Monthly Archives: August 2012

UBC? More like YoutUBC

Side note: My attempt at wordplay in this blog title failed miserably. This is why I’m not in Arts.

There are only twelve short days until move-in day! I hope all the incoming first years are getting as pumped as I am (and if you’re lucky enough to be living on Kwak 6th, you should be especially excited!).

Just in case you need a reminder of why you’re excited to go to the best school this side of the Milky Way, here are twelve UBC-themed YouTube videos to get you better acquainted with your new home:

  1. Storm the Wall 2012. Storm was voted the quintessential UBC experience by the Ubyssey, and all you have to do is walk around campus in mid-March to figure out why.
  2. UBC Class of 2015 Video. Class of 2016, you guys get your very own video at this year’s Imagine Day pep rally!
  3. Sh*t UBC Says. Get ready to say all of these things, a lot. There also might be a Sh*t Vanier Says video floating around the internet starring yours truly.
  4. This Week at UBC. Watch this weekly show to find out more about awesome events happening around campus!
  5. Imagine Day Pep Rally 2011 Time Lapse. Yep, prepare to be surrounded by lots of colour and lots of screaming come September 4th.
  6. Stephen Toope singing at UBC’s Got Talent. What other university can say their president has sung a Eurythmics song with their student body president?
  7. Undie Run. How do UBC students combat exam stress? By stripping down to their skivvies for charity, of course.
  8. UBC Valentine’s Day Hero. Proof that UBC boys are big softies at heart. Warning: may give you unrealistic expectations about being serenaded from your dorm room window.
  9. Dorm Room Tour. Curious to see what your room is going to look like? Fellow Blog Squadder Samantha has made a super helpful video to show you firsthand. Also, if you’re living in KU or Tec in Vanier (lucky you!), check out this post to get a sneak peek at your room.
  10. SLC Opening Ceremonies Video. Don’t worry, getting paint splashed in your face isn’t a regular thing on campus. Also, did I mention the SLC is Canada’s biggest (and most awesome) student-run conference?
  11. Engineers blowing things up. Just because we’re smart doesn’t mean UBC students don’t know to have fun. Watch engineers do awesome things with science.
  12. UBC LipDub. The epitome of UBC school spirit.

Packing my life into a suitcase (again)

We’re gonna need a bigger bag.

Has it really been a year already? It feels like only yesterday a wide-eyed, brace-faced, almost-first-year sat in this very spot, shoving all her possessions into massive suitcases (or avoiding packing by writing blog posts about it). I hate packing, but it seems like the more I do it, the easier it gets.

My most important packing tip: begin with the end in mind. Although it might seem like a long way off, remember that you’ll need to do something with all the stuff you’re bringing once the year is over. This is especially important if you’re coming from far away. Last year, I didn’t have a problem with getting all my stuff to Vancouver since my mom helped me bring everything over. Unfortunately, she wasn’t there to help me on my way back. That, coupled with the fact that I bought even more stuff over the course of the year, resulted in my scrambling to find summer storage once the summer hit. Plan ahead. Don’t overpack, and don’t stress if you forget something. You can always have it shipped out or borrow it from someone in your building. Everyone shares everything in rez – I’m pretty sure the main purpose of my house Facebook group was to facilitate the exchange of can openers and irons.

If you’re looking for some packing tips, check out this post I wrote last summer. And don’t stress – I promise you and your possessions will make it to UBC in one piece (even if you need to do a little jumping on your suitcase).

The truth about Raincouver

A warning to incoming first years: you will be lulled into a false sense of security in September. Still aglow in the summer sunshine, campus will be absolutely beautiful. Wreck Beach trips will be a daily routine and everyone on campus will be happy and friendly and really, really, ridiculously good-looking. “This is awesome,” you will think to yourself. “Everyone who said it rains in Vancouver all the time was totally wrong!”

And then October hits, and you can kiss being dry goodbye for the next four months.

If it weren’t for the rain, I swear Vancouver would be the most perfect place to live in the world. Sadly, you can’t have it all. But if you’re able to cope with the weather, life in rainy Vancouver really isn’t so bad. Here are my tips for dealing with the drizzle:

Buy a solid pair of rainboots. UBC doesn’t have puddles. It has small lakes. You don’t want to suffer through your longest day of the week with wet, squelchy socks. Plus, you feel like a badass wading through massive puddles with dry feet. Get a raincoat as well. They might not be stylish, but you’ll be glad you bought it when you’re not dripping as you walk into lecture. An umbrella is a good idea, too, although you can survive without one if you have a raincoat and don’t mind your hood messing up your hair (I made it through the whole year umbrella-free). Just make sure you have an extra, because I guarantee you will lose at least one over the course of the year.

Don’t buy a canvas backpack. It will get soaked, and the rain will ruin all your meticulously copied lecture notes. Try and get one that’s somewhat water-resistant, and keep your important papers in a plastic folder to avoid runny ink and disintegrated sheets of lined paper. If you simply must have that Urban Outfitters canvas bag, spray it with some water-repellant spray. You can buy it at most shoe stores (I got mine from Soft Moc).

Prepare your bike for the elements. If you bike around campus, make sure that you have fenders on your tires to keep water from splashing water all over your derriere. Also, lock your bike up in a covered location wherever possible to avoid rusting, and be sure to take it for regular tune-ups.

Always be prepared. It doesn’t matter if the sky is as clear as a Neutrogena model’s skin when you step out your door. By the end of the day, the weather could be as wet and dreary as ever. Dress in layers and always, always bring your raingear along.

Take vitamin D pills. You can go weeks without seeing sunshine in the winter months, which could mean that your body isn’t getting enough Vitamin D. You can buy these pills over-the-counter at any Shoppers or health store. Make sure to take them regularly, as you need the vitamin to build up in your system in order to reap the benefits!

Embrace the rain. As effective as you might believe your rain dance to be, you can’t control the weather. Don’t let the dreary, grey scene outside your window keep you from having an awesome day, and remember that rainy days just make you more thankful for the sunny ones. Besides, the rain is what keeps everything so green and beautiful year-round!

My take on the Totem-Vanier debate

Confession: I was seriously disappointed when I was placed in Vanier last summer. All of my older UBC friends had lived in Totem, and they had nothing but good things to say. They told me about Colour Wars, the amazing community vibe, and the magical Magda’s late night grill, and I had my heart set on experiencing all these things for myself. I even found a girl who was willing to trade her Dene single for my Korea-UBC room.

So why didn’t I switch?

Well, it really all came down to me not wanting to mess with fate. I figured if the universe wanted me to live in Vanier, then I would live in Vanier (and okay, the fact that I was assigned to a fancy building didn’t hurt, either). So I accepted my Vanier destiny and since then, I’ve never once regretted my decision. I can’t imagine what my year would have been like without getting decked out in orange and losing my voice at Vanier Olympics, dancing my butt off at Graffiti Night, and developing an addiction to Chef Steve’s soups. I would have missed out on the hysterical Mr. Vanier pageant and the amazing Vanier musical. I definitely wouldn’t have gotten to star in a Sh*t Vanier Says video, and most importantly, I probably would have never met the wonderful people on my floor who have become my best friends.

The point I’m trying to make here is that your first year will be amazing no matter what residence you’re in. Even if you didn’t get placed exactly where you wanted, I promise that as long as you go in with a positive attitude, you’ll still have a crazy fun first year. You can hold me to that.

Big smiles and KU tiger growls,

PS: You definitely shouldn’t try and switch rooms if you’re on Kwak 6th. I hear your RA’s pretty cool.