Category Archives: Wellness

The library is my second home

Remember in high school when you could study for a test, or even an exam, the night before and still do well? Well, now that we’re in university it’s time to kiss those days goodbye, Now, it feels like I’ve been studying for a week straight and I’ve barely even made a dent in everything I need to know.

I would give midterm study tips but I don’t really know if I’m qualified just yet (we’ll wait until I get my results back…). The one tip I will give you is take a break. I spent the whole day at Irving yesterday, surviving off of nothing but cafe mochas and a panini from Ike’s. After reading two chapters of psychology, drawing a huge biology concept map and sitting in the same chair for 7 hours straight, it felt like my brain had turned to Jello, so I decided to reward myself with a quick trip to the beach (the stairs really are deadly) and a movie night with some of the girls on my floor (and yes, some chocolate from Hubbard’s). All work and no play makes Cam a psychopath, and if you’re the same way, be sure to take some time to relax over midterms.

Also, remember to stay positive. You can do this! We’re all smart – we got into UBC, after all. If you study properly and are willing to put in the work, you’ll come out on top. Here’s a video guaranteed to make you feel like you “can do anything good”…or at the very least put a smile on your face. Happy studying!

It’s Friday, Friday, gotta get down on Friday…

...down to studying, that is.

So what are you doing on this lovely Friday night? Going to a concert? Watching a movie with your friends? Partying like your life is a Katy Perry and/or Rebecca Black song? Well, if you’re me, the answer to that question is a boring one: I’m currently sitting at a semi-circle shaped table on the fourth floor of Irving, taking awkward Photo Booth pictures (bringing my laptop with me was a bad idea…) and trying to force myself to open my dauntingly thick psychology textbook. That’s right, midterm season is upon us.

Things that suck about this week: I’m missing out on Day of the Longboat, which is something I was really looking forward to. Actually I’m pretty much missing out on having a social life at all this week (although I’ll admit I was kidnapped to Triple O’s before heading over to the library. What can I say? I’m powerless before a basket of sweet potato fries and chipotle mayo.) I probably won’t be getting much sleep and will end up doubting my intelligence and sanity by the time this week is over. It’s going to be rough.

However, I think now would be a perfect time to remind myself of all the good things that happened to me over this past week. So, without further ado, here are the small joys of midterm season:

  • Finding the perfect bike parking spot. You would think that biking everywhere saves time, but the five minutes you save by biking to class are cancelled out by the ten minutes you spend trying to manoeuver your bike into a space on a bike rack. It’s the best feeling when you ride up to the rack to see that perfect end spot left open, probably by someone who just biked away. It’s like the bike gods of UBC want me to get to class on time. Definitely something to make you smile. (Also, on a sort of related note: last week I was riding my bike down East Mall and some guy biking in the other direction gave me a high five. Made my day.)
  • Coming out of class to realize that the sun has come out. The weather here is super confusing to a Torontonian. I’m used to extremes: temperatures so high you feel like you’re melting into the pavement, snow up to your waist and rainstorms to rival the Saharan monsoon season. So this mild Vancouver weather is messing with my head. It’s not fun waking up in the morning to see nothing but grey outside your window, but I promise coming out of a boring lecture to see the sun shining over the mountains more than makes up for it.
  • Eating Marbelous cookies from Blue Chip. I do this thing called stress eating. I was so stressed during my grade twelve exam week that I ate my way through two boxes of Double Stuff Oreos. No joke. I was trying to stay away from this nasty habit in university, but then I found Blue Chip in the SUB. Their cookies are so delicious, but be warned, it’s almost impossible to have just one. Your wallet (and your hips) just might start to suffer.
  • Taking classes you love! Calculus and chemistry are necessary evils right now, but I’m also taking some classes I’m super passionate about. My favourite class this term is SCIE 113, First-Year Seminar in Science, which is a 26-person class about effectively communicating science. I think I’ll dedicate an entire post to it later on, but suffice it to say, it’s awesome. We have great conversations about science as a cross-disciplinary area of study, and write essays that are so interesting that it doesn’t even feel like work. Plus, my professor, Dr. Fox, not only knows me by name, but also follows me on Twitter and reads this blog!
  • Keeping an eye out for Shia LaBoeuf? 

Okay, enough procrastinating. It’s time to teach myself the anatomy of the central nervous system. Did you know Irving is open until 1 am? I guess you know where to find me for the next week. I’m the girl on the teal MacBook with the messy high bun on her head and the permanent stress crinkle between her eyebrows. Good luck on your midterms everyone!

I need to invest in some Gore-Tex

Let me tell you a story about a foolish girl from Ontario. Lulled into a false sense of security by the first couple of beautiful weeks here at UBC, she decided to put off buying herself proper raingear, which had been working out pretty well for her until one fateful Monday. That morning, after pressing the snooze button several times, she realized that she was going to be late for class, and left hastily without checking the weather report. She quickly regretted this decision once she stepped outside in her short-sleeved shirt and flimsy circle scarf, only to realize that sheets of rain were falling from the sky. Without any time to go back for a sweater, she hopped on her bike and began the treacherous uphill journey from Vanier to Wesbrook. By the time she got to her first class, she looked as though she had been pushed into the pool at the aquatic centre and by the end of the day she was feeling so sick that she had to miss her last class to go back to KU, cold, soaked, and kicking herself for not buying a raincoat.

In case you haven’t figured it out yet, the mystery girl in this story is me (shocking turn of events, I know). I’m currently paying the price for this lapse in judgement, hiding out in my dorm room with a hoodie pulled tightly around my face and desperately wishing for someone to come and bring me some cauliflower and cheese soup from the Vanier dining hall. Note to prospective students, invest in a good raincoat before you come to UBC. It’s true what they say about Vancouver: there’s only one season, and that season is rain.

On the upside, I have a pair of Hunters boots waiting for me when I go home for Thanksgiving (in 11 days)! I’m so incredibly excited to head back to Toronto. As much as I’ve been having an amazing time here (in spite of my immune system’s best efforts), it’s going to be so nice to see my family again, to go on a sushi outing with my best friends and to possibly convince my mom to buy me that black Gore-Tex raincoat I spotted on Granville Island… Unfortunately, three midterms stand between me and my flight back to YYZ. How do you even study in university? I’d better figure it out by next Wednesday, or else I just might be heading home for good.

Getting groceries is dangerous

Note to self: never bike to Save On Foods via Marine Drive ever again, or at least until you are significantly more fit. I almost passed out going up a hill and had a narrow miss with an 18-wheeler while attempting to turn onto 16th Ave. I somehow managed to make it back to KU in one piece though, with my bananas and Nutella unharmed (best study snack ever, seriously).

I’ve been feeling like a true Vancouverite lately, taking my bike everywhere I possibly can. Biking to classes is crazy convenient, since I get to sleep ten minutes later than I would have to if I were walking. However, the intense hill between Lower and Main Mall turns me into that sweaty, huffing girl in my 9 AM lecture. Hopefully by the end of the semester I’ll be able to make it to Wesbrook without looking like I just ran a marathon.

Anyways, I’m now in my third week of classes here in beautiful British Columbia. I’m finally starting to get adjusted and settle into a routine, and I’ve been having a lot fewer minor freak-outs as a result. Here are some highlights of this past week:

1. Shopping Week. Last week was UBC Rec’s Shopping Week. I gave zumba a try, took a free yoga class in the Vanier ballroom, and, to my absolutely delight, took my first dance class in four months. I overdid it a little bit and couldn’t walk properly for four days afterwards, but it was so worth it.

2. My psych prof is a boss. When asked to give an example of a negative correlation, someone said “Less partying, more studying”, to which my prof responded “Yeah, only if you’re not awesome!” He also gets bonus points for making Grey’s Anatomy and House references.

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