Random Tidbits of Potentially Useless or Useful Information

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.