advice

Back to School: Things I Wish I Knew

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Happy first day of school! For many of you this may be another tedious year spent drooling in class in order to finish your degree. But for many others this week marks the beginning of something new; a new chapter in life. Many people say that their college/university years were some of the best of their lives and they wish they could go back and do it all over again. I certainly wish I could redo my 4 years, but not so much because they were the best years ever, more so because I wish I knew then what I know now. It would have made the world of difference and maybe I would have enjoyed my time there.

This is what I wish I had known:

Frosh Week: Okay, so almost everything I’m going to say is pretty common sense. And I’m sure someone probably told me all of these things back then. I more so just wish I had believed them and actually followed through. I was a pretty nervous frosher and I’m not really that outgoing. I kinda stick to myself waiting for someone else to make the first move but than once you get to know me I’m outgoing as all hell. The hardest part of frosh week is going out to the events by yourself. I didn’t go to University with friends, so I had to go make them. I wish I had actually gone out to the parties and had some fun.

Dorm Room: #1. Your roommate does not need to be your friend….don’t force it. #2. You must leave your room to make friends. I was in a bit of an odd situation when it came to roommates. I got put in a 6 person apartment style dorm (not something I wanted), so I had 5 other girls that I shared an apartment with; complete with a mini kitchen and bathroom. So of course, the 6 of us thought we were going to be BFFL. We didn’t get along so well…but it took me two years and another rented house to figure that one out. Also, having a kitchen and bathroom in the dorm made leaving unnecessary except for class. That’s not the way to spend your first year of university and I wish more than anything that I hadn’t done that.

Clubs/Activities/Sports: No, you’re not a nerd if you are a part of a club or academic team. Get involved, no matter what. Not only is it another group of people that you’re meeting, but the benefits of that dynamic are huge when you are finally in the workforce. I joined a service organization in my 4th and final year of Uni and I wish more than anything that I had joined earlier. Don’t be intimidated, they love the fresh, young perspective of 1st year students.

More important than anything is to have fun and be yourself. It will take a few weeks, maybe even a month, to get comfortable and into the swing of things. Remember…it’s the first year for everyone. They may be acting like they’ve been doing it all along and they’re real cool, but I’m sure they’ve had all the same doubts and fears as you. Chin up, smile on, and make this the best 4 years possible. (I’m here for moral support)!

Stay tuned for two more “Back to School” posts coming at you this week!

xoxo

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Ps. The picture was taken at my alma mater McMaster University…pretty eh?

Nightshift Nightmares

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As many of you may know, I work a lot of weird hours for my job. Anywhere ranging on the 24hr spectrum is fair game. Recently I’ve kinda been a bummer with regards to being away during the holidays, but the majority of that ‘bummed-out-ness’ stems from the fact that this time I’m on graveyards. Now I can’t complain too much….it doesn’t happen often. I haven’t worked nights since April, lucky me! So when it comes to me working nightshift, I have several things I do to prepare myself cause unfortunately I don’t find it easy.

When I work nightshift it’s for a relatively short amount of time. Never much longer than 10 days in a row. So I try my best to not completely change my usual daily routine. I’m just simply changing the hours that I sleep. I know a lot of people suggest splitting up your sleep schedule and waking up to eat lunch at a still normal time, but thats not a normal sleep pattern. You’re bound to screw yourself up for awhile with that one. So I keep it simple:

– I work from 10pm – 6am so I sleep from about 7am – 3pm .

– I eat breakfast after 6am, a late lunch around 3pm, and a late dinner before my shift starts at 10pm. I don’t try to move my dinner to the early morning

– First thing I do at 3pm when I wake up is open the blinds wide. It’s the only two hours of day-light I get to see.

– I never have caffeine after my shift starts.I want my body to continue to think “holy smokes, it’s 6am! Long past bedtime”

– When switching to nights, I stay up as late as possible, then sleep as late as possible. I try not to add naps.

– Switching from nights back to days will see me a little sleep deprived, but after two days I’m back to normal.

If you’re like me and have a pretty regular sleep schedule, then make sure you stay very hydrated. You’re body will thank you. It’s gonna take a while to get over the ‘hey!! what are you doing to me’ phase. And I, unfortunately, always get really nauseous after about day two. Either way, I try to change as little as possible when I switch to nightshift. But no matter what….nightmare. Just stick it out….only 4 nights left!

Have you ever had to work the nightshift before? Any tips or tricks for this old girl?

Check out my tips and tricks for early 3am wake ups here

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