that we fail to find hope in fixing ourselves, when we are the broken ones?
ten years from now, we’ll look back and remember; the worries, the fears, stress, anxiety, the uncertainty we felt, unaware of what the future held. but ten years from now, we’ll reflect and laugh at it all, having achieved our dreams, satisfied with where we are and who we have become. and ten years from now, i hope we can say we chose the way our lives turned out. i hope we can say we didn't settle for it.
don’t tell me you can’t go on, because your hopes have been shattered into a million pieces, when i know for a fact you’ve wholeheartedly reassembled the parts of yourself you thought you’d never recover. you can do it again. in fact i’m sure you’ve done it, countless times before actually, without even taking note of it. i know you feel as if your strength has been drained out of you like used batteries. it has become a tedious task of monotony to rebuild yourself each time you crumble.
when life shatters you whole take the shards and turn them to gold.
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but i can assure you, you are more resilient than you think. for your foundation hasn’t even done so much as crack, as a result of the endurance you have.
l l a f n i Ra BASMA KHAN, 17
Dead grass awaited water. The thin, thirsty backyard plants Rooted for it, Longing to hold onto life like the girl’s soul. She was a hollow slab of wood Lying, “Oh, I am no good.” She desperately desired to become a tree, Though she was a nobody, Unsure if she was ready.
Her tree’s branches became twigs. When she tried to pick up the scattered pieces, She fell, But she found what her heart was searching for: Mercy. Rain. She loved the rain, It kept her sane and Masked her pain: Dark skies, screaming; Clouded with grey giants, crying; Those soft fluffs, once barely there, Now pushed with winds through air, By Angels carrying out commands. These winds that seemed to seldom hush their whispers. Whispers like rustling leaves to her stormy soul, Anything but whole. She needed nourishment, Some replenishment… But how? She didn’t think about it, Until now. She believed rain is mubarak1 Something that appears to be insignificant But carries plentiful blessings in reality.
In rain she burst, Raindrops disguising her tears. After all these years, She let go of her fears. She is enough. Looking up, She thought Perhaps These changing skies Are tearing with joy. It’s time for growth, But not without pain, Not without pain. Her stone-heart cracked. Supplications to God Are accepted when it rains. A time to pour her heavy heart out, To be free of her chains. And emptiness began to leave her about. She wiped her tear stains. “There’s no need for these seeds of doubt.” This life is like rainfall upon earth. Little is its worth: Dry vegetation revives Soon dying another death, crumpled, Taken away are their lives, Tossed and turned by winds, left jumbled. Unknown remains its beginning, Unknown remains its end.
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SANA AKTARY, 15 INGREDIENTS
Ingredients for the cake base: ¾ Cup Salted Butter 1 Cup White Granulated Sugar 1 Cup Buttermilk ¼ tsp Salt 2 Eggs ¾ Cup Frozen Blueberries 1 ½ tsp Cornstarch 1 tbsp Baking Powder
½ cup melted butter 1 cup sugar 2 eggs 1 tsp almond extract ½ melted dark chocolate ¾ cup all-purpose flour ¼ cup cocoa powder 1 tsp salt ½ chocolate chips (optional) ¼ cup almond butter
Ingredients for the top crumble: ½ Cup Rolled Oats ¼ Cup Brown Sugar ¼ tsp Vanilla 2 tbsp Melted Salted Butter INSTRUCTIONS 1 Preheat your oven to 350°F. 2 For the cake base: melt the butter and mix it into the sugar. Add in the eggs one by one and whisk until combined. Set aside.
INSTRUCTIONS 1 Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and line a 9x9 pan with parchment paper 2 In a bowl, whisk together your melted butter with sugar 3 Crack in your 2 eggs and whisk in your almond extract; keep whisking for 1 minute 4 Whisk in your melted dark chocolate until smooth and combined
3 In a separate bowl, combine all your dry ingredients in as well as the blueberries. Toss them around until coated evenly with flour. This will prevent them from sinking to the bottom of the cupcakes in the oven.
5 Fold in your flour, cocoa powder, and salt into the batter until just combined, then fold in your chocolate chips.
4 Gradually add your butter-sugar mixture to your dry ingredients, as well as your buttermilk. Fold the mixture until combined. Using a spoon, add dollops of the mixture to your ungreased muffin or cupcake tin.
7 Take your almond butter and drop spoonfuls in the batter. Using a knife, swirl from one spoonful to the other until you feel content with your swirls.
5 In a separate bowl, combine all ingredients for the crumble and use a spoon to add about 1 tsp of crumble over each of the blueberry cake delight. 6 Bake for about 10-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. 7 Enjoy a sweet breakfast delight!
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6 Pour your batter into your pan and smooth out
8 Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Let cool in pan for 30 minutes before slicing. Enjoy!
What is success? Is the the one we listen to 5 times a day when the Muezzin calls us to pray because that is 'success' or is it something el...
Published on Mar 1, 2018
What is success? Is the the one we listen to 5 times a day when the Muezzin calls us to pray because that is 'success' or is it something el...