Dear dorm room,
It’s been more than a year since I last saw you, but every now and then I miss you. You were an island of familiarity in an ocean of uncertainties. You were walls I could hide behind when I needed to cry, and you were the place I could blast my music (at reasonable volumes, of course) and dance around and get pumped up. You were my study space, my dining room, my movie theatre and my Sunday sleep-in. You were cozy and warm when it rained and let the sun in when it showed its face.
I unfolded my personality all over your walls, and filled the drawers with little bits of memories – and soon I was bringing in momentos of new experiences, too. You were filled up with “me,” and you were my home base so that I could venture out and start building my own life.
I have to say, I have greatly enjoyed moving on to my own apartment, but I still think of you and smile. You were a place I could always come back to, and you were like a friend in a place where I knew no one.
I certainly wasn’t the first friend you ever knew, and I wasn’t the last, either. It’s good to know you’ll be there to be a little piece of home for excited and anxious first years in the future.
A former bewildered first year.
Looking back on my first year, I remember it well; how it felt, what I did, mistakes I made. Perhaps I can impart a little of my wisdom to those coming to UBC for the first time this fall. Here are some things I wish I knew before coming to UBC.
- Put yourself out there. I am a shy person; I’ve said it many times. The mistake I made was always shutting myself up in my dorm room, studying for long hours (which is a good thing, I suppose) and keeping my door shut where I was beyond the reach of other humans. You’ve probably heard a million times all the reasons you should keep your dorm room door open; however I would take it a step further and say get out of your room in general more. I needed to learn how to just hang out, how to just show up at a friend’s room and just chill in there so I wasn’t always alone.
- Stop competing. You’re entering university. It is guaranteed that there will be people who are smarter than you or better than you at some things. That doesn’t matter, so stop comparing yourself! What’s important is your own personal journey – so only race against yourself. Need more convincing? Click here.
- Don’t blow all your money on stuff you don’t need. Although I’m generally a very frugal person, I am guilty of occasionally spending on stuff I don’t need. Ask yourself if this is something that you genuinely do need to spend your money on (like textbooks, or rain boots), or something that is just a want (like Starbucks – do you know how much you spend if you buy coffee every day?!)
- Explore the city more. If you’re coming to UBC from outside the lower mainland, it could be that after your time at UBC is up – and time goes by fast, believe me – you won’t get to come back to Vancouver much. Campus is a big place and definitely needs to be explored, but make the trek to the bus loop and get a feel for the city as well.
Got more suggestions? Got questions? Leave them in the comments!
As a third year performance major, not only do I feel kind of old, but I also don’t have to take very many classes besides my ensembles and private lessons. Believe me, ensembles and private lessons take enough time and effort on their own. So all I still need to complete my degree besides those are music and non-music electives!
First term I’ll be taking a Creative Writing course and Instrumentation (which, to my understanding, is arranging music for different instruments and ensembles). That’s actually all the “lecture courses,” as I call them, I’ll be taking first term. Hello, one-class-per-day and class-free Fridays.
Excluding ensembles and lessons.
Second term I’ll be taking my final music theory course dealing with post-tonal music (not really looking forward that one…) and more German. I’ve missed German a lot since I took it in first year! So for that I’m super stoked. And, second term I will have no classes on Tuesdays and Thursday. I know, you’re jealous of my totally awesome schedule.
Another exciting possibility for this year is that I might go on a Group Study to Belgium! Those of you who follow my blog will remember that I was extremely disappointed when I discovered I couldn’t really go on an exchange. But this year a MUSIC Group Study Project was created which I’ve applied for, and if I get selected I could be going to Belgium for two weeks! If I actually get accepted for it I’ll write more about it when I actually understand the research project better.
As well, because of the way I was able to arrange my schedule, I may apply to be an usher for the School of Music Wednesday Noon Hour Concerts. It would only be a few hours per week, but it would be nice to have a bit of extra cash in my pocket. Plus my job would pretty much be to sit in on professional concerts. Not bad, eh?
Overall it’s looking like it will be a very creative year! Although I think I may get a bit overwhelmed with all the music I have to learn this year – I’ll be putting on a 45-minute recital in April – I’m really excited for third year. The only bad thing about it is that I’ll be so much closer to being done my time at UBC! I just won’t think about that. Instead I’ll dream about my trip to Belgium! :P