My preeeecccciiioussss

So today I put up these awesome string lights in my room. Now it’s uber cozy and awesome. Just thought I should let you know! So in the future, now some of you first years can see what a different type of double room looks like (they definitely didn’t advertise this type of room in all those online pages). I took this picture from my desk, and my roommate lives right past that bitchin’ map of Middle Earth. We pretty much have our own doorway, so the only reason it’s a double room is the fact that she has to walk through my room to get to hers, which really isn’t much of a bother.

But I’m pretty proud of this, and I hope everyone finds a little inspiration to decorate their rooms now! It definitely made my room feel more like home to me (even though my room at home is the complete opposite of this, it’s messy and I have too many bookshelves so I don’t have room for string lights but WHATEVER)

Dat rez lyfe

So I’ve been living in student residence for almost 2 months now, and let me tell you, it is very different from how they advertise it. Now, I’m not saying it’s bad! Far from it! I love living in rez. My closest friends here are all from my floor. We spend our afternoons studying in each others rooms, our evenings eating together in the Vanier caf (those smoothies are fabulous!) and we spend the weekends shopping downtown or just relaxing together. However, it isn’t all fun and games, which is why I made this list to tell you the things I’ve learned in rez so far.

1. You won’t be best friends with everyone from your floor. Sorry to break it to you guys, but you won’t click with everybody. Some people just push your buttons, and that’s perfectly okay. You don’t have to love everyone, you just have to respectfully get along with them. And if that’s not okay with you, you can always just hermit in your room all the time.

2. The food here is not as good as they say it is. So you come to Vanier (or Totem for that matter). You spend your first week eating all the different food in the caf. Chicken burger on Monday and stir fry on Tuesday? For sure! Feeling ambitious? You can have both on the same day because they’re from different restaurants and you have unlimited choices. You spend week two picking out your favourite meals from your favourite places. You spend week three eating from only those places. Then the food starts blurring together. You realize that it’s almost the exact same food from day to day. And by the end of the month, you feel like you don’t have any choices at all. The food is the exact same every single day, and it’s not even good anymore. It has somehow DEGRADED in quality, so now you just eat salad and croissants from the bake shop, and reminisce about how young and naive you were at the beginning of the month. Also you’re running out of flex dollars, so the burgers at Triple O’s are no longer a good option for when you need to get away from the caf. Also the fruit is always frozen.

3. Vanier Ultimate League is the bomb. You know how in those college movies, there’s always this crazy spirit at homecoming football games? Where everyone is cheering and freaking out about how their team is winning/losing and how they wish they could be the athletes? Well now you can be. Each house has its own Ultimate Frisbee team. We have an entire Ultimate league that plays each Saturday for 50 minutes for FREE. And sometimes it is just so nice to get up at 10am and lace up your cleats and play a slightly hardcore game of frisbee in the crisp autumn air. If that’s your scene, then go for it! If not, you can always grab a hot chocolate and come cheer on your house. Now that’s team spirit.

4. You might spend a lot of time in the hallway. Most floors in Place Vanier or Totem are blessed with a floor lounge. Only a select few unlucky floors don’t have one. My floor is one of those floors. We don’t have the luxury of a TV on our floor, or a few couches where we can relax. The result? We have a lot of what I like to call hallway parties. This is where one or two of us start talking in the hallway, and soon are joined by more and more people. And eventually, we end up with about 9 or 10 people standing/sitting in the hallway just chatting about their day. These are a regular occurrence, and they are so much fun.

5. On that note, rez is still loud after quiet hours. Our floor is notorious in our house for being loud after quiet hours, which start (very unreasonably I think) at 9pm on weekdays. It isn’t unusual for us to be having a semi-quiet hallway party at 11pm on any day of the week, and even later on weekends (those usually involve pizza). You learn to sleep (or study) through the noise.

6. The cafeteria closes really early on weekends. So you’re out with your friends on a Saturday afternoon. You spend some time outside, maybe go down to Broadway or downtown. You head back around 7pm, go to grab some grub and HEY! the cafeteria is CLOSED. Yes, closed. It closes at 7:30 on a weekend, and at 8:45 on weekdays. That seems like a fairly reasonable time, but if you get to the caf any later than 7:30, all of the hot food is gone. By 8, the salad bar is practically empty and the fruit is getting put away, and by 8:30, it is completely closed off and you can really only hope to grab crackers from the soup area. Yes, it sucks, especially on those days where you’re studying later than you mean to and you miss dinner. There is always Hubbards downstairs, where you can choose from an assortment of instant noodles and Michelina’s instant dinners, but it’s just not the same as eating in the caf.

7. Frat parties are cray cray. Since the beginning of September, I’ve been to 4 frat parties. And I’ve loved them. At home, I was never really a huge partier, but I’ve found that it is just so much fun to head out to a frat and dance the night away. And hey, it’s an experience that every first year needs to have, right? So do it some time, and I promise you won’t regret it!

8. Laundry is expensive and annoying. Honestly. How can laundry be so expensive? You would think that since we pay so much to live here, we could do our laundry for free, but apparently that’s not the case. Each load of laundry is $1.25 to wash, and $0.60 to dry, and after a while that starts to add up. Also, the laundry machines are barely ever not in use, since approximately 100 of us have to use 3 washers, and we all tend to do laundry on the weekend. It takes a lot of patience and waiting around to do laundry, but make sure you’re not the person who leaves their large load of laundry in the washer after the cycle is done on the middle of a Saturday. Because people will take it out and put it on top of the washer, and you don’t want other people touching your clean clothes. Trust me on this.

9. You will probably not be best friends with your roommate. In all the movies, two girls move into a dorm room. From that moment on, they are inseparable. They share their feelings, their food, have slumber parties together, and become the absolute best of friends. This is a fantasy. My roomie and I are friends, no doubt about that. We’re in very different programs, so we don’t see each other often due to conflicting schedules. When we’re in the room together, I’m usually doing homework or watching TV and she’s usually on Skype with her boyfriend. I give her tea, she gives me food. We have a good relationship, but I’m not close with her. If this is what you’re expecting, then good luck!

10. If your window faces Wreck Beach, you will smell weed. Like all the time. For some reason, some brilliant people decide to smoke weed behind our house. Maybe it’s because we have a “forest” (it isn’t actually a forest, it has like 5 trees in it). Maybe it’s because they’re too lazy to go somewhere else? I don’t know why, but for some reason, the smell of weed often permeates our room. I just light a candle and leave my door open, and eventually the smell goes away.

So that is all for now! I’m sure there are more things I’ve learned so far, but this is all I can remember at the moment. So take care everyone, I hope this has shed a little light on the subject of student residences at UBC!

The troubles of a music student

Hello wonderful people!

I have officially decided that I will attempt to write at least one blog post per week, although I’m almost positive that I won’t have enough to write about, seeing as how my life at the moment is all focused on schoolwork and finding new TV shows to get distracted with (have you seen Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D? It’s awesome, just fyi).

At the moment, I am distracting myself from studying for my listening quiz. Yes, LISTENING quiz. What is that, you ask? Well, it’s a unique form of torture that the composition professors dreamed up so students didn’t have to take real tests, you know, the ones that involve reading things from notes and such. For my listening quiz, I am required to know 19 pieces of music by heart. The professor will then play 10-15 seconds of said music (which can be up to 5 minutes long in reality) and from that small excerpt, I have to identify the name of the piece, full composer name, and the movement title or number. Just to put this in perspective, those 19 pieces make up more than an hour of music. And from that hour, I get to listen to approximately 1.5 minutes. And those 1.5 minutes determine a fairly large chunk of my grade. So how do I study for this? I just listen to the music. Over and over again. So for all of you kids complaining about regular midterms (except those of you taking Gateman’s midterms, I feel bad for you), see what a music student has to go through? No more saying “oh, you’re in music? That’s sooooo cool, what kind of stuff do you do? Do you just play stuff? I mean, what can you do?” THIS IS THE ANSWER, PEOPLE. You learn a lot of music, and sooner or later your brain explodes because you know like thirty pieces of music that you had never heard before coming here and it’s exhausting to remember it all and keep up with your other classes that don’t require you to memorize music.

On the other hand, we do play a lot of stuff. October 11th was our first concert of the year, and it was faaaaabulous! I’m in the Concert Winds, so we played first in the concert and didn’t do too badly, if I do say so myself. Then I sat in the audience and listened to SWE and their pieces were beautiful and heartbreaking and I loved them so much. My new goal is to get into SWE next year because the music is just at a completely different level. It has EMOTIONS – some of the pieces we played at the concert just felt (dare I say it?) BORING. To me at least. Maybe you guys liked it? Who knows, I could have just desensitized myself to it after long hours of rehearsals and practice. Anyways, if you ever want to see an awesome free concert, just head on up to the Chan Centre for any of the orchestra, SWE, or concert winds concerts. Trust me, you’ll love them.

And that is all for now! Time to go back to learning how four of Debussy’s preludes are practically the exact same and figuring out how to differentiate from them. Until later, au revoir!

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy late Thanksgiving everyone! I hope your weekend was just as awesome as mine was (except for the fact that I got absolutely no homework done and was completely swamped when I got back on Monday afternoon).

This was my first Thanksgiving away from home. It also marked the one-month-iversary of being away from my parents, which was pretty depressing. But it wasn’t all bad! Since about half of my floor went home, making it uber quiet and kinda creepy, it made it easy for about 4 or 5 of us to hang out comfortably for the whole weekend. We went shopping and got more tea (not that I need any more, I honestly have enough tea to last me a year), and ate expensive crepes at a place downtown just because we were happy. And walking around on Saturday in the crisp, clean air, I felt free and relaxed and high on life.

Then came Sunday. I slept in until noon, which was actually AMAZING. And the remaining few people from my floor all went to paint mugs at this cute little shop down on West 4th. We’re still waiting to get them back, but I am now the proud owner of a autumn themed mug that I painted myself. And that is pretty freaking cool.

Then I had Thanksgiving dinner at a family friend’s house. It was incredible. We sat there eating cheese beforehand (did you know that the Vanier caf doesn’t sell much cheese stuff? I didn’t until I was seriously cheese deprived), then had this fabulous turkey dinner complete with stuffing, potatoes, cranberry sauce and gravy. *smacks lips* I’m getting hungry just thinking about it! A real homecooked meal is sooooo nice after a whole month of caf food.

The rest of the weekend went by in a blur and, before I knew it, it was Monday night and I had a test the next day that I hadn’t studied for and I was pushed back into the hustle and bustle of things rather unceremoniously. So I studied hard and did fairly well (I hope) and after a single intensive theory class, it seemed like the whole weekend had never happened, except that I had a few remnants of a turkey sandwich lying in my room.

So I hope you all enjoyed your Thanksgiving, even you out of country kids who had no clue what we were talking about (and even you Americans, who scoffed at our odd ways). Until later, ciao!

And midterms are…?

Hello all!

So lately, something I’ve been hearing all around campus has gone something like this:

“Hey, want to go to a movie tonight?” “No, sorry, I have a midterm to study for.” “A midterm? It’s not even the middle of the term! We’ve only been here for a month!” “I know, but I have a bunch this week, so I can’t hang out now, sorry!”

Yeah. I’ve been there a TON of times because the lovely music faculty actually schedules midterms at – get this – the MIDDLE OF THE TERM. So I don’t have a midterm for two weeks, but meanwhile I have no one to spend time with since they’re all busy frantically learning calculus and psychology. *sigh* And since I don’t really have too much to do comparatively, I just sit in my room eating cookies and watching episodes of TV on my laptop. It’s a sad life.

And the rain. My god. It’s constant! And it doesn’t matter if I use an umbrella or not, because every day by the time I get to the music building from Vanier (it’s a 5 minute walk by the way) I am absolutely SOAKED. It’s a bit unfortunate, but it helps wake me up in the morning, which is always appreciated!

Well, that’s all for now, so adios amigos!

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