Around this time of last year, I was about to start my first year at the University of British Columbia. I remember feeling the excitement of starting a new chapter, but there were also a bit of fear and uncertainty.
This time around, my feelings are significantly different. The eagerness from the initial excitement has been toned down a little, leaving me with a bit of a refined version of excitement. The fear the unknown no longer exists. I’ve been through the first year and have a much better understanding of both university life and my life in general.
What I feel this year is a lot closer to a sense of motivation. I want to take the passion of what I learned from first year and use it to drive my ambition (and sense of fun) in second year and beyond.
Despite my motivation, I also feel a creeping sense of anxiousness from the thought that I may not be able to balance my academics, extracurricular activities, and part-time positions as ideally as I hope for. I know I can, but, there’s also the concern of, “what if I don’t?”
Admittedly, I have a lot on the go this year. I will be working two part-time jobs, taking a full 6-course load, while being an executive member of a school club, and participating on my school’s sailing team. Although I’m quite confident I will be able to manage it all, as long as I schedule my time effectively, I’m mainly worried about any leftover “most-likely-to-be-non-existent” free time.
As a low-key introvert, I really appreciate having time for myself to pursue some mellow personal interests and activities, such as, spending time with family and friends or reading a good book,. I’d also like to have free time to enhance my technical coding skills, given that I’m a computer science major. I want to go beyond the classroom and practice a lot on my own time to master my skills.
One of the biggest lessons I learned during my first year, is that procrastinating is my worst enemy, ever.
Here’s what happens: Once I’ve procrastinated, I end up with stacks of readings and assignments that need to be finished in a short period of time. Then, my stress level spikes to an insanely high level. What follows, is a period of misery where all my energy goes to finishing the work I was supposed to have completed a while ago. Putting off deadlines often means I end up sacrificing sleep and health to get the job done. This cycle repeats every time I procrastinate. This “misery period” sometimes lasts a day or two or even as long as a couple of months!
Fortunately, I’ve also learned a few tricks and tips to keep myself from falling into that procrastination cycle, such as, breaking up my “To Do” list into small manageable tasks and scheduling that over a period of time rather than doing everything all at once.
Admittedly, I’m still bit of a workaholic and I start to miss work if I’ve been relaxing for too long. For this reason, I’m excited and motivated to start sophomore year soon. I look forward to challenging myself further in learning how to balance my priorities, and accomplishing as much as I can.
While I will, forever miss the title and perks of being a “freshman”, I look forward to this new chapter of my university career.