My First Year Experience

2019-03-27

Hello Again! More than a year has passed since my last post… However, many exciting events have happened since! I graduated high school. I found my first love. And, I’ve almost finished my first year of university. Phew.

Expectation

I rememeber back in high school, I would spend hours and hours imagining and predicting what university life would be like. Would it be full of freedom and joy? Or, would it be more like unending stress and homework? Now that I have experienced 8 months of engineering school at UBC, I would conclude that the experience cannot be simply labelled as either good or bad.

Reality

Realistically speaking… it was a rough 8 months. The competitiveness, the abundance of work and the difficulty of it were all too true. The content (especially Physics) was hard to grasp right from the beginning, and the assignments just kept coming in. During term 1, I felt like I needed to be working every minute of my day in order to keep up with coursework. I worked like a machine; I would wake up, hit the library, head to classes, hit the library again, then head to bed. I didn’t allow myself much time for socializing or relaxing. In the end, my mental and physical health hit an alltime low. Although I came out of that semester with pretty good grades, the realization that health needs to be prioritized before anything else made the next term much more enjoyable. With this new sense of priority, term 2 passed by like a breeze. I had made new friends that I love and could handle my stress and anxiety much better.

Finding balance

Reflecting back, it became apparent to me just how deep of a role ‘balance’ plays in university students’ lives. Comparing two very different time periods: term 1 and term 2, one of them felt like what a student life should be, while the other served as a learning experience. Now, with new time management and self care skills, I look forward to beginning another year of university in September.

Highlights

For my memory’s sake, I am recording some of my favourite highlights of first year. Firstly, I met a wonderful girl, Jen Jen, who is the sweetest, funniest, and most supportive friend one could ask for. We spent almost all of our free time in term 2 together, along with our boys: Chris, Arnold, Rain and David. The six of us ended up becoming a group that clicked well with each other; we studied together, went to Anton’s pasta together, and even made plans to go to Nanaimo together during the summer. They all helped make my first year experience a wonderful one, along with my best friend, Seann. Through it all, Seann played the most important role in helping me through breakdowns, motivating me through lulls, and living through it all alongside me. Yesterday, we spent an hour playing the piano, trying to learn Animal Spirits by Wolfpeck and The Man that Cant Be Moved by the Script. The little things and the big made our relationship stronger and I am forever grateful that I get to live my best life with the best person I know.

Excited for new adventures,
Stella