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For Future Reference

The time is finally upon us: Finals. I’ve got my first final exam tomorrow morning as I anxiously write this blog. I’m a little nervous, but I like to think that writing is a strong suit of mine. I’ve been thinking a lot about things I could have done better – for the sake of my own future, as well as others. So I wrote this list for future reference.

Things I Wish I Had Done:

In terms of academics: Every year, around this time, I regretfully look at my notebook, scrawled with meticulous details about lectures and wondering where it all connects. I haven’t been as diligent as I’d like to be, but what I usually do is review notes before and after class, or at least on a daily basis. It’s been shown in research studies that simply devoting time to something will greatly increase one’s familiarity with the subject; I wish I had looked more into topics that I was interested in that the professors didn’t always cover. And even though it’s nearly impossible to do every single reading assignment across all my courses, I wished I would have at least done some research and look over slides more often; the resource is there, the students just have to help themselves, that’s all. Furthermore, doing the reading ahead of time (maybe even in the summer!) would have been a great idea to reduce study abroad time, since the readings are indeed available online as well. I cannot emphasize how important it is to look at previous exams! It might have done me some good

In terms of prioritizing things: I wish I had been more militantly decided on how much time I would devote to travelling, socializing/club activities and academics. Of course, I knew that I would have some difficulty travelling, considering that I wouldn’t be working or having a steady income of money. I’m thankful for my friends and family who have sent their support my way, in contributions of dollars and kind words. In the future, I think I would like to have allotted myself a weekly stringent budget, while allocating specific funds for travel and special occasions. Before coming over here, I knew that I would want to consider a gym membership, club fees (boxing & Muay Thai), as well as just some extra spending money for clothes, books and food. Once I got a feel for how much I would be spending on a regular basis, I should have just given myself a limit. Ah, well; lesson learned!

As for things that I should’ve packed… hm, well, I think an extra layer of warm clothes would do – and also, I really didn’t need those shorts and skirts that I brought instead! Furthermore, having a travel-savvy backpack would have been ideal (I, instead, brought along a regular canvas bag that I normally lug around school – should’ve brought a comfortable, sportier bag). In terms of sports, I cannot believe I forgot to pack RUNNING SHOES! I brought regular canvas shoes and heels… I really didn’t need the high heels – the combination with cobbled streets just doesn’t do. Edinburgh tends to indeed have ridiculous rainy drizzle, but buying a cheap pair of rain boots over here would have been sufficient. I think that’s about it; otherwise, comfort is key.

Thanks for reading – I hope my own pitfalls can be a lesson learned for someone else. Wish me luck on my final tomorrow! It’s a 9 a.m. one, so I’m gonna need it!

Here’s a fun pic for you! Doing laundry in my room as I type this. The dryers here didn’t work too well, so I had to resort to this.

2013-09-24-01-50-05

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