the end of year one

Hello and welcome back to another life update brought to you by yours truly, Gloria. Summer break is well underway and I’ve gone to Toronto twice since I last wrote. I went to Toronto once at the end of the school term (early April) and then once near the end of finals season (late April). On the first trip, I went with my family to visit my sister for her thesis exhibition (for which I helped set up and take down) and we also visited my cousin who used to live with us a few years ago. It was a fun trip and Toronto was like a more extreme version of Vancouver, weather-wise. My second trip’s purpose was to help my sister pack all of her belongings and bring (her) them back to Burnaby. My mission was a success and I lifted a 65.5 lbs luggage a few times.

Now, my sister and I have been back for some time now and I feel like time is passing too quickly and that I have to be more active. I should look for part-time jobs or at least some volunteer opportunities. I have one opportunity for late August and I have one summer course in July/August, but other than that, there is nothing else for me to do. I should plan more things for me to do. I think I will apply for a few part-time jobs this summer so I can work throughout the year.

Anyway, I want to go over my first year of university and… reflect month-by-month. Just kidding, I’ll just split it into the two semesters.

Semester One: September-December 2021
I signed up for 5 courses but I dropped one after the first class so I ended up taking 4 courses for the first semester. I took a political science course, an anthropology course, a sociology course, and a mandatory writing course. I tried out and got on the table tennis team. I went to practices after classes and made a friend. I wrote papers and did midterms and final exams for the first time. My final marks were all above the class average! This gave me a self-esteem boost and told me that I could survive the first year at least. I don’t actually remember a lot about what I did. I remember getting lost on the first day, but I was only ten minutes late to two of my classes. By the second and third day, I was able to navigate the relevant areas of the campus. I really enjoyed the hybrid delivery of lectures for most of my courses. Most of the exams during this semester were online.

Semester Two: January-April 2022
I took a full course load this past semester (5 courses). I took another political science course, another sociology course, an archaeology course, a GRSJ (Gender, Race, and Social Justice) course, and a psychology course. The political science course, although interesting as it was new material to me, was boring to me. The professor was very nice and explained things very clearly and made lectures interesting but I just don’t think this area is for me. The exams during this time were mostly in person but there were a few that were online. My marks during this semester were pretty high and I got higher than the average in all my classes again. Pretty proud of my marks. I’m no genius, but I can get a B and occasionally some As.

Complete Overview: Summer Vacation Time 2022
As a result of doing pretty well during my first year of university, I feel like I deserve a bit of a break. There was a lot of adjusting, learning, stressing, planning, and cramming. At first, I stuck to what I knew in high school and studied for midterms and tests as they came in my direction (AKA around 2-3 days ahead of time, all the way until the day of the exam) and doing assignments as the deadlines approached. This… style of working worked for my first semester because I was taking 4 courses at the time. But when the second semester began, I had to account for all the material for 5 courses at the time. It really made me wonder how I survived high school with 8 concurrent courses (the work was easier but nontheless).

There was a brief period of time (around midterm season in the second semester) where I felt like I was really in a bad place. I had multiple large assignments due and there were some heavily-weighted midterms coming up. There was a lot of information for me to have memorized in those two weeks. My brain was a bit overwhelmed at the time so I decided to reorganize myself before it got worse. I ended up getting through those two weeks alright and then quickly reorganized myself over the weekend by actually using my planner and sticky notes and over the weekend, I caught up on small assignments. After that, and leading up to final exam season, I maintained that strategy and organized the coming week’s to-do list over the weekend and then followed it almost religiously. It worked pretty well and I got some good marks!

Anyway, over this summer I plan on looking over the LSAT and decide whether or not I want to take it next year. In addition to that, I will be coaching some table tennis at my local club to make some small bucks and in August I will have another short-term job with my school for first-yeat orientation day/week. I think I will get a part-time job within the next 365 days. Okay, that’s more like a goal. We all have to start somewhere!

With that, I will end this post here. I learned a lot this past school year and I hope my new learning strategy works next year with slightly higher-level courses. Until next time!

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