Monthly Archives: December 2012

Creating your story starts here

Registration for the 2013 UBC Student Leadership Conference is open now. You should go and stuff. I hear it’s pretty cool. To register, click here.

Things I Love About Winter Break

Term 1: mission accomplished. The last Scantron bubble has been filled out, the last exam has been handed in, and the last late night study sessions have been completed. Aside from waiting for those dreaded marks going up on the SSC (I’m personally terrified for BIOL 200), there’s nothing to do now but kick back at home and relish in the joys of winter break:

Snow! T-dot has gotten a little sprinkling of snow, but weirdly enough, it’s nothing compared to the snowstorm that hit Vancity on Wednesday. The city got a ton of snow overnight leading to the typical snow-induced widespread panic (the last day of exams were even cancelled. Welcome to Vancouver). Here’s hoping for a White Christmas in the land where good things grow, though!

Not setting an alarm. Gone are the days of my iPhone blaring at 6:45 am, signaling the start of yet another arduous day in the library. Now I can get all the Z’s my tired little body desires. And it’s awesome.

Having a kitchen. Being at home means that I’m able to bake to my heart’s content. Today I made peppermint bark, red velvet shortbread, chocolate-filled snowballs, and peppermint white chocolate chip cookies… I might have gotten a little carried away.

Seeing old friends. I actually haven’t done any of this just yet since all my friends are painfully busy with work or severely ill with the flu (get well soon, Gabby!) but hopefully catch-up Starbucks dates are in my near future. Speaking of catching up…

Catching up on TV shows. There’s no time to keep up with my ridiculous amount of shows during the school year. Now I have ample time to kick back, relax, and finally find out who is Gossip Girl.

Planning for the future. Projects for the break: working on my IntSci application, figuring out summer plans, applying for exchange next year (fingers crossed for Copenhagen!), and planning the SLC Recognition Reception. Speaking of which, have you registered yet?

Hope everyone is having a lovely relaxing break – enjoy every minute, because you’ll sadly be back to school before you know it.

Dancing through finals

Confession: I’m not perfect (I know, right? Most shocking revelation of 2012). Although I blog a lot about how important it is to take care of yourself, to eat right and exercise, and to find balance in university, I don’t always follow my own advice. The days leading up to my first exam, the dreaded CHEM 233 final, were super unhealthy and stress-filled. I was subsisting off of caffeine and UBC Food Services baked goods (the banana chocolate chunk muffins are a particular favourite of mine), spending every spare second thinking about chemical mechanisms, and even dreaming about carbohydrate cyclization. For five days straight I would get to the library every morning at 8:30 and leave when it closed at 10, taking breaks only to fill up my water bottle or to grab a massive coffee from the SUB.

On the morning of the exam, I woke up ready to log a few more hours of studying before my 3:30 timeslot. But after going over a couple of practice finals, I realized I couldn’t do it anymore. I was physically and mentally exhausted. The chemical structures were starting to look like hieroglyphs, and my brain felt like the melted Stay-Puffed marshmallow man at the end of Ghostbusters 2. It was bad.

So with a mere couple of hours left before my exam, I threw on some Lululemon shorts, lugged my iHome speakers over to the Totem commonsblock, and turned the ballroom into my own personal dance studio. It was just the release I needed. Instead of agonizing over the steps of imine formation or trying to decide what reagent is required to convert an aldehyde to a carboxylic acid, I just needed to count to eight and try to nail a few fouettes. It reminded me of how thankful I used to be during high school finals when I had no classes but still had to go to dance every night. Dance has always been my stress release, and I miss being able to do it every day. After an hour of jumping, turning, and receiving a few weird looks through the ballroom windows, I changed into my exam attire, went to the SRC with my mind cleared of all stressors, and might have written the best final exam of my university career.

Find that thing that keeps you sane during finals season and do it often. Whether it’s running the Wreck Beach stairs, watching a movie with your floormates or hammering on the drums (like my girl Nirel), make sure your life doesn’t revolve around your schoolwork. It’s a stressful time, for sure, but taking an hour off won’t kill you. Just the opposite, in fact.

PS: Watching dance videos on YouTube makes for a pretty good (and dangerous) procrastination tool. If you’re into that kinda thing, check out some of my favourites here, here, here, and here.