five years and still no degree…oh jeez!

Top Ten Things I have learned here at the University of Lethbridge:

Well, another year finds me here and as I am going into my fifth (yes, fifth year, this is something many of you can look forward to…) I only hope my extensive experience here will aid you if you’re new or give you a chance to commiserate if you’re not.

1.       Finishing in four years is kinda like watching the first The Terminator and The Terminator: Judgment Day but refusing to see The Terminator: Rise of the Machines. You’re already in so deep you may as well enjoy it. Four years is a long time yes, but don’t get hung up on the four years business. If getting a sweet gig sets you back some time, no worries. If volunteering, or pursuing something you love causes you to take 3 classes instead of five, it’s worth it and if you think the only way to be successful is finish your degree fast and get out, you’re wrong. You are already paying for school and already committed to being a student, you may as well enjoy it. Just be warned, there is a fine line between enjoying and roosting. Seven years and Terminator Salvation is a bit much. Quit while you’re ahead.

2.        You will get fat. Well, maybe not fat but trust me. By the end of each term you will see students at the gym in numbers you have never seen before because once finals are over you will start to care about how you look again. Don’t stress about it but just know, it may happen. Love yourself from within etc…

3.       On that note, the University and its various subsidiary services offer free food all the time. You can usually dine for free at least once a week. This is great, especially for CJ loving residence kids. Lectures usually offer wine and cheese, go to these. There is always some random reason the university decided to dish out free cake in the atrium or have a free BBQ for students. Keep your eyes peeled and if you don’t mind waiting in line, you will be good to go!

4.       Midterm season in the second semester coincides with the windiest days that North America will and has ever seen. Do not walk outside if you can help it. Do not walk with loose papers anywhere, even inside the school, trust me. Realize the wind is your friend. Helping you stay in and study, helping you practice your meditation skills at 3 am when it rattles your window. Embrace it. Love it.

5.       Volunteer at CKXU. Well, volunteer anywhere. If you want to have a good experience here do something. Old episodes of Degrassi Junior prove nothing else but that clubs are awesome and will help you be a better person.

6.       Go to cool things and events happening here. You are paying to be educated here, you are choosing to live here, embrace it. The UofL art gallery is wicked and has new exhibitions every semester. There are always free recitals and lectures happening. Take advantage of this stuff now, because that middle management office job will at best offer you free cake on someone’s birthday and we’ve already explored the consequences of that.

7.       This is a list of places off campus which are worth checking out:

–          Red Dog Diner – Cheap food, fast and really really good. Family owned business that is open to midnight Sunday – Wednesday and 2 am on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. This is amazing for Lethbridge.

–          Blueprint Records – The only record store in town, specializing in hard to find stuff and used CD’s/Vinyl. Anything you want, they got it. Mike, the owner is awesome at ordering stuff in so do not be afraid to ask.

–          The SAAG – Southern Alberta Art Gallery. It’s pretty amazing and has world renowned art collections. Check it.

–          Andrew Hilton – Amazing wine selection and often tastings are available.

–          Westside Backstreet – Super chill place to grab a bevi and a Jamie. Sandwich that is. No one names Jamie works there that I know of.

–          Cuppers – Amazing coffee and tea. Huge selection. Trust me; these are two things you will need.

8.       Talk to people in your class. This is a little after school special of me, but Little Foot was way better off once he had his posy to help him out in “The Land Before Time” than when he was on his own. Friends are good, the more you surround yourself in the better.

9.       Take advantage of every opportunity this University can offer. Stop into the co-op office often, check what’s available, see how you can get a co-op. Talk to your adviser about an exchange, there are tons of international universities you can attend while paying the same amount of tuition you would pay here. This is awesome. Go on an archeological dig, run for student office, become the president of a club or just really really enjoy our luscious shower facilities.

10.   Don’t complain. The more you complain the less likely you are to seeing the positive points and the more likely you are to hating whatever you are doing. Either change what sucks or get over it. Awesome Sauce.

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