Week 3

Hey all,

I have a massive draft of a post I want to make about the negative misconceptions people have about sororities and how wrong I learned that they are as I went through Formal Recruitment. I have a lot to say now that I saw firsthand how sweet and down-to-earth the girls who conducted all my interviews were! I want to devote time refining that draft so that that post will be meaningful. So hang tight, I’ll return to writing it after I finish some Calculus! For a sneak peek of what I want to say, check out Naoadays’s blog post on Why You shouldn’t date a Sorority Girl  (This is such a misleading title but why she makes this title so will make sense when you read it.)

Other things that happened during Week 3

  • The first part of my training at the Canadian Institute for the Blind. I’m learning techniques to become a better sighted guide! This summer, I served as a sighted guide briefly and that experience had so much impact on me that I want to volunteer more and so I’m getting myself properly training. Some of the scenerios we covered included flights of stairs, washrooms, and restaurants.
  • REX Orientation. REX is a program that is part of UBC Undergraduate Research Opportunities, which I am now a member of! That reminds me… I need to work on my application!
  • Clubs Day! Lots and lots of clubs. I plan to go to a meeting for one of the clubs I signed up for tomorrow.

Other stuff but now I’m tired and need to get back to work.

until next time!

Friday Pizza night

  • Lots of love to my silly friends and so thankful that we’re in this journey together. <3 Thanks especially to Kevin and Veena for being super supportive and understanding towards me Week 2!
  • Also: huge thank you to Sarena, the Undergraduate Physics Advisor, for all her help and patience.
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Signs of friendship

Friday night: A low-key end to the school week.

  • Physics with my friends “Potato” and “Avocado. ”  Yes those are their real life nicknames. Frequent alternation between “I DON’T UNDERSTAND ANYTHING! LIFE IS TERRIBLE.” and “I GET IT! I GET IT! LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL!”
  • When Koerner closed, we met up with some other friends in Irving.
  • We were all starving so we ate pizza at Mercante.
  • Silliness post-pizza and on the bus home.
  • Stayed up late creating multiple blog posts for the next couple days because this is going to be a bit of a busy week. I compiled songs together in themed posts to share with you guys – hope you like these posts!
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Week 2

Here we are: week 2. I’m taking the following classes this semester:

Biol 112  Biology of the Cell. I’m loving this course! Cells, bacteria, DNA, macromolecules…isn’t the content of this course super interesting? What I especially love about this course is its “flipped classroom” style where you are expected to do all of your pre-reading the weekend before and when you’re in class, you learn what’s important, and do active learning with iClicker questions and group work. You get lots of opportunities and are encouraged to discuss your answers with your neighbours. Yay for social learning! I met our professor and one of TAs during their respective office hours and they both offered helpful advice and are incredibly nice.

Chem 121 Chemistry – I really enjoyed chemistry in high school so I was excited for university chemistry. So far, I haven’t been interested in class because we’re doing review. However, I firmly believe that once we get out of review and into new content, class will be interesting. I’m looking forward to my upcoming chem lab though. Hands on learning is the best!

Phys 117 Classical Mechanics – This is also a flipped classroom style class but I’m finding this course much more challenging than my Biol class. Most of our in class and out of class activities require internet access. For example, each week, we all annotate our textbook online with questions and then we answer each others’ questions. This can be frustrating for me because I don’t own a fancy portable Macbook that everyone in my class seems to own so I always have to wait until after class to run to the library to use a computer there. We spend most of our recent classes working through problems relating to acceleration and velocity. We had a pop quiz our second class which I did miserably on so I know that I’m going to have to study a LOT for this class. Physics doesn’t come easy to me so some of our in-class questions make me feel overwhelmed. Tomorrow, I’m going to do physics problems for a couple hours to catch up!

English 112 – Academic Writing. I look forward to going to this class and doing the readings!! Our professor has a great sense of humour and I like how the classes are classroom size ( about 30 students) rather than lecture hall size because we get more opportunities to participate in discussion and know our peers better. I believe that the skills we are learning about how to read critically and write so we can communicate effectively will be useful to us in our future studies and lives. I feel inspired by this class and hope that if I put in enough effort, I’ll leave a decent writer.

Math 102 Calculus.  Our professor is very enthusiastic about math. For example, on Tuesday, he expressed how he thought that the definition of derivatives and how it corresponded to the slope was simply amazing. I also enjoy the connections he makes between math and biology. I really like it when I can connect what I’m learning in one course to other courses! However, the online pre-lecture videos, difficulty I’m having finding extra practice questions (if you know where, please let me know. )and the mess of the Piazza board frustrate me and impede me from getting as in engaged in this course as I would like to. This may have to do with my lack of a little speedy laptop and how challenging it is for me to access my learning materials so don’t worry, this class will probably will be much better for you than it is for me. 🙂


Goals for this rest of this week and the next:

  • Stay on top of things.
  • I want to get more involved on-campus so my first step will be making a good impression in the first round of recruitment this weekend! I’m honestly not sure if this will be right for me but I decided that I will just give recruitment a try and see how it goes. I’m particularly interesting in getting involved in philanthropy events and potentially organizing and leading some! I was initially worried about academics and time commitment but when I asked and learned more, it seems like doing well academically and balancing other commitments as well is not only  possible but you get lots of support to do so.
  • Exercise! A couple friends and I are going to our local community centre gym tomorrow to get back into our fitness routines. Even though our community centre gym is very inexpensive, I usually only ever go to the gym if it’s free and instead run or do exercises at home or outdoors. I neglected my fitness and haven’t exercised since Imagine Day…. so a kick start back to fitness is worth one visit to the gym.
  • Focus on physics: Work through more practice questions in order to not feel so shaky about physics.
  • Continue meeting more people and making more friends 🙂



Back to school adulting

Is adulting boring? It’s actually okay because I  feel productive when I get a lot done.

Is adulting exhausting though? Yes. Yes. Yes.

The Labour Day weekend included:

Lots of adulting but I feel very far from being an adult. I wonder if I’ll grow up….

  • Going to the bank
  • Completing and mailing paperwork
  • Laundry
  • Making an enormous pile of clothes and other things I plan to donate -hopefully so that someone else in need can use them 🙂
  • Collecting all my stuffed animals at home to donate. I found that Splash toy store in Dunbar collect toys for distribution to children in the Downtown Eastside so when I get a chance, I’ll bring mine there.
  • Reorganizing my stationary drawers
  • Returning library books
  • Prepared outfits for the next few weeks so that I’m less tempted to go to school in my running shorts everyday


  • An friend from Winnipeg visited Vancouver this weekend so a bunch of friends met up for dinner. We took her around Gastown and Downtown and had a great time.
  • Facetime with one of my favourite people on this planet
  • Learned a lot and had fun while volunteering (See my upcoming post on 10 things you should know about the visually impaired)
  • Pasta at Anton’s in Burnaby. The dinner portion is so huge that I couldn’t even finish one plate over lunch and dinner. Anton’s pasta also tastes amazing and is not too expensive.
  • Talked to my Imagine Day Orientation Leader, Emily, through email. She’s nice and gave me advice.
  • I’m addicted to the song “Like I’m Gonna Lose You” sung by Meghan Trainor and John Legend. I’ve been playing the 1 hour loop on repeat while I’m cleaning.
  • Other foolishness that I can’t remember at the moment.


5 rules for being a good Roommate

5 not so obvious rules that you might not know if you’ve never had a roommate before

Rule #1 Unless your roommate gave express permission, do not take out someone else’s clothing out of the washer. Do not put their clothing in the dryer or else you may accidentally shrink someone’s favourite sweater. This goes for both the residence laundry room and a shared washer in a rented suite or apartment. If you urgently need to do laundry, call and ask or hand wash that one shirt you want to wear on your date.

Rule #2 Pay your fair share. Contribute fairly if your roommates are buying toilet paper, hand soap, cleaning supplies, etc. Same goes for utility bills. You may feel that it’s unfair for you to contribute equally to the electric bill as your roommate who is constantly watching the TV, using the dryer and leaving the lights on while you air dry your clothing and tiptoe in the darkness. Just pay. (Then subtly educate your roommate on being more friendly to the environment. )

Rule #3 Not everyone is okay with you walking around naked all day. Even though all your brothers lived in boxers, different people have different comfort levels when it comes to clothing at home. Set guidelines with your roommates. If someone is uncomfortable with seeing too much of you, respect that and your roommates may set a rule that clothing on the lower body is mandatory in the common areas (kitchen, living room, etc). If you’ll living in the same one room dorm, seasoned room sharers would prefer that you don’t waste valuable bathroom time but if you just met yesterday on move-in day, ask your roommates if they are okay with you stripping down in the room or if they prefers that you all change inside the bathroom. However, you absolutely do not have the right to regulate what your roommates wears in their separate bedrooms or to sleep. As much as you want to tear up their puke green flannel, respect others’ right to choice. Remember that you’re not their mother.

Rule #4 Preen outside of the bathroom, especially in the mornings before class or when everyone’s getting ready to go out for the evening. Get yourself a little mirror and put on makeup, curl your hair, check your outfit for the 28th time with it. Guys, hair gel, side burn grooming and practicing suave eyebrow waggles can be done out of the bathroom. Be efficient in the bathroom so that your roommates don’t need to wait too long to use the toilet. If you’re pressed for time and your roommate is not coming out of the bathroom, you can use the kitchen sink to brush your teeth and wash your face. Just clean up well after you’re done.

Rule #5  Even if you all agreed that eating each others’ snacks and leftover food is okay, avoid eating special food sent by family or other loved ones if your roommate didn’t offer to share. Giant bag of chips from Costco: probably ok. Mom’s beef stew that combats your roommate’s homesickness: don’t touch. Cute panda shaped cookies from the boyfriend or girlfriend: don’t touch. This also applies to other items such as clothing. Do not steal the shirt your roommate’s boyfriend gave her to add to your outfit. That’s rude… and weird.

How to start a scrapbook

A scrapbook is a tangible way to record your memories. Making a scrapbook helps you reflect upon your experiences and appreciate the people who’ve been supporting you and the opportunities that you’ve been blessed with. I’m usually a go-go-go as fast as you can person and the act of making a scrapbook slows me down and reminds me that how lucky I am to have such a great past and present and of the people and things that I value. I recently made a scrapbook from kindergarten to high school graduation, which reminded me how far I’ve come and how I really need to enjoy exactly where I am in my life journey right now. I like to often think about where I want to be in the future but the present and past are equally important. I’m going to start a scrapbook for this school year and will hopefully fill it with new faces and experiences.

My co-workers and I are currently making a scrapbook for another co-worker who was such an inspiring and patient mentor to me. We’ve all had many meaningful memories with her so we hope to convey how much we appreciate her through this scrapbook.

I highly recommend that you start a scrapbook too! It’s not as hard as you may think. Making a scrapbook doesn’t have to be expensive. Just give it a try. It doesn’t have to perfect. The only thing that makes is that you like it!

Here’s how to start:

Continue reading “How to start a scrapbook”

How first years can prepare for September at UBC

So you have a couple weeks before class starts, what can you do to prepare?  If you’re an incoming first year, plan an adventure to explore campus before class starts.

  1.  At home, log onto the Student Services Centre online and print out your timetable, download it onto your phone or write out all the buildings you’ll have classes in. Screenshot or print a campus map.
  2. Grab a friend or if you’re new, make a new friend! Multitask by catching up with your friend/getting to know your new friend while you familiarize yourself with the campus. It’s more fun and safer.
  3. If you’re a commuter, commute how you will commute to school. This will help you figure out how long it takes for you to get from your bus stop to UBC or how long it takes to drive.
  4. Now start from one end of the campus and start looking for the buildings you will be in. Help your friend find his/her buildings.
    1. Once you’ve located the buildings,
    2. Note other buildings too such as Buildings in other faculties are important too. Even if you’re a science student, note where the theatre, music, forestry, engineering, arts etc buildings are. When you make friends from other faculties (which you should) and they tell you to meet them after class, you’ll know where it is. In addition, there will be tons of interesting concerts, performances and free lectures that you need to take advantage of 🙂
    3. check out the Libraries and other potential study spaces
    4. Check out where to get meals and snacks
  5. If you haven’t already, pick up your UBC Student Card, compass card and book list at the bookstore. See how much your textbooks cost in store. You can buy your books now, look for used versions from previous students, buy them online from Amazon.
    1. buying at the bookstore saves time.
    2. Try checking to see if your books are at the Discount bookstore (in UBC Village). Books are brand new but cheaper than in the official bookstore.
    3. Used versions are generally cheaper than in store. There are many textbook buy and sell groups on Facebook.
    4. Craigslist is also a source for used textbooks
    5. Amazon, Chegg, other online textbook providers generally sell new and used textbooks for cheaper than in stores. You do have to wait for your textbooks to ship though.
  6. Connect with as many incoming first years as you can. Connect with as many upper years as you can.
  7. Pay your tuition on the Student Service Centre website.
    1. Apply for student loans if necessary.
    2. Set up direct bank transfer
    3. Cash in scholarships/bursaries vouchers at Enrollment Services in Brock Hall or mail them in to where ever they need to go. Do this early because processing time + snail mail can take several weeks. **Bringing photo id with you to Brock Hall is helpful. You cannot ask a friend to help you cash in your vouchers for you. You need to bring it in yourself.
    4. Scholarships/bursaries that you’ve received in cheque form can  be deposited directly at the bank and don’t have to go through Brock Hall.

Relax and enjoy the rest of your summer. See you on campus in September!

What else should incoming first years do to prepare before class starts? Add your comment so others can benefit 🙂
Original: August 22, 2015

Update: July 13, 2016


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