Summer classes begin tomorrow, and as per usual, classes begin, and the rain comes back. WOOOO. But summer school is fun, right? Personally speaking, I don’t really mind the concept of summer school, it’s good to keep your brain going on an intellectual level, right? SURE! But in some ways I wish I could just live at home(my actual home, rather than rez) for summer courses. I guess this puts a damper on my endless hours of catching up on TV shows that I missed out on for the past 8 months… OHH WELL. I thought I’d have something more thought-provoking to say…but apparently I don’t. Anyway, HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY TO ALL THE EXTREMELY AWESOME MOTHERS OUT THERE, including my own, because I can say she’s genuinely the best of them all
brings back memories of 5 years ago? but now I actually understand what it’s really about..
To you I reached out
To give me strength
I said to you, listen
You did and it grew
Growing to what we couldn’t handle
Grasplessly losing control
It gave us pain and caused us hurt
I held my breath
You took it away
Taking me up and taking me down
To new heights and old depths
A never ending cycle
Something all too familiar
Of retreating to the issue and straying from the truth
Shattered hearts and streaming tears
Out of our hands it became
Breaking us down
We fell apart
Silence was the answer
Silence was golden.
Accepted into UBC/any university/college for that matter? CONGRATULATIONS! Step #1 – Complete(or Step #2, complete, Step #1 TECHNICALLY speaking is submitting your application in the first place – minor technicalities are good to clear up). I love hearing that people I know got accepted into UBC, it just makes me so happy! #imaUBCadvocate #itsinthefineprintofyouracceptancelettertobeone #jkitsactuallynot #advocatebychoice #stoppingwiththehashtagsnow
Anyway, here are some potentially useful tips for you incoming freshmen, in regards to academics:
- If you’re a soon to be Science student, let me tell you this: I hope you have a back up career goal in mind apart from being a doctor. It’s great to have aspirations of such a ‘prestigious’ job and everything, but wait until you get your first term marks back to figure out if that is REALLY your destined calling. Also, if you actually ENJOY the subjects you’re taking, it tends to heavily reflect your performance in the course. If you like what you’re learning, you’re more likely to put effort into learning it, and succeeding in it. If you’re doing it for the sake of someone else(i.e. family pressures, etc) then you’re probably not likely to do so well. I know a lot of people that went into Sciences because that’s what they were used to from high school, and they wanted to follow the medicine career path, but let me tell you – first year ended and about 70% of them realized med school wasn’t in their future. So my advice would be to keep your options open, like I said, I’m not saying to be completely goal-less, but have a few possible options in mind, and allow yourself to change your options as you go on. I know coming from high school, all I knew was “science” (physics, math, chemistry, and biology)..but in university, “science” is more than just those 4 streams. You never know, you might find out that you actually don’t like those basic sciences and prefer something else, but you can only figure that out if you leave doors open in the beginning. I know of people that came into Science and then ended up absolutely hating it, and then switched faculties and ended up loving their decision to switch. You may come in thinking Science is where it’s at but then eventually find out that you have this crazy passion for Econ(it’s happened) or something that’s completely non-Science-y. All this applies to other faculties as well, don’t be afraid to try something new, be open to new options and career paths(perhaps you think business is your thing, but later you might find out engineering is where you’re supposed to be).
- Don’t come into university thinking that you’re going to get an A in EVERYTHING, super effortlessly because you managed to do so in high school. Sorry bud, the chances of that actually happening are rather..slim. The positive attitude is GREAT, it will take you far…but don’t overestimate your abilities and be overconfident. Experience university and the rigorous style of academics that comes with it before you make a judgement of how “easy” it’ll be. Everyone has different styles of learning and some people find it “easier” to excel in the university environment as opposed to their high school environment. If you were very “teacher dependent” in high school, where you needed to be spoon fed everything to, then you probably will struggle when trying to adapt to university – not to say that there aren’t lots of resources provided, but you need to learn to be your own self-advocate and be independent with your studies. All in all, be prepared to face some struggles, and don’t just assume that you’ll have an incredibly smooth transition, expect some bumps in the road.
- Don’t turn into one of those super competitive crazy freaks. Yes, university is competitive, and yes you are technically ‘competing’ against others in your faculty to get where you need to be, but don’t be snobby about it. Don’t outwardly have the attitude that you ARE/NEED TO BE better than everyone else academically. Don’t be unwilling to help others in need because you don’t want them to do better than you – that’s just selfish and dumb and you won’t get anywhere in life, sorry. (I know that’s not true, you WILL probably get somewhere in life, I’m sure, but seriously, just don’t be snobby about such little things, clearly you have bigger things to worry about than getting into med/law/dentistry/grad schools, if that’s the attitude you carry).
- When you’re making friends, try to make friends with similar academic goals as you, being surrounded by party hardy people probably isn’t the greatest, especially if you’re trying to get into a more competitive program than them/you already have a heavy workload that requires a lot of time and effort and attention…no offense. Also, having people around you that are in the same program/similar program is really beneficial when it comes to needing help on something/those times when you just need a pump of motivation to keep you going.
- You probably shouldn’t skip classes…on a regular basis..it’s surprising how much you can learn from a lecture, UNLESS it’s actually absolutely USELESS to go to lecture, if that’s the case, attend another lecture if offered, or actually learn the material and keep up, by yourself at your own pace – just don’t leave self-teaching up until the night before the exam.
- Actually keep up with readings if the prof says that you are responsible for knowing the material from said readings, because if you don’t…..it just won’t turn out the way you’d like it to.
I have received the questions: “How do you study with the party scene UBC has?” “Do you find it hard to focus on your studies with all the parties going on?” etc etc etc., many many times. My answer to the second one is a flat out: NO. As any other university, parties DO exist at UBC(shocking, no not really), I’m not going to lie and say “Oh yeah, UBC is full of people studying 24/7 and that’s all they ever do, so no parties here” – that’s a load of cow feces, and everyone knows that. Of course there are parties here and it’s ultimately your choice as to how involved in the party scene you’d like to be. UBC has a competitive enough atmosphere for it to have people that are focused on studies and their academic career, to not distract you via parties. It’s cool to go have fun when you can, but if you don’t want to/don’t think you can afford to lose time in that way, then don’t, it’s as easy as that. If you’re constantly being nagged and pressured to go party with friends, to the point of it being a distraction, then stop hanging around them if they aren’t willing to respect your decisions. Go find yourself some new friends that are similarly goal oriented as you and will influence you in a positive manner. Some people can party all night long, every night and still pull off some miraculously fantastic grades, while others, cannot do that, i.e., partying all the time and then ending up on Academic Probation(you do not want that). Your main priority at university is to study and succeed academically, if you don’t put your studies first then you may have to face some unfavourable consequences(this is not a myth). Find the perfect balance that works for you with studying and socializing, you may end up making a few mistakes along the way, but take those as learning experiences. Just don’t hesitate to say no to other people, remember, do what’s right for you, not what is seen as “right” in the eyes of your peers. You’re out to impress grad/post grad schools(if that’s in your education line), not those around you with the party scene.
The end of a school year is rather bittersweet for most people. The sweet part – it’s summer, you’re thrilled to be done with school, and hoping that all your “hard work” has paid off and that you end up with favourable final results; and then the bitter part – the goodbyes, especially to those living far away from you and those that won’t be returning to your school in the fall. I have never been good at goodbyes, I hate them, hate hate hate hate hate. I used to think that it was just easier to just leave without any form of acknowledgement of a farewell – but no, I was wrong. Finding out that someone is leaving is probably one of the most heartbreaking things to hear. Over the past month, I have felt like people are coming into my life and leaving it like rapid fire. Why, I ask myself. Why aren’t people there to stay? The only ‘conclusion’ I’ve come up with is that people come into your life for a reason, maybe it’s to set your path straight, or for some motivation or inspiration, or for you to appreciate yourself more and to help you find your self worth, or maybe it’s something else. Then, once what they needed to do is done, their time is up for one reason or another, and before you know it, they’re leaving – or so that’s how it’s felt for me lately.
This whole second term has been an “eye opening” term, and I would probably consider it my best term(on a WIDE spectrum of things , ie., academically, socially, personally, emotionally, etc etc etc) in the 2 years I’ve been at UBC. I’ve learned a lot about myself through people I’ve met/”re”-met. I’ve shut myself in…and out..and I’ve realized things about myself which I should have figured out long ago. I’ve been the happiest I’ve been in a long time, and probably even the most emotionally confused I’ve been in a while. I’m thankful for certain people that I’ve met this term and those that have stuck beside me and my ups and downs; without most of them, I wouldn’t have had that “push” that I needed in order to carry on with things and gain the motivation that I had to just complete the term and get on with life. Regardless of all that, I’m at that point where I can “quote” Bob Marley and say ‘Don’t worry about a thing, ’cause every little thing gonna be all right.’