Year One | Tips

Sunday, April 23, 2017

I finished!

I  stepped out of that exam room, handed in my final exam of my first year of university, and now, I'm free!

Unbelievable. I have endured that first year. I MADE IT!

University wasn't a total shock for me. I remember being told beforehand that it was completely different than high school, but the transition between grade twelve to university was more refreshing to me than shocking. I thought I'd bestow unto you all (mostly the teenies who are graduating this year) my pieces of wisdom as a survivor of the first year!

#1 Go on a friend-making spree. Every first year coming into University is already a new student, so it's the perfect time to use that for your advantage. Make friends wherever you go, especially in every class you're in. It makes classes way more fun, and it gives you those opportunities to study with people and have those people there to help when help is needed. Everyone is looking to make friends, so don't feel shy! Honestly, each person will be willing to start a friendship with you.

#2 Hand-write your notes. I've tried both methods of, writing by hand and writing on my laptop, and writing by hand was FAR more efficient. Typing on my laptop was easy, I didn't even have to think about what I was writing, and I could literally write down everything the professor said. Writing it on the other hand forced me to really listen to the professor and to write down the key things the prof was saying. Truussttt, it's so much better to look back on your written notes when studying rather than your laptop notes.

#3 Study in your school's library. Just do it. There's so much more motivation when you're surrounded by people who are studying hard and it just makes you want to study too. It's even better when you're with friends in the library. (It's a library, so you can't talk, you'll have to study!) I tried working from home a few times and let me tell you, I got nothing done.

#4 Choose electives that will benefit your future. My sister got mad at me when I took some random science course just to fill up my timetable. She told me that, when you're choosing electives, try and choose one's that will actually be useful to you in life. For example, most schools offer classes on how to do your own finances and to budget your money. You could take a language class (french, spanish, italian, etc), a communications class, my school had professional writing which was amazing. Don't just choose random things, really sit down and think about what would be beneficial for you.

#5 Meal prep. Do it. My goodness do it. The amount of money that a student spends on fast food is unbelievable. If you keep just a few hours on like, Sunday, just to prepare your lunches for the week, your wallet will feel so much better. There are countless videos on YouTube on how to meal prep and great recipes to meal prep for. Trust, it'll be so much better, especially when you're dealing with housing payments and tuition.

#6 Study. This is a no-brainer. Just study for your tests and exams, please. This ain't high school no more children, you're in the real world now.

#7 Credit/No-Credit. Let's say, you're really struggling in a certain course, but you need your GPA to do very well, and this specific class is bringing you down. All schools may not have this, but my school allowed us to Credit/No-Credit a course. This means that, as long as we get a 50% or higher in the class, we will get the credit, but the grade won't go into our GPA. Amazing isn't it? If there's a class that's really dragging you down, check to see if your school also has the Credit/No-Credit function!

#8 Make use of what your tuition is paying for. Tuition doesn't usually only pay for the classes your taking. Sometimes, you pay for the school's gym, or the healthcare center, or bus fares, etc. Use up all you can that your tuition is paying for!

#9 Workout. School will get stressful, there's no denying it. But, working out in someway is honestly a great stress reliever. Doing cardio helps get the brain working well and it brings your mood up a lot. You might not need to do a full workout everyday, but maybe a run every few days will keep you sane for a bit.

#10 Share the gospel. I feel that people in University are much more open to coming out to a bible talk or church than people would be in high school. Definitely take the opportunity of being a follower of Christ and share the gospel with your friends and peers!

#11 Schedule your life! Guys. Don't drown yourself in studying your face off every chance you get. Plan out the days that you'll study, or the times you'll read your textbook. Make sure that you're still having fun in University. Hang out with your friends, go on adventures, and just have fun. If you schedule our your weeks, things will go much more smooth.

#12 Enjoy! University is a hoot. Enjoy every second of it!

I'm no university veteran, but I thought I'd share the things I wish I had known coming into University. If you're just going in, good luck! I enjoyed my first year SO much, and I hope you do too :)



Tuesday, April 04, 2017

I thought I'd write a quick post today. The other day I was talking to one of my friends, and as disciples of Christ, we both asked how the other was doing in their spiritual walk with God. When I spoke, I had come to a second realization.

I say second, because I had discussed this exact topic with another friend of mine just weeks prior, but I had completely forgotten about it until that conversation with my friend the other day.

Lately, I've become so intrigued by theology and apologetics. (Theology being the study of God and Apologetics being reasoned arguments to prove something is correct). I was busy researching and finding answers to some of the hardest questions that Christians are posed with. I wanted to be ready if anyone came to talk to smack about God, or proved his existence wrong. I wanted to be fully prepared.

Though, I completely neglected my own relationship with God. It was great that I was reading and learning so many new things, it was definitely faith-building. However, I became obsessed with this need to know everything! I needed to know why God did every single thing he did, and I felt myself losing faith when my questions weren't being answered, or I was just not satisfied with the answers.

I lost sight of God. I had minimized God's amazing power and wisdom down to fit my little telescope. But, God is far too amazing, and powerful and wise to be fully understood by our simple human minds. As humans, we want to know everything. Science is constantly trying to find answers to everything, but the reality is, we can't know everything, because we aren't God.

"For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength." 1 Corinthians 1:25

My hope for me, and my hope for you (if you've also lost sight of God in the midst of proving his existence) is to find a healthy balance. Building a relationship with God and maintaining that relationship should be #1.

I 100% support researching and learning about the Bible. I've learnt so many things in my own studies, and even in apologetic classes I've sat in on. I've learnt that history proves that Jesus existed. I learnt that Genesis wasn't meant to be read as a scientific text, but as a love letter. Discovering the context behind the Bible and the stories I grew up reading was extremely faith-building, and I encourage you to do the same. It will help you see God in a new light, and it will strengthen your convictions and your belief in him.

Just be sure to find a healthy balance.

One of my dear friends gave me a genius idea on how to balance out my researching, and keeping a healthy relationship with God. She told me that, I should dedicate two or so days a week to just hardcore studying the deep questions about the Bible and learning all that awesome theology stuff. But, for the remainder 5 days, I would spend it praying, and worshiping God, and working on my relationship with him.

Have fun learning and building!