Things I learned in University

University: in grade 12 I was so excited about university, the pressure, the city, even being away from home. Come August, I did not want to leave. I was so scared, I didn’t know if Carleton was right for me. But you know what? I went anyway, and it took me forever to find friends. I joined the skating team, which was great, but early in the morning, and I made some amazing friends. I became friends with my roommate and her friends. But academically, I didn’t feel fulfilled. I was sitting through lectures, bored, stocking Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest. The thing is, I really thought it would get better. Come April, it felt real, like I was stuck. I mean, don’t get me wrong, the media world still entices me and I want to do something in the media, but Carleton was never my dream school and I knew that deep down. I never thought I would switch institutions and programs but I am, and I have learned that that is okay.  Luckily, my parents are understanding and know people that can give me some great advice regarding my future. SO I have compiled this list of things that I have learned throughout my whirlwind of a year!

 

Lessons Learned during my first year university:

 

  1. If you are like me and don’t drink, Frosh week will suck
  2. If you are absolutely unsure, even a tiny bit about the school you are going to, don’t go there
  3. You may not make any friends the first month, maybe even the first three months
  4. Don’t sign a lease unless your absolutely sure you want to stay in your university or college
  5. Maybe grade 13 should be re-introduced?
  6. If you change what you want to do its not a big deal, as I experienced throughout my whole first year
  7. My film TA gave me the best advice ever: if you want to do something else, do that something else, don’t stay here cause you feel obliged. (SO GOOD RIGHT)
  8. Do make the best of it, even if you don’t enjoy it 100% of the time
  9. Don’t shop a lot (trust me on this one)
  10. Friends are great, but don’t let them be the reason you stay or go
  11. Find something you like to do
  12. Sometimes you don’t need go to university or college, sometimes staying home for a year is what is best or trying out a really cool abroad program, because you can always defer acceptances.
  13. Do reach out to people in the program you want and see how they truly like it, even former grads of your program will be helpful
  14. If your city has more than one type of institution look into those, hey maybe you will discover a program you like
  15. Talk to someone, for me it was my mom, I cannot tell you how many times I cried over Skype to my mom, there are many options available.
  16. Trust me, its okay to not to know what you want, just be sure to really research things; programs, student life, the area, walk around the city, get a feel for the campus. Do the buildings enthrall you? The city? The restaurants?
  17. Finally a year is not wasted! You will have a learning experience regardless of your feelings about the institutions. I know I had a rewarding and eye opening experience and you will too!

 

Shailene Woodley and Body Image

This is someone I never thought would actually look up to. She started on the Secret Life of an American Teenager as a pregnant teenager, which personally was an all to familiar role what with my small town have more teen pregnancies than I could count on my fingers. I just thought she was another teen actress who wouldn’t go anywhere. Then she started popping up in feature films, first the Descendants, and now has four more starring films. She turned out to be a whole other person. When I read an article in Marie Claire Shailene talked about body image and her perception on life, which was rather interesting.

sophiabush      shai

 

She is a very down to earth woman, which was surprising to me for some reason. She prefers yoga as a form of exercise and said, “My whole life I have been self conscious about being skinny. And just recently I don’t care anymore. All insecurities are projected because of what you think others are saying about you, but they don’t really matter at all. My only real insecurities in high school were having such long legs and thick hair—things I’m so very grateful for now”. This quote actually resonates with me. I have body image problems, everybody does, I am not tall and skinny, in fact I am short and curvy, I like to fancy myself as the same shape as Sophia Bush, in fact she is the only Hollywood actress my shape conforms with. Conformity though, isn’t something I want to do. The fact that Shailene doesn’t go to the gym makes me a feel a better about myself skipping on the gym whenever my friends go. I mean if I am happy with myself already, then is working out really going to make it better?

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The fact that Jennifer Lawrence mentioned wanting to punch people in the face who say they love working out for hours and that Shailene doesn’t exercise in the “traditional” way of, makes me feel a hell of a lot better about doing simple home work outs and the fact that she is model like and self conscious shows that it is all types of women who feel insecurities.

My question is now; do we put too much emphasis on working out to look good? Or should the emphasis be attempting to be as healthy as you can be? Yes the obesity epidemic in the world is, to say the least, disheartening, but losing weight or toning up should look at working out as becoming and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, not worrying about that extra bun you took at supper. You feel me? People are far too concerned about being skinny and muscular, I mean if you like gym going then great, but we as a society need to stop pushing workout methods onto each other and just start respecting that fact the people are different. Personally, I would rather sit at home and read a magazine, but it doesn’t mean I don’t want to be healthy.

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Remember happiness isn’t just about that, obsessing over every single thing you eat isn’t going to make you any happier. Just be you, because being you is the only way to truly be happy, don’t let anyone ever make you feel any different.

I AM THAT GIRL

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Pardon the title, I am not yelling or anything. In my recent internet travels, actually more like stalking Sophia Bush’s Instagram as a procrastination technique, I came across the new campaign I AM THAT GIRL, which at first I said to myself, what is this? So I decided to email them and ask. Hey what could it hurt.

 Alyssa Hawkinson, the Senior Intern for the organization, said that the organization is about girls learning to love themselves and express themselves as well as encouraging self awareness and encouraging gaining knowledge. The organization is promoted through local chapters that use speaking events and conferences to spread the message. How cool is that?

She went onto to tell me that there ultimate goal is encouraging all girls and women to live the best versions of themselves and support each other in their journey. To me this is exactly the type of thing that needs to be encouraged right from the start of our lives. In elementary schools all the way to high schools. Self love and self esteem as well as support to each other needs to be started. Yes this is easier said than done and as humans we naturally compare ourselves to each other, and celebrities. But we are all different and according to this campaign we are all THAT GIRL. Sophia Bush is one of the celebrities publicizing the campaign and so are many others such as Kristen Bell, Hillary Duff, Bryce Dallas Howard and Kate Bosworth.

Yes, celebrities say these things and endorse campaigns all the time so I could see why some  people are sceptical. However, maybe I am just crazy, but I am hoping this is a change in the media frenzy of skinny fashion models setting the ideal for beauty. It is not to say I am not all about high fashion and I am in no way saying models aren’t beautiful, but magazines, television, and movies can control what girls see and how they feel. So what is so inherently bad if hollywood celebrities become more relatable and less photoshopped and the overall projection of women is healthier?

Exam time

Okay, so my university journey has consisted of: taking three months to make friends, waking up at 6 every morning for skating, and failing various news quizzes. As I look back, I do question what I could have done differently. Maybe making more friends? Trying harder? Who knows. But some advice for those going into university, you probably won’t be high school you, which sucks in my case. My mother always said university is about finding yourself and that hasn’t happened yet. However I am liking this blogging thing…bringing me to the title of this post: exam time.

First semester, it was great I had two exams then it was Christmas. Now its five exams,  the possibility of not getting into my program and good old Netflix (actually I don’t have that but its easier than saying streaming TV online). Twitter is one of my biggest distractions, but hey at least I am reading the news, did you hear Senator Brazeau was arrested last night and Stephen Colbert is replacing Letterman, and that Georges St. Pierre’s knee surgery was successful? this has something to do with my program right? Its still studying just not what I need to know. haha who I am kidding, its merely an intelligent way of procrastination and I know it.

So if your wondering why I am writing such a useless blog post, I am actually not. I have advice, make a study map (2-4 hours a day for studying each class), take breaks, dance in your room, dream, and most of all, I am guilty of this too, stop worrying. Like my mom always says, just do your best and go wherever your heart takes you.