4 Years and A Degree Later

If there is one day that I HAVE to post something, it’s on my “bloggeversary”, June 26th. 4 years ago I was sitting in the computer room of my house “studying” (studying = stalking everything UBC because that’s how stoked I was) for my grade 12 provincial exams, anticipating starting my first year at UBC in the following September. Whoa, THAT was a lifetime ago. Now I am currently on my computer, writing a blog post while I’m anticipating about an exciting opportunity that has come up in my life, woo. Once you graduate from high school, things just keep changing. You go into first year university (assuming you took this route) and you can say that you can anticipate (my new favourite word apparently) where you will be until you finish your degree, or maybe not, lots of people realize university isn’t their thing and they choose to follow a different path. Some people go into a Science degree in order to fulfill their lifelong desire to become a doctor, and after four years, they graduate with a Fine Arts degree because they took that one Visual Art elective in first year and they realized Science wasn’t for them – you may think that this is an exaggeration, but really, it’s not, it happens. UBC was a time of finding myself, a time to follow various paths until the signs along the road became clearer and I started following a path that seemed to have a clearer destination than when I first set foot on it. If you’re someone that thinks they know where they will be in four years, then great! If you’re someone that doesn’t know where they will be in four years, even better, create your path from scratch! Mind you, it always is nice to have some direction, but do it for you, don’t do it for someone else. I would go back to first year in a heartbeat, would I change the way I did some things, or would I keep it the same? That’s a tough question. I feel like all the things that happened along the way got me to where I am today – the people I met, friendships gained and friendships lost, the experiences I experienced, my involvement, academic difficulties, all of it. If those things hadn’t happened, I would not be who I am today or where I am today. So really, pave your destination, but there are no guarantees that it will get paved in one go.

And because I’m feeling so throwbacky…here’s an irrelevant music video from forever ago…because I heard the song today. I am pretty sure I loved this song between the ages of 9-13, and I think I still enjoy it to the same extent. I can’t get over the level of corny in music videos from the early 2000s, like what?

Wooahh.

6 days of classes left. 
4 day weekend.
They say all good things comes to an end, and well, that’s true. 
It has been a busy past few weeks, but thankfully the weather has been pretty awesome the past few days, spring is in the air – or well, it’s here.
MUG Leader training took place this past weekend and it was a complete blast! The weather was also in our favour ❤ Although the next round of applications are about a year away…I STRONGLY encourage you to apply to be a MUG leader! Training alone held so much Science pride, it was super awesome and it almost felt like Imagine Day 2011 all over again…but with less people. An amazing enthusiastic bunch of people applied to be leaders! And my squad, LOVE THEM, too much awesome. I’m stoked for Imagine Day 2013 and cannot wait! 

MY pre FIRST YEAR UNIVERSITY JOURNEY.

This is my ‘pre’ first year journey post(although I do have another post about my pre university journey…but that’s more along the lines of when I got accepted and not really about the summer)….probably how a lot of you are feeling right now going into summer, after grade 12, knowing that in a few more months, ya’ll are off to university.

Hmmm….where to start. Maybe I’ll hit rewind to approximately a year ago — to approximately the time when I ‘graduated’ from high school. I graduated on the first weekend of June (June 5th 2011), after graduation we still had a week of regular classes, and then provincial exams until the END OF JUNE! Okay, hold up. I don’t think one can understand how unmotivated one can become after they ‘graduate’ from high school, and know what university they’re going to — and then have a bunch of exams to do. My brain just stopped functioning once we all tossed up our grad caps in the air on the night of graduation– pretty much my brain just tossed up ‘high school’ along with the cap; the cap came back, but ‘high school mode’, didn’t. Although prepping for provincials with my friends was a lot of fun — I think we had more fun than productive studying — hehe, WHOOPS. My friend and I were completely stoked for university, we were going to be conquering it together, and what more does someone want than going to university, away from home, with a super awesome friend? Okay – so I could think of a lot of things that one might want — but still, that’s beside the point. But really, we couldn’t even contain our excitement, I’m pretty sure that drove our friends crazy, but we figured they’d get over it eventually…and they did. 🙂 We made lots of worklists together and were really excited to just register for our courses and get that out of the way. I feel like anotherr thing that psyched me up for September was the Facebook Group – UBC CLASS OF 2015 – I would say that I was fairly active on that group, just because a lot of internationals had questions about Vancouver and other general inquiries about ‘local’ things — and since I’m pretty local, I was able to answer those. To this day people have actually recognized me in real life, from that group… they’ll be like ‘OOHH!! You’re _____ from the Facebook group! That’s why you looked so familiar!‘ — haha YUP. I also friended quite a few people from the group, and started to make ‘friends’ that way(sketch? naw.), we’d message back and forth and such, and then once first year started, I actually got to meet those people, and most of us are still pretty good friends, which I think is super cool!

 My friend and I had requested to be each other’s roommate, and once August came, we found out that our request went through and we were indeed, ROOMMATES — and that was just AWESOME, and we started planning out what we wanted to buy for our room…we even planned out which nail polishes to bring, so that we wouldn’t bring the same colours – we’re so funny. So anyways, all throughout summer we were just EXCITED EXCITED EXCITED NERVOUS EXCITED EXCITED ECSTATIC EXCITED EXCITED NERVOUS EXCITED EXCITED – I think you get the idea.

So slowly September approached us, September 3rd was the day of move in. My friend and I were in an even numbered room, so our move in time was between 1pm and 4 pm. I remember the morning of September 3rd, my parents and I were packing up the van to drive off to UBC.. :’) I SLOOOWLY started to get more and more nervous. It was definitely an ‘odd’ feeling seeing all my stuff getting packed up for the next 8 months……*

*I’ll carry on this post with a new post, in the near future. 🙂 😛 

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!!!!!!!!!

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. 

SO … how about that chem midterm?

Chemistry 121… midterm numba 2 …. was last night! How did you think it went? But what was up with the second last question…that was a mess. Personally, I have no idea how I did….but it was definitely SHORTER in length compared to the first chemistry midterm, which the majority of people didn’t finish! I’m just glad that I’m done with midterms….now it’s up to finals to make my average pretty! 🙂 But enough about midterms….that’s all the in the past. I’m just hoping I don’t cry once I get my marks back. 🙂 

….MOVING ON….

I still cannot believe how fast this first semester has gone by. I remember the beginning of the semester, back in September…when everything was NEW and so different compared to what I had known before. Now everything is just ‘old’ …. but still enjoyable. I feel like it’s one of those things that I’m going to miss…the feeling of having so much ‘newness’ around me. All us brand new first year students that didn’t know very many people…but we were ‘forced’ (in a good way) to meet new people, and make friendships that we would hope would last forever.  I remember the night before Imagine Day a bunch of people from my house and some random people from Marine Dr. came and we played board games in the floor lounge…it was just so memorable…back in those days we didn’t have very much work to do(well obviously, before classes start you have no work to do…duuh). That’s one thing that I found….your workload doesn’t start increasing until October because that’s when midterms start…most of September was PRETTY slack, believe it or not. First year rez experience is probably one of the greatest things ever….I’m sorry commuters, but you are really missing out..but hey, on the bright side, you don’t get homesick! 🙂 Tours for prospective students started a few weeks ago, I always see groups coming around looking into classrooms and stuff…and I think back to when I came for a tour back in March…. I see UBC way differently now than I had back then. I’m thinking of doing a post about ‘dorm/rez life’ soon…just because people are starting to apply for university now and yeah! BY THE WAY – for first years of this year…… second year housing applications have opened…so you better get on that! I really hope I get into residence second year!!!! But for now, I’m closing this with…. APPLY TO UBC..once September 2012 comes, you will realize that it was the best decision OF YOUR LIFE! 😀 

New BC Provincial Exam ‘Regulations’ 2011/2012

Soooo I ran across this article…it’s about the provincial exams BC students have to write.

So in short…there are no more ‘optional’ exams because BC universities don’t even look at them (unless they’re higher than your grade 12 class average). The government decided to do this because not very many students were getting scholarships, so the government’s ‘scholarship bank’ has unclaimed scholarship money. So now with this ‘new’ thing….scholarships are based on the MANDATORY exams, which is supposed to mean that more students are going to get the scholarships. The link below also explains which exams are MANDATORY. Grade 12 : English 12, Communications 12, French 12. [EDIT]: So there are actually really just 5 exams that you have to take between gr 10-12..and the scholarships are based on those : http://www.bced.gov.bc.ca/awards/scholarships/scholarship_faq.htm

SO HERE IS THE LINK TO CHECK OUT MORE ON THIS ARTICLE(‘cuz my explanation of it really sucks) 😛 

 

 

http://www2.news.gov.bc.ca/news_releases_2009-2013/2011EDUC0066-001023.htm