We Gon’ Party Like, Like It’s 2012: Taking A Trip Down Memory Lane…FAREWELL 2011

So it’s the last day of the year two thousand and eleven…December 31st…with a few hours left of 2011, I am going to reflect back on the wonderfully awesome things that came my way in past year. This year has definitely been one where I’ve experienced a lot of things….lots of changes and new experiences. Graduation, starting university, new friendships, and getting a whole new perspective on the ‘real world’ (life after grad). It has definitely been an AWESOME year. Even though lots has changed, and new experiences have come my way, the old memories continue to live on. Graduation was a big thing for one, being done with high school? OH HECK YES!! 😀 😀  Looking back on the last four months, when I first started UBC, it’s amazing to see how different my life is. All summer, my friend and I had all sorts of extreme emotions about going away to UBC, we were filled with happiness and excitement to nervousness and hesitancy….we were going from a place where we had all of our friends and all our comforts at hand, to a place that was pretty new, in the sense that we wouldn’t really know anyone there. The anticipation of going to UBC was crazy!  Living away from home….I couldn’t even imagine it, but I was excited. I was excited for this new opportunity that was coming my way..’out with the old, and in with the new’ … I had felt like that change in environment and this whole ‘new way of life’ thing was much needed. I remember feeling so ready to just start fresh, and start anew. I had gone to the same school since grade 8, pretty much had the same friends all the way through high school (for the most part)…and I love them all very much, and I wouldn’t be the person I am today without them. Once September came…it was time for move in day….I remember my parents and I putting everything into the van to go into Vancouver…and I was like “oh my goodness, this is actually happening! This is the day that I’ve been waiting for and dreading all at the same time!”  — once we had reached UBC it was great, and for the first time in a long time, I had felt like it was such a fresh start, no one knew me, and I didn’t know them….THIS WAS WHAT I WANTED! The first friends that I had made at UBC, I’m still friends with them to this day, and it’s great. I kept making more and more friends as time went on, and meeting all these people from practically around the world – England, China, Peru, Japan, France, India, Switzerland, Slovakia, Saudi Arabia, Italy, Trinidad and Tobago, Thailand, Bangladesh, Germany, Lebanon, Brazil, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Africa, Zimbabwe, United Arab Emirates,… – you name it, UBCs got it. Meeting such a variety of people from such diverse cultures is an experience in itself. And living away from home is pretty interesting too!

This past year has shaped who I am today so greatly, and I want to just give a HUUUUUGEEE thank you to: all the amazing people that have been in my life since I’ve been born (mainly family, I am SO blessed to have such an amazing and supportive family behind me in every step that I take…always helping me push forward and to believe in myself.). Friends from elementary school that have stuck with me, young memories forever! ❤ All my awesome friends from high school (honestly couldn’t have asked for better friends, we’ve all been through lots together and every ‘down’ just continues to shape and strengthen us. and all the memories that we’ve made throughout the years will always be remembered.). All the teachers from my high school that never gave up on me, always helping me through things that I was struggling with -you are all amazing people and have greatly influenced me spiritually and in who I am today. Everyone that I have met along the way, there was a reason you guys came into my life! And now presently, the super awesome and amazing friends that I have met during my new journey at UBC, honestly, what would the last four months have been like without you guys? I don’t even want to think about it! You guys have really made this journey spectacular and I wouldn’t trade it for anything! I could seriously go ON AND ON about how great each and every one of you are, but that would take WAY too long! And to my crazy roommate, you MAKE my life girl! I am so glad that we get to share this new ‘adventure’ that life threw at us, together, you make my life… not dull. There is honestly NEVER a dull moment with you, and I am SO grateful that we’re friends. I don’t know what I would have done without you. We complete each other, I know you agree with me. 😉 You’re the vanilla icing to my cupcake. ❤ And thank you God for doing such amazing things in my life in the past year, faith in you gives me strength and courage. 

Once again, I love you all!!!! And thank you for giving me the best year yet! Farewell 2011… HELLO 2012! 😀 

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!!!

Search terms entertain me.

And here are a few ‘intriguing’ (some really aren’t…at all…..mainly I just wanted to answer questions) search terms that perhaps brought you to my blog?

  • awkward moments in high school – I never had awkward moments in high school, you’ll get over it. 😉 haha joking.
  • totem vs vanier ubc – vanier is WAAAAY better. why? check out my post ‘dorm sweet dorm – ubc dorm life’ and that will tell you why.
  • some people get on my nerves – well buddy, that’s life, sometimes you just gotta suck it up.
  • prep 101 biol 112 midterm – never gone to it, but I’ve heard it’s actually pretty useful, especially the course booklet they give you, it has a lot of questions in it !
  • movie filming in ubc november 2011 – I believe it was october 2011? The Company You Keep starring Mr. Shia Labeouf.
  • what’s filming at ubc? – ohhh what’s cookin’ good lookin’ ? 😉 *see post above*
  • ubc sock wars 2011 – oh sock wars is so much fun if you’re actually into the game!!! 😀
  • i did horrible on my midterm for psychology – i’m sorry to hear that – but so did i. hope your final went well!
  • not ready for my first uni exam – well.. I suppose you’re screwed then?
  • what is ubc residence like? – uhhhmmm AMAZING. for stuff about first year residence at ubc…check out my post ‘dorm sweet dorm -ubc dorm life’
  • psych 101 uwaterloo exam answers – cuz I totally have a stash of uwaterloo answer keys…
  • is it just me or is it chemistry – who are you? the next shakespeare? But in honesty…it’s probably just you. hehe.
  • life in ubc weather – please don’t drown in a puddle.
  • the weekend is almost over – ohhh noo!! don’t worry, it’ll come again in 7 days!
  • british accent ubc – ubc doesn’t have a british accent? whaa?
  • happy christmas eve! – you too!!!
  • what does it mean “baby you light up my world like nobody else” picture – I almost got it until you added ‘picture’ to it….
  • I looked the best at winter formal – someone’s full of it. but no. you’re wrong. clearly it was I that looked best.
  • ubc flip my hair – no. willow smith flips her hair.I whip my hair back and forth, I whip my hair back and forth.

UBC Semester One Course Overview (FIRST YEAR)

I talked about doing an overall summary of my first term courses and here goes it.

I took 5 courses in first term – Psychology 101, English 110, Math 100, Biology 112, and Chemistry 121. (fun course load? I know.)

PSYCHOLOGY 101 – Biological and Cognitive Psychology

First and foremost, WHY did I take this course? Because Psychology intrigues me and I never got a chance to actually take any psych courses in high school…and I wanted a course that was ‘new’ to me…something I hadn’t seen in high school. I’m not going to lie, it WAS an interesting course, and my professor was pretty decent….and once again, not going to lie, it was my first course of the day, and sometimes I felt like I wanted to fall asleep. My class for the most part was quite ‘dead’ … I wouldn’t blame them, it was pretty early after all! And little did I know how many people were in my class until the day of the midterm! There were apparently close to 200 people registered in my psych class(190 – something)….and only about 100-130 would show up on a daily basis. I actually enjoyed the textbook ‘Themes and Variations’ – it was a bit dense, some chapters were just TOO LONG…and went deep down into extreme detail-age. Every weekend we had a quiz to do online…these quizzes were not done on vista, it was a separate website…which bothered me because I would almost ALWAYS forget to do them…or I’d remember an hour before the deadline…but only 5/7 quizzes counted for marks – so I was safe. The level of difficulty of the quizzes was relatively easy…they were multiple choice questions, with answers straight from the book….lots of skimming was done on those weekends..siighhh. Also, we only had one midterm, which was worth about 35% of our term mark…and we were told the date of the midterm on the first day of class…..probably should have  DONE something about that(other than acknowledging it and thinking I had ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD)…it would have resulted in a better midterm mark, for sure. There were quite a few theories that all seemed like the same thing sometimes, but really they were different. And I felt that memorization wasn’t all that you needed..you needed to memorize, understand, and apply. And to be quite honest, this class wasn’t of utmost importance to me, after all, I AM a Science student, and this was just for Arts credits. SOOOOO yeaah. And I have been told(by people that have taken both Psych 101 and 102) that Psych 102 is much more interesting than this course, it’s more about people and their behaviours, which is what I, personally am interested in. And it actually helps to have a background in Biology for this course, I found that one whole section was practically a chapter from BC Biology 12…the whole nervous system section.

ENGLISH 110 – Approaches to Literature

Boy, am I ever glad that I managed to survive through this course, and I even got a decent mark in it. I went into this course thinking, “Oh I love reading books, this will be my ‘chill’ course…when I’m sick of doing all the science-y stuff, I’ll just relax and read a book” …….my thoughts throughout the term: “@#$%@#$!!! GET ME OUT OF THIS CLASS!!!! I HAVE BETTER THINGS TO DO THAN READ BOOKS ABOUT GENDER ROLES IN SOCIETY!!! I’M A SCIENCE STUDENT!! @!%#^*#$@”  – haha, this class was not what I expected it to be. Now, don’t be turned off by the fact that I disliked this course, I know plenty of English 110 students that actually LIKED their class. My professor had a VERY monotonous voice….half the time I wanted to just SLEEP/skip this class…but I knew skipping this class would result in me being screwed…so I never skipped. She just talked and talked and talked in the same tone, and it got to the point where I would forget that she was still talking…it would just drown out in my head. And that resulted in not great note taking skills…I never knew WHAT part of what she was saying was important. And she expected us to read about 100-150 pages in like 2 days — THAT never happened. And the books that she picked out….SO BORING and it just had no ‘story’ to it…not exciting in the slightest. But I will say one thing, my TA was THE BEST TA EVER!! I loved English discussions on Fridays just because she made them worthwhile. And we had 3 in-class essays…I think it was three..maybe it was 2… I kinda forget. oops. And we had one final research paper worth 30% of our grade. All in all, I’m just glad that I never have to do that class AGAIN…and the fact that I came out alive.

MATH 100 – Differential Calculus with Applications to Physical Sciences and Engineering

“What math are you taking?”

“Math 100.”

“Oh that’s the easy math right?”

“No.”  —- I can’t even count on my two hands HOW MANY TIMES I was asked that question…just because ‘100’ is a low number, people assume that it’s the ‘easy’ math… NOOO SIIIRR. It’s engineering math, the ‘most challenging’ first year math course. I…toughed it out with this one…thank you wonderful mathematically geniusified friends…and awesome prof! I was never really good at calculus…we just never clicked, not even in high school. Since I struggled with Calculus in high school, it was pretty much expected that I would struggle with it in university. Although, I definitely understood it better once I was taught it in university. So if you took Calculus 12, and were good at it, then you really wouldn’t have too much trouble with Math 100…you’d probably get a decent mark…and remember that the midterms for the most part WILL be easier than the final…unless you had a pretty ‘easy’ prof..in that case…your midterms would be easier, and your final mark would most likely get scaled DOWN, while the others’ marks would get scaled UP. Fortunately I was lucky to be scaled up! By the way, Math 100 gets scaled FOR SURE, every year, so your final mark is NOT your raw mark. I don’t think being scaled down is ‘fair’ for the individual person, but on a LARGER scale, it actually IS fair….if you’re in a class with a prof that gives out hard midterms, and manage a 40% …and then you look at another class where a student gets 80% because it’s an easier midterm….and then when the common final exam comes…the student with the 40 gets in the 70s and then the student that got 80, gets in the 50s — clearly you can see that there’s something wrong with that. But yeah- all I can say is, practice, practice, practice... TONS AND TONS of math questions, you have access to old finals through the ubc math department website…and just use your resources.

BIOLOGY 112 – Unicellular Life

Ahh – cell biology, not something that I really LOVE…but hey, I did quite well on the midterms. Hehe. Just on the midterms. That final exam, I don’t even want to talk about it! All the exams in this course are multiple choice, which sometimes is a good thing, sometimes not. I feel like I completely fluked out on the second midterm, but that’s beside the point. So if you took Biology 12 (in BC), most of the things you learn in this course would be really familiar to you. Every weekend we had a self-assessment aka a quiz with about 6-10 questions….which were based on the pre readings of the week. The pre-readings, which I ACTUALLY did…took forever sometimes….but I actually thought that the textbook that we used was quite good and really gave good background on the information. Also, at the beginning of the year, we had to buy a custom notes package, which was a really condensed/almost a summary, of the main topics covered in the textbook. I found it pretty useful, more like a ‘companion’ to the textbook…I wouldn’t JUST read the custom notes package instead of reading the textbook…the note package is NOT a substitute for the text, at all. And this class has clicker questions, which thankfully aren’t marked based on correctness of your answers — as long as you click SOMETHING, you’re fine. Sometimes the clicker questions were drop dead obvious, other times, they made you wonder whether you were in the wrong class.. The first midterm(10% of our grade) we had was only out of 13 questions, and it was actually a pretty fair exam…we had 25 minutes to do it, in class(it was a different midterm for each section)….and I think this was the first midterm I had ever written. The second midterm was 25 questions, a common exam for all sections, and worth 30% of our grade, a significantly large portion I would say…and we had an hour to do it. And the common final exam was worth 45% of the grade….I don’t even want to go into detail about the final, definitely felt like I got hit by a train for that exam..and that’s mutual with many people that wrote it. You needed a cumulative average of 50% between the midterms and the final in order to pass the course — which is pretty fair. And this course apparently doesn’t believe in ‘scaling’ – but they did take off four marks off of the total for the final, our final was originally out of 54 marks, but they brought it down to 50 — I guess that’s worth something.

CHEMISTRY 121 – Structural Chemistry, with Application to Chemistry of the Elements

Chemistry and I have an interesting relationship.. I thorough enjoy the course…but I believe that it could have been taught in a better way. My prof … let’s just say she ‘tried’ to teach, but it wasn’t effective. My prof pretty much put up slides on the powerpoint, which were pages straight out of the CHiRP (our workbook/textbook) – and then she would just talk talk talk. Towards the end of the term, she actually started to write out notes…now THIS was actually helpful! I was a lecture crasher (attended other profs lectures) … best one to go to would be Mark Maclachlan’s – a-MAY-zing prof…absolutely AMAZING! I even remember the very first lecture of his that I went to…and I had learned SOOOO much! I wish I had gone to his lectures back in September, I only started going at the end of October/beginning of November. And another good one was Dr. Wolf (I have never been to his lectures, but my friends all said he was really good). But Maclachlan, he is THE BEST OF THE BEST! Such an effective teacher. Going into first term, I was terrified at the thought of doing Chem labs —- boy was I in for a surprise, I thoroughly ENJOYED doing chem labs…you would NEVER have heard me say that in high school..I mean they were cool to WATCH..but I would never have wanted to actually DO them myself. I honestly surprised myself this term with that! The lab component of the course is worth 20% of your final grade, and 80% is the lecture component. The lecture component consists of midterms, in class quizzes, and the final. If you don’t PASS both of the components, then you don’t pass the course. If you pass the lab component, but fail the lecture component, you have to do the course again, except the labs won’t need to be repeated. You will definitely come across questions on the midterms that will totally and completely confuse you, to the point of throwing off all thinking abilities – not fun. 😛 BUT the final is pretty do-able…you should be able to easily pass it if you have a decent grip on the concepts. 

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…

Hello all. Hope your Holiday festivities were great, I sure enjoyed mine! I wanted to make a post on Christmas Eve, and on Christmas day, but that obviously didn’t happen.. Last night we went to our friend’s house for Christmas dinner, and it was divine! We went to a party at another friend’s house on the 23rd, and it was great, so many people, but it was great. I’m not taking part in any ‘Boxing Day’ ‘festivities’ – keeping it pretty low key today. Debating on dying/streaking my hair actually, you know, starting fresh for the new year/second term. I don’t know, we’ll see.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately, about many things, because I actually have time to think, unlike during school, too much non academic thinking can lead me astray from my studies (ha-ha). Just the other day I was thinking how ‘un-Christmas-y’ university was….like I mean, I’m used to being in school where Christmas is greatly celebrated, and where we do Christmas related things, like food drives for the Salvation Army and making a school event out of making sculptures with all the cans we collected and stuff like that. My class had such a competitive nature about can collecting, we always tried to collect more cans than the rest of the classes, which is technically a win-win situation for our class and the people that need all the food. It was always so much fun going door to door with friends, asking for donations of food items, and all the interesting people we’d encounter. Like last year, we went to this one house and the lady asked us to step inside (which we were quite hesitant on doing, but she insisted) and her whole house was covered with wall mountings of OWLS! It was the WEIRDEST thing….some intense owl fetish going on there. And more things I missed: Christmas songs on the radio in the car and the hustle and bustle of people at the mall…exams really took away from enjoying the season to the best of my ability…needless to say, I still enjoyed it VERY MUCH! 

I am alas up to date with ‘2 Broke Girls’ – watched all 12 episodes that have aired so far, and now the 13th one airs on January 2nd….siighh…I’m hooked. As much as I love being at home with family, I still miss people from  UBC, I can’t wait to go back to residence and see everyone again! And new classes starting, that’s going to be weird not seeing the same people again. But thankfully, I know at least one person in each of my new classes 😀 .   I’m hoping that second semester goes by SUPER SLOWLY…I need to thoroughly cherish every up and down that I come across along the way – mainly the ups, but the downs also apparently shape who I am? Sooooo. 😛 

Another thing I’m enjoying, leisure reading! 😀 I love Sarah Dessen, I’ve loved her since about 3 or 4 years ago, when I first bought one of her books, and now I have her newest book (new as of the summer), it’s called ‘What Happened to Goodbye’ — and I love it! They make me feel all fluffy and tingly inside….and they make me think about MY life….and how things are going with people…hehe…. (I dislike romance books in general, this is a serious exception). My other favourites by her are ‘ Along for the Ride’ and ‘Lock and Key’. You can never be too old for Sarah Dessen! 

Happy Christmas Eve’s Eve.

“You have the accuracy rate of a magic 8 ball” – Max (2 Broke Girls) <— I can’t get over how much I love that show!!! I ❤ Kat Dennings. Some of her situations in the show really remind me of myself..it’s fantastic.

So it’s December 23rd today, which means that Christmas Eve is tomorrow, and Christmas is in two days. It REALLY doesn’t feel like Christmas, exams definitely took over most of the Christmas spirit….but whatever. I’m still excited for Christmas, and all the dinners and get togethers that come along with it, starting tonight! 😀 A few days ago I got together with a bunch of friends that I graduated with, it was great catching up on things, definitely hard to believe that it’s been over 6 months since I graduated. I feel like Christmas break of grade 12 was really memorable, it was the time when I started to apply to universities and started thinking about my ‘future’. I remember I was extremely set on going to the University of Alberta, and practically researched EVERYTHING about it…but then I realized I would probably freeze to death in Edmonton, and I didn’t really know anyone else, and it’s way too far from home haha. But I’m glad things worked the way they did, I clearly belong at UBC. 🙂 Looking back on the past year, it’s definitely crazy how fast time flies! 

I have decided that I have developed a ‘new’ ‘outlook’ on life…as I start second term at UBC….I’m really a ‘positive’ person for the most part…or I was, until November came along..and I got really stressed out and started becoming more ‘negative’ towards things….and I didn’t totally realize it was a big deal until my friends actually told me that I was starting to complain too much about things…and then  it hit me….what was wrong with me!? So now I’m going back to good all positive-ness. Second term, fresh start, can’t wait. 

Oh how I missed TV…and having a life.

Sleeping. Eating. Relaxing. Eating. Wasting my time away in the best ways possible…. yeah that sounds about right.

So much time to do everything and nothing…that is what Christmas break is all about. I didn’t feel THIS much freedom back in high school when we had Christmas break….but maybe that’s because in university, you’re practically SWAMPED with studying once midterms begin…and in high school…you’re pretty much free for most of the time even during school. It’s such a great feeling going to bed late, and waking up late, gotta catch up on all the sleep that I lost during exams! 😉

Today alone, I have watched 4…going on 5 episodes of this new show called ‘2 Broke Girls’, and all I can say is, I’m in LOVE with it! It has Kat Dennings in it, and I think she’s absolutely AMAZING! She’s so different compared to other actresses, she’s really unique and I love her for it. And in case you didn’t catch it from the title, it’s pretty much about ‘2 broke girls’…definitely check it out, it’s pretty funny, and I know I’m hooked! I’m looking for more shows to watch, now that I have time to! 

Remember the “do a barrel roll” thing for Google, well now they have a new one, type in “let it snow” on google search…and wait a few seconds….so entertaining!

Tomorrow is the last day of exams at UBC….kudos to all you people that are still staying strong, even though residences are practically empty and ghostly with the lack of people! I JUST WANT TO KNOW WHETHER I FAILED ANYTHING OR NOT!!!!!

Dorm Sweet Dorm: UBC dorm life.

Well folks, here it is: the post about university rez life….the one that I have been putting off for WAY too long! Ironic how I’m going to be rambling on about how great dorm life is…..yet I’m sitting on my bed at home, all warm and cozily. On a completely different note, before I begin, I just want to say: Tetris Battle on Facebook, is super addicting, and you MUST play it! 

So now about UBC res life.

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION.

There are two first year residences, Totem Park..and Place Vanier. I currently live in Vanier, and I am super grateful that I do. The dining hall is great, the location is superb, and the houses are all decently nice looking. Some of the old houses at Totem just look really old…and MOST of Vanier’s houses have a more ‘new’ look to them, which I love. Needless to say, the two brand spankin’ new, stellar hotel-like houses are in Totem….some people can even get a private bathroom, if you don’t have a private bathroom, you only share it with ONE other person….and the lounges of these new houses are BEAUTIFUL and DIVINE. Vanier  can’t even compare to those houses.  In reality, the new Totem houses are to die for. Also, at first glance, Vanier looks more ‘organized’…and it’s quite widespread..at first it seems super easy to get lost in Totem…but you would get used to it in a week or so. Totem has connected houses, which means that two houses are connected to each other, which makes it more ‘sociable’…unlike Vanier, where all the houses are ‘separate’ from each other, and some people don’t even know that certain houses even exist (it’s quite sad 😛 ) Back to location…. if you’re in Engineering, Human Kinetics, Land and Food Systems, or Forestry, then Totem would technically be the ‘better’ choice, just in the sense that all those faculty buildings are quite close to Totem. But for Science, Arts, and Commerce, Vanier is definitely better situated than Totem…in a sense, because all the Science buildings are just mainly along University Blvd. which is right by Vanier. And Arts courses CAN be situated in some random places, but the majority tend to be around Buchanan. The SUB (Student Union Building), the two major libraries (Irving and Koerner), the Bookstore, Triple O’s, the Village…these are all WAY closer to Vanier(south Vanier) than Totem. How much closer? Well from south Vanier none of those are over a 7 minute walk, except the village, that might take about 10 minutes or so, north Vanier, just add 2 minutes. In saying that, I understand that it’s not all that helpful, considering the fact that you ‘technically’ can’t CHOOSE which residence you want when you fill out the residence application form…although, here’s a tip….try emailing housing and specifying which residence you want, it worked for me, and it worked for a bunch of my friends, I guess a lot of people don’t really bother going that extra step, due to the fact that they probably don’t know. And besides, once you find out which residence you’re in(which obviously isn’t until  the summer), you can always try to switch with someone, there are always people trying to switch from Totem to Vanier/Vanier to Totem.

FOOD. 

I personally prefer Vanier over Totem — but sometimes the food is better at Totem, and sometimes Vanier (selection-wise). There have been times when I walk into the Vanier dining hall and think ‘Wow….everything here kind of sucks….I don’t want ANY of this food…’ –same goes when I’ve walked into Totem’s dining hall as well! (Sometimes it’s just the fact that I expect something great…and then none of what I want is there..kind of a bummer…but we gotta eat  SOMETHING!)  The Vanier dining hall is a lot bigger, and has more of a ‘restaurant’ feel, especially for dinner, when the lights are all dimmed, it’s ambient. And plus all my friends from Totem LOVE coming over to Vanier to eat. Totem’s dining hall on the other hand, it’s more like a ‘diner’, but they actually re-did the Totem dining hall a couple years ago, so it’s technically ‘newer’. But regardless of size, Totem DOES have the whole outdoor eating area going for them, whereas Vanier doesn’t. The food that they serve at Totem can sometimes be repetitive(more so than Vanier)..don’t get me wrong, they DO switch up the food at both places, but they can only make so many different types of food, right? I’m not sure exactly what each of Totem’s booths are called but—-Vanier has ‘Fusions’ – which is the ‘Italian’ place…where they serve pizza, pasta, quesidillas, and calzones. ‘Stackables’ – which is the wraps and sandwich station – you HAVE to try their smoothies, they’re the BEST! ‘The Ginger Pot’ – this is the Asian station, noodles, fried rice, sweet and sour pork, and all sorts of other dishes, and their portion sizes are HUGE! ‘The Cedar Grill’ – this is like ‘fast food’ … with burgers, chicken strips, fish, fries (they have feature fries daily, consisting of spicy curly fries- sooo good!, tater tots, country style, etc), onion rings, grilled cheese(they make some stellar grilled cheese), and omelettes(with whatever you want in them), and so on. And lastly, ‘Stonehearth’ – they have homestyle food…this is my favourite place no doubt, they just have a lot of variety, from spicy chicken wings and yam fries to roast beef and steak and potatoes….chicken/lamb souvlaki. The Vanier dining hall shuts down at around 7 30 – 8 45 (depending on what day of the week it is)… and I’m not sure about the Totem dining hall hours, BUT they do have their grill which is open until MUCH LATER than Vanier’s. And also, Totem has a soft serve machine (envious). In saying all that….do realize that Vanier people can go eat at Totem, and Totem kids at Vanier. 

ROWDY?

Totem DEFINITELY takes it away with the ‘rowdy- partying’ aspect. And I’m not going to lie…it IS pretty true. Both Vanier and Totem have tons of partying people…but when you actually look at it…Totem’s parties seem to get out of control more easily, and sometimes..it’s exciting and fire trucks and ambulances show up. If we hear sirens coming close to Vanier, everyone’s first thought is : “oh, they must have gotten lost on their way to Totem!” – yeah, you get the idea.(Sometimes Vanier and Totem ‘don’t like each other’— hehe….in a good spirited kind of way. Sports and stuff- we’re rivals) But keep in mind, Totem has ‘larger’ parties because they have double the amount of people in each house than Vanier. Vanier’s houses all are about 100 people each…except for Tec and Korea which have around 250 each. And Totem’s houses all have about 250, and Hem’lesem has about 350. So that makes sense, doesn’t it? More people = more chance of being louder. Fire alarms…..this year, they were more frequent in Totem than Vanier, that’s for sure. Keep in mind that fire alarm pulling DOES happen at Vanier too, but just less frequently in Vanier, compared to Totem. But a plus for Totem is the fact that the response of the fire department is faster, one time at Vanier, when the fire alarm went off at our house at around mid early morning, we had to wait for about an hour to get back inside. (WHAT A PAIN!) I have a few friends from Totem that actually find partying annoying when they’re trying to study. So Vanier is a lot more ‘quieter’…when it needs to be quiet. But keep in mind that during finals, they enforce Quiet hours and Silent hours…so loudness IN residence is absolutely intolerable . And during the rest of the year they have quiet hours: Sunday-Thursday 9pm – 7 am, and Friday-Saturday 1 am-7 am. I feel like in a way Totem seems more ‘social’ — there are people everywhere, sometimes in Vanier, people seem non-existent at times. The commonsblock at Totem is bigger, and has better study spaces in my opinion. The study spaces in Totem seem more ‘secluded’ than Vanier’s(the ones here seem more OPEN, and therefore can be a bit distracting).

MY OWN PERSONAL EXPERIENCE.

I absolutely LOVE it! It’s the best experience of my life so far! The people in your house, your ‘housemates’, ‘floormates’, and RAs really make or break your experience in rez. We have three RAs (Residence Advisors) in our house, and they are the greatest people ever! RAs are usually second/third year students, so they’ve all for the most part experienced what you’re going to experience, and they’re always there for you to talk to. We’re all like a big family in our house, we all look out for each other, make fun of each other, and sometimes, some of us can’t stand each other(in a good way! haha), but hey, we all get along great. I think I live with the greatest people ever!!! During this break, I know that I am definitely going to miss quite a few people, but once January comes, we’ll be seeing each other pretty much every single day! 😀 So overall, I think that living on residence is definitely worth it, you get to meet a lot of new people, and there are so many events that the residences put on for the residents….which results in meeting even more people! And when you see people studying, it motivates you to study as well. We always have little study parties right before exams…that’s another good thing, you’re bound to have a few people in your house/floor that are taking the same courses as you! Most of my floor consists of Science students, so we almost always study for a lot of things together, and it’s really beneficial. And in all honesty, just surround yourself with people when you first arrive in residence, and you won’t even think about being homesick! 🙂 

So if you have a choice to live on residence in first year(whether it be Totem or Vanier)…I would definitely say LIVE ON RES!! You will not regret it, and the ‘first year experience’ — is something that’s worth it, and cannot be relived!