Growing Up Is..Weird.

Never have I been too fond of “growing up” and being an “adult”. I will forever be a kid at heart so don’t go planting weird “you’re an adult now” implications in my head. I was told that once you were done high school, you’d be entering the real world. WELL, I’ve been in this SHELTERED “real world” for the past two and  a half years…yes, I call UBC/large universities in general, “sheltered” – UBC can be very ‘bubble-esque’. Once I’ve graduated from UBC, I can say I’ve ‘officially’ entered the real world, regardless of the fact that I’m going to do more school. BUT, in order to not completely feel lost in this so called real world, I need to find a job…or something of the sort that relates to what I want to do with my life – jobs aren’t easy to find(*scary*), but networking, that should be your hobby. Don’t be scared to put yourself out there, it does more good than harm, usually. Moving on…so a lot of my friends from high school are at that point in their lives where they’re moving into the next chapter of their life……that whole marriage business and starting fresh lifestyles with their significant other/spouse, it completely blows my mind how much people can change in a few short years. Sometimes it feels like I’m just a kid that goes to school, and then these friends of mine seem so much more mature, getting married and starting their long term lifestyles….I can’t do that. I’m still kinda figuring out my life and who I want to be and where I want to be, and how I  can get there – baby steps, one corner of the puzzle at a time.  The first 5-7 years after you graduate from high school are probably some of the most significantly life changing years of your life. So much can happen/change in the few years after you graduate relative to the change you experienced in the same amount of years, during grade school. As per usual, I say all this as if I’m some expert, like the whole ‘5-7 years’ thing, where on earth did I even pick up that statistic from? It has barely been 3 years since I’ve graduated from high school, but I can vouch that a TON has changed for me already, so obviously I’m a reliable source. 

Random promotion: UBC Peer Programs … UBC Peer Programs Application I strongly encourage you to apply, especially if you’re a first year right now(but really, it’s never too late), get involved! Apply to be a MUG leader as well! You won’t regret your decision and you’ll probably meet some of the best people around and make a lot of great connections with fellow peers and leaders! (Applications are due by February 6th). 

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Hey, how’s you.

So it’s been a not so down with the blues, gloomy, November this year since it’s been rather sunny/rain-less for most of the month. YAY. And as I say that, we’re expecting rain at the end of the week… Anyway, there are only TWO days left of this term, and I can’t even come to terms with how fast this term has flown by. I always feel like I go to Hogwarts or something whenever this time of year comes around at UBC, something about winter and Christmas and going home for the break. I’m still peeved by how I’m hindered from having some decent wintery fun during the first few weeks of December with my friends thanks to those things called finals. 😦 so many fun things to do…….but ain’t nobody got time for dat? 
Anywho, I’ve been thinking (notice how I’m procrastinating from studying), this time of the school year is when we’re so absorbed into things that we need to get done, that we tend to neglect those around us. I know I’m completely guilty of this(I promise it’s not intentional! it just happens..), hence why I felt like making a post of it(see what I did thur?). So many little things are consuming my time and attention that I look past the big picture. Sometimes I lose my genuineness when I’m having a conversation with someone, they won’t have my undivided attention and it’ll just seem too forced out of politeness, regardless of how well I may know that person, that is bad bad bad bad bad. Or I’ll have a conversation with someone and it’ll be a mutual rant of all the things we have left to do. Whatever happened to a simple “hey, how’re YOU doing?” — not the generic run through of “hey!” “hey!” “how’s it going?” “good! you?” “good!” “kay, see ya later!” “bye!” – regardless of how crappy I may be feeling on a day, when I have one of these run-by ‘conversations'(if you can even call it that), I will automatically spit out a “good”, just to get by and avoid all further questions since the other person, or myself, are in a rush. I know I’m not the only one. So, take a few minutes to step outside of your little bubble and reconnect with anyone you’ve disconnected with. 

UBC residence assignments pep chat.

Clearly room assignments have been released, because the Class of 2017 Facebook group blew up. I’m watching yous. 😉 And of course the questions arise – “Can we switch rooms?” “What’s Totem like?” “What’s Vanier like?” “What’re the new Totem houses like?” “Which residence is better?” “What are the pros and cons?” ETC ETC. It’s awesome that you are all so eager and anxious to find out what your rooms and residences are like, but the main thing is, everyone’s residence experience is DIFFERENT!!! It’s what YOU make of it! You might hear other older students saying that _____ was so awesome and it’s the place to live…but that’s based on THEIR experience, just because you didn’t get assigned there doesn’t mean that your experience is going to suck. But in saying that, you ARE able to switch out if you’re not content with your current assignment(not that you really have that great of an idea as to what it’s like to live in your given assignments :S). Keep in mind that when you have found someone to switch with, make sure they’re the same gender as you, and then email UBC regarding the switch, because they do actually need to know. All of the vanier houses have shared bathrooms on each floor, as do totem houses except for the two new houses which have connecting shared bathrooms between two units or private bathrooms. Feel free to leave questions below and be sure to check out my other posts regarding UBC residences, but keep in mind that those are all purely MY opinions. #alwaysreppinvanier

So this list…

Apparently one can learn an incredible amount of information about ‘life’ and themselves in a few short days. Not only does one learn a lot, but one begins to question many things as well.
Numero uno – one thing I cannot stand – liars. 
Numero dos – it rains way too much in Vancouver.
Numero tres – the one day it’s sunny here, I feel like I’m in a completely different city.
Numero cuatro – why do people think that it’s a good idea to use a leaf blower to blow away freshly cut grass from the pavement when it’s pouring out? me no comprendo.
Numero cinco – why do people think that it’s a good idea to pressure wash pavement when it’s pouring out? 
Number six – I’m not Spanish, nor do I know any Spanish
Number seven – I learned that I’m a procrastinator.
Number eight – did I mention that I can’t stand liars? 
Number nine – I should really study for my midterm that I may potentially do very very VERY poorly on,  instead of making this little random bilingual list.
Number ten – apparently you shouldn’t be afraid to be yourself and do what YOU need to do, regardless of what other people may or may not think. ‘cuz a little confidence in yourself, can go a LONG way.
Number eleven – if something doesn’t concern you, don’t bother with it, it’s not worth your time.
Number twelve – don’t worry about it.
Number thirteen – Starbucks Caramel Ribbon Crunch Frapp – heaven. OMG.
Number fourteen – I just made this because I didn’t want to end on thirteen *so not superstitious* 

 

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. 

More On First Week..

It’s Sunday evening, or well night, I suppose. That time of the weekend that everyone DREADS, yeah, that time is now. We have the perfect weather(by perfect I mean typical Vancouver weather – rain) to go with the dreary, dreadful time of the weekend. It’s just the full package. LOVELY. Second year FEELS different from first year, some of you would probably think, “well, no sh*t.” So blunt. But really, it feels different. I remember in first year, there were times when it just felt weird to be a first year student, I felt like I was supposed to be in grade 12 – but that changed quickly, considering the fact that I was ready for a new chapter of my life to begin. NOW, it just feels like first year was just so “last year”…well, duh. I just feel like I have moved past the whole first year thing, and I’m just cruising along with second year. How is second year different from first year? Well, I feel like the course load just got heavier, so much reading to do and all that, hard to keep up with it. I really appreciate the fact that we get so many practice questions to do(especially with Chem 233), but really, the amount just seems so overwhelming that I don’t even know WHERE to start! I really enjoyed the three days I was on campus before school started, when I had no worries about anything related to academics, just being my carefree self…and then BAM all this work came from nowhere…HOW DOES THAT EVEN HAPPEN. One second I have nothing to do, next second, an overwhelming amount of work for first week. Maybe it’s actually not an overwhelming amount and I’ve just become accustomed to doing next to nothing for the past few months...COULD BE! I think I’m just psyching myself out and scared of falling behind in my classes before they even really properly start. 

School Supplies for University…what?

Classes start soon….just over 2 weeks, crazy! Jumpstart at UBC has just started and lots of freshmen have arrived in the city/on campus! I remember last year when my friend and I were just over the top excited to start at UBC, and trust me, the first year experience definitely lived up to the expectation of the excitement!
So anyway, school supplies…school supply shopping was probably my favourite aspect of back to school shopping, mainly since I didn’t really shop for a whole new extravagant wardrobe  for school since my school had uniforms(they really don’t suck that much). I was looking through flyers the other day and saw all the new supplies for school, on sale. :”) So what exactly do university students need for supplies? I’ll tell you what I used last year, I found that everything I had bought definitely came to good use: 

  • A laptop…is almost a must for university, it is a pain to have to use a computer at the library or something when you need to use it…sooo yeah.
  • Printers – definitely a good idea and CONVENIENT to have your own printer, when you have a 15 page paper to print out, last minute on the night before it’s due…you don’t want to run to the library for this.
  • Pens and pencils and erasers – basic writing utensils + something to put them in, like a pencil case. You don’t want to ask to borrow these during class or during your midterm. I remember in first term, for my Psych midterm, someone asked me for a pencil, and I didn’t want to say no..so I obviously gave them a pencil. Well, I finished my midterm before her….and needed to get to my next class…never saw her, or my pencil ever again. But it was okay, I gave her a crappy pencil anyway(it worked and everything, but I never really liked it).
  • Notebooks…basically had one for every class. EXTREMELY useful for taking notes and such and lightweight to carry around with you. I am a pen and paper kind of person so I don’t really like to use my laptop for note taking in class…plus some courses don’t allow laptop usage in class. Biology 112 and Chemistry 121, you weren’t allowed to use laptops in class, I forget what the rules for Chem 123 were though….but for Chem I find it more practical and convenient to just use pen and paper. Although, I did find taking notes on my laptop VERY useful for English 110..my prof talked A LOT, and of course I can type MUCH faster than I can write.
  • Ruler – for drawing straight lines and stuff….plus you need them for graphing and things like that in some classes.
  • Binders – good for storage + some courses require Powerpoint slide print outs (like Bio 112).
  • Lined/blank paper/graph paper — to like, write on and stuff.. 😛
  • Calculator – some courses do require you to use a certain type of calculator for quizzes/exams – you’ll be informed if that’s the case.
  • Stapler – I thought it was good to have around
  • Hole puncher – my floormates in residence used it WAAAAAY more than me…still useful, I guess.
  • Duotangs – I mainly used pocket folders in first term to stick handouts in. I didn’t do this, but some people use duotangs with paper for taking notes in class.
  • Clipboard – lots of people find it really convenient to use a clipboard with paper for note taking in class, and then just transfer your paper into a binder or something after class.
  • Backpack – well yeah, obviously
  • USB – useful.
  • Planner/Agenda – MOST USEFUL THING TO USE. You could also use a calendar or something on your computer, but I like to have everything in writing, I find it works better for me, it’s just how I am.
  • Textbooks…you don’t need to be carrying around textbooks to most classes.
  • Chem students…need a labcoat + safety goggles…these can be purchased at the bookstore/labcoats are available at the Chem building…but you’ll be given more details about that through email or something.