Lessons to take away from Almost Adulting by Arden Rose

When I turned 13 years old, I was convinced that people past 18 were put together, wholesome, mature adults. To me, they had one foot in the grave — they were so old! Then I turned 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, and realized that I still had the mentality and maturity level of my 13-year-old self. Did the guy in my lecture think I was cute? Do I have a muffin top in these too-skinny jeans? Can people tell the shirt I’m wearing isn’t Comme des Garcons but was on sale because I pulled out a 50% off card from a woman standing with a box of discount cards in front of the Gap? It hit me that there was a child living inside this developed body. But it was okay because everyone still treated me like a kid, right?!

Wrong.

On the day of my twentieth birthday I woke up expecting to be showered with gifts and happy birthday voicemails. Instead, I woke up too early with my alarm going off, telling me to get to my university lectures. When I got there, my professors assigned pages worth of work. I received a call from my mother with a reminder that this year I’d be learning how to do taxes as well as understanding how our finances worked — ‘oh, and happy birthday.’ I felt myself sweating. Were people seeing me as an adult now? But I’m only 13 years old inside!

A few weeks passed, and I buried myself in YouTube videos as I pretended to myself that I’d do my work after just one more video. Then there she was, a YouTuber whose video shone like a beacon of hope through my computer screen. I clutched the sides of my dirty laptop, pulling Arden Rose’s words closer to me. A month later, I ran to Indigo to purchase my very own Almost Adulting book while my boyfriend silently judged me for being in the Teen Reads section.

Needless to say, I read the book in two days. To all the almost adults, here are some of the lessons I took away:

1) It’s okay to not know what the hell you’re doing. No one turns into an adult overnight. Just keep on learning.
2) Being happy and sad at the same time is normal. Some days will be better than others.
3) Mental health is really important and we need to take care of ourselves. It should never be pushed to the side.
4) Tinder is alright for meeting people but you might not find what you’re looking for. Try and use other online platforms to find people! (Except MySpace because who the hell uses MySpace?)
5) Embrace yourself and your sexuality. However cliché it sounds, it’s crucial to understand what you like and don’t like in order to feel fulfilled in life.

For more, check out Arden’s book trailer or just read the damn book!

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Novella Picks Wedding Dos and Don’ts

Art by Michelle Cheung

Natasha Grodzinski, Arts and Culture Contributor 

DO bring a cheque in a card as a gift if you don’t know what else to give. There’s the idea of money being a tacky gift, but the reality most young couples face is one of tight budgeting due to big expenses like moving or buying a house. It also helps you out if you don’t know the couple very well or are pressed for shopping time. Judge the amount accordingly with how close you are to the couple and what your own budget is.

DON’T ignore the RSVP portion of the invitation. Whether you do or d not attend, it’s important to let the couple know so they can plan accordingly. This isn’t like a Facebook party invitation. If you don’t RSVP but show up anyway, there may not actually be a place for you to sit or a plate for dinner.

Drew Brown, Editor-in-Chief 

DO be patient and remember its not your day. All events may not go as smoothly as planned, so don’t add to the stress by complaining that your chicken was dry or that you are not happy with who your sitting with.

DON’T, with all the events that comes with weddings, it can hurt your pockets a little bit especially if you are in the wedding party. That being said, this does not mean you should drink all the alcohol you want to try to make up for the cost lol You don’t want to be the guy or girl who is a hot mess during the wedding.

Meg Summers, Contributor

DO be a good sport and hit the dance floor early. Dead space and awkwardness can be really stressful for a bride and groom if they think their guests aren’t having a good time. Gather some friends, grab a cocktail and bust a move to whatever the band or DJ is playing. You’d be surprised by how quick other people will get up to join you if they don’t have to be the first to make the move!

DON’T be offended if you are not asked to be a part of the wedding party. People have lots of commitments to make and sometimes, your friend’s loser cousin takes precedence over you. Just be happy with all the money you’re saving and be the one at the party who is the bride or groom’s saving grace from the family overload.

Hoon, Managing Editor

DO make a conscious effort to congratulate everybody involved. Don’t be passive-aggressive to the in-laws who’ve been torturing your friend. Sit, smile, drink, and collect dirt on them on the down low. Make friends with the relatives. If the need comes in the future, sabotage from the inside.

DON’T make requests to the DJ or the band or go up to the stereo and pick some mood-killing music. If the music is bothering you and you can’t leave, join me & sit and sulk in a corner away from others. No need to ruin things for everyone. Unless, of course, your intentions are to swerve people away from the disaster that is Taylor Swift lyrics — in this case, ignore above advice. Oh, and also, don’t go over your caviar allotment.

Claire, Contributor

DO pay attention to the dress code. You don’t want to be that person who is underdressed at a wedding. Even if the dress code is labeled as “casual” always keep it classy and wear a dress, skirt, or suit of some kind. Keep in mind the location and weather, and listen to the bride and groom’s instructions and advice. And if you’re a girl, DO NOT even consider wearing white.

DON’T assume you can bring a date. If it doesn’t say “and guest” on the invitation, only you should be attending. If the bride and groom wanted to extend the invitation, they would have.

Summer Shoe Essentials: Lacoste Spring/Summer 2017 is here!

With the warm summer sun just around the corner, the time has finally come for everyone to start making the switch from their winter wardrobes, to their summer ones. And with the change in clothes comes the big accessories change. Gone are the gloves and boots, and in come the sandals and sneakers. Luckily, Lacoste has just released a beautiful collection of spring/summer footwear that’s bound to liven up anyone’s summer wardrobe this season. Filled with many revamped classics and tons of new styles. Lacoste is ready to update your summer shoe game in fresh and exciting ways!

Cambrai 117 2 and Laccord 117 1

Top: Ladies Cambrai 117 2 – Bottom: Mens Laccord 117 1 | Photos: Lacoste

Heels can be one of the most empowering pieces of footwear a woman can buy. That’s why they’ve become synonymous with the office workplace power shoe. However, the heat and humidity that comes with the warmer weather can sometimes make a beloved pair of heels the most unbearable pair of shoes to wear. Luckily heels aren’t the only option you have for the workplace. The ladies Lacoste’s Cambrai 117 2 in Light Grey gives you the perfect balance between formal and sporty. The shoe can be easily paired with jeans or dress pants and a blazer. Allowing the wearer to mix and match the shoe for whatever situation their workplace calls for. For men, the Laccord 117 1 in Tan is the perfect versatile office shoe. Taking you from meeting to after work drinks. Depending on your workplace environment, the Laccord can be worn in perfect harmony with anything from a pair of dark coloured jeans or casual pants, to a navy suit or sand coloured suit. Giving you the perfect dress down or dress up shoe for your work day.

Carnaby Evo 117 3 and Carnaby Evo 217 1

Top: Ladies Carnaby Evo 117 3 – Bottom: Mens Carnaby Evo 217 1 | Photos: Lacoste

When looking for an ever day shoe. It’s important to look for something that not only works well with your entire wardrobe but also showcases your personality through colour, detail, and style. The ladies Lacoste Carnaby Evo 117 3 in Metallic Pink is the perfect casual shoe that does just that. Easily going from workplace to weekend and back again. The Carnaby Evo 117 3 meshes the classic crispness of a Lacoste sneaker with a fresh and modern hint of trendy metallic pink. Allowing you to move from outfit to outfit without compromising style and comfort. For men, Lacoste’s Carnaby Evo 217 1 in White and Blue gives you an updated take on a classic style that goes with just about everything. The crisp whiteness of the shoe mixed with that beautiful pop of denim blue gives you the perfect cool summer shoe to showcase around town, at work, and whatever other fun summer activities you may find yourself getting up to.

Promenade Ace 217 1 and L.30 Sport Slide

Top: Ladies Promenade Ace 217 1 – Bottom: Mens L.30 Sport Slide | Photos: Lacoste

The perfect summer wardrobe is never complete without a comfortable and stylish pair of sandals. The key to finding the perfect pair is to go for staple colours like black, white, and navy or punchy colours like jewel tones and pastels. This season, Lacoste has sweet summers styles for everyone’s needs. The ladies Promenade Ace 217 1 in light Orange and White are the perfect shade of sherbet orange to add a soft jolt of colour to any summertime wardrobe. Easily paired with jeans, shorts, and dressier slacks. The fresh combination of orange and white give you the versatility of wearing the sandal casually or more formal depending on your outfit choice. On the men’s side, the L.30 Sport Slide in Black gives you a simple and classic silhouette that pairs perfectly with a vast array of summer outfits. The simplistic minimalist style and colour mean you won’t have to take time out of your day to worry about what outfit goes with what shoe. Just throw on your slide and your ready for the day!

Toronto Gets New Dance Studio

From left to right: Aaron Aquino, Aaron Libfeld and Roy Urbanozo. Photo by Sveta Soloveva

Voted the best in Toronto, The Underground’s dance classes are getting a new three-storey studio with a rooftop skylight this summer.

In just about two months, the new Underground Dance Centre will take the space above Yuk Yuk’s comedy club at 224 Richmond St. West, which is only two doors down from the original. Compared to the 3,700 square feet old studio with two rooms, the new space will be around 8,500 square feet with four rooms, including a rooftop with glass windows, which all the teachers are excited about.

“This is the floor I’m going to fight for,” said hip hop teacher Aaron Aquino. “I just want a sunny roof and fresh air coming through.”

Right now, the demolitions are complete and the team is collecting quotes from different contractors and deciding on who will build the new studio, said studio manager Roy Urbanozo.

The Underground Dance Centre gets a rooftop skylight studio this summer. Photo by Sveta Soloveva

The price for a single class increases from $15 to $17 starting May 1st, according to twenty-eight-year owner Aaron Libfeld. He added that still “a competitive price” around the city comes with new values. They are doubling the number of classes from 120 to 240, adding more hours for the teachers, and hiring more dancers to teach new styles. The old studio will continue to operate and customers will be able to use their passes at both locations. 

“Everyone is excited to see the new schedule,” said Libfeld. “There’s going to be a lot more of the popular styles, such as hip hop, dancehall, heels, Beyonce… We gonna have more k-pop and disco theme.”

Libfeld grew up as a competitive dancer, who took ballet, jazz, hip hop, contemporary, and acro at Vlad’s Dance Centre in Richmond Hill. The first thing he is looking for when hiring teachers is their personality. Even though someone is the best dancer in the world and they come with a bad attitude, they are automatically disqualified,” he said.

Excellent dance experience, understanding of the style, and ability to teach are the other requirements.

Photo by Roy Urbanozo

Teachers are not the only ones who create the mood in the studio. There are 20 young volunteers, who help at the front desk and receive free classes in return. Urbanozo will hire about 20 more volunteers to create positive vibes and a loving atmosphere in the new studio. 

Another innovation, prerecorded classes by choreographers from New York and L.A. is coming to the old Underground in just about a week. It’s going to be a unique experience, different from a simple online class, said Libfeld. “Even though they are [following] prerecorded videos, they are in a dance studio, in a dance environment, with other people,” he said. “Online classes are kind of the Netflix, but we wanna be like the Cineplex.”

Technology and social media have been a huge part of The Underground since it opened in 2014. Libfeld, who holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Finance and used to run a technology company at Ryerson’s Digital Media Zone (DMZ), said he applied all those skills to run his dance studio.

It’s very focused on working on the idea, getting feedback on that and continually innovating it,” he said.

Photo by Roy Urbanozo

Videos of every class on its Instagram, which now has almost 80,000 followers, helped the studio attract most of the clients and won the title of the best dance classes in Toronto by blogTO and Yelp within the first six months of opening. The Underground hosted the space for celebrities like Nelly Furtado, who rehearsed at the studio twice during her visit to Toronto.

“It’s exciting to know that we are providing the great content and sharing our love of dance in the world,” said Libfeld.

Both, Libfeld and Urbanozo said they are happy to expand their business, but the new studio is not the end of their vision. They will keep working on the main concept: providing their customers with the best experience. “We do our best because we want them [the customers] to come back. We want them to feel exclusive,” said Urbanozo. “There’s still a lot to learn about the industry and how to treat our customers.”

“We’ll only stop when we have to stop,” said Libfeld. “We are obsessed with the customer experience. For us it’s the worst thing if anyone walks out unhappy. So we make sure that we only hire the best teachers, keep the beautiful facility with professional cleaners every single night. That creates the whole experience which I think is different than anyone else does.”

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Your 420 Playlist

Happy 420 Novella readers! We wanted to provide you with a chill play mix for the day that went beyond the reggae and pot cliche (not that reggae isn’t fantastic). The tracklist consists of everything from pop, indie and electronic. We hope you have a lovely time listening to these tunes and lighting one –or a few– up.

Rihanna -James Joint

People Under the Stairs – Acid Raindrops

Sharon Forrester – Love Don’t Live Here Anymore

Erykah Badu – On & On

Wilson Tanner – Sun Room

De Facto – Cordova

OutKast – Crumblin’ Erb

Sean Nicholas Savage – Propaganda

Aquarian Foundation – Mind Miniatures

Rhoda Scott – Molybdenum

Devendra Banhart – Seahorse

Space Dimension Controller – The Love Quadrant

Devin The Dude – Doobie Ashtray