Last few days before school!

Playlist while writing this: Ratatat’s LP4 and Ratatat (self-titled album)

Hello!

Oh my goodness. I’ve been on campus for three weeks there is so much to write about! To make things easier, I’ll sort out my past few weeks into a couple different categories: Jump Start, Rez life/UBC post-Jump Start & Imagine Day.

 

Jump Start!

 

For those of you who don’t know, Jump Start is a two-week immersive program in which international and aboriginal incoming first-year students learn about life in Vancouver, get settled in and meet other kids from all over the world. Even though I’m from The States (and technically a Canadian citizen), it helped to learn more about how things work around here.

One really fun activity we had was called Share It!, which was basically a giant talent show during which I gawked at the incredible things my peers did and even gave a little performance of my own! (; (Typical of me – it was a speech on how to be happy.) By far the best thing about Jump Start, though, was making a bunch of new international friends!! Not only did I develop a close-knit group of friends whom I know I can trust with anything, but I also got to practice speaking different languages, learn bits of new ones and gain knowledge of various cultures.

If you are an international or aboriginal student applying to UBC this year, SIGN UP FOR JUMPSTART. I guarantee you’ll be happy you did. 😀

 

Life in Residence/UBC Post-Jump Start:

 

“The Canadians are coming, the Canadians are coming!”, yelled my friend Shelly down the halls of Haida House as I looked out my window to find people carrying everything from electric kettles and guitars to printers and teddy bears. While everyone around Totem Park was busy hustling and bustling, I had already settled into my room and was enjoying the long weekend with my family (who came to visit me from Seattle!), putting the last couple posters on my walls before grabbing dinner on W 4th.

I am so incredibly happy to call this place home! My roommate, Ezinne, and I had skyped once before coming here, which was a great brief introduction (and I recommend it if you can) – but I was so excited for her to finally arrive. She is SO GREAT. I am pleased to say that I could not have asked for a better roommate! We do have some things in common (including one of our classes!), but the most important aspect of living with someone else is that we get along so well.

On a similar note, I think it’s pretty safe to say that I have the best RA ever. I think it’s so important and wonderful that she and the other RAs I’ve met really seem to strive to create an environment in which people are accepted and where everyone feels safe, comfortable and at home. In fact, I love rez life so much that I’m running for Floor Rep (to represent my floor at house council meetings)! I’ll keep you updated regarding how that goes. (:

 

Imagine Day:

 

WOAH. UBC has a lot of clubs. It’s a very large school so it’s expected, but I’m pretty sure that one could theoretically find any club he wanted upon coming to UBC Imagine Day. Okay, maybe not any club imaginable, but definitely SO many clubs.

Some that stood out to me the most & that I’m considering joining (note: considering the 350 clubs that exist on campus, this list is actually quite condense):

UBC Fun Run – Students get together in groups once a week to go on some sort of exciting, non-competitive run to relieve stress and connect with other runners! What a cool thing to look forward to after a long week of studying.

Psychology Students’ Association of UBC – I’ve found home. Considering psychology is my current intended major, I was SO happy when I found this booth by the Buchanan buildings!

Speech and Linguistics Student Association (SALSA) – I’m thinking of minoring in linguistics, so this would also be a really sweet group to be a part of. (:

Philosophy Students Association  — Another potential minor for me. I love, love, love philosophy!

Agape Street Missions – This is a non-religious homeless outreach club, in which students interact with and distribute food to the homeless people of Downtown Vancouver. This is actually something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time!

Freethinkers Club – Attending get-togethers with other critical thinkers to talk about things we find interesting or controversial? Sweet!

Association of Latin American Students at UBC – I’m not Latin American, but I have studied Spanish for long enough to be enrolled in conversational Spanish classes this year. I think this club would be another awesome way to practice, learn about Latin American culture and interact with other Spanish speakers.

Black Vinyl Project – UBC’s own record label? ‘Nuff said.

Environmental Science Students Association – Doing research, giving informative presentations and saving the environment? Yes please.

Food Society – You join and save money going out to eat at various restaurants around Vancouver! Yes, that’s a real club.

Global Outreach Students’ Association / Heart Club – Both of these clubs have a strong emphasis on volunteering with disadvantaged members of the community and the world – awesome!

Natural Food Co-op/Sprouts  — Heck yeah, I’m going to volunteer at the vegetarian restaurant in the SUB! I hope I learn to make something yummy. (:

Jewish Students Association – While I’m not religious in the slightest, I still appreciate and feel connected to my Jewish ethnic background. My family comes from Morocco and Israel, so meeting other people who speak Hebrew is pretty sweet, as well!

Meditation Community – I really want to learn to meditate. Looks like a good place to start!

UBC Yoga Club – Again, I enjoy yoga so much and would love to learn more!

Check out the UBC AMS (Alma Mater Society) Clubs website for these and waaaayyy more clubs!! http://www.ams.ubc.ca/campus-life/clubs/

 

ALSO…

 

In the dorkiest way possible, I am SO excited that classes are starting!! I’ll write more soon about each class I’m taking this term. (: If you currently attend UBC, I hope your first couple days have been/will continue to be amazing!

 

Love,

Nirel

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