Three months. Twelve weeks. Eighty-four days. Although it may not seem long, a lot can happen in even the smallest amount of time. You don’t believe me? Just think back to where you were three months ago. Were you entering a new grade in school? Starting a new job? Or even welcoming a new family member into the world? Would you even consider yourself the same person today? No matter what you were doing (or NOT doing), it is clear that a lot can change in such a small time. I guess you can say, life has a funny way of moving QUICKLY and people just have to hang on for the ride.

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For me in particular, I have to admit that my ride has been a BUMPY one recently. Over the past few months, I have encountered countless turns, loops, and detours as I struggled to navigate my first term of university. Trying to find a balance between the social, academic, economic, and spiritual aspects of life (God knows that there are a lot more) was like attempting to waterski … blindfolded … backwards … WITHOUT the skis! I felt as if I was never going to develop a full understanding of what it meant to be a university student in today’s day and age.

As time moved on; however, I found myself learning how to manage my life. With the help of friends and family, I was able to acquire essential skills of time management (thanks to a beautifully colour-coated schedule) and perseverance. This term truly allowed me to become a stronger person and an even better student. One class in particular, where I grew in ways that I never thought possible was English 109.

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As I entered my first day of university English, the knot in my stomach was larger than Shakespeare’s Hamlet. I felt completely underprepared by my high school curriculum focused on student achievement, rather than constructive criticism (check out my earlier blogpost entitled, “WARNING: No Flower Sticker Here” to learn exactly what I am talking about). I did not know if I possessed the skills necessary to succeed in such an advanced setting. Now, I have come to realize that it did not particularly matter! English 109 was my chance to build an enormous toolkit of literary tools and better my myself as a writer. From word reduction to the passive voice and everywhere in between, I feel as if this course has allowed me to grow immensely with writing over the last few months.

It is this growth that has surprised me most about my first term. I never thought that I would be able to acquire so many literary tools in such a short period of time. I guess I actually am learning in university – who would have thought? With each assignment that I wrote and comment that I received from peers, I learned a new skill that has helped improve my writing.not-sure-if-actually-learning-in-class

Now, (although I am no expert, and have in NO way mastered what it means to be a university student) I have a few tips for those entering their very first, angst-filled term of university English:

  1. Don’t be afraid to write shitty – what I mean is that it is okay to have a terrible first draft. In fact, it is this first draft that allows one to get all their ideas down and have a basis for an incredible final piece.
  2. Take every comment as a learning experience. DO NOT hesitate to show your work to others, because peer review is the best way to improve.
  3. HAVE FUN! Language is all about expressing oneself, so make sure NOT to lose this beautiful aspect of English.

In all, I cannot believe that this term is over. Time truly does fly! I know, however, that this is not “goodbye,” but “hello” to a new adventure. An adventure, where I can hopefully grow in ways that no one can even imagine.

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