Return to University: Diving Into Sophomore Year

student back to school university education

Crystal is ready to take on her second year of university!

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.

Crystal Song

Nihao, hello, and bonjour. My name is Crystal Song, and I am a second year student at UBC studying a combined major of Business and Computer Science in the fall. As you may be able to tell by my greeting, I love learning other languages and cultures. In fact, I am driven by curiosity and love learning in general. When I want to give my brain a break, I enjoy biking, hiking, adventuring, camping, and recently started kitesurfing! I’m grateful to have received a scholarship from CST to continue my post-secondary education, and would like to extend the help that I’ve received onto fellow students who may be curious about the new chapter of university. Aside from school, I hope to share with you my experiences from campus life, to food, to tips, and to ways to stay active (physically and mentally). Welcome to my university experience!

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