• Lifestyle

    The breakup

    Alexandrea Fiorante glued a pair of feathery false eyelashes to her glittered eyelids as she chugged down a beer. She then slipped into a backless black dress before piling into an Uber with her friends.  Destination? Any club she could get a cute picture to post on Instagram, simultaneously making her ex jealous and proving that she’s “winning” the breakup. At least that’s how she imagined dealing with the heartbreak of ending her long-term relationship with her partner last November. But the continuous lockdowns in Toronto have restricted Fiorante from taking the rom-com suggested formula for getting over a breakup.  Instead, she had to sit alone in her bedroom with…

  • Health

    Steering friends through rough waters

    Earlier this year, high school student Sophia Ruselle noticed a shift in her close friend’s behaviour.  Her friend was withdrawn and distant. He had no motivation, his outlook on life had become hopeless, he was always sleeping and his moods were all over the place.  Ruselle recognized that her friend was suffering from depression. When he began to self-harm, she notified his family before the situation could escalate.  She knew all too well the seriousness of untreated depression. In November of last year, she attempted to take her own life. Her suicide attempt was a culmination of the stress invoked by the frequent lockdowns and school closures.  A study conducted…

  • Careers

    Disrupted dreams

    Pre-pandemic, Christiane Tarantino was busy. She was juggling grad school, working as a teaching assistant and holding down a part-time job as an administrative assistant at a community centre. Tarantino was commuting over an hour downtown six days a week and sometimes pulling 14-hour-long days. She was exhausted.  That’s why, last March when her university announced the transition to online classes and her supervisor informed her that she was being laid off, Tarantino was a little relieved. She thought of it as an unplanned break, one that would allow her to focus on finishing her master’s thesis and offering more support to her students. But then the pandemic continued. Tarantino’s…

  • Health

    Bubblegum cartridges and popcorn lungs

    Throughout her childhood, Adriana Bellisomo, 18, watched her mother struggle to quit smoking cigarettes. When her mother finally kicked the habit, she made Bellisomo promise to never smoke. And for a while that was an easy promise to keep. Most of her friends found cigarettes to be dirty, so the temptation never formulated.  Then her friends began to boast about their vibrant vaping devices and liquid cartridges full of delectable flavours like bubblegum and sour berry. Bellisomo was intrigued—these seemed so different from the smelly, cancer causing sticks she had watched her mother puff on. These didn’t feel dangerous or dirty, they felt cool. She wasn’t alone; a study conducted…