Busy Busy Days

My past two days have been quite busy. I have been running from place to place, writing midterms, studying for other exams, and trying to manage internships and a regular courseload as well. I touched on this subject yesterday, but I was very tired and not prepared to dive into it.

Today, however, is a different day. Yesterday, I had four classes, one midterm, and one midterm review. I met up with a friend briefly during lunch because that was the only time either of us could scrape together to see each other. It was a big reminder that growing up and following through on your adult responsibilities will limit your social time. To cap the day off, I had dinner with a family friend who is helping me to get my passport application in. A very busy day that ended around 1am.

Today, I had a nail appointment around 11:30. I get my nails done every two weeks, but I swear it’s for practical reasons. I don’t wear makeup or use hair products other than shampoo and conditioner, so the money I save on what would be a woman’s “usual” beauty budget goes towards keeping my nails and eyebrows maintained. As someone who wants to be an entrepreneur and present a put-together representation of me, this is a reasonable expense.

After that, I had a French monitorat session. Monitorat is an ungraded, incredibly laid-back, class that everyone in a French level is required to take. My level is 103, so I was only required to take 3 monitorat sessions. I chose the first three available to get it out of the way and this one was my last one. The whole goal is to improve your oral comprehension and application of the language. Although I enjoy it, it definitely threw my schedule in a loop these last three weeks.

Around 4pm, I had a meeting at my bank to discuss savings accounts, a US chequing account, and credit card applications. The representative was extremely helpful and understanding when I told her that I was unfamiliar with a lot of these processes. Although it was not hard to get that done, it did take up a decent chunk of my time.

When I got home, I had a little time to put together some dinner before I changed my clothes and hopped back on the metro (for the 5th time today) to get to ballet.

Now, I can rest. I probably shouldn’t be though. I am meeting with my class group for my final project in communications tomorrow. I should be studying for a French midterm on Monday. I want to dig through last years eCalendar and see what courses were available in the summer. There are so many things I wanted to do that didn’t get done. There is never enough time in the day.

More often than not, I have to pick between very close priorities. I haven’t been to the grocery store in 10 days and am beginning to run low on food. I am most definitely going to go tomorrow, but it will make my day just as packed.

Growing up means taking care of your responsibilities but not allowing them to get in the way of taking care of yourself. It will be difficult to find a balance for a while, but I’m prepared to work through it. I’m enjoying this transition phase as much as I can and I won’t let a few hiccups ruin all of the amazing things I have seen and felt.


Finishing the Day

Sometimes finishing your day can be the most difficult process. I find that during times of stress, pushing myself to do the simplest things is what exhausts me. Meeting a friend for coffee, getting caught in a crowded metro station, weathering the windy fall day. All of those simple parts of my day weighed on me.

I have no doubt that this has more to do with the time of the year it is. I’m slightly more stressed than usual with midterms and some travel coming up. Trying to balance that with a normal course load and my internships has been less than easy.

Tomorrow will be a better day.


Why I Hate Uber Eats

Like many college students, interns, and busy people in general, every once in a while I get worn down and don’t have the time to cook something. I usually turn to leftovers or something quick in my pantry, but sometimes I turn to much eviler forces – Uber Eats.

I’m incredibly guilty of relying on Uber Eats at the time, which is truly a sin in my book. Not only is it horribly expensive, but the food is never good. I cannot tell you one time that I ordered Uber Eats and felt satisfied with what I got. This last time, I ordered a vegetable stir fry that was a whopping $15.00 and it was mediocre at best. I knew I could have just as easily gone to the store and spent $15.00 on vegetables that would have made me a better stir fry that could have lasted all week.

We all fall victim to feeling stressed or busy. However, on the days when we aren’t stressed or busy, we should prepare for the days when we will be. Prep food, do your laundry, clean your apartment, use your extra time to get little, easy things done so you won’t fall into the trap of Uber Eats or Postmates. The reality of delivery or convenience options is that you pay horrible markups for horrible food.

Since my last disappointment with the app and it’s deliveries, I have deleted the app. It’s too tempting and too easy to open it and scroll through all of the options. The glamour of the food in promotional photos sucks you in and, before you know it, you’ve ordered $15.00 of vegetables in a bland basil sauce. Don’t even give yourself the option. Delete it and plan ahead next time.


Midterm Season

I have always hated the western school year schedule. I know there are arguments as to why schools choose the 9 months of fall, winter, and spring and allow students to have the summer, but I’ve still thought it was strange. If schools wanted to be more intelligent, they would follow more of a business style of planning and break their year up into 4 quarters, allowing students to chose which quarter they want off.

However, that is not what this blog is about. Midterms are approaching here at McGill and the library is packed with students every hour of every day. They even extended their hours so we can spend more time worrying about how we’re only halfway through the semester and we’ve forgotten what we learned at the beginning of our classes.

I’ve never struggled with tests. I probably approach them too casually, in all honesty. It’s not that I don’t see the point in studying like mad or that I think I’m above the stress of it all, it’s just never gotten to me. I did ok on my SAT, pretty good on my ACT, and got enough AP credits to finish my entire McGill freshman program without ever stepping foot in a lecture hall. That’s a decent record in my book.

Tomorrow morning, I am attending a cycling class at 7am, getting to the library by 8am, and will continue to study until 9:35am, when I will head over to the McConnell Engineering building to get to my Anthropology class. From 10:05 to 11:25, I will participate in an exam that consists of 7 long answer questions that will test my knowledge and application of concepts such as structural functionalism and legal pluralism.

Not to jinx myself or sound like an arrogant little freshman, but these concepts are all bark and no bite. Their names definitely sound intimidating, but they have no depth to them. Their definitions are in their names. Despite feeling incredibly confident for this exam, I can’t help but remember a concept that has proven to be true numerous times in my life: The more confident you feel in how you did, the more likely you are to be disappointed by the outcome.

To elaborate on that idea, I will offer an example. I took a French quiz right before I left for Austin. I was the first one in my class to finish and felt incredibly confident in my answers. I got a 70% on that test. Not too bad for one of my first college quizzes, but it definitely wasn’t the A I was expecting.

So, that’s why I will continue to study. I may have an arrogant voice inside my head, but I can choose when to listen to it.


Writing What People Want

Sometimes I find it very difficult to keep up with my writing. This blog definitely keeps me in check, but some days I create better content than others. It’s going to be incredibly difficult to write meaningful blogs or articles every day, but it’s easy to do so on the days that you’re motivated. So, you may have a poor low-quality blog to high-quality blog ratio, but you can still reach a large audience if you make that ratio work for you.

When writing your high-quality content, you have to write in such a way that you get your point across while making it readable. If I open up a blog that’s more than 7 paragraphs long, I already know that I will not get through it. I don’t have the time, patience, or focus to read something so long. Keep your blogs short, witty, and to the point.

You also want to focus on what people like to read. What is the formatting? Does it include more or less illustration or visual element? Is it more sarcastic or more literal? Who are you appealing to? These questions will help you define how you get your point across and how to do so in a way that will get you the most reach.

The reality of being a writer of any kind is that you’re going to fail. You will fail ten thousand times before you experience one blip of success. The best writers don’t let their failure phase them. They write not because they expect fame or recognition but because they are passionate about their ideas and believe they’re worth spreading. That genuine love of what you do is also what will truly appeal to your readers. It’s hard to hide a lack of love in writing. If you’re spirited in what you say, your audience will feel your fire and feed it back to you.


Disengagement from the Complex

There’s this class at McGill called Introduction to Communications. Now, when a university says “communications” what it really means is “we pretty much think all media is evil and out to corrupt you.” I think this is definitely an exaggeration, but take a class and tell me if I’m wrong.

The end of the semester is approaching pretty quickly, midterms are just on the horizon. We have our final exam schedule, but I only have two. My other two classes involve a final project to finish the curriculum. In my communications conference today, we were put into groups and asked to decide what form of media we wanted to analyze.

I suggested Blockchain technology because of its future impact on security and eliminating the need for trust between humans during transactions and record keeping. No one was interested in this, unfortunately, so I ended up being grouped with the girls that wanted to study Instagram influencers. I thought that platform would offer the best opportunity to incorporate some element of Blockchain tech.

When I left to go home, I remember thinking on the train that there was a disconnection from the idea of exploring the complex. Those girls did nothing wrong, they simply chose a subject they were familiar with and felt that they would do well with. However, I have never seen education or academics as a place for familiarity or comfort. I have always seen projects and assignments as opportunities to explore something I don’t know.

Maybe I’m more curious than the typical college student. My reasoning is that if I’m going to do a project, I might as well have some fun along the way. I’ve been curious about Blockchain technology for a long time and have been making little efforts to learn more about it. I thought a major final project would be the perfect motivation I needed to spark my engagement with the subject.

I was quick to realize that this is not the mindset that inhabits most of my classmates. Instagram is something 99% of teenage girls are familiar with, so picking that as their final project was probably a no-brainer. In all honesty, I have no doubt that I will do well on this project, but I also have no doubt that I will not learn a single thing along the way.

College and education in general, seem to promote this idea of “just pick the easiest route and get it done.” Although I can 100% understand the desire to chose the path of least resistance, I can’t bring myself to agree with the idea that it should be promoted in an academic setting. The more we push people to just go with the most comfortable option, the more we distance and disengage ourselves with the ability to begin to understand something more complex.

As time goes on and this practice continues, I fear that the human capacity for learning will decrease. If we all learn only what we must know to survive and are incapable of finding a desire to explore anything else, our intellect will surely begin to shrink.

As I said before, I don’t think those girls who chose the project did anything wrong, but I do pity them. They’re putting in the minimum amount of effort and turning their nose up at any opportunity to expand their knowledge. Once they leave a university setting, I’m sure they’ll have a hard time finding flexibility and a willingness to learn again.