the life of petrina van nieuwstadt




I was born on August 5th, 2003. My sisters and I were born in Calgary before we moved to China to live there before grade school. Every day I try to remember the beauty of life and strive to live through gratitude and love. I recognize that the life I have been given is far higher than the lives of others, and I choose to live it to the best of my ability.



I was born a triplet. I love my sisters to the ends of the earth- they literally mean everything to me. I don’t think there has been a single event in my life that they haven’t witnessed or know of. The hardest part about being a triplet for me is the comparisons and pressure to live off to the standards of my sisters.





I have been attending FFCA ever since I was in kindergarten. It is a massive part of my life and my identity. Even though I may joke around that I secretly want to drop out, I love this school and will miss it when I graduate.





My entire life, I have always been a Christian, and my religion is a massive part of my life. My faith keeps me going when I can barely get through the day. Being a Christian means more than just believing in God and the Bible. It means living a life of love for God and his creation. It represents who I am and what I believe in.






My mother is Chinese and never fails to teach me about our culture and language. Although I can’t read or write Mandarin, I can speak it fluently and love learning about it. My favourite thing about Chinese people is their pride in their country. They are undeniably the proudest of their culture than any people I have seen. I want to be like that always.





Theatre is my largest passion; what I love to do. I think that theatre is the best way to tell a story, to share a message. Everytime I watch theatre, any pain, annoyance, distress that I was once carrying, was lifted from my shoulders. Whenever I am on stage, I strive to give that effect to an audience. Although it is not something I want to pursue after graduation, I don’t think I will ever stop being a part of some theatre community ever for as long as I live.






My family has always encouraged me to be the best that I can be. To be number one in my own life. I think that there may be times where I take being number 1 too seriously and become very competitive. My goal this year is to not take life too seriously and try to live out my life the happiest I can, and enjoy life as it goes.







This is the most important picture in my entire pechakucha. My mother is my number 1 inspiration. Not only does she work a full time job and raised triplets as a single mom, but this year she just graduated with a Master’s Degree! I am so proud of everything she did, has done, and will do, as she is constantly surprising me with her work ethic and perseverance.






This is one of many photos that I have of my friends and I. My friends are always there to keep me going and are there for me everyday of my life. I am learning more about them everyday and my gratitude for them grows everyday. I pray that I will never leave my friends and I hope that we stay in contact for the rest of my life. Surrounding myself with like-minded people and loving humans is about 99% of what I need as a person apart from oxygen and water and food.


My biggest goal for this year is to not take life so seriously and try to enjoy it as much as I can. I tend to be someone who tries to be perfect and organizes and live my life very routinely. Now I want to just try and live life one second at a time, not worried about what is coming ahead and trying to plan out every part of my life. I try not to worry about too many things because I think it just puts you through the pain twice.


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6 thoughts on “the life of petrina van nieuwstadt

  1. Dear Petrina,

    This piece was every bit as special in writing as it was to see presented, and I’m very happy that the magic, comedy, and sweetness was kept intact through the medium of writing. You expertly kept this snappy and quick, but still long enough to keep a lasting impression. I think focussing on others who are important in your life was a very interesting idea, and something I never would have thought of. However, you showed their connections to your life very well, and I loved the idea of you showcasing multiple people who have helped shape you into who your are today: a wonderful person.
    My only feedback for you would be to add an introduction before your first slide. I think even just a few lines would be a good idea to bridge the gap between your title and first slide. However, I understand you reasons for choosing not to do so, and at this point I’m just nitpicking.
    Please keep writing these excellent pieces! I look forward to reading your work.



    1. Dear Zaid,

      Thank you so much for your feedback! I’m so happy that you enjoyed my Pechakucha and that you enjoyed the connections I made and the length of it. I do agree- putting in an introduction would definitely help my presentation by bridging the gap between my title and the first slide. I see now how it can look choppy the way that I did it. Thank you again for writing this very sweet comment as it boosted my ego 1000%.


  2. Dearest Petrina,

    You have completed your first AP blog, congratulations! What might seem like a small achievement now is a great way to reflect on your writing – and the person you were – in the future. I look forward to reading more of what you have to offer and get a deeper insight into who you are!

    It seems like everyone in this class is far more self-aware than me – especially you. I learned so much about you in this presentation which is extremely valuable in an English class as intimate as ours. You clearly emphasized the parts of your identity that matter most to you and justified them eloquently. I especially loved your slide on your mom because the love you have for her was clear both in your verbal presentation as well as in your writing. The emotions you hold were made very clear in this piece and allowed me to understand you on a deeper level.

    My suggestions for you are mostly out of preference but suggestions nevertheless. Firstly, I would have liked your images and writing to be formatted more uniformly. The center to left to right formatting felt a bit chaotic at times but that could just be me. Secondly, (I know this is me being picky) I think transitional sentences or phrases could help with the flow of your piece. I know that it is just a personal preference thing, but because this is a written out version of your presentation, having a sentence that connects each image/idea could help the reader as they wouldn’t have to continuously jump from one concept to another.

    I am excited to see you grow as an AP student this year and hope that I can help in one way or another!


    1. Dear Nimrat,

      Thank you so much for your insightful comment and advice. It means a lot to have such an incredible writer comment on my post. You have an eye that can see things that most people don’t which is very helpful when I need help critiquing any of my pieces.
      I definitely will take you advice on fixing the placement of my photos and adding transitional sentences, as this year my biggest struggle seems to be with the structure of my writing. I have so many ideas that sometimes I forget the importance of reviewing my ideas and thoughts and conveying them properly.

      Thank you again!


  3. Lovely Petrina:

    I am so grateful to be in your family group this year. I love you and Zaid with my whole heart and our chemistry just works so well together. Thank you for accepting and loving me with open arms in this class!

    Thank you for this piece. It was so refreshing to fully engage myself in learning about your values and part of your story. I loved the simplicity and clarity throughout its entirety. Your love for life and every aspect of it is so present in the way you carry yourself, but within your writing. I always appreciate your optimism because it brightens the days of those around you. It is clear, evidenced throughout your entire Pechakucha, that you are one of the greatest supports of others. You are constantly there to help others fond their way, your guidance allows others to shine! From your writing alone, I feel like I can appreciate and understand what you love.

    My suggestions for improvement are just to expand on each photo and go into more depth because the readers want to know more you! All-in-all, this was a lovely piece – fitting for such a lovely person.

    I am always so grateful for you. <3

    Love always,
    mia 🙂

    1. Dear Mia,

      Your advice means everything to me. You are so inspirational. Your comments were so concise and clear that now I hope you comment on all my posts lmao. I definitely need to work on my structure and planing of my work as I often have too many ideas that are just surface level, rather than have fewer ideas that are more in-depth. This has come up a lot in my writing and I think what I need to do is just to take time in thinking my thoughts through fully and having a clear plan before I write.

      Thank you again!

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