Sunday, 21 April 2013

20 Things I Learned: First-Year of University

If you haven't already guessed by the title of this post, I'm officially done my first year of university! I'd talk more about it, but I'm too lazy to upload photos so maybe in another post...

But as my friend said, "Summer doesn't truly begin until we find out our marks." Sigh.

But anyways, I was recently inspired by this post to talk about what I learned first year, so here we go...

1. First and foremost, you will get tired of instant noodles. I know people think they can survive the whole eight months on instant noodles and it'll be good. You'll have 10 different flavours and everything. No. It gets annoying and it's just repulsive after a while. I've been on an instant-noodle detox for the last month and I plan on doing so for the rest of this summer.

2. Do you really want your "best friend" as a roommate? I guess this only applies to those who will live away from home and on campus. But, think about this before you make those roommate choices. As much as I love my best friend, we've spent all of high-school at different schools (we met in middle school). Even though we definitely click, her values have changed throughout high school and so have mines. It caused a lot of fights, tears, and so much drama. As much as I'll miss her after moving out, and even though I still love her, I don't think I can handle living with her. So, think about it.

3. You think you'll stop procrastinating after high school? Nope, so wrong. Well... it depends on the person and their willpower. Me? I might just have gotten even worse. In high school, people were always astonished by how I can study the night before, or finish my final project 3 hours before class and still managed to get a 95%. Now? I can stay up until 4AM and if I'm lucky, I'll get a 70%. Plus, my horrible "I-won't-do-the-readings-until-the-night-before-the-exam"? Yeah... let's all pray I passed accounting.

4. Going back to #1, let's talk about the "Freshman 15". Again, totally depends on the person's willpower. For me, I ended up losing 15 pounds in the first month of school. There was no one to make yummy food for me, so I had smaller portions and the stress about being away from home made me lose weight. Unfortunately, I gained all that crap back during midterms and exams when I pig out. In the end, I came back at the end of the year... the same as I went in.

5. Don't be afraid to actually choose the courses you like. I know it sounds stupid, but I know some people choose courses solely based on whether or not they'll have friends with them, or it was required. I mean, of course you need to take those mandatory courses but for electives, depending on the program, you should get some choice. Choose the ones that interest you, because if you're interested, you'll do well in the class. If you choose something because your friend's there, and you have zero interest in the class (like me and accounting), you will do poorly.

6. It's okay to be alone going into your classes. Stemming off from the last point... it's totally okay to be alone going into a class! BUT, make friends. I have friends who have such anxiety trying to talk to others, and they end up making no friends. It seems all cool and mysterious of you, but when you have no one to ask for assignment help but the professor (and he takes 3 days to reply to his e-mail!), you're so screwed. That's why, I'm so glad I met one of my coolest friends in Sociology class this year!

7. Suddenly, Facebook isn't just a distraction anymore. Facebook, for me, has never really been a distraction as it is for a lot of people. Probably because I have no friends on it anyways. But, the point is, I've joined so much school-related and clubs-related groups on Facebook, and it really helps! People share notes, help answer questions, and just joke and socialize with others in their program/class and it helps to keep you up-to-date with everything.

8. So... professors don't mark your work, TAs do. Remember in high school when people sucked up to teachers for higher marks? Well, get ready to suck up to your TAs! I mean, it might not work, BUT I'm pretty damn sure some TAs give pretty girls higher marks. So annoying. But no seriously, maybe I should start putting some effort into how I look.

9. Unfair, biased, shithole TAs aside, there will be TAs you fall in love with. Hasn't happened to me yet, considering I have bad experiences with TAs this year, but I've seen/heard my friends fangirling over their TAs. My roommate was pretty much in love with our French TA. I didn't really like him but I will agree that he was better-looking than a lot of other TAs I've seen this year. Alikiya's roommate apparently also has a big crush on her TA as well. It would be pretty cool to be dating one though. Hello, easy marks!

10. Even though your TAs grade you, get to know your professor. One of my biggest regrets this year was not getting to know my professors. Especially my legal studies and economics professors! They were so cool, funny, and amazing profs. Plus, getting to know your profs also puts yourself in their favour which is good for not only grades but future opportunities. Maybe you can be their TA or get their reference letter to be a proctor.

11. Naps are good for memory? According to my roommate and my psychology textbook, memorizing and studying something right before bed will help you remember it better. So, maybe try studying and taking 30 minute naps. I can't guarantee anything but I mean... why not try and test it out?

12. Old edition vs. New edition textbooks. A lot of the times, professors will tell you to get the latest edition of the textbook, "but the old edition is fine too, I guess". For me, I felt uncomfortable getting the older one because you just never know what you miss might out even though the difference in the two editions is probably nothing you'd even notice. But take in many different factors. Would the newer edition be easier to sell off when you're done with it? Is the lower price of the old edition worth possibly missing out on even the smallest of details? What are the conditions of the books; brand new or used?

13. Individuality and self-worth suddenly become so damn important. Maybe it's just my friends or some of the people I see in my program and around campus, but showing off what you know/can do, and proving you are unique suddenly becomes such a popular concept. Maybe it's because you're at a new place, and there's thousands of people, that everyone just feels the need to prove themselves worthy of being a student here, and that they're all different and don't just want to blend into the crowd. The people I'm around can't seem to stop declaring things about themselves, and quite frankly, it's rubbing off on me. Everyone's, "I'm an artist!", "I made two videos and uploaded it on Youtube", "I'm rich and drive a BMW to school". It's just ridiculous some of the things that people will shit out to separate themselves from the crowd, but still want to fit into certain groups. Hey, by the way, guys... I speak 3 languages, my typing speed is 90WPM, and I've watched all the episodes of FRIENDS over 20 times. That's right. Haters gonna hate.

14. A bit random, but when you go to school with someone kind of Youtube-famous, and you haven't bumped into them yet, it is extremely frustrating. Why is everyone bumping into, taking pictures with, and have spoken with shimmycocopuffsss? I so regret not going to see Chengman when he came to our school and Shimmy performed with him. Damn it all.

15. Somehow your parents get so much more annoying about everything. Maybe it's the whole teenage rebellion bullshit, but dear God, how my parents have gotten annoying. I mean, they nagged a lot before but these last 8 months have been torturous. Nagging about school-work and focusing, my responsibilities, the fact that they paid for this education now, etc. I mean, never once have I missed a deadline for school-work or other paperwork. I would actually consider myself a fairly responsible teenager. And as if I don't already know we're throwing a shitton of money into this. NO PRESSURE GUYS.

16. Taxes, taxes, taxes, and more paperwork. One year in and I'm already ripping my hair out from all this damn paperwork and taxes bullshit. The amount of times I had to visit all those student services centers to drop off paperwork, ask about paperwork, fill out paperwork... I am so done. I mean, why can't we all just pay the school $20,000 per year, and we get our education, and just be done with it all?

17. If you think people are more mature in university... no. I guess old habits are just hard to ditch. You'd think with all the independence and crap, people would want to use that to their advantage, but there will be those girls you hated in high-school who form a group and think they're all mighty and amazing and flawless and so dskjfsdhkf. Some girl in one of my French tutorials gave my friend the cut-eye and kissed her teeth when my friend asked a question. I mean, really? Grow up. So maybe her question was kind of stupid but if you were any better, you wouldn't even be affected by it. Plus, there's still those douchebag guys from high-school who think that being mean will get them far in life. Alright home skillet, move along.

18. Free stuff is best stuff. Maybe it's the fact that we're all broke university students who have a ton of loans on our asses... suddenly, you begin to appreciate the little things in life. Little things being cheap stuff and/or free stuff. So, free pens and notebooks, free food, giveaways and contests, are all so damn appealing.

19. If you think the Internet's the most distracting thing... it isn't. Your roommate is. Late night/early morning talks become so frequent that sleeping for 5 hours or less becomes so common. I don't know how but my roommates and I have managed to chat until 4AM in the morning and somehow we don't ever run out of things to talk about. To be honest, I love it way more than I love the Internet. It's cool to talk about serious stuff on the news, the funny videos we see online, the latest music/TV shows, little gossips about others, our own feels, and it's just... for lack of better words, nice.

Totally irrelevant to the point but it came up when I searched
"roommate love" on Google images LOL.
20. Despite #15, you grow to appreciate your parents and home so much more. I appreciate them for putting up with my constant sighing when I do bad, for them buying me a bunch of stuff I want when I'm upset over school, for driving me back to school every Monday for classes because I love coming home every weekend, and so on. Your bed at home feels so damn good, and... yep. "Home is where the heart is."


Anyways, I have to go unpack everything I own now. Sigh.

I'll be back when my grades are posted online because I'm pretty damn sure I'll have something to rant about then.

Have a good day, everyone!

- Dee

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