The importance of art in our fast paced society

The image contains 5 rows of desserts, with each row containing 3 photos of the same dessert. From Bottom up the desserts are churros, cookie bars, caramel cupcakes, white chocolate covered cake pops, and a dark chocolate cake.
A screenshot of some desserts I have baked taken from my instagram page @torontobaking

Where would art be without science? Where would science be without art?

Allowing us to express our ourselves in a way that makes us feel most understood, I believe that everyone has their own form of art.

For me, my form of art lies within baking. Baking combines art and science; it is self-expression with precise measurement, allowing the freedom to innovate, experiment, and discover. Baking is an art for all of our senses. From the infinite array of colours one can pipe onto a cake to the silky smooth texture of a soufflé, the sweet scent of freshly baked apple pie, and the crisp sound that emanates from biting into a crème patissière filled cannoli, baking and culinary arts engage all of our senses.

Why is any of this important? Why does art matter?

Art is an expression of ourselves. It helps us communicate and feel understood, and then shares this with the world. Art exists to make us feel and to invoke emotion. When I bake, I share it with others to invoke feelings such as excitement, joy, warmth, comfort, or gratitude. It’s a way to connect and bond with others, to come together as a community and a culture.

Art is limitless. Whether it be through painting, sculpting, sewing, creating music, dancing, or any of the endless forms of artistic mediums, each artist has their own chosen medium of expression. All of these invoke emotion, and all of these contribute to the formation and development of our society and culture.

Science can advance society; Art brings it together. Ultimately, art is a science, and science is an art. One cannot exist without the other; they are intertwined.

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How I Paid for School and Graduated Debt Free

This October, I graduated from university with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and an Honors Thesis in Restoration Ecology. Throughout my university experience, I paid entirely out of pocket for my studies, materials, and supplementary expenses. I did not use any financial aid programs and independently funded my entire education.

I won’t sugar coat it – paying for school is not easy. But, just like exercising, the most difficult workout sessions prepare us for life and force us to develop habits that ensure future success. Covering my own fees throughout university and paying for my education taught me many crucial life lessons. This wasn’t simple, but I did it, and so can you. Although there are many important points to know and figure out ahead of time when paying for your own education, I’ve used lessons I learned from my own experience to outline 5 major pieces of advice that will help you pay for school and graduate without any debt.

  1. Pursue Entrance Scholarships 

University is a big jump from high school. With a greater sense of freedom and autonomy also comes responsibilities. While you are in high school, a more student-focused education and smaller classes can provide you ample opportunities to speak to teachers and gain advice on how to improve your work. Although they do not in any form determine your worth, increasing your grades can gain you a wide variety of automatic entrance scholarships. Look up universities or colleges that you are interested in and search up their entrance scholarship eligibility. Often times scholarship eligibility starts at around an 80% average and can cover hundreds to thousands of dollars worth of tuition. Similarly to entrance scholarships, there are numerous scholarships available for a vast array of interests, backgrounds, and talents. Whether you are on a sports team, an entrepreneur, a musician, or anything else you may identify with, scholarships and bursaries can assist you with getting through school. Make sure to apply before the deadline.

2. Time budgets

Last year, during my final year of school, I was conducting a thesis, taking classes, running two of the largest clubs on campus, working a part-time job, starting a culinary Instagram page, working out regularly (to balance out all of the baking), and still making time to spend with my friends. Someone asked me how I have time for it all, so I decided to make this post. Here, I discussed time budgets, what they are, and how I utilize them to maximize efficiency and productivity in my tasks and responsibilities. I thrive off of time budgets and utilize them every single day. To summarize, I schedule absolutely everything I do and give myself a budgeted amount of time to complete it. This way I can have back to back tasks without worrying about forgetting something or not having enough time to complete it. I highly recommend this article to anyone who struggles with time management, as my schedule is my personal magnum opus, and has given me the ability to take on an extensive amount of opportunities.

3. Explore a Variety of Hobbies

Similar to point 2,  balancing a variety of different hobbies or interests can allow us to increase how much we accomplish. A recent study by the BBC discussed how multiple of the most brilliant polymaths display interest and participate in a variety of different fields. The article discusses new research which suggests that having diverse interests yields greater productivity, creativity, and overall life satisfaction (Robson, 2019). Undertaking multiple ventures, including working a job while studying, brings in separate responsibilities and tasks into your life. In turn, this can provide a method of continuing productivity when you overwork and start experiencing diminishing returns within one subject by transferring your attention to the next.

4. Commuting VS. Campus Life

Although living on campus has ample perks such as being close to your classes and allowing for time to socialize, it can definitely add more to your tuition. When you are looking into post-secondary education, make sure to explore your options for living arrangements. Living on campus in a dorm adds expenses such as meal plans but reduces your transportation fees. On the other hand, if you live close enough to your school of choice, commuting can save you thousands of dollars, while reducing your time to socialize. To ensure that I could afford school, I commuted daily. I won’t lie to you and say it was always great, commuting on public transit was at times difficult, especially in inclement weather, but it absolutely helped me afford tuition.

5. Choose Your Jobs Effectively

I worked multiple jobs throughout my undergrad. With the rising cost of tuition, students sometimes need to take on several opportunities to afford to put themselves through school. For this reason, I highly suggest developing skills and gaining experience throughout highschool through co-op positions and volunteering to be eligible for positions that can benefit you as well. It can be strenuous to support yourself on a minimum wage, so make sure that you are applying for jobs that you can support yourself on, have room for growth, or will provide you with highly valuable experience that you can utilize and apply later in life. I ensured that each job I took on made sense with my schedule but also helped me to develop work and life skills. Similarly, you may want to consider having a part-time job in high school. I have been working since I was 16, and have since gained experience in a wide array of fields such as by working as a stylist, an early childhood assistant, a lab assistant, and more. Each and every one of these experiences has advanced me on my journey and assisted me with self-growth, taught me critical workplace and life skills, and has guided me in paying for my education. As well, I have gained life long friends from these jobs.

By following these steps and budgeting my finances, I managed to graduate completely debt-free. Through full-time jobs in the summer and part-time positions working 15 – 20 hours per week during my semesters, I got through school. I budgeted my time, my finances, and made sure to prioritize my health and well being above it all. School, especially during exams, can be busy and exhausting, so ensure that you are your top priority and that you are making time for self-care. I managed to get myself through school and I am proud of it and you can too!

Give what you can

The holidays are right around the corner, and each year I try to give back by whatever means I can. I am a student, so money is usually not an option. Fortunately for me and for many others in the same situtation, you can give back to the community in many ways that will not affect your wallet and will make a big differences. Here are some ideas:

  1. Donate blood
    When you donate blood, you give three components; plasma, platlettes and red blood cells. These components are separated and are donated to 3 different people. Essentially you are saving 3 lives from one donation!
  2. Donate clothes
    Your old clothes can provide someone with both physical warmth as well as a new wardrobe for someone else. Make sure to do some research on where you are donating and ensure that it is a company that gives your donations to those in need.
  3. Volunteer at a food bank
    Food banks have a high demand during the holidays and are always in need of people to assist, whether it be sorting food or handing it out. You can feed those in need even if you yourself can’t afford to supply the food.

If you do have the financial ability to donate money, make sure to check where your money is going and how much of it is donated to the organization. A quick way to find good charities  to give to is to search up “best charities” and see what percentage of your donating is given to the cause (some useful links or

This holiday you can make change by closing to give back in a way that makes impact while also providing you with new experience. Try something new!

Time Budgets

I’m often asked how I manage to balance everything going on in my life. For context, I currently work 3 jobs, run 2 clubs (a non-profit with 1200 members  as well as my University’s club for Canadian Blood Services), am enrolled in 4 courses and conducting an honours thesis project. I still spend time with my family and friends, I go to the gym 3X a week (the winter snacks are hitting hard), I run a baking blog on instagram, I read for fun, and I run this blog here. How do I make time for all of this? Time budgets.

I didn’t always manage my schedule well. In fact, until my 3rd year of university I didn’t manage my time well at all. The transition from high school to university was tough. From teachers giving daily updates to professors expecting you to manage your own calendar was rough- but it taught me to learn how to schedule my own life. Let me explain what I mean by time budgeting. Every activity or event I have, I set myself a certain amount of time to complete it, after which I must move on to my next activity. The activities that I know will take me more time I budget more time than I expect, and budget less time for smaller tasks (ex. sending an email or posting a blog update). My calendar is my best friend, and I use it for almost everything I do. This way my mind can focus on the activity at hand rather than at trying to remember everything I have to do.

Time budgeting allows you to integrate more in to your life, while lowering your procrastination. Try it out for yourself and see the difference!