So as many of you know, I had that “omg I need to switch schools” urge last year around this time and around this time is when I started this blog. So I guess this is a “happy anniversary Chrisinda’s blog”.
I went into this year with a somewhat positive outlook but then I got to college I soon realized this program was not challenging enough for me, however it was in a different way than University. I had the debate of switching back for the year or something, but then decided hey you know I am getting a certificate out of this and it will look good on a resume.
Now, there was this thought in my mind that I wasted two years, but a wise birdy once told me that education is never wasted and they are right. This year I learned not only to cultivate my bad assery, but also figure out where I want my career/future to go.
I also more fabulously embraced my feminism, I mean we all know I am a feminist, but I am no longer afraid to show it. In fact, as a child I remember being labeled as mean, as bossy, and looking back I totally wasn’t. I was standing up for myself, and those names didn’t stop me from being who I am today, in fact I remember distinctly one of my guy friends thinking I was mean and crazy for sticking up for myself in one of my bad friendships. While in fact I was simply standing up for what I believed in, since when did that become a bad thing?
This year was a learning experience, while not academically challenging I met some great people, gained new friends and grew closer with some old ones. I joined a super fun skating team and made life long friends, those who skate together stay together.
At the beginning of the year, I was deeply regretting my decision to switch schools, then I learned so much about myself and what I want to do academically, if I hadn’t went to college I never would have learned that I loved sociology, and that journalism is not my path, public relations on the other hand could be in my future or another badass job like being a ninja.
I discovered that my friends this year were the truest, most honest beautiful people and even though we don’t do sappy I feel like that needed to be said. They loved and supported me even though I am going to a totally different city and university, I feel like we will always be friends because that is just how we roll.
In my life, I have met, grown up with, and will continue to meet inspirational women who will inspire me to better myself.
I have to say, the first inspirational women I met was my mother, then my aunts, and then my skating coaches and cohorts. Now some women may see women wanting to support other women as a weird concept, but lets be real have you ever just looked at your best friend and thought, “she is so awesome, she makes me want to bring out my awesomeness.”
Last year I joined a skating team, with the sole purpose of making friends and I did! This team I tell you was an eclectic group of girls, each with their own qualities and quirkiness that made them amazing people. I am still close friends with a few of them despite transferring schools (you know who you are gals). I also met, whom I would say is my best friend at this school too, and so Carleton you were great at fuelling my hoes before bros mentality.
Then I joined this other amazing team this year, my second year of doing synchronized figure skating I joined an adult III team (known in the skating world as the “old timer” team), but I joined because it was fun and inexpensive. I was slightly nervous to join this team, A: because I had no idea who I was about to meet, and B: it was synchro and I am inherently a singles skater. BUT, I ended up meeting women who, yes with our bouts of tension (we are a team after all), are women that in their own quirky aspects I aspire to be. This one lady has been to every continent except Australia! She just started skating and does a plethora of other amazing sporting activities. Another lady has the coolest job, another lady is so hilariously open, but what they all have in common is their inspiring and supportive nature. There is something about meeting these women that lift my spirits, making me forgot about my personal problems, and simply creating a blissful atmosphere.
Women supporting women can sometimes be a far away concept; you will encounter “those” girls, who you just can’t stand, but then when you encounter one who you actually miss with that slight ache in your stomach, or those who have lived such cool lives your eyes are opened and anything is possible. I have not mentioned all the women who have inspired me, but all of these women are people who will continue to inspire for a long time and have no idea the impact they have had on my soul and my perspective on life.
I have come to the conclusion that there are two types of runners: experienced and inexperienced, I fall under the latter category. My mother falls into the first category, of running for over 20 years, meaning she can run far and stay with it mentally. Me: I run up the street and then want to turn around for ice cream, this is too often the thought I have when stepping out the door.
When I was in grade eight, my whole goal in life was to be on every sports team and this included cross country, which is where I discovered my asthma more in depth than ever before. I had this awesome teacher who would run with me afterschool, even if it wasn’t a practice day. She was (well still is) this little tiny ball of muscle who can run like the wind without seemingly getting tired. But I never felt judged by her, so points to me.
However, after grade eight was over and the summer was over, I got more into other things, not running, more exercise videos, skating more often etc. Well long story short, I stopped running for about a year and just skated. Then hit the 10k run my mom wanted to do in Halifax, so I was like well if I get to go to Halifax then why not. WRONG I WAS. I am an inexperienced creature, with my mind set always flashing to, “why am I not fast enough”, or “I wish I didn’t have asthma” or “people that see me must think I am super out of shape”. Okay, I was a tich dramatic. My asthmatic lungs frustrated me (and still remain a nuisance) in the short time I have been running. The unfortunate part about my asthma is that from grade 11 until now it has not improved, regardless of the steroid inhaler and Ventolin. Which brings me to the complicatedness of the sport of running.
So, people rave about running, how it clears the mind, and makes you feel good (accomplished after, good after, but during…whole other story). And, when the bulk of society thinks of a good runner as a fast runner it can be very discouraging. However, I realized that I will forever be a little slow poke, running beside my mother who evidently can go very fast for a very long period of time, seemingly not struggling as she picks up her feet and breathes properly. It was not until this summer, after a horrid run, no surprise here, with my mother, that I came to a realization about Chrisinda’s journey with running. I didn’t know why I cared so much about being fast. The nice thing though, about my tiny realization of being an avid slow person, is that at least I am trying. I may only run three times a week, slower than the average, but at least I am attempting to keep my lungs in shape, rather than not work them at all. I also realized running is much different than figure skating. A: it’s harder. B: you don’t get to wear skates…or dresses, and C: its way fricken harder. But, since the ice is not in my tiny town during summer I am forced to switch up and tackle the bare road.
But hey, I am not the only one who realizes this. Sophia Bush, the amazing in shape Sophia Bush, also, in her words “loathes running” and she has asthma too, which shouldn’t make me feel better but it does, I mean she does plays a bad ass cop (maybe I am secretly a bad ass cop). Mindy Kaling, also a great woman, is an avid slow jogger and admits motivation is super hard. So, as I continue to equate my life to celebrities, I also think of those who judge slow runners and say they are out of shape. Well, if you think about it, some people can’t even walk because of lung or heart disease. Why should it be your goal to run quickly? Or sprint all the time? Shouldn’t the goal just to be doing something good for your lungs in hopes of bettering your overall health? Yes, I think so. So if you’re like me and get really angry about being a slow runner and wheezing like an 80 year old just think of the cliché mom pep talk “at least you’re out there” or the wonderful quote “I run…I’m slower the a herd of turtles stampeding through peanut butter, but I run”.
The idea of summer. Like, I mean all those weird quotes about: “make this the best one” or 30 things to do this summer (like who actually does those) or the magazines that are like, do this with your girls and go camping and shit. Am I the only one whose summer is not like this? I don’t fish, hunt, tan, have friends close enough (geographically wise) to go to the beach with every night, summer is literally the school year minus classes.
Everybody seems to love summer, especially summer in a small town. Let me paint this exquisite picture in your mind: Sunsets, camping, trails, and beaches, that small town grocery store, smiling at everyone downtown, wonderful images. Yet, when I arrived for summer my thoughts were not camping (we all know my allergies permit very limited outdoor interaction, poor Chrisinda), not sunsets, or trails. Beaches: hells to the yes. Grocery store a stone’s throw away: yes please. Food cooked by my papa: AWESOME. Our one screen movie theatre: da bomb. When I came home for the summer, my beautiful four month summer, I was so excited. THEN I remembered my friends both live 45mins away, so hang out time is limited and we work (stupid adult life, when did you happen). And lapsing back into doing literally everything with my mom. I go to the store with my mom, I watch Desperate Housewives with my mom, I workout with my mom, I run with my mom, I go for walks with my mom. Literally we do everything together, like Lorelei and Rory Gilmore’s disturbingly close relationship….enough said.
Then I think back to what was my regular life for 8 months, away from home, from parents, from my very close grocery store, and home rink in the big ol’ city of Ottawa and my life as an independent woman. I think back to busses, 6am mornings, and living beside my best buddy (shout out to lilydales) watching movies, causing shenanigans, following the poor dear around for some social interaction, and Starbucks. Yes, I didn’t think I would miss the city or living on residence, I mean I miss that my allergies were way better there and I miss my roommate and I miss my the breakfast club I really do, but I don’t miss buying my own groceries, or dealing with annoying floor sounds or weird boys playing music outside my window, which brings me to my current life and first summer home from uni.
Fastforward to life in BR, my first summer back from uni: I wake up, go to work (with my mom), I come home (with my mom), and I go running (surprisingly by myself), and then I watch TV (surprise, surprise with my momma). I literally have one of the most boring lives in the universe. Which is fine, I mean yes I don’t have the chance to methodically barge into my suitemates room or eat quiznos at 12am and my Instagram is sadly lacking in the typical hometown pictures. But, it’s weird though, because while most people spend weekends on the lake and drink beer with friends, I am that kid hanging out with her mom, drinking pepsi floats, zagging while the rest of the world zigs. Summer, never a season where I did much, accept work and chill around eating ice cream and binge watching seasons and reading books. But then again summer is all about not doing much, so why are magazines telling you 30 things to do this summer, assuming you have money and an ice tea maker that stuff is pretty unattainable. I am not the typical summer gal. I have read 6 books since May (haters gonna hate), watched two seasons of the unit, two seasons of Desperate Housewives, and discovered various amazing drinks with my mom’s Vitamix (this is Starbucks quality guys) and started painting again (YAY). Your summer doesn’t have to be what everyone else’s is, because it’s your summer.
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:
- If you are like me and don’t drink, Frosh week will suck
- If you are absolutely unsure, even a tiny bit about the school you are going to, don’t go there
- You may not make any friends the first month, maybe even the first three months
- Don’t sign a lease unless your absolutely sure you want to stay in your university or college
- Maybe grade 13 should be re-introduced?
- If you change what you want to do its not a big deal, as I experienced throughout my whole first year
- 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)
- Do make the best of it, even if you don’t enjoy it 100% of the time
- Don’t shop a lot (trust me on this one)
- Friends are great, but don’t let them be the reason you stay or go
- Find something you like to do
- 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.
- 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
- If your city has more than one type of institution look into those, hey maybe you will discover a program you like
- 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.
- 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?
- 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!
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.