By now you’ve likely settled into your new college home. Either you are stressed out, or having a ball (maybe you’re both). If you are stressed out, don’t worry because it will get better in time.
So whether you’ve gone away, or living at home and commuting, there are certain things you should have accomplished by now, which would be 30 days! I look back on my time as an undergrad, and there are somethings I wish I had done after the first month of my freshman year. So after reflecting, I’ve decided that you probably should have done the following:
- connected with your professors (I’m talking about visiting them during their office hours)
- made at least one good, reliable friend
- networked with at least one classmate from all your classes whom you can rely on for notes in case you have to miss a class. You should return the favor, of course!
- found your ideal study place (mine was the library). FYI, it should not be your bed!
- played tourist in your new home (this applies to those who’ve left home for college)
- joined at least two clubs
- found a cool restaurant to go to on a weekly basis
- know your way around campus, especially where all the important offices are
- picked out one day of the week that is a “you day”, in other words a day dedicated to you, free from school work of any kind. Mine was Sunday!
- checked out the Greek scene (no worries if you haven’t joined one)
If you haven’t completed all of the above, that’s okay. But you should have achieved at least five – I did! The purpose of this checklist is to make things easier on yourself when the demands of college increase – and they will! College is supposed to be one of the most memorable experiences of your life, so it’s important to learn from those that have already been down this road. So all the best the rest of the way! Learn lots but at the same time enjoy the ride!
For some of you this may come as a surprise: for the past 11 months, I was living in the Canadian capital. But now in less than a week, I will be leaving her for my new life in Poland. But I guess you’re wondering what brought me here in the first place. Why didn’t I blog about my experiences here? The truth is…I just didn’t have the time.
I came to Ottawa to pursue a second masters degree in Applied Linguistics. It seemed like a good idea, and that it would open more doors for me. I had a full scholarship, including a TA position.
However, this seemingly good idea turned out to be a sour one. I soon discovered that I had gotten myself into something way over my head. The workload was very demanding, where I would be holed up either at home or at the library working on research papers and endless readings. Classmates were too busy to socialize, exacerbating the situation. As a result of this time consumption, my WIP got put on hold, my posts stopped appearing, and ultimately I witnessed an attrition of followers – both on social media and my blog. My TA deal wasn’t any better. The professor I was assigned to mistreated me to the point where I had to consult my union.
I began to realize that this quest for a second masters was doomed to failure. I had been in school long enough, and needed to return to the working world. And while I was at least enjoying Ottawa, my next adventure could not include her.
Despite the hardship of my university experience, I managed enjoy all that Ottawa had to offer. It’s truly a unique experience to spend an extended stay in the capital of one’s country. In Ottawa, it’s a big city with a small town feel, where outdoor activities are plentiful all year long! As I prepare to depart my nation’s capital, I reflect on some of the highlights of my time here:
- Skating on the Rideau – dubbed the longest outdoor skating rink in the world. I think every visitor to Ottawa should try it. Just remember it’s not like skating on a regular rink (pretty bumpy).
- Attending Remembrance Day ceremony at National War Memorial – the best part is when I saw the prime minister’s wife from afar!
- Curling – I actually learned to curl last January, and glad I took lessons. Much harder than it seems!
- Bike trails – these I will miss the most! The best one is along the Rideau Canal, where you can bike downtown. I definitely recommend investing in a bike to those planning to live here for an extended period of time.
Many apologies for not sharing my Ottawa experiences with you. It was just burdensome to share something, which for awhile was causing great pain. However, I am definitely looking forward to Poland as I have dreamed of working abroad for many years now.
Until next time!
Well, the curtain has fallen on the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The fans have gone home, Russians go back to their normal routines, and the venues will sit empty in solitude until their host clubs resume domestic duties. And let’s not forget France, who are now back celebrating their World Cup triumph with their fans in Paris, 20 years after winning it there.
It’s sad to see the World Cup officially over. For me, it always fills that one month of my summer with pure radiance! Now, I must wait until 2022 when Qatar will have the honor Russia just did.
Before the World Cup started, I prayed that there would be some surprising matches along the way. And surprises I received. Mind you, some of those surprises weren’t good ones, but I guess that’s why it’s called ‘surprises’.
I took notes of everything that happened during the four weeks of the tournament: goals scored, cards given, etc. And yet some interesting things came out of this World Cup, which I’d like to point out in no particular order:
- We Did it! Uruguay and Belgium were the only teams to win all of their group games!
- You’re Fired! The coach of the Spanish team, Julen Lopetegui, was fired two days before the World Cup began after accepting the manager position with Real Madrid. Some will argue this caused La Roja to ultimately go home early after losing on penalties to Russia.
- Everybody Scores! Every team scored at least one goal! Long time since that’s happened!
- What? No Goals? Although every team scored at least one goal, there was one goalless draw in the group stage between France vs. Denmark.
- Going Home Empty-Handed. Egypt and Panama were the only teams that did not earn a point. In other words, neither earned neither a win nor draw.
- Curse of the Champions. Pre-tournament favorites Germany, who won the tournament four years ago in Brazil, went out in the group stage. In fact, this was the third time in a row that the defending World Cup champion failed to qualify for the knockout stages! What’s worse for Germany, was this was the first time in history that they went out in the group stage.
- All European Final Four. All the teams in the final four were European, the fifth time in the tournament for this to happen (1934, 1966, 1982 and 2006)
- No Red! Not one red card was issued for a violent tackle. This surprised me the most as I was expecting a plethora of them throughout the tournament. Don’t ask me why.
Which one surprised you the most?
It’s also worth noting the final between France and Croatia was the first final in 16 years that didn’t need to be settled in extra time. Well, I’m done rambling, so now back to the lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer!