my happy days continue….

And my happy streak continues!!! But I lied I haven’t gotten over my sushi addiction as yet and it been two weeks…but I shouldn’t complain its healthy right? Hahaha I just googled the benefits of sushi and I was right 😀 Sushi is low in calories, helps to reduce heart disease, can prevent mental illness (hmmm…interesting), it has fiber, proteins and vitamins and omega 3…yay! Who knew I could be unintentionally so smart! :/

So anyway today the Asian American Students Union (AASU) had an Asian themed lunch for $7 at the international center and my advisor tells me that it was pretty awesome…only if I hadn’t slugged down a whole Grande hot chocolate and a huge bowl of cereals before coming I could have been able to eat it too….I can smell the food from this room even though I am a whole floor above.

There are about 550 student organizations currently recognized here at FSU. I haven’t joined anyone yet and they are fortunately not exclusively for members so I have participated in a variety of events organized by different groups and I find them to be extremely interesting.

I can still smell the food, its distracting me….

So today the sun is shining again and even though I stayed up till 2 last night I woke up this morning at 7:45 and made it to class before class had even started and, wait for it, I actually stayed awake during class so yes I am feeling pretty smug about that. Then because we are having conferences for my English class this week I didn’t have to go to that class which is awesome cause I got more free time. I came back and listened to cat powers and Regina Spektor while I finally cleaned our room. My “get things done” levels are soaring.

Anyway back to getting up for classes. I think many people especially me lack the will to get up for a morning class and to be honest they are really a pain. I learned from my mistakes last semester and developed new strategies the first one being not signing up for 8 o’clock classes, except for one, I don’t like being woken up by an alarm for anything. So once again I’ll share my wise ways 😀

Okay so the first it’s best to sign up for a morning class with a friend. This kind of gives you a reason to get up if you know that there would be someone else with you. For example I have an 8 o’clock class at the engineering campus every Thursday which means that I have to catch the 7:15 bus and therefore be awake by 6:30 so that I can make it to the bus stop. I have a girl on my floor who takes the class with me so we now walk together. It’s for one safer to have someone walk with that early in the morning and second you have someone who you can talk to on the way or in the class.

Second, if your roommate has early classes or a class before yours ask them to wake you up before they leave for class.

Third, get more sleep. If you sleep early the more likely you would be to wake up feeling more active.

Lastly, if you are like me and just can’t sleep early then condition yourself to get lesser sleep i.e. set up an internal clock. We are in college after all missing classes is not fun, trust me, especially because you have to be the one who has to make up for the missed lecture.

Then comes the more fun part. You’re awake. You made it to class. You fall asleep during the lecture :/ not cool….especially after you put in all the effort to make it there.  So my strategies:

  • Take notes by hand. It’s easier, you don’t miss out on what the professor says because you seriously can’t type that fast, at least I can’t and it helps to cement the lecture in your mind.
  • Eat. Food energizes you. And keep yourself hydrated too.
  • Take good professors or take classes in which you would be interested in. If you think the lecture will be boring you will be bored it’s like a psychological thing. Even if the class is required try to be interested in the lecture. Like for example if you go with the mindset that you want  to learn something new that you didn’t know before it would help because you end up listening to the lecture more seriously

Adios for now!!! 😀

P.S. i know the guys eye in the picture is creepy but I think it sits well with the text :p

It’s All Good

Did I say the streak of bad days was over? Maybe it was; but it is definitely fighting its way back. Freaking persistent eh? Well I guess the good and bad are balancing each other out at the moment. My grades so far have been…fine. I have a couple of good ones, some that are not so good right now but I will be able to improve them soon. I got a zero on an online math quiz for not taking it. I was supposed to know about it through my FSU email but I guess I still don’t check it often enough. It’s going to be dropped anyways, so it’s all good.

I lost my French text book, or more accurately, it was stolen. I left it by mistake in the French class along with my notebook because we had a group activity in class and we moved around, I didn’t realize that I had taken my books out of the bag before the group activity so I just took my bag and left after class. When I came back to look for it, I only found the notebook. The textbook had… disappeared somehow. Of course it wasn’t at the lost and found because nothing I lose ever finds its way there. But It’s good I got my notebook back although I barely use it to write notes anyway so basically I have nothing to help me study for the quiz we’re having the next day. After much thinking, I went online and googled a lesson on the topic we’re studying in class and found a site that explains it really well; so it’s all good.

I was so excited the next night as I had my first intramurals game. It rained all morning long and the games were cancelled for that night. FML? Well not really. I kind of needed that time to finish a huge assignment due the next day which I was planning to work on through the night. I used the time I now had to do the assignment and was able to sleep at around midnight and our match will be re-scheduled so we will play sooner or later, so it’s all good.

The weather hasn’t been meeting expectations. It’s been warmer than it should be. This morning though it is pretty cold and I’m shaking! But not because I’m cold; it’s PMS. That’s right, Pre-Match Stress. The most important match of the season so far for my team will be played in a few hours… …       …   … ok. I hope they do well… I really gotta release some of this stress.

Finally I have gotten used to my classes and caught up in the ones I was behind in, but I’m fat. All I’ve been doing during the week is study, work, eat, and sleep. From now on though, I’m going to be able to fit the gym into my schedule. I’m finally going to start going there a couple of times a week so it’s all good. It’s all good.

decisions… :/

I am in a really good mood today due to a series of very fortunate occurrences. The sun is shining for one and it’s not very cold, I finally got over my sushi addiction( believe it or not I have been craving and consuming sushi since the past 6 days) and my favorite drama( did I ever mention my Korean drama addiction? Well I think they are the best!!) Is turning out just the way I wanted it to. However the number one reason is that one of my class got cancelled and that gave me a 5 hour break between classes 😀 . So to spread my happy vibe; I have decided not to write about mope-y and depressing stuff today.

I finally went to the gym yesterday. I had been planning on doing that since I had stepped into FSU but I was way too lazy to motivate myself. I have unhealthy habits and one major one being that if I want to lose weight I cut down on food instead of exercising. However my roommate finally forced me yesterday to move off my laptop and go exercise with her and I ended up actually enjoying it. It also made me feel good about myself so I have made a resolution to exercise more often now, at least twice a week.

So anyway, today I’m mostly going to write about the factors that ‘should’ be considered when making a decision about which college to attend.

Even though this is the time when most college applications are due, let’s fast-forward and think about the time when you have to finally make a decision. Picking the wrong college can not only take away a huge chunk of your parents’ money (unless you have 100% scholarship) but also cause a lot of stress and anxiety. No matter what we all wish for college is expensive…it’s very expensive so it’s best to make an informed decision (it’s also best to make the decision yourself instead of waiting for some sign from a higher power or something)

1)      How much will it cost?

This is an important consideration for students who get admission on self finance basis. They have to consider how much they can ask their parents to put in. However if you get financial aid it’s important to look at the offers closely. If you get a lower amount of aid you can also contact the schools and make another offer, sometimes the schools are willing to negotiate on this basis.

2)      Location

Do you want to live near or far from home? Is it a college town/city or a megalopolis? The convenient thing about college towns is that they are well equipped with the needs of college students and that everything is near/ easily available. However the overtime they can get boring as everything that is discoverable in the city has been discovered at this time the larger cities come to aid as there is a lot going on.

3)      Size

Would you be more comfortable in a large student population setting or a smaller population? There are advantages for both. A larger setting means that there is more diversity around and there therefore different groups of people around making it easier to make find your own group of friends. There is also the blessing of anonymity. However that also means larger classrooms depending obviously on the course type. Larger campuses also have a lot of things going on like college fairs and therefore there is greater chance of finding opportunities. A smaller student population means smaller classrooms and therefore greater interaction with your professors and the ease of meeting faculty is greater.

4)      Safe/Comfortable

I don’t really have to explain this one as campus safety and how the administration keeps the campus safe need to be considered

5)      Facilities

There are going to be days when you would have nothing to do, no movies that ‘have’ to be seen, and no blogs that ‘have’ to be written or followed. There is going to be a time that you’ll wish that someone, anyone was online but no one would be there. So facilities provided by the university are very very very important and should be considered.

6)      How flexible are the requirements when it comes to majors?

I should have mentioned this somewhere in the beginning… However I know that most of us firmly believe that we will keep with the intended major we started with but that is not always the case. Most of the times, it’s just not what we expected and therefore it is also necessary to find out how flexible universities are within curriculums regarding majors. Starting with a degree program which is flexible and gives a wide range of opportunities is very important especially in today’s markets where employment decisions are enforced by economic traditions.

With all of this I end today’s post and hope that these pointers help you in making college decisions. Happy Reading!!!!

The Streak of Bad Days is Over

You know how in “Meet the Parents” everything is going wrong for Ben Stiller? Now I know how he felt. The past weeks have been horrible! – For the most part. In my last post I told you how when I got here my luggage didn’t arrive until the next evening, and also how I had to catch up in my classes and how I was sick with a cold and a sore throat. I still haven’t quite recovered from the cold to start it off, but that’s really not much of a problem. The problems start with this: it turned out I was in the wrong math class so they dropped me out of it, and since it was already passed drop/add week, it was a hassle to get into the right class. So after catching up to the math class I enrolled in, they drop me and now I had to catch up to a new math class. Catching up in a math class is like giving your opponents a head start in a sprint race. You have to give more than 100% to recover and get back into place, but at that time you will be even more tired than the rest so it would be harder for you to keep the pace and on top of that, this sprint seems endless. Math aside, the workload for this semester is greater than the last semester just because I have an extra class, but due to missing a few days for each of my classes, I had a particularly gigantic workload to catch up in all classes, from English journals to history response papers, to French material that I had to teach myself. What more, my laptop caught a virus that just destroyed it! It can’t open anything! It’s the first time I see such a virus and hopefully the last.

This last Monday was Martin Luther King Day so we had no school. If he was alive today I would do anything to find him and tell him “I love you!!” So I did as I planned and went to the library on Monday to finish off my assignments… it was closed. Without a laptop, I had one solution: I had to wake up super early the next day to do that before my 8am math class. Like Ben Stiller, I was partially at fault for this overload of work. I didn’t paint the tail of a cat to make it seem like the real one and got caught, but I went out with friends to watch a movie and did other things when I could’ve been working but you can’t really blame me. I mean, it is pretty hard to go to the library and work on weekends knowing everyone else is out having fun. If you can do that, you deserve respect, lots of it! By the way, it was one of the funniest movies I’ve ever seen. It’s called “How Do You Know”. Watch it!

This past Tuesday was the turning point of this miserable story. I had a huge break between the only two classes that I have on Tuesdays, and in that time I was able to complete all assignments due and catch up in all my classes. I also skyped with my family later that day and that always seems like a great way to relieve stress and take my mind off of all the work for a while. The next day which was yesterday, there was an extremely important soccer match that I had to see. Yes, I had to see it because if I don’t it’s like they’re missing a player. My team won and progressed to the quarter finals of the cup and that told me that things are finally getting better and the streak of bad days is over.

blog about homesickness :(

I think that I’m finally homesick. I miss Pakistan way more than has ever been normally possible for me and I have decided to let go of my ambitious plans to stay here for summer term and get ahead on everything and everyone and instead to go back home and sort things out. It is weird though, given the ever present ominous cloud of instability, that I would miss home as much as I do now. Though I am unsure about what I am doing I am by no means having long crying or depressive spells, nor have I lost appetite or sleep. And my current class load and homework are the only things causing me stress.

Amidst the load of classes especially calculus 3, keeping up with friends and the weird weather pattern which is btw never constant the happy/busy veil lifted and all I want to do is go home and sleep in my own bed and play with my dog. I don’t remember a time that I have ever been homesick.

The good part is that I am beginning to perk up again and eventually it will, though not completely, go away.  I found it helpful to stay in touch with my friends. It definitely helps when they keep updating me about stuff that goes on in their lives. It helps to know that they miss me too as it boosts my ego infinitely 😀

I make my parents call me at least 3 times every week. I am too lazy to get a calling card so I just email my dad to call me and they do. I like talking to my mom especially as she 1) loves gossiping even more than I do and 2) keeps me updated about everything and never misses even a single detail. She also doesn’t care how long the call goes or how much it costs her to call me and never hangs up until I tell her to.

I think that the second semester is hard even more so as finally everyone kind of gets used to everything that’s going around them. You no longer have to worry about managing stuff or making new friends. Attending events becomes secondary as you get an idea of how they are going to be, so now you have more time to think about the past. It is also a phase where you realize that this is it and now you would be here for the next 3-4 years depending on the course and level of study and that there is possibly no going back to the way life previously was. I think that the acceptance that things are going to be different now is a major part of maturing and coming to terms with your future.

I would like to stress that homesickness is not a weakness and that everyone goes through it. However the real strength of character is coping with it. I strongly recommend talking to someone. I talked my roommate about my feelings and talking helped because it finally brought on the barrage of tears. BTW when I was finally done crying it made me feel better.

College is a completely different deal. It’s not like high school, high school was easy, my major aim there was get grades and get into college. Now my aims have drastically changed, though a major one is still getting good grades, I have multiple goals now. It no more about just succeeding, but getting as much out of this exposure/experience as an international student. Even though I miss home I like the independence that college gave me. I do things the way I want to do them and how I want to do them, I am independent, but at the same time I know that the people I love back home are safe and happy. I think that that is the best part of being here.

I am not letting things drive me crazy and I decided to take one step at a time and mostly to go with the flow.

Back In Tally

Honestly, going back home and seeing my family and friends got me to think that I didn’t want to go back to Tallahassee. I was just so excited about being home and seeing everyone and it was awesome! Truth is, towards the end of my stay in Kuwait I was starting to think about my time in Tally and my new friends and just life here in general, and I came up with the conclusion that I miss it. The university is great, the city has enough things for you to do and even the classes can be amusing depending on the instructor of course, but most of the ones I’ve had so far are cool. I also missed blogging to some extent. Not just blogging, but my workplace and the idea that “I’m going to work”.

I got here on the evening of the 5th of January, a day after classes started. So I had to miss all my classes on the 4th and the 5th. What made it even worse is that my luggage did not arrive on the 4th. So on the 6th, my birthday, I went back to the airport in the morning to look for my luggage… and it wasn’t there. Of course I spoke with the luggage services and they said they’d call me if they find it. They called me later that day and said they’d found it and they delivered it to my apartment so that was nice. However, with this mix up with my luggage, I missed my classes on the 6th as well. Not the best of birthdays huh? Anyways, the policy here is as follows: if you miss the first day of class, you are automatically dropped out of the class. Since I didn’t go to my first three days of classes, I was basically dropped out of all my classes. That seems like a terrible thing at first, but if you remember what I have said before about drop/add week then you know it’s really not that bad at all. All I had to do was re-add my classes. Of course not the exact same classes at the exact same times were available but I was still able to add the same classes though at different times. It is now the second week of classes and I’ve already caught up with all the work I missed so all is good now. I also went to the coffee hour the next day and met up with some of my friends so that was great.

As I had anticipated, it is reeeaally cold here! Way colder than it was before I left.  It was -4 degrees Celsius this morning! Now get this straight: I’m not complaining, I’m just saying. I like the cold weather, although this is a little cooler than my ideal temperature but it’s not unbearable. At least I don’t think so. It’s really great to back and I’ve already gotten used to things here. I’m already not suffering from jetlag anymore. What I am suffering from is a cold (which I hate more than anything) and a sore throat. I’m feeling better now though thanks for asking. I’m also a little depressed because I missed the spring tryouts for the soccer team. On the bright side though, I joined a spring soccer intramurals team which is great! Although I would’ve liked to have a few more days in Kuwait to spend a little more time with everyone, it is good to be back.

New term, New Beginings

I’m back!!! And as much as I miss lying back and doing nothing the semester is in full swing here at FSU. I really enjoyed the fall term and so far spring term, even though it has only been a week, seems pretty exciting. I’m taking Organic Chem., Calc 3, English, a colloquium class and a social science class called Theory of Dynamics, Racism and Oppression. I’ve got my hands full of assignments and even after finishing up this blog I am going to head to the library and work on two papers. 😦

My social sciences class about Racism and Oppression is actually very cool and even though I have only had 3 sessions so far I am really interested to know where this would take me. It seeks to try to provide an analysis behind the logic of Race and Racism, which till now has been only generically defined.

The first week back was pretty uneventful. I went from class searching, to meeting new people and making new friends and getting the flu which seems to be doing its rounds all around FSU. BTW Tallahassee is freezing these days, I kind of understand the whole cold wave thing as its snowing in almost every state of USA except Florida but the winds are literally piercing right through my body even though I‘m all layered up.

So 2010 has been a really good year for FSU apart from a good football season,

1)      FSU was at the forefront of the whole Gulf oil spill debate and a lot of professors collaborated to study different aspects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.FSU researchers presented their understanding and gave their reviews at countless international media forums and helped the state understand the issues arising with the spill.

2)      The National High Magnetic Field Laboratory at FSU received a grant that will enable it to be further turned into a state of the art place for study of environmental and biological samples. In short a better study facility for chemical analysis!

3)      The Ruby Diamond Hall which had been closed for the last two years finally reopened its doors. For those of you that don’t know, Ruby Diamond auditorium is the majestic hall which shows up in nearly all the FSU postcard pictures along with the famous Westcott fountain where people are apparently dumped into on their birthdays

4)      FSU was also labeled as the “Most Engaged Campus of the Year”. It also ranked Fourth on the Princeton Reviews and USA Today’s list for “Best Value Colleges” among Public Universities

5)      According to Discover magazine, FSU’s research on the “Mahjong” Cancer gene is ranked number 18 in their compilation of 2010’s Top 100 science and technology stories. The study was the first to identify the cell competition process within mammalian tissue that suppresses cancer by causing cancerous cells to, in effect, kill themselves!

So I may be 12 days too late to wish everyone a Happy New Year but I guess I’ll be cheesy and say its better late than never, I really hope this year turns out to be an awesome one! Though I won’t say that my 2010 was an absolutely amazing year because it for one went by way to fast and two I had to say goodbye to too many things but I seriously think that I ended up experiencing many other new things and I am very grateful for that. I mean I got to come here all the way to FSU from Pakistan, I met a lot of nice people and made the nicest friends ever (especially my roomies)  I got to participate in a whole bunch of American festivities and so I am very satisfied with how everything turned out. Here is to hoping that everything turns out well for this year too!!!

Happy Reading!

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