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Friday, September 16, 2016

Seven in Seven

Wednesday marked 7 days, 168 hours, 10080 minutes, and 604800 seconds of being a university student. Believe it or not, in this short time I've already learned many things.

Here are seven things I learned after being in university for seven days:

#1 Walk Fast/Run/Jog on the Way to Class
This one is important, especially if you have back to back classes on opposite sides of the campus. This semester I have psychology in the Education Building and then french in the Science Building. You can't stop to talk to anyone or reply to a message because it slows you down more than you think it will.That one minute chat will become ten minutes, and the one reply will become many. This tip is the most important while using the Munnels for a couple reasons. First off all, most people are moving quickly. If you even slow down or stop, there's a 99% chance you'll get run down or knocked over; the other 1% leaves other people aggravated that you're slowing down traffic. The other reason is that your commute takes longer in the tunnels, as if you're heading to a certain building you'll have to take detours though other ones. My advice would be to only take the munnels if it's rainy or cold outside.

#2 Buy Your Books ASAP
As soon as your professor lets you know what books you need for their class, make your way to the bookstore after class is done that day. Seriously, that place gets busy pretty darn quickly. To maximize time saving, have a list of the title/course and your slot number so there's no fumbling around looking for that information when you get there. The argument of if you should by new or used textbooks really depends on your budget, and what your profs require. The staff at the store are also very friendly and helpful, so your visit there should be a breeze!

#3 Make an Effort to Eat Breakfast
As cliche as it is, breakfast really is the most important meal of the day; especially if you have early classes. Eden, Alex and I go to the dining hall for breakfast when we have a class at 9. Personally, I find that it helps keep me focused (and I don't have to worry about people hearing my stomach rumble haha). It don't have to be anything big, even just a bowl of cereal or yogurt will do.

#4 Read Material Ahead of Your Lecture or Class
When you first begin university, you're thrown into a world where a course goes from being completed in nine months to being completed in three. I've been told that it's really easy to fall behind, and that statement is 100% true. Professors teach faster than teachers do. For example, when I'm in my math class it feels like the fast forward button on a remote is stuck down, and the show can't be paused. I also find that 50 minute classes are over before you even realize they started (though they are less painful than the longer slots). Also, studying and knowing your material will help you when midterms and finals being close hits you like a transport truck.

#5 Ask for Help if You Need it
This tip kind of goes hand in hand with #4 in a way, there's ooodles of resources for help with school work on campus (I've heard from many that the Math Help Centre is a lifesaver.) But this tip doesn't only apply to academic help. I mean like any kind of help. I can't count on my hands and feet how many times I've gotten lost or took a wrong tunnel or went to the wrong building over the past week. Hell, I still get confused on where I'm going sometimes, though I think I'm getting the hang of navaf]gating this campus. It's easy to spot a first year, because they usually have a lost look on their faces (especially for the first few weeks lol). A lot of people around here are friendly, so don't be shy or embarrassed about asking for directions. Everyone has had their time as a first year, and will probably remember how it felt. People will also notice your confusion and offer their help. (Shoutout to that guy who showed me where my law and society class was the first day, you're the real MVP dude.)

#6 Throw Yourself Into Social Situations
I honestly can not stress this one enough. For the people who know me pretty well it's probably hard to believe that I'm quite a shy person, and yes it's easier to avoid new people than to try and start a conversation with them, but you never know what will arise if you do. Living on res; I think does make meeting new people a bit easier. Connections in your classes are good to have too, because then you'll have someone to study with and compare questions too. Who knows, you may even make a lifelong and/or best friend. My Mom met Vera in university and they've been best friends since. Another way to put yourself out there is to join and get involved with university societies/clubs. This past week I joined the Debate Society, and even though I haven't been part of it long, I already love it so much and the people are pretty great. Yes I'm saying it, you should 'yolo it' and take as many social opportunities as you can. (As long as you're balancing studying with it too.)

#7 Be Yourself
My last tip is really cheesy, and the caption basically self explanatory. There's a huge variety of people in university, and I can promise you that if you felt like an oddball in high school, and felt like you didn't fit anywhere, my friend when you go to post secondary you will find people you'll click with. Within the first few days I found out that Eden (my awesome roomie) and I have a good bit in common. According to MUNSU (MUN Student Union) there's about 200 or more clubs and societies on campus, so you're bound to find at least one that you feel you belong in. People will love you and enjoy your company for who you are, so don't hide traits or interests or hobbies away; rock who you are.

I'm only at the end of my second week of this god-knows-how-long this adventure will be, and I know I still have so much more to learn. So come at me MUN, I'm ready for whatever you have in store for me.

(If you have any tips for university students, post them in the comments below)

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

From Blue to Purple

Before any St. Lawrencers raise an eyebrow at the title of this blog post, lemme assure you all that I'll forever be a Laurentian (pumped for soccer nationals woooo!) but when I made an intro post n Cluett's Facebook page, someone commented something along the lines of "ya bleeds blue but now you're gonna bleed purple." Which inspired me to make my first post about this new adventure.

Sunday was move in day. The fact that I was truly starting university and not going back to St. Lawrence with Mom and Mel really only hit me fully that morning. I was pretty good at keeping my fear 'low key' but I was (and still am) really more excited than scared. Mel and I went on up to my room to start unpacking, while Mom went to pick up some last minute things. My room got cozy pretty quickly, there's lots of storage space, a desk, a comfy bed, all my photos and plaques, and the most important thing...... my glorious mini fridge which has a magnet with an elephant and 'elephants never forget... that they are awesome' on it. (Yes, it was four dollars at the bookstore and no I don't think it was a waste of money). Later on in the afternoon, I finally met my roommate. Her name is Eden and she's pretty cool and easy going. Plus we seem to have a good bit in common, I think we'll become good friends. We did some exploring for the rest of the day and when Mom and Mel left; the res kids (and RAs) went to the gymnasium for Minute to Win it. The atmosphere was very exciting and spirited. I left early for Mel's birthday supper at Montana's. When that was done, I was dropped back to Cluett and got ready for my first night 'on my own'. I actually had a pretty good sleep.

The next morning was a semi early one, as there was orientation to go to. We went to the field house, and after what felt like ages of slowly moving through a registration line; Eden, Alex, Cameron and I finally got our sections and tour groups. At this point, I popped over to section A to say hi to Kyle, he's a good friend of mine. When we broke off into our tour groups, I met up with a girl in my res (who I met when I was waiting for the elevator to meet Riley for Tims) and another girl from the mainland. After that I hung around res for a bit, then we had a floor meeting. Once that was done me and a couple others went over to the west side for a jam sesh.

Tuesday started with having breakfast with Molly and Jeremy at Tims. Then Molly and I ran errands around campus for the rest of the day. When the clock struck supper time, I went out to the Clarke's for food, Uncle Pat and Aunt Judy's cooking never disappoints. I hung out with them for a while, then back to res I went.

Which brings me to today, my first day of classes (which I may make another post). I haven't been living in Cluett long but feel welcome and I already feel like I belong here.

So thanks for the years SLA Blues, it's been great and I wouldn't change a thing about our time together.

Cluett Hall Rams, I'm pumped and ready for what's looking like a fantastic year, and I'm more than honoured to be wearing purple.